Loving your kids unconditionally is part of being a parent, but what do you do if the feeling isn’t reciprocated? Kids can be brutal, and if they don’t want you around, they won’t hesitate to let you know. One mom on Reddit is feeling the sting, and she recently posted: “My child hates me.”
In the Parenting subreddit, this mom explained that her and her wife have a 6-month-old baby. “She was the one who carried her and gave birth,” the OP said. “She breastfeeds and stays home taking care of her.”
In exchange, the mom said, “I completely support our family.” This means working (sometimes extra hours), five days a week outside the home.
“I fully support my wife staying home, as daycare is expensive, and we feel it’s best one of us stays home with her,” she wrote. “But because she’s breastfeeding, my insurance is better and she hated her job, we decided she would stay home.”
However, things get messy when the OP comes home from work — and their daughter wants nothing to do with her. “Everyday I come home from work, I help with dinner or I take over taking care of our baby,” she wrote. “But it seems like I’m never good enough for our daughter.”
The little girl also won’t go to sleep for the mom. “She never wants to let me put her to sleep,” she wrote. “She never lets me console her when she gets hurt or is upset. One night I tried putting her to sleep, she scream cried for what felt like forever but was maybe 20-30 minutes in my arms, pushing away from me and looking for my wife.”
Last night was the final straw for the OP. “Tonight she is fussy,” she wrote in the post yesterday. “So I try to give my wife a break and try to rock her to sleep, she screams bloody murder and reaches for my wife. So I hand her back to her, she immediately stops crying and cuddles my wife.”
The mom tried to communicate her feelings, telling her wife, “You don’t understand how this feels.” The wife answered her back, “I don’t have the energy to talk about this.” Since the fight was never resolved, the OP said she is now “sleeping in the other room with the dogs, trying not to cry myself to sleep and googling why my child hates me.” A little dramatic, maybe, but we understand the pain. It can be devastating when you feel like your own child doesn’t want you.
“I have no biological connection and now I feel like I have no connection at all,” she wrote. “Everyday is just a fight and idk what else to do to stop feeling this way. All I ever wanted was to be a mom 😔.”
Luckily, another Reddit parent saw the post and offered some encouraging advice. First, she reminded the OP that it isn’t personal — the baby just wants milk.
“This is very common especially in breastfed children! They just prefer the milk supplier lol,” she wrote.
She encouraged OP not to give up trying to bond with the baby. “She doesn’t hate you though,” she wrote. “Just give it time and definitely don’t give up. She will come around in time. My husband went through this exact thing with our daughter and now it’s the opposite and she always wants him, but granted she is no longer breastfeeding either.”
The Redditor also suggested playing with the baby and giving her attention when she’s in a good mood instead of only taking her when she’s fussy.
“My husband had a habit of wanting to ‘fix the problem’ and ‘give me a break’ when the baby was fussy, which just ended up being a disaster every time,” she wrote. “Try and develop a bond during the happy times! My husband never puts our daughter to sleep even to this day (she’s 2.5years now) she still just wants me. But her and my husband bond in many many other ways and they have their own little jokes and stuff it’s really cute.”
This is such good advice! It can be hard for the non-breastfeeding parent to bond, but knowing this stage doesn’t last forever — and there are plenty of other ways to build precious memories with your baby — can make all the difference.
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