It’s not uncommon for mums to wonder how they could ever love a second child as much as they love their first … but most of us are ashamed to admit it. One mum has bravely shared her honest feelings about falling out of love with her first child, and it’s prompted an outpouring of support.
Calling herself a ‘horrible parent’ the mum-of-two says her son was her entire world for 10 years, but since the recent arrival of her daughter she feels differently.
“I love my son, he was my world for 10 years and we did everything together. He is a wonderful person and I’m so proud of him,” she explained on reddit.
“However since my daughter was born … I find myself being massively irritated by my son. As soon as he talks I just wish he wouldn’t. He is always asking for things and demanding my attention for trivial things (or though not trivial for him). He wakes the baby accidentally and I feel so much anger and fury.
“I don’t know why I’ve lost interest in him. I don’t know why I’m so frustrated and annoyed by him. I used to think he was the best thing ever, but now I can’t wait till bed time and he is leaving me alone.
“I do my best to make sure he doesn’t sense this. I never tell him to not talk or go away or anything like that. I force myself to do one to one activities with him and spend time with him. Even though I find it exhausting.”
“I feel guilt constantly. Why has this happened? Why have my feelings change so quickly? I can spend time effortlessly with my baby but with him it’s like pulling teeth. He is a wonderful child, funny, smart and engaging – so why?
“Please someone help. Give me some strategies to rebuild the connection and empathy I had for him. How do I not get irritated by him so quickly? I know I’ll get hate for this post. But I honestly just want some help right now to manage and navigate this. So I can have a healthy relationship with both my children and so my son feels safe, secure, and emotionally healthy.”
Instead of being met with hate, the mum was met with understanding by hundreds of other parents who offered kind words and advice.
“This sounds like a form of PPD (postpartum depression). You need to talk with your doctor,” offered one person.
Another mum agreed: “Yes, this! Could also be postpartum anxiety. I had that and it made me extremely irritable and it came out more at my older kids or my spouse. The baby just seemed so helpless and innocent and I was worried/anxious about baby but everything else just felt like extra work.”
While another mum offered her own story: “As others mentioned, please seek therapy. This happened to me when my first was born – my dogs were suddenly annoying and I was not attracted to my husband at the time – like at all. I saw him more of a brotherly figure, it was weird. I eventually grew out of it, but it took a while.”
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