How do I grow to love my toddler?

Mommy - posted on 01/21/2013 ( 150 moms have responded )

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I know I am going to sound like the most horrible woman in the world. I feel like one....I have 4 Children all boys with a baby girl on the way. They are 6,5,2, and 1 and baby is due early May. I love being a stay at home mom, I love crafts, cooking, cleaning all of that stuff many hate about being a stay at home mom. I love interacting with my kids and playing with them. I feel like I love them all but I know if I do love my 2 year old it's not the same as my love for my other 3 boys. Everything he does irritates me. I don't want to hurt him but I know I don't love his smell, snuggles or alone time with him like I do with my other kids. I try to give him extra alone time so hopefully he doesn't realize my love for him is so different. He is adorable, he is so smart, he is hilarious, people love him and he tries so hard to show his love for me and I can't return it like he gives to me or I show my other kids. I always wanted a huge family and the life I have and besides my bond with him I would look at me and think I am a perfect mother...sure my house gets a mess but I genuinely have the patience of a saint for being a mother and love every moment with my kids except for him. I feel so alone, I am the person people come to for advice on parenting, when friends become first time mothers and have post partum or don't feel love immediately I am the one that assures them it will come and the feelings are natural. I know I shouldn't be having this when he is still two and a half years old!!! I feel so alone, I feel psychotic. How can I not love my one child but still want another, love his younger brother and his older two brothers and genuinely enjoy every minute with them but not him? I feel like I don't deserve kids. I look in his eyes and feel such shame and just tell him I'm sorry that I don't love him the same repeatedly in my head. Everything I show him is FAKE.If my husband knew he would be so disgusted with me, I know that nobody I know would understand or relate. The only difference with him that I can think of is that he is my only Csection child. The others I delivered naturally and vaginally. Could it really make that big of a difference though? The first time I heard him cry I knew I didn't "want him". The nurses wouldn't even keep him in the nursery his cry was so horrible and gut wrenching. It's loud, his voice is loud, piercing, annoying. I don't need all the horrible negative feedback and name calling. I do that to myself daily. Genuine help and suggestions please.

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Naida - posted on 01/22/2013

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Well, I hear you on this one :) and don't panic, and for goodness sake stop beating yourself up! Believe me when I tell u , this too shall pass.
I do think that having a C-section may play a part in this, but looking at the age of your children, it looks like there may be a bit more as well. The age separation between your second and third child may be a key. Your first two children were toddlers when #3 was born, baby 3 put you right back where you started, BABIES, love em for sure, but you were just leaving ALL that hard WORK, yes you were going into toddlerhood, but there is a freedom there. They play a little more independent, diapers have left or are almost gone, etc. And when this baby came, it may have hit you very hard, that you were going BACK to all that hard work again. Diapers, lacks of sleep, spit up, and a million other things. So that could have been the first trigger of "panic" when baby 4 came along, you were again in baby mode, because baby 3 was still there. I hope im being clear. Now, for a little advice. I myself entered into my second marriage as a single mom with man that was a single dad. He had a 2 and 4 year old. Obviously, i couldnt have the same feelings for these children as I did for blood children. And I was very concerned, they were loud, unruly, undisiplined. I thought to my self MANY times, these children, are so much work! They are not mine, how can i EVER love them!? It did take work, it did take time, but I DO love them, OHH SO VERY MUCH! You must first, forgive yourself for having feelings as you do. You must forrgive yourself for feeling resentful. And then, you must learn the art of compassion. This is a litttle boy, who loves you OH SO VERY MUCH. He may be different. He may be loud, but he is your blood, your light, your husbands proof of your families love. Stop trying to love him for his merits, no children on the face of it can be loved for their greatness because they are loud, sticky, demanding little creatures. Love him because he is yours. I do not believe for a second you do not love him. I refuse to, and so should you. He represented something you do not feel anymore, but you forgot to let it go. You obviously do not mind being back in baby land, but you fforgot to detach those unjustified feelings to him. Let it go. It will not happen this second, it will not happen in 2 days, but believe me. If a bond can be formed between adoptive parents, then a bond can shine through with you and your son. And in your mind, have a chat with your son, apollogize, cry, and then move on, because you made a mistake. And you forgive yourself, but move on. Feeling different for this child is no crime, it is not being a bad mom. But holding onto it, harbouring it, and beating yourself up over it would be a true crime. It is like holding onto a bee tthat is stinging you. Why would you do such a thing? forgive yourself for hanging on, but you are going to let it go now :) Blessings :)

Suzy - posted on 02/02/2013

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I am a midwife, and I think you may be suffering from postnatal psychosis. This is the most severe form of postpartum depression. I would highly recommend you book in to see your Dr asap. There are various forms of treatment available. You may have unresolved issues surrounding that pregnancy or birth that need to be treated. I urge you to seek help, not only for yourself, but also for your son. Your Dr will maintain confidentiality (on the provision that your son is not in danger - which I don't think he is), and direct you in the care you require. Good Luck!

Lady Heather - posted on 01/21/2013

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There is something to this that you should explore with a counselor. Were you unhappy about having the c-section? Because I don't think that having a c-section causes this sort of detachment. I have had vaginal and c-section births and actually it was my vaginal birth that led to PPD. My c-section baby was instant connection. I just wonder if your own disappointment in the birthing experience was the thing that led to the disconnect - like you saw him as different from the start. That isn't something that would generally be a problem with c-sections, but it could be for you personally if you had an aversion to the experience.

Just a thought. I do definitely think you should see a professional for this. Do not feel like you have failed. I know this feeling so well. I had it with my first daughter. So much guilt. :( We moms can be our harshest critics. I bet this can be healed. You sound like a wonderful mother.

Catia - posted on 01/21/2013

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Please see a therapist there some thing bothering you and you need to find out what it is also I have to have c-section with my 3 boys and I bonded with them it dosent make difference.

Holly - posted on 01/21/2013

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I would still look into counseling... I think there is something more to it.

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Tammy - posted on 02/05/2013

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Everyone has the right to comment, whether you agree with the comments or not. Kristi C. want to draw a line in the sand, then I suggest you start with you abbreviation.

If anyone is going to post on a public form, then they should be prepared to receive negative as well as positive responses.

Tammy - posted on 02/05/2013

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Wow, this might sound harsh, but having to many kids can end up like this. I personally can't stand seeing children suffer, because of their parents choices.

I work on a mother baby unit, and take care of newborns. The majority of families that have this many children in this economy do it for selfish, wrong reasons. They are mostly on government assistance and the children suffer. I'm not saying this is your situation, but it is most I've seen.

I guess I'm wondering why you choose to get pregnant again if you feel this way about your baby boy?

I also think you should think about giving him up to adoption if he is going to suffer neglect.

I'm not trying to shock it to you, but too many children suffer in our society today because of their parent/parents taking on more then they can Handel.

Debbie - posted on 02/05/2013

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Until you pass through this phase make sure you give this child all the hugs, smile, play, and everything else you give the other children. You don't HAVE to feel it, just do it. That little guy doesn't know what you are thinking only you do. I speak from experience..not my own child but one I kept for a while. This way your child won't miss a thing and could be before you know it, you are in love with this little guy. Hug him just as long as you hug the others. Kiss him just as much.

Nana

Kristi - posted on 02/05/2013

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I know there are a lot of comments here and it would take forever to read them all. But if you have your settings to read the most recent comments first and you at least read the first page of the discussion you might have some clue as to what is going on.

The OP (Mommy Sanchez1) commented about her progress with her son and gave us an update. So for those of you that still feel the need to try and make her feel guilty or say how horrible for that little boy not to have love from his own mother, or belittle her in some other fashion can now STFU. She didn't come on here to be judged and condemned to begin with. She was reaching out for help and support. Many moms have offered both. From what I've seen the majority of the nasty ones were taken care of by MOD's. There are just a couple of recent digs that were the straws which broke the camel's back so now I guess I'm drawing a line in the sand.

New comers, read before you comment. If you can't be supportive, positive or helpful in anyway, then go on to another thread.

NANCY - posted on 02/05/2013

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You need to see a therapist, the sooner the better. It is not normal to not love your child as much as the others, even regret him..I feel so bad for him, but worse for you. He may end up being the most mature hard working adult..as he will not be smothered in your love, yet will be independent cause he never had anyone to start with.How sad for him..prayers for you both.

BCVC - posted on 02/04/2013

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I truly believe that therapy will help you sort this out. There are many reasons why you may be feeling this way, some reasons may stem from your childhood (unconsious memories) or even from before that (if you believe in reincarnation). It's very interesting that you feel this way and you should look into it. You have done nothing wrong so don't beat yourself up over it. You and this child have been put in this world together for a reason. He has chosen you as his mother for a reason. You just got to figure it out.

Ubaid - posted on 02/03/2013

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I have few questions that I think you should think and can happen in lifetime so what should you do?

What will you do if something go wrong to him? What happen if you are in dangerous situation and he save your life? What you do if all your other kids left you alone and only he's there with you to take care of you? Think what happen if you never had your other kids but just him as your only child? How would you feel if your mom had same feelings for you not with her other children? What's his fault if he's loud/ annoying / or what's his fault by having birth by c-section? He never ask anyone for it right? Kids are like flowers they bloom when you love/care then and they die when being ignore so please change your negative thinking to positive and give him more love than other kids and you'll see your feelings will change toward him. Tell your husband to look after other kids when he can and you only this kid and that way you'll have more activities to do with him and you'll understand his behaviour more closely. Sorry if any you don't like but if any questions make you feel live toward your child mean you and he need to have better relationship develop and good luck to you !!!!

Minet - posted on 02/01/2013

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My mom confided in me once that while she loved all of her seven children, she didn't really like us until we were old enough to walk and talk and become more independent. There are more people out there who may have the same feelings as you so don't think of yourself as alone or a bad mom. The fact that you are bringing it to light means you are willing to make it better. I applaud you for that.

The advice that the majority of people are giving you is spot-on. I see my therapist often (for non-child related issues) and just being able to see something from someone else's perspective can have a huge impact. Definitely talk to someone. A therapist can suggest you go on medication if they feel the therapy isn't enough. There's nothing wrong with going on an aniti-depressant if it helps how you treat your child. It may give you the serenity you need to relate better to him.

Perhaps it' not postpartum depression but it can be a different kind of depression. You may not see it as the same because it's not the same.

I wish you luck. It's not easy to admit what you have but you're moving in the right direction!

Stephanie - posted on 02/01/2013

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Mommy Sanchez, It sounds like you are doing your very best for your son. It is so great to hear that you are sacrificing and loving him the best you can. Just don't burn yourself out by giving up all your alone time! We all know how it can be when it gets to the weekend and you feel like you haven't had a minute to yourself. Squeeze in some time for you! You deserve it:)

Janessa - posted on 02/01/2013

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There is a lot we have in common. I will start there, I currently have 4 children and one on the way, they are almost 7, 5, 3 1/2, 21 months. I also love being a stay at home mom, not crafts though. : ) The closest I can come to understanding you, is that when my little 3 1/2 year old was born he was the first one I thought that didn't look perfect. He actually got baby acne, and seemed like a little old man, none of my others have been that way, and it is really hard for me to write that, but truth be told it didn't take me long to love this little guy, and in fact he makes me smile everyday, he is perfect to me now. My original feelings didn't last, so unfortunately I probably can't understand completely what you are going through. But what I do want to say is you are not a terrible mother, for one thing you recognize it and want to change it. Secondly I have found that prayer and communication with God has helped me to love people that for me are difficult to love. The feelings you have are impossible to overcome without God, only he can change your heart. Hand it over to him. Beg, cry, whatever you want, he will listen and he will answer you, and he will not think you are a terrible mother. He will help you to love him, the way you want to love him. I know this is true, because God has helped me to do that for people that are very difficult to love. Good-luck with everything. You are not a terrible mother.

Dianne - posted on 02/01/2013

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Don't ever think you don't love that boy.

You have a fear from the combination of yourself being abandoned, pregnant by the jerk and the feeling that your son will also feel unloved after he finds out his REAL (using that term loosely) father (use that term loosely as well) abandoned him as well - and maybe partially feel that in some way he will end up like the jerk and abandon you to and keep part of yourself safe.

He has you and his siblings and a loving man who IS his father in every way.....doesn't take blood to make a father some times takes a real man to be there and your husband is there for ALL of you!

I can see that you love that boy and all your other kids as well. But his coming into this world was traumatic for you in many ways - how you were treated by the jerk and what you found out about him and the C-section and worry that the child will feel unloved - no father around, it made you so upset you locked part of yourself from him.

You have a great guy in your husband, I wish I had that, my boy's dad and I broke up a months before my son was born - our relationship was already crappy when I got pregnant, he preferred his friends more then me (mostly girls) and I felt like he was never there for me and total felt like crap and pretty much felt that way the whole time I was living with him and even after I moved still felt like crap.
I didn't know what I would tell my son why his parents are not together - still not entirely sure, but he is 4 so that question hasn't come yet.....hopefully it never does. He sees his dad but I don't see a warm relationship there at all as he doesn't ask for his dad or anything and a couple of times when daddy has called he doesn't want to talk to him, but I figure it is his dad's own fault. He stopped overnight visits as my son cried for me so daddy just gave up on him and quit overnights. Then he even gave his room away by moving in another roommate....what does that show a child? Even at the young age of 3 which is when he stopped the overnights and within a couple of months moved in this girl that my son told me he didn't like.

Good luck to you and your family and congratulations on the new baby in May.....and stop thinking that you don't love your son, I can see that you love him so very MUCH and it isn't good for this baby to be so worried. Sometimes kids can drive you crazy and you may feel or say things that aren't the case and your hormones are going wild.

I would love to have another baby. Would prefer to be married to a stable warm loving man to show my son what love and someone being their for him is like.

Take care!

[deleted account]

I understand perfectly how you feel. My son is almost 2 years old and sometimes, he gets so much on my nerves that I have to lock myself in the bathroom to yell out loud.. He's my first baby, born by c-section. He's really adorable, brilliant, soooo cute. But it's not always enough. My story is a little different though. His biological dad dumped me when I was 25 weeks pregnant. I haven't seen him since. When I look at my son, I sometimes see my bad relationship with his genitor, every mistake I made, every fight we had. It can be hard to love somebody who reminds you of your worst moments. Crazy as it may seems, I want another baby! It doesn't make sense, I know, but that's how it is. So, I understand, not for the same reasons, but I really understand. And what to do now? There are many types of therapy : psychology, art-therapy, danse therapy, energy therapy, regression, etc. Maybe you can find a way to express yourself in a «neutral context».
Hope it will get better!

Mommy - posted on 02/01/2013

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Thank you all for the kind suggestions and encouragement. To the lady who said I hate my son you couldn't be more wrong. I don't and never could HATE any child or any person. Though I am not Christian it is not in my nature to hate. Since this post I have taken time out to focus on my son more and what could be the trigger. I do believe it had to have been the Csection and recovery. It was very difficult with 2 older children to take care of daily. I have had a VBac since and will again all naturally in May so I know he did not take that away from me and that's my problem. I think it was not holding him immediately and missing that bond, being away from him while in recovery. I have been singing songs to him and praising him every chance that I get. Reading more to him than usual, taking him with me every time I go somewhere alone instead of taking turns with his brothers like I normally do, and he no longer has to nap time when my 1 1/2 year old naps that's mine and his time to play, draw etc and I'm no longer using that quiet time for myself to relax and do what I want. I did talk to my husband and he was shocked and thinks I'm crazy because he has never once sensed that I love him any less than my other children. My 2 year old was from a bad relationship and he is my only son who's father abandoned him after being with him for nearly a year and planning this child I found out he had a wife of 9 years. I was fortunate my husband was a friend of a friend and had the same situation sort of except his ex and him tried for a child for 3 years finally she got pregnant and the child turned out not to be his. He was still willing to provide and stay with her but she used him for money while being with the biological father behind his back. My husband and I came to be in an agreement he would be my sons father so that he had someone and he even has my husbands last name. We didn't plan on being together it wasn't part of the deal but it happened and I am truly the happiest ever and never believed I would have someone so amazing and wonderful. We were thrilled to be pregnant with my 1 1/2 year old and are so thrilled for this baby also. I think I failed my 2 year old. I brought him into a world planned by a man that was just using me obviously and had no intention of being a father but claimed he would be. I don't blame him I know none of that is his fault I think it's not a lack of love it's a feeling of failure, worrying about what to tell him when questions come and he wonders why he doesn't look like daddy etc. I am changing my mentality. I am looking at him as the child who brought me the most amazing husband ever possible who is an amazing step father, father, lover and everything I dreamed of my whole life. He is so close to my husband he is truly treated as a first child and loved and accepted by my husbands family as well. This will be something I will keep working on myself and doing with him. I tell myself I know I love him because #1 I laugh when he does something funny, #2 I run to him when he gets hurt #3 I still check on him to make sure he's still breathing if he sleeps in a little later than usual #4 I award him, when he does good as well as discipline when he does wrong just as equal as my other children #5 He has a nick name (Nano) which I call him lovingly and lastly #6 If I didn't love him I wouldn't worry that I don't love him.......

Connie - posted on 02/01/2013

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Julie- These 2 that you "don't like"....were they the last ones you adopted? The reason I ask is because if it wasn't...I don't understand why you would keep adopting? I have 2 kids and they take a lot of my time...maybe you should not have adopted so many. Who knows but maybe you should get help as well. And I'm hoping that you are done adopting. I will pray for your kids.

Julie - posted on 01/31/2013

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I can relate to this, I have adopted 9 kids and finally got to have a birth-child after 19 years of prayers and tears of barreness. Of the 8 at home, there are 2 of them I don't like. I love them and take care of them but I DON'T like to spend time with them! I have to, they live here, I homeschool all my kids, we are very active in church together, we play games together, eat meals together, go on walks, etc. etc. Everything they do irritates me, they are both very s-l-o-w thinkers and honestly, I am very fast. This is probably the root of the problem. Their personalities are opposites, and so I can stand the girl far better than the boy but only marginally. I think its just this way sometimes, we are not going to like all people, that means all kinds of people, there are personalities that just rub us the wrong way - every time.

Amber - posted on 01/31/2013

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Connie
The child knows he can tell how she feels. He can see the difference she is unable to hide.

The boy sounds like he has a disability. He has a loud voice, i an guessing the pitch and it is annoying and does hurt ears. He has a speach delay as well. Also an Autistic trait. If it is the breath (smell she can't stand) could be allergies, and that smell is horrible.

Aspergers is what I am guessing, also guessing he does things out of ordinary and she doesnt know what to think. Alot of things ASD and ADHD kids do are beyond annoying.

I think the kid needs to be looked at and mom needs help. If it is one of the 2 if not both as they go hand in hand she and him can go to play time therapy to have special time and his ways can be explained then she will understand.

I do agree that she thinks she loves her children 100% but the chance of it being just the 1 she doesnt is slim. She despises him the most for what ever reason and sees why she loves the others. I think she should tell her husband.

Connie - posted on 01/31/2013

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Ariana,
I read more then ones that you tend to pay more attention to the younger one. They might not say they treat the child badly but saying the child is annoying and that they don't appreciate them is pretty bad to me. I guess you are right, people do feel different things and I'm not a professional at this so I'm not sure what the reason could be. This is why I said to get help. I agree that it is a problem, a BIG problem for someone to have. So like I said before....please seek help! God bless and have a good day:)

Ariana - posted on 01/31/2013

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Maybe I didn't read all of them carefully Connie but I don't recall many people saying they thought something was wrong with the child or that the reason for them not liking one kid was because it was there second. I also didn't hear many people saying they 'treat' the child badly but that they don't like them as much.

I agree anyone with this issue needs to seek councelling to work through whatever is going on but different people feel different things for who knows what reasons. You can't make someone feel guilty over a 'feeling'. Now if one of the moms was like 'I don't like this kid so I'm not going to treat them well' that would be cruel and awful, but it sounds like these are people who on one hand care for their children but have a disconnect from one for some reason. Although this isn't ideal, and they should seek help to fix it, how someone feels is not up to them and it sounds like most the people on here feel very guilty already.

I don't think the people on here are saying they treat the children badly or aren't paying attention to them but that there is a problem because they don't feel the same way for one child as they do their others and are seeking help. It's brave of Mommy Sanchez1 to try to seek help for an issue I'm sure she already realizes will not be understood by everyone.

Connie - posted on 01/31/2013

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I'm reading most of these responses and I am just so confused. I hear people saying that it happens to them as well and that maybe something it wrong with the child and that once you have another kid, you basically stop paying attention to the other kids. This is all crazy for me. First of all, it's not normal to not like one of your own kids. I understand that when the baby is born at times you get postpartum depression but that goes away after a while. Second, if you (the adult) doesn't like the child, you are the one with the problem, not the child. And last but not least....if you are saying that by having another child, you cannot give 100% to the children you already have...then maybe you shouldn't have any more children! Every child needs 100% from their parents. I have 2 children and yes, you have to attend to the younger one a little more but that does not mean I didn't give 100% to my oldest. My children are now 8 and 6 and I would love to have another one, but I would never take my attention away from the 2 I already have so both me and my husband made a responsible decision and decided not to have anymore and enjoy the ones we already have. I'm not saying I'm the perfect parent, because I far from it but I understand that my babies see me as their hero and need my love. I just can't imagine treating them bad or not paying attention to them. They are my life. Please get help ASAP Mommy Sanchez1. Your child depends on you.

[deleted account]

Hi,
let me start by saying I am a young wife and a mother of two. i relate so much with your story.when i had my first child i was over the moon. until the second one was born, she was colic and screaming all the time, at times i felt like throwing her away or walkaway and never come back. we gave all attention to her and would punish the first born for things that she did not do. i drew closer to the small one and would get irritated with everything that my first born child would do, i would shout her when i was irritated and drained by the the small one. she became my scapegoat, she would come closer to me looking for a hug, i couldnt bring my self to it.to cut my long story short; i don't know what you going through, ican only share what worked for me. my relationship with my daughter is not perfect but what worked for me was prayer, pouring my soul to Jesus and allowing him to deal with me. you see the problem is not my daughter or what she does, the problem is me and the things that i went through as a child. i did what was done to me by my own mother, i knew ican't go on like that so my answer is Jesus. i pray and hope somehow you'll also seek him.

Shannel - posted on 01/30/2013

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Well you are pregnant right now with a girl ..maybe it's your hormones. A lot irritates us when we are pregnant. See how you feel after you have the baby

Heather - posted on 01/30/2013

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I can only speak from my experience here. I also have four boys, with my daughter on the way. I have this disconnection with my 8 year old (second child) He has so many things that annoy me, it is so hard to find even the smallest thing to appreciate about him. I will tell you, I have let it go on for far too long. I am just now going to get help and get past this. Seek help now, because it will cause a rift between you two as he grows older. Children know and sense when you do not like them. Even if you are faking it.

Paula - posted on 01/30/2013

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Some babies have annoying cries...instead of sounding like a mewing kitten, they sound like a wild boar...that would be very annoying to me..You could have just had one of those babies with an awful sounding cry.
But he's 2 now and so he wouldn't cry like that anymore...seems you've just been taken from one annoyance to the next.
I think you do love your child but you just don't realize it. There is just something different about him that is 'off' and things about him annoy you. Perhaps he has an underlying medical condition that you are unaware of that is contributing to the smell. My kids all smell the same because they use the same shampoo and soap (not the same bar)..I would get him a different kind shampoo and soap that you like the smell of...
I don't think having a csection has anything to do with it...I think started with the cry and has manifested from there.
When you have 5 kids the new baby will get 90% of you..in the beginning, while the other 4 get cast off sort of, to the side) No matter how much you try, you will never be able to devote 100% to each child anymore...it's impossible..that is a fact of having more than one....I think you know that already.
I think that you need to keep in mind that he (right now) is the littlest, and the new baby, if she is going to be your last baby..may always be the youngest...will always be close in age with him...and of course he will feel jealous of her...so you need to spend tons of time with him NOW before the baby is born...he is the baby now until she comes along.. Let him have that special time if you feel bad

Niki - posted on 01/30/2013

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You are not a horrible mother. I know this because of your concern for the situation. First observation - you have your hands FULL. I can only imagine how exhausted you must be, and most probably overwhelmed. It may be his personality is a bit more abrasive to you, or that your start with him was less than ideal. He may have some other issues that make it difficult to bond (autism, or what not). My social worker training says that you most probably are dealing with some postpartum depression. If can linger for a good deal of time if it isn't dealt with. Your hormones have been on a roller coaster for nearly five years. You should consider seeing a counselor who can talk you through this regularly. If he has some issues truly, he should be evaluated. Keep "faking" it with him, do your best. He is going to be the sandwich middle kid, this is a tough place. And to be totally honest - I too dealt with this. My oldest was a hard adjustment for me. The birth was traumatic and scary, she was a high maintenance - VERY demanding kid. Nothing was normal (nor has it been) in raising her. Even personality wise we are so so different. As she grew we bonded differently than with my second (much more natural and easy). I realized eventually that I love her differently, but not any less than my second or third. You are brave to ask for help and you are not alone.

Jade - posted on 01/30/2013

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hi you should try spending the day with your son just you 2 and and have fun try doing activities you both enjoy this might make the bond stronger.i hope this helps you.

Adela - posted on 01/30/2013

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I think all the other moms are right. I believe you are having PPD and since your kids are so close in age your hormone levels never got the chance to regulate. I have 2 boys 18 months apart and I had PPD after my 2nd one. I never told my Dr. After my youngest was 1yrs old I told my husband how I was feeling and he was supportive which I was also so ashamed to tell him because I thought he would think I was horrible. I truly love both my boys the same but I had to admit I was depressed which is hard to do. I really think you need to tell a Dr. AND tell your husband. I don't know how he is but if he's a good man he will want to help you.
I hope you realize you are not a bad mom, but please seek out help before this eats at you more. Having a 2yr old I can tell you they are smart and can tell the difference so please do it NOW.
Best wishes from one mommy to another

Lydia - posted on 01/29/2013

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I cannot relate because my poor toddler is in and out of the hospital so much. I would do anything to have your problems. Msybe you should volunteer at a homeless shelter because if you think you have it bad others deal with worse

Rachel - posted on 01/29/2013

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Oh, man! I can't even imagine what this is like!
But yes! A c-section can make a HUGE difference. If you think about when animals give birth... if you were to disturb that process, or cut their baby out, how would they react? Many mammal mothers would totally reject that baby. Even just having someone else's scent on baby makes a the difference between life and death for that baby!! We have a higher level of brain function, so we realize this is our child and care for it anyway, but there are many things that are the same between animals and humans! Sounds like your thought is spot on! The BIRTH process is SO important! All those hormones work together to form a bond with the baby immediately, which isn't there with a c-section. Kind of like how dads usually feel... they have to WORK at that bond! I think that it will be some work for you to bond with him also.

Robin - posted on 01/29/2013

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I really liked that you said that she really did love him and you're so right that its probably a personality clash. All the suggestions you made were so helpful and spot on.

I don't think you need to worry so much about what your daughter picks up; it's more important that you are treating her the way you do, and loving her up in your way. Also the fact that she has her dad is really important. Children automatically assume that their parents love them, even if they are abused (which yours is obviously not).

Just so you know, I had a similar experience with my first born and our relationship changed as she grew. And by the time she was 16, we had a really good relationship. So, I would put aside your worries and concentrate on being the good mom that you are.

Kelly - posted on 01/29/2013

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I don't think you sound like a horrible woman at all, you sound like you acknowledge you have a problem and are seeking help to solve it. As I only have 1 child, I don't have much experience in what you are going through but I can share this with you. My baby was also born by caesarean, emergency in fact, and just after she was born, I silently prayed that they wouldn't give her to me because I was exhausted and terrified and I didn't want to have anything to do with her. But against my initial desire, they plopped her on me to feed, and so began the bonding process. To me, it sounds like that bonding process never got a chance to happen due to your caesarean, which is why you're struggling to feel anything for this child now. Definitely not your fault. I would strongly suggest you seek counselling and help to fix this and it can be fixed. It is a very common problem and one which I'm sure there are loads of qualified experts, who can help you. But please get your husband on board. If he's the man he should be, you need to be able to share this problem and get him to support you through it. I wish you and your family nothing but luck. Being a mum is hard enough but to have additional stress on top of it, I can only imagine.

Amber - posted on 01/29/2013

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Sounds like he may have a bit of autism. You may know he is different from the others and upsets your perfect family dream.

T - posted on 01/29/2013

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I read your post and I felt so bad for you. Any negative comments on here should be ignored. This has not happened to me but I find it very possible and wish more women could be as honest as you have been. I feel so bad for your baby boy too but I can't imagine the thoughts and guilt you struggle with. You really lie heavy on my heart and although I cannot offer any advice, I just wanted you to know that I hope you can resolve this issue. I hope that time heals all and that your son becomes a sparkle in your eye at some time in your life.

Angela - posted on 01/29/2013

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Ok honey, I am going to tell you something I have never said, to a living soul ever. I really disliked my oldest, my FIRST born. When he was a baby, I adored him, then I got PND whilst he got colic and I felt in a dreamworld. I didn't know how to cope, I had no help. There have been times up to as recently as a year before today when I honestly thought about asking social services to take him away. He was born naturally (but with induction) and is not a hard child. When his brother was born, I realised something was deeply wrong. It has taken hard work for me, but I can honestly say I love him as much as I love his little brother. I love him as I did when he was first born.

However, if you felt this way from your child being born, could it be that you had PND and no one took the time to notice it? In which case, could you confide in a GP? You mustn't blame yourself, I know what it's like, I know that I hated myself so much, please don't make it harder on you. The fact that you look after your son and don't hurt him, is a testament to how good a mum you are. You recognise your feelings and want to change them.

I hope and pray that you get the help you need, in the meantime, keep on "pretending" because one day it will be as easy as breathing and you'll know that you weren't "pretending" at all, you were just doing what came naturally to you - as a good mummy. xxxx

Kristi - posted on 01/29/2013

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Stephanie--

Apparently you didn't read the whole OP where she asked for genuine help and suggestions only. She is certainly not even close to the path of the kind of contempt your mother obviously showed you. She is putting forth great effort to make sure her son does not feel he is being left out or treated unfairly. She is struggling with how she feels inside and is reaching out for help. Hopefully your rude, inappropriate, spiteful comment will be a non factor as the OP reads through these comments. Take out your anger on your own non factor and leave this poor, hurting mother alone.

Jaya - posted on 01/29/2013

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You must have stereo type a perception of how a child should be in all but remember that child came through you with some purpose in life. Even if you don't love him take care of him without being judgmental and you will be glad one day that you did...

Marian - posted on 01/29/2013

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I'm going to suggest visiting a counselor, because there is a deeper issue behind your feelings toward your son. Sometimes there are things going on in our life that cause us stress or a trauma, but they manifest themselves in other ways. You clearly love your son, and you are not a bad Mom. But you do need to figure out what is behind the way you are feeling. As Moms we spend so much time taking care of everyone else that we forget to care for ourselves, and deal with the issues that affect us as individuals. Again, I think talking with someone might help you unlock what is really going on.
Best of luck.

Stephanie - posted on 01/29/2013

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I want to give you encouraging words, but my mother didn't love me as much as my brothers. She treated me differently, and I knew whenever it was fake. She would snuggle with them and treat them with love, and I could tell that I was an inconvienience. It gave me a lot of emotional issues that played out into adulthood until I eventually disowned her. I haven't seen my mother in about 10 years, and I don't miss her. When she dies, I won't attend her funeral either. She's a non factor.
So, you can go along only loving your boys, and being fake with the littlest one who needs his mother the most. As he gets older, he will see it more and more clearly. In the end you only have yourself to blame for not loving your own flesh and blood. Your "uncontrollable" selfishness is going to take a to on your child. Good luck to you.

Tracy - posted on 01/29/2013

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I had exactly the same problem with my third child, he was 3 months premature so by the time he came out of hospital id missed out on so much bonding time I never thought I could love him the same,as a toddler he cried all the time was so destructive around the house and some days I can honestly say I disliked my own child. But we got through it as as he grew older and his real personality shone our bond grew I can now say he and I have one of the closest bonds of all my children he is so kind and thoughtful and I think its the fact that we both had to try so hard that made our relationship what it is ..

Louise - posted on 01/29/2013

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Me en my brother was two different people wen we was growin up but my mum treated us different but as a child I never noticed but as I got older nothing changed en I stated to notice my brother had learning difficulties so need more of her attention but he got everythg new toys new everythg en I got made to grow up so it hard to treat children different I hope ur relationship gets better me mum just talk like friends not as family we dnt communincate a lot all so I hope it all works out I really do good luck for the future en I'm sure he will grow up to be a lovely respectful man x

Clare - posted on 01/29/2013

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Hi! I admire your honesty and the strength you must have to deal with this. Some people have commented that you need to get help before you damage your son - I honestly don't think children ARE that perceptive! Children seem to respond well to people that are kind and treat them well, which you are doing, he's too young to question anything else. I have two girls and I love them both but in very different ways and I have to admit, one of them winds me up much more than the other and I really have to keep my reactions in check as I'm aware I seem to have less patience with one. I don't know and can't explain the reasons why, they are just different people and like everybody in the world, some you get on with better than others. I just wanted you to know that if you are capable of faking it, you really aren't causing any damage, and I'm sure you will come achieve a relationship with your son as he grows and develops which may not be quite a loving as with your other children, but is still a good, nurturing relationship. I certainly remember, as a child, thinking some people were wonderful, just because they gave me sweets and cooed over me a bit - turns out as an adult you find out they were actually not very nice, but as a kid I couldn't see it! Hope that makes sense, I'm just saying that I think kids can be easily fooled by an act of kindness and I'm sure your son is totally unaware of your real feelings. DOn't be too hard on yourself, you can't control the way you feel, but you can control the way you behave and it sounds to me like you're dealing with the situation increadibly well.

Louise - posted on 01/29/2013

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Hi I can reason wiv u I have 4 kids en there all boys iv got one who's just turned 6 a 2half en a nearly 5 en the other is 18wks I love them all to bits but my 2half is such an hand full he runs off he doesn't listen he he trash my house after I spend so long cleasning he screams he shouts at me throws him self bout en sum days its hard but I hav to thk bout the good thgs like wen he hugs me givs me lots of kisses wen he's asleep how cute he looks wen he's poorly en only wants me wen he says love u en half the bad stuff dnt even seem to matter its hard but I take each day as it comes en make the most of it en hope he will grow out of it but u all so hav to remember tht they grow fast en they will be leaving home soon so u have to take it as it comes ull never get this chance again I hope my story of my family has helped x

Lori - posted on 01/29/2013

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I agree with a lot of the other suggestions, that you should seek out counseling. They will help you work through your feelings. I have had issues with one of my 3 boys. He is very loud, strong willed, and very independent. he is the middle boy. He too could push my buttons so easily. Then I read something one day on pinterest. 10 ways on How to connect with your child. For me it clicked. It all made sense. I started some of the suggestions, and I can't believe the turn around in my sons behavior, they way I see him, the way he treats his brothers, and he is calmer. I really appreciate the great boy he is now more than ever. I wish you all the best and find ways that work for you and him.

Crystal - posted on 01/29/2013

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Your post made me cry, both for you and your child. I had bonding issues with my daughter when she was born and it made me feel like the worst mother in the world. She was very much wanted and planned, and she was my first, the little girl I'd dreamed of. Her birth was an incredibly traumatic experience for me, not sure if that changed anything. But from day one she was difficult, her scream was ear piercing, she didn't cry like other babies, she just screamed all the time. I didnt have that Immediate rush of love for her that I was told I would have. Despite breastfeeding and the bond that oxytocin supposedly brings, she was just a little creature that brought on a whole lot of extra stress.

All this extra stress put a strain on my relationship with my husband, who I resented a lot of the time, simply because he could leave, even if it was just going to work. I beat myself up all the time, blaming myself for being a bad mother, never being able to make my child happy, not loving her the way I should. I never neglected her, putting pressure on myself to be the perfect mother, doing everything by the book. I think if I had had another baby before her that wasn't like her, I would have just written her off as a difficult baby, and not tried so hard to bond with her, or maybe not even have the time to bond with her properly, but because she was my first, I just assumed my inexperience was to blame for her constant screaming. I had serious post partum anxiety and depression too, which only made that problem worse.

The first time I felt that rush of love for her was the first time she really looked at me and smiled. I don't mean just a baby smile, but the first time she really saw me and smiled. She was only a few months old at the time, but it takes longer for some people to have that initial rush of emotion. I'm not going to lie and say that was it, that I was truly in love with my daughter from that moment. It was a process, and that was only the beginning. It may have been a little easier for me because she was my first and all the things they learn and do are amazing, especially when it's a new experience for you as well. I am now totally in love with her, and she tells me I'm her best friend! We have had a lot of ups and downs and both of us have done our fair share of screaming since, but she is what I now know to be a high needs baby, and there is a lot of struggle every day, with tantrums and constantly pushing boundaries.

A good friend of mine had a terrible time bonding with her son as well, she admitted to me that he was around two before she did. That was really hard on her as well, but it didn't make her a bad parent. Everyone else suggested a therapist, I think that if you think it would help to talk to someone, then do it, but a therapist can't make you love your son, I bet he can though, given the time and attention. PPD may be the culprit here, but it may be a culmination of several different things, including the C-section, the stress of having older kids to care for when he was born, maybe he reminds you of someone, maybe you Can't see yourself in him as much as the other boys, or maybe he reminds you of the negative things you don't like so much about yourself, your husband, or another family member. Maybe you harbor some resentment toward him for some reason. Only you can know the reasons, but keep trying and I think the feelings will come. Continue to be cautious of treating him differently than the others, and be strong. I can't imagine how much stress you must be under. I'm sending you the love and support of an absolute stranger. Good luck and if you ever need someone to vent to, just send me a message!

[deleted account]

Go to jennyslight.org

They started circle of moms. You'll feel like you just found your new home.

Find a counselor.

The other thing I want you to do is stop fighting it. Stop shaming you. Love isn't a feeling. It's doing the right thing even if you don't want to. I can feel how you must want to scream when somebody says just do more, don't worry, play games have fun, AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!. There hearts want to help, but your desperation is so great you want to snap

Connie - posted on 01/29/2013

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You need professional help ASAP! I don't believe that is normal. Get help before you hurt him more then you have already.

Gemma - posted on 01/29/2013

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Personally, I don't believe that a C Sec would make any difference to how you feel towards your son, however I don't think there is anything wrong with you so please stop being so hard on yourself, that will make everything seem 100% worse, I think the saying is true that no one will judge you harder than you judge yourself, some mothers don't bond with children and I see that all of yours were born very close together, is may have played a part, your hormones will have been all over the place and dispite what people say, hormones are real and they effect things we don't think possible, also just a thought I'm guessing that as you had a C-Sec you had medication for pain relief, were you ever given codeine? I had this after mine and I was amazed that it effected my mood so much, my midwife was very concerned about me as I showed signs of post natal depression, she recommended that I stopped taking it immediately and it wa like switching the light back on in a dark room, I'm not saying it's the reason you feel the way you do but it might be worth writting down your emotions at the time of his birth and see if anything jumps out that you may have just disregarded as being a part of giving birth, I would find an outsider like a doctor or a family counsellor you can talk to, sometimes a friend can be to close and it feels akward being that open with dark feelings, I have trouble with this myself and sought some therapy it did help! Anyway don't force yourself to feel something you clearly can't it'll make it worse, take each day as it comes
Good luck to you!

Valerie - posted on 01/29/2013

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First of all accept the fact that you need to talk to someone about this professionally! Next, you need to realize that although you try not to show your feelings, he will realize sooner or later that your feeling for him are different that your feelings for his brothers & sisters. Children always sense these things, even if you try to hide it! Post partum depression is a possible cause of the way you feel, and you want to get it taken care of as soon as possible, is this is the cause. I've had four children 2 boys and 2 girls, one of each by natural birth, and one of each by c-section, I loved each and everyone of them the same, even before they were born, and more so after! Crying can be irritating, especially when you have so many to take care of, but it's a natural thing for babies and children to do. The crying when he was born, was probably just his way of telling you he needed you, to be held close and loved! I'm not trying to be negative here, but this child deserves to be held, hugged and cuddled, maybe more that the others! My wonderful children are grown now, and I am taking care of my grandson. His dad's job involves traveling all week, and his mother walked out on him when he was only one year old. She never bonded with him either! At first, I resented having to basically raise another child, even my grandson, but each and every day that passes, I've come to love him more. He wants hugs frequently, and I tell he I'll always give him hugs! He reminds me of that when I'm angry over some little silly thing he's done, and I give him his hug, even when I don't want to! I find we're getting closer everyday, and it's showing in his behavior, his school work, his need to no longer have someone in the same room with him all the time! He now feels safe, and doesn't worry about me leaving him! My point is, you're not a horrible mother, but one who needs help herself! Give your son hugs, frequently! Get professional help, your family doctor can reccommend someone! And don't feel bad, that you need to seek help! It's the people who refuse to reconize their problems, and seek help that are in danger. You've already reached out to this community of mothers, realizing you need help, no one will judge you for this! Maybe you should also talk to your husband, and get his support. Maybe a few hours alone for yourself, every now and then! But please, talk to your doctor about this as soon as possible, so you and you lovely child, can bond with each other and have a wonderful life together. God gives us children to love, protect, and to be a joy in our lives. Talk to him, he will give you peace, and a love for your child that has no end!! Praying for you and your children, and sending hugs and love your way!

Robin And Mike St - posted on 01/29/2013

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It's not his fault but does he remind you of someone you don't like? Any relative that's not a favorite? If so remember he may look like that person but he is himself.

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