Really struggling

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Adam 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #28800

    Adam
    Participant

    Hi. I just thought i’d get my thoughts down in black and white for others to see in hope it’ll help with my mental state at the moment.

    We have the most perfect 11 week old girl, our first. But it’s not how I ever envisioned being a dad, it’s all I’ve ever wanted, after years of being godfather to numerous kids & hearing “you’ll make a great dad one day”, at nearly 31, I find myself feeling like the worst dad possible. I always vouched to be the father to my kid/s that I never had, yet when my daughter’s crying her little heart out for her mum, I just feel like putting her down and going as far away as possible, as horrible as that sounds.

    In the first few weeks, it was me who was reassuring my girlfriend, “it’s what babies do”, “it’s okay it’s normal”, but now, mainly this past week, i’m clueless as to what to do when my partner leaves me & my little girl starts crying. I feel helpless, trapped, lost.

    Long story short, we’re just about in a good routine & have been for probably just over 2 weeks now, 7pm, bath, bottle, bed (our bedroom, blackout blinds drawn, curtains shut, white noise machine on). Sometimes we’d miss the bath and give her a wash instead, but that didn’t knock her off course, she still slept well and took her bottle as normal. All was going swimmingly, she was only waking for 1 feed at about 3pm then up again at 6. then my partner went out one evening, just after 7pm, I tried to put her to bed in the feeding chair in our room (like my partner does), but she kicked off like I’ve never seen before, that bright red face, sometimes the no noise cry, tensing up. I tried everything possible, but she carried on. It was torture, so I had to text my partner to come home which she did & my little girl stopped crying as soon as she was passed over to her mum.

    After trying the bedtime routine 2/3 times with my girlfriend still in the house last week, sometimes even with her sat in the dark with us at bedtime, she still kicked off. We’ve tried persevering in hope that she’ll settle, I’ve tried my hardest, but I hate seeing her crying for so long, so after 30/45 minutes we end up giving in and passing her over, because literally nothing works. It was like at around 7pm a switch is flicked and she wants her mum. She never did this in the mornings when I got up with her, or any other time for the matter. She smiles her little head off at me normally & takes feeds at any other time with me and falls asleep as usual. Tuesday was the worst, my girlfriend has already missed a night out on Friday, scared to leave me, even though I insisted, she said she wouldn’t feel at ease, so went out for a quick hour. There was literally screaming for 58 minutes. My ear crackled each and every time. I tried everything in my power, did things that she’s used to; sat her in her chair, laid her on the mat, cradled her, EVERYTHING. I was at my wits end. I can honestly sat I was at my lowest then. Thinking of her her screaming, but making eye contact with me as if a cry for help, makes my stomach sink. I’m not the most patient man in the world, I do get frustrated easily, panic mode’s never far off, she might be picking up on this but I don’t know.

    Then this morning right out of the blue, I got up with her as normal about 6.30, all happy, then the switch was flicked half way through her bottle & all hell broke loose again, I had to go get my girlfriend up.

    I feel incredibly guilty. I kind of get the fact she’ll have a stronger bond with her mum as she’s at home with her all day, but I feel useless. I get up in a morning & get 30 minutes tops with her before work, then when I get home she’s usually asleep, or if i’m lucky I get a quick 30mins or hour with her. Also I feel little utter **it on my girlfriend, not being able to leave the house past 7, without me pathetically having to text her to come home “because dad can’t cope”. She’s cancelled her weekend plans again, because of me.

    In the mix of all this, work’s not good, and we keep having little arguments here & there. My social life has gone from 100mph to pretty much none existent, not that I wasn’t expecting that, and in no way do I see my child as a burden, I just think this feeling may be an accumulation of things hitting me all at once.

    I have my brother and a friend to confide in who say they’ve been through it before and it’s what babies do, but I can’t help but think they’re just saying that.

    So basically thanks if you’ve bothered to read that, I’m hoping it’s going to help getting it out there. Just a bit of clarity would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  • #28866

    Bryan
    Participant

    Hey, everything you have written there I could have written myself a few years ago. I now have two little girls who I couldn’t be closer to. My wife has just come back from a week away and we had the best time.
    A child that has that close a bond with one parent is really hard on both of you, but it really is for a period of time. Although it won’t feel like it right now.
    Without a doubt the best advice I can give is don’t take it to heart. It’s really common, Normal.
    Try and keep in mind that everything is a phase at that age. It will feel at times that you have entered a really dark change, but it’s not, they change all the time so before you know it your little one will be all over you.
    Of course all the good stuff is also a phase, but that’s a whole other conversation for another day!

  • #28871

    Gordon Gannon
    Participant

    Hey Adam I second what Bryan said it’s a phase don’t beat yourself up over it things will change and she will be everything you imagined and some
    We have four kids and at some point one or other of us has been all they wanted ❤️
    Have you considered joining the dadsnet Facebook group it’s a great group and you will get help and support their
    Sending love and hope that she becomes daddies girl soon ❤️

  • #29049

    Dan Marchant
    Participant

    Hi Adam.

    As above, we have all experienced this at some point. It will change, just try to stay calm and perverse with it.

    It might also be worth joining your local community and attending some meet ups as this will help with the mental health side and then you’ve got fellow fathers completely un biased to vent to and also give you advice where needed.

  • #29180

    Adam
    Participant

    Thanks for your replies fella’s. It’s helped a lot, I read them to my girlfriend and she found them reassuring too.

    Ill look into local groups, and i’m looking forward to her becoming a daddy’s girl!!! (Hopefully sooner rather than later!!)

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