Behind Closed Doors: Resenting Your Baby

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I’m a terrible mother or maybe just a terrible person. I resent my child and the disruption they have caused in my life.

I had a wonderful pregnancy. I had an easy labour. It was quick, relatively pain free and empowering like nothing I have experienced before. But that is when it began. This tiny, squirmy, gunky bundle was placed on my chest. I looked down and felt barely anything. My heart did not explode with love. There was none of that gut wrenching “I knew from the first breath that I would love this child unconditionally”. It was more of a “huh what do we do now”.

Feeding came easy enough. Latching went well discounting some blockages and a mild case of mastitis all has physically been well. Mentally though… I resent being the only person that can feed her, who can calm her. I resent constantly being on call. I resent being used as a human dummy.

But most of all I would like some personal space. I barely let my husband touch me or sit beside me because I’m always in contact with another human being. I just want to be left alone.

I resent the impact on my body from lack of sleep. I’m covered in bruises from knocking into things due to lack of co-ordination. I have no idea where they come from as I’m functioning in a fog. 

I bear a grudge. I don’t find smiles at 4am endearing. I can’t switch from being screamed at to smiles in seconds flat. My emotions don’t switch that fast.

I resent this small being coming between my husband and I. I resent that I can’t tell my husband how I’m feeling because it makes him feel helpless.
I read Anna’s post about motherhood and thought I was going into this with my eyes open. I wouldn’t be one of those people moaning about how hard it is. Wrong!! I’m absolutely one of those people. I’m finding it really fucking hard.

This was day 1 to about 5 months. Now my hormones have settled down and things aren’t as bleak. I’m learning to love my baby and slowly adjusting to our new way of life.

Categories: Behind Closed Doors
17 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Becca
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I think you need to look at the positives. You have a baby which many MANY women would love but, for a number of reasons, can’t have. You also have a husband you are very happy with and you have a strong relationship, so much so that you will never be one of those (unfortunate) women that live purely for their children and forgets their other relationships and their pre baby lives. It does sound to me (although I know nothing) like you’ve had some kind of depression as you end by saying that your hormones have settled down and you are adjusting. Have you sought help? What about your NCT pals? Have you talked to them, even if you can’t talk to your husband?

    I hope the upwards path continues and you continue to enjoy your baby filled life. Make sure that you make time for you and leave the baby with your husband. Even if you go for a 30 minute swim or something. I love swimming late at night for quiet calm and reflection (note….you won’t find this at 7.30am)

    • anon
      Posted September 3, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I know this is meant in a helpful way, and I see where you’re coming from – but I’m not sure it’s helpful to ask someone to compare themselves to women who would like to be in your position and be a mother, but aren’t.

      If someone said that to me, I’d just feel another layer of guilt, and even more resentment, that I was lucky enough to be a parent and wasn’t actually enjoying it. And I feel like more guilt is probably the last thing this lady needs.

      • Posted September 4, 2013 at 2:46 am | Permalink

        Yep. Many of us who are having issues already feel that guilt because we have seen friends who are struggling to concieve say these things.

      • Stefanie
        Posted January 23, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        I totally agree. This does not help at all. It makes new moms, many moms, feel even worse for having these feelings. There are times when the “positivies” are out of reach. Telling someone to look for them it not only trite but judgemental. Thank you, anon, for your reply. It was spot on.

  2. Posted September 3, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    OK. Lady, whoever you are- this is completely and utterly normal. This is why posts like Anna’s all those weeks ago stir up such crazy feelings. When people say “you don’t understand” sometimes they’re not being patronising they just know that it is impossible to understand. Try explaining to an excited pregnant person or someone desperately trying that sometimes at 4am you absolutely do not like your baby. I’d hazard a guess that most people go through that even if they never say.

    This is OK and you’re going to get through it. This is a unique, small baby situation and you’re going to move through this stage with a gold star because you didn’t run away or hide.

    For what it’s worth, I think your husband can probably handle some truth about why you’re being off with him. Try and explain it, give him the opportunity to help you by talking it out. I have a husband who does not like to talk about anything really so I understand if that sounds daunting but to his credit on the big stuff he’s very good. Explain how you feel- the touching thing is exhausting. I remember feeling like that with George. You are now a family unit bit you are also very importantly still a couple and that needs nurturing and looking after as well. He doesn’t have to feel helpless and if he does maybe that’s OK- it gives him some insight to how you’re feeling too. Helpless but aware maybe better than rejected? I don’t know….

    Are you getting any time to yourself? Maybe that time needs to be spent differently, (if you aren’t then try and get some) don’t do jobs or see people, it sounds like being on your own is more important at this point. Have you considered switching the night feed to a bottle? That would also give your husband a chance to help and you some space in the night.

    It’s OK to say it’s effing hard and I didn’t get on with the baby stage too much at all. For me, it got much easier when he started walking and then even better when he was talking. Personal space is so important, I get George to spend some time every day just entertaining himself hoping he learns to just ‘be’ – I made him a reading corner and he’ll sit there for a little while and play train sets and other things. I don’t know if that’s helpful to you but just that you see in a short time you won’t have to be cuddling and carrying and feeding all the time and then the mother relationship shifts to being way more fun.

    Lots of love to you mumma bear. You’re going to come out the other side of this. “This too shall pass” is the parenting mantra I believe. Xxxxxx

  3. Posted September 3, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Anna has said a lot of the things I wanted to say, but to reiterate lots of people go through this and just don’t mention it. It might be that it isn’t a long term thing, but there will certainly be days where all parents of new babies feel overwhelmed – either with the responsibility, constant demands or just not having a clue what to do to stop their baby crying. But, rather than blog about it, chances are they let it all out to their partners at the end of the day (I’m sure my husband would rather I didn’t do it the second he walked in the door at night, but such is life!)

    The main thing I want to say though is SHARE how you feel with your husband. If he feels helpless then that’s his feeling to deal with, but actually this isn’t like labour or pregnancy where they physically can’t do anything. Now he really can. If you need time alone ask him to have your daughter when he gets home so you can have a bath (this is the best thing my husband did in the early days for me – literally forced me into the bathroom for some time alone). Let him do a night feed as Anna said either express or formula as I always found the night feeds were when I felt most alone/desperate (depending on how tired I was!!) One weekend morning he could get up with baby so you can have a lie in and even if you don’t sleep you can read. He can help with cooking, cleaning – whatever it is that feels too much for you.

    Also as your little one is over five months are you weaning yet? You don’t have to be the only one to feed her then and also if she’s using you as a human dummy how about introducing a dummy? I know Steff in particular has had great success giving her little girls dummies.

    As well as talking to your husband think about talking to your health visitor. She might be able to offer support from a more professional point of view.

    Lots of love to you. I hope we can make you see that you’re not alone. Ever. xxxxxxx

  4. deltafoxtrotcharlie
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Men feel like they have to fix things, explain that he doesn’t have to do this, he just has to listen.

    And please ask your health visitor about PND, a friend of mine went undiagnosed for nearly 6 months before she got help and she was like a different person afterwards.

  5. Clare
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Anon, I could have written this post word for word. This was me 18 months ago. I felt resentful, not only of my baby, but of my husband, and of anyone who didn’t have a baby. The first thing I have to say is, you WILL come through this. I know that seems unbelievable right now, and it seems like this is your life forever, but I promise you, it’s not. You will get your personal space back. The night feeds will stop. Your baby will grow up into a little walking, talking person, and the fog will lift. The best advice anyone gave me is to always add ‘for now’ to the end of a sentence. The baby isn’t sleeping ‘for now’. I get no personal space ‘for now’. It makes everything seem so much more manageable if you think that it’s not going to last forever.

    Also, please go and speak to your GP about how you feel – they can help. I wih I’d done it earlier.

    Also…all of us here can help, just by listening. Email us any time. Use twitter. Talking to other people and realising that you’re not alone always helps. Xxxx

  6. Anon
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    As someone who is not yet ready to announce their pregnancy I have to say that I have always been terrified of this very thing happening to me.
    This baby is wanted so badly but I am petrified that as soon as it arrives I won’t feel what I’m supposed to feel and the upset to my normal life will be too much.
    I’m glad that this seems to be something quite normal and reading this post has made me a little less scared. So thank you for writing this!

    • Posted September 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations anon! Whatever happens you can handle it, it might be different to how you’re expecting but that will be OK. I had this vision of being passed a tiny baby and it being instant love but the reality was I took one look at a squished up baby, wailed that he looked like my Grandma Gwen (he had a full head of white blonde hair) decided i was too exhausted and in pain to hold him properly and passed him to my husband. Hahahaha not the magical instant mother bonding moment I was expecting. It’s not all magic and coo-ing over a beautiful baby- most of the time it’s a whole load of bodily fluids – seriously, I cannot believe how much newborns leak. (Ha!) but you’ll find your way together xx

  7. Amanda M
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I have to hold my hands up and say I bring precisely NO personal experience to this BUT I can see the huge pressure you put on yourself to be something, to feel something. It seems to me that if women knew just how hard having a baby was, many of them would not do it. Or develop seahorse genes so that the man could do it. But you’re not a terrible woman or a terrible mother – you’re not enjoying it (or at least not all the time) – you’re knackered for one thing – but chances are you will. I found my stepson very tedious (although admittedly occasionally amusing) until he hit about 6 when we could have long conversations about flavours of slush puppy and gang up on his dad to go to silly films – and then the switch flicked from duty to love. I’m not saying you won’t feel any different until your baby is 6 but I’m saying that things change – even when you least expect it.*

    * Although possibly not at 4am after a sleepless night admittedly

  8. Posted September 4, 2013 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    I could have written much of this.
    Except I had a hard pregnancy and shocking birth, and then a refluxy baby. Its not been easy. Its still not easy.
    I hate that I dont want physical intimacy with my husband. I hate that I still want him here all.the.time so I have someone to talk to.
    I do love my baby, he is wonderful. But he is also damned hard work, and is everything I didn’t want in a baby. I had such hopes of enjoying motherhood, and instead I hate it, and if I could go back in time, I would simply not get pregnant.
    And I have friends who are desperately trying, and who get so offended when anyone dares mention that pregnancy and motherhood are not all sunshine and roses – as if those of us who struggle with it should never have had children. And yet they still demand that we pander to their feelings, while refusing to acknowledge ours as valid. Two or three of my friends from before I got pregnant are not talking to me any more because I got pregnant so easily, and have had these issues and been open about them.

    • Clare
      Posted September 4, 2013 at 3:10 am | Permalink

      It’s really refreshing to hear someone be so honest about their feelings – we have a tendency to wrap up out feelings with caveats like ‘I wouldn’t change it for the world but…’ . Actually, yes, at times I absolutely would have changed it. Would I have got pregnant If i’d had known how hard it was going to be? Absolutely not. So thank you for saying that out loud. Some of us do find it so hard, being a mother, that we do feel that.

      In good news, I am now past that stage, and now can’t imagine my life without Emmi in it, so I hope that provides comfort…I don’t know anyone who has NOT come through it. Xx

  9. Anon
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    This is a really interesting post – thank you! I can absolutely see myself feeling like this if I ever have a baby. And I am terrified of having one. I’d really like to hear how you came to terms with your baby and got used to it being in your life. I am not sure that I ever could.
    Wishing you strength for the rest of the journey!!!

  10. Posted September 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I also (slightly late to the party) want to say thank you for posting this. As a non-mother who isn’t sure I want kids, it’s so so so refreshing to read about the ‘other’ less perfect side of parenthood in both your post and the responses afterwards. You have written about some of my biggest fears about having kids, and by doing so reassured me that I wouldn’t be the only one! So, thank you.

  11. Sarah
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I feel for you, anon. I was worried about feeling this way, but I’ve been lucky in that I’m finding my way with a four month old not as all consuming as I thought. However, I’m not breastfeeding. But that brings with it a whole load of other issues – breastfeeding mums assume my husband does all the night feeds while I snooze away or have a bath lit with candles. No, the guilt that comes with not breastfeeding means I insist on doing every feed…in turn meaning I probably get less of a break than other mums who express so their partner can do a bottle every now and then.
    I also had a pretty difficult birth and I’ve found that difficult to process, even though my boy arrived safely and healthily, which of course is the most important thing, I still feel a bit traumatised by it, and find it difficult to talk about as I th k people will feel I’m wingeing unnecessarily.
    This is a long winded way of saying that although I haven’t experienced the feelings you’re having, I think guilt plays a large and often damaging part in motherhood and you should try not to feel guilty about needing a break, which you clearly do need. I think Hollie and Anna have made some sensible, practical suggestions and all I can add is, do it – take a rest, you deserve it and your baby will benefit x

  12. Anon
    Posted February 25, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I came across this post at a time where I’ve just opened up to my husband about these exact same feelings. I’ve spent hours trying to settle my three week old daughter and its finally gotten too much for me. My husband is sitting with her in another room and I’m in bed bawling my eyes out and feeling like the worst human being in the universe because I admitted that I resent my child. Becoming a mother has made me a bitter and awful person to be around, and its destroying me that I feel like this. I am thankful though that this post was written and that I found it. My husband and daughter are the two most beautiful people and they deserve a loving wife and mother who is not consumed with resent. I hope these feelings pass like they seemed to for most other commenters

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