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New Dad, Hate my Kid
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An_249006 posted:
It's been seven weeks, but I'm beginning to fear that I not only do not like/love my child, but may actually hate him. I know my expectations for him are beyond his capacity, but with every spit up, untimely pee stream, and unwarranted cry, I find myself viewing him as a failure and disappointment. I don't really know what to do with him when holding him or spending time with him, and after a few minutes I feel like he's wasting my time with blank stares and noises. I do all the tasks that come with a baby (diapers, bottle feeds, baths, etc.), but every time I get up for something related to my child I just start getting angry. I've read about different bonding techniques, and I've been doing them unwittingly throughout the process, but I could simply care less about my child. I keep hoping that this is simply a phase, that as my kid ages I'll grow to like and love him, but I'm equally fearful that I may become violent towards my kid when he does something that's otherwise par for the course.

Is this kind of antipathy common in dads? Are there any strategies that can be used to work through these issues? Or am I more of a risk to my child than a caregiver, and should I walk on him and my SO for my kid's well being?
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Roy Benaroch, MD responded:
I glad you were able to write this. You're recognizing that you're having a bumpy road, and you want to protect your child.

I suggest you get yourself in front a qualified mental health professional right away. You may be suffering from depression, which may be affecting your judgment in many ways. The post-partum period is a very high risk time for both parents to experience these kinds of problems, and there is good help available.

In the meantime, I assure you that at least some of these feelings are common. newborns are not fun, and really they're not very lovable either. They poop and cry and keep you awake. There is magic on the way, though-- the beginnings of a smile, and interactions, and giggling, and actual fun stuff that parents get to enjoy. It's coming soon, and this will help.

If you're feeling angry while holding your child, please put him down and walk away. It won't hurt him to cry.

Perhaps others here will share ideas. Best of luck to you-
 
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StacyVaughn responded:
Doc said it all! Post partum depression is not only suffered by the mother. The fact you're concerned about it, and even admit to being concerned that you maybe a potential danger to your child, shows you may not be as bad off as some. The ones who just sit in their misery, letting it fester, till one day they murder their child.

Are you with the mother? Is there a way for you to ask for more help from her, friends, family? I don't know if I would tell her how concerned you are with what you're going through, I'm sure she's over whelmed and dealing with her hormones, etc. you don't want to alarm her to the point of her leaving, or never trusting you.. Just sit her down tell her you've been feeling disconnected with your kid, and fear you may be going through post partum depression. Definitely don't be afraid to find a good therapist to really help you evaluate the situation, and help you out.

This sort of thing will usually pass in time. Good luck!
 
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valoispq responded:
You didn't say how old you are. It is a major life change for new Dads and Moms. Maybe you weren't ready for the extent of the change. It probably feels like your old life is gone forever and now you have responsibilities for another life. This can be overwhelming but your old life will reappear and you won't feel so trapped as the baby gets older. Talk to some other Dads or your own Dad. You kinda get used to having a babe around and he will soon fit in with your routine. You will never forgive yourself if you leave this baby, if you just can't stay with your SO, at least stay close to your child.
 
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roseglenn responded:
I wonder whether your problem with bonding with your new baby has its roots in another relationship, the one with his mother. Before our first child was born I had 100% of my wife's attention. I could count on her being there FOR ME 100% of the time. After the baby came I was no longer #1. Instead of having 100% of her attention I had maybe 2%. That might be an exaggeration but at that time in my life that is exactly how I felt. I had to give that #1 spot up to a baby, and that made me frustrated and angry. I could not take that anger and frustration out on her, she might get fed up and leave me. I kept those issues bottled up inside which caused me to "feel" less than "love" for our baby.

As I am now a "Great Grandfather" and she is a "Great Grandmother" I have the luxury of wisdom tempered by time. I would have benefited greatly from professional HELP, and you will also. Do NOT try to deal with this misery on your own, GET HELP and GET IT NOW! ! When you do you will see that you have been granted a supreme position, YOU are now #1 to that little baby of yours. Take a different perspective on your relationship with your baby, BE THE BABY and see YOU through the eyes of your baby.

When the baby is lonely who does the baby look to? YOU. When the baby is hungry who does the baby look to? YOU. When the baby needs changed who does the baby look to? YOU. Of course this is hard work and comes at the most inconvenient times. This position of authority comes with a great burden of responsibility. You are responsible to take action NOW and get the help you need NOW to be the MAN and FATHER your baby deserves. It aint easy but it IS worth it.
 
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marly26 responded:
I feel for your sake speak with a Specialist. This is something that is so different for you. The female partner probably feels just the opposite. Most automatically bond with their little one as they have had them since conceiving. Your not a bad father you just need help in the way you are thinking. The baby is so young, and really there is no interaction. This wil come in time when you see your little one smile or gurgle. In the meantime when you feel the way you do, make sure he is fed,changed and put down. Get help now so that you yourself can understand your feelings and when to expect change. In the meantime when you feel angry with him and he is fed and dry, just lie him down. I certainly give you credit for even admitting this. This is the first step, Admitting. Find a councellor and speak with him/her. abt. your feeliings. They in turn willl startt a program for you, and only you.I commend you and feel that you are looking for help.. I wish you so much luck, for you wwith help, you will make it. There is love there you just have to find it through councelling. You will be a much better dad for it. Get the help you need for you and your son to have a hheallthy relationshiip. Good luck to both of you!! Blessings as well.