Need to vent -- Am I alone in this situation?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been trying not to let this situation be something I even need to talk about. I've been shoving it in the background and making excuses and I absolutely did not want to face it. But last night was the worst of the worst and I finally broke down and I just need to know I'm not alone somehow.

My daughter cries and fusses almost every time her dad comes near her. When I say 'almost' i mean 9 times out of 10. It is horrid and painful and mortifying for him and me too. For a long time we both would pretend that it either wasn't happening or we would both make up reasons for why she was probably upset. I used to say 'oh, you know I didn't really finish nursing her she's probably still hungry.' even though I didn't really think that was true.

The worst part is, we both thought she was going to be such a daddy's girl. He is notorious in his family for being the best baby soother. Whenever his sisters' babies would cry, they'd give them to him, and they'd melt in his arms. Throughout the entire pregnancy we assumed this would be true for our daughter. For our childbirth class we had to fill out a survey and one of the questions was 'how confident are you about parenting?' and he said 'very confident' !!!! Which shocked me at first, considering he'd never been a parent. But now I think he is very humbled.

Please know that I am aware this time will pass and I am 100% positive she WILL be a daddy's girl one of these days, whether it is toddlerhood or older. DH is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever known. He is gentle, kind, generous, loving, all of the good qualities of a wonderful dad.

Also, it really isn't just that she wants her mommy. She melts in everyone's arms but his. Everyone's. :*(

I'm truly horrified about this. I don't know who to talk to. I have this horrible feeling that it means something bad about him. I admit I don't like the way he handles her sometimes. I don't think he's very intuitive about how to care for a baby. For example, last night he put her in the cradle swing when she was crying hysterically in his arms. 45 minutes later I went to go get her to put her to bed and when I saw her in there I was SHOCKED. He set her down in there with her neck completely twisted to the side. When I pulled her out it looked like she experience intense relief. WTF.

So many things I didn't expect about parenthood... I feel so alone about this. I just don't think I would even believe any of you if you said you even KNEW someone this happened to.

First time mama to sweet *~....:: Eden Magnolia::....~*  4/3/10
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#2 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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I am not in your group, but I thought I might offer a suggestion. See about changing his deoderants, soaps, etc. Perhaps there's something about the way he smells that is irritating her.

About the swing, if she was in there for 45 minutes before you went to get her, it is entirely possible that she wiggled and wabbled herself that way. I used to have to watch my little one (now 18 months) in the swing all the time, because otherwise within 10 minutes, she'd have one leg out of the swaddle and squished sideways against the tray, opposite hand squished up behind her head and her neck looking like it was broken:
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#3 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the suggestion! I have often wondered if it's his whiskers.. he doesn't shave every single day and I know *I* hate how it feels on my skin. Hard to imagine a baby liking it too.. Do you think that's a possibility??

First time mama to sweet *~....:: Eden Magnolia::....~*  4/3/10
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#4 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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It could be his stubble or it could be nothing. When you say that she's fine for everyone but him, you might not be considering two things:

1. Everyone else isn't there all the time, so how often are they really trying to hold her? He has a lot more opportunity to be rejected than everyone else does.

2. When other people are around, it's much less likely that you're going to hand them over when she's in anything but a great mood. Maybe it's just me, but I don't hand a fussy baby to my dad or my MIL because I don't want them to deal with it. It makes me uncomfortable to see other people handling my babies when they're fussy. So while you're probably giving your DD to DH when she's less than perfectly happy, you might be much less likely to give her to anyone else when she's less than perfectly happy, thereby increasing the odds that she'll cry for DH and decreasing the odds that she'll cry for anyone else.

Either of those things would make it seem like she dislikes something about her dad, when it might not be that at all.

It's totally normal for a baby to prefer mom over dad. Not all babies do it, but I know they exist...and I sure wish I could get one of them! Both of my babies have MUCH preferred me, and it can become very, very frustrating when you just want to take a shower and the fed, clean, dry baby starts screaming her head off as soon as you hand her over to her dad. I tell myself that she's fine and try not to rush my shower, because she's being held in loving arms, being comforted and doesn't need anything. She will not die or develop a sense of unworth while I wash my hair. lol

I agree that your dd might have just wiggled that way in the swing. Babies contort themselves into all sorts of positions that look horribly uncomfortable to us.
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#5 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
It's totally normal for a baby to prefer mom over dad. Not all babies do it, but I know they exist...and I sure wish I could get one of them! Both of my babies have MUCH preferred me, and it can become very, very frustrating when you just want to take a shower and the fed, clean, dry baby starts screaming her head off as soon as you hand her over to her dad. I tell myself that she's fine and try not to rush my shower, because she's being held in loving arms, being comforted and doesn't need anything. She will not die or develop a sense of unworth while I wash my hair. lol
ok, this made me feel better, thank you!

First time mama to sweet *~....:: Eden Magnolia::....~*  4/3/10
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#6 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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Some good points have been made already. This is pretty early to have any real preference over "the one with the milk/immediate diaper changer/etc" too. DD1 got way more into dh closer to 1 y/o when they'd go out together to do stuff without me.

Our march baby also hates dh's beard so far, so yeah - that's a possibility too.
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#7 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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so, for a couple weeks there I was having a similar issue. My husband would come home from work so excited to see this little boy and as soon as I handed him over all hell would break loose unless Ruben just went straight into a carrier and they went for a walk. He was always freshly fed and changed so I know that wasn't the issue. I felt so bad because we could have had the calmest most smiley day and then as soon as James took him it was over. It was so depressing to watch and really stressful. This week has been better so far. We've actually had a couple evenings where he is sweet to his papa. We'll see what happens tonight.

If your DH is gone during the day is there any difference in her attitude on days he doesn't work?

mama to two little men...3/25/2010 and 10/3/2013
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#8 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by october View Post
I admit I don't like the way he handles her sometimes.
I don't like the way ANYONE else holds him except me. But the truth he has both his grandparents living with us and they take care of him a lot and he loves his dad's chest. Even when he seems to be super calm and happy, I still sometimes feel they are not holding him perfect...but I keep quiet. I just feel it's mommy instinct going overboard for me!

I am sorry to hear your situation and I can imagine how horrible it must be feeling to you. Have you tried doing group hugs....like he not touching your baby directly....but you holding him and he hugging you. That may 'introduce' your hubby gently?

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#9 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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I just realized what I said wasn't what I meant, but I know you understood it. lol To clarify, though, what I meant was that I know there is such a thing as a baby who doesn't prefer mom over dad, but I can't seem to birth one. lol
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#10 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If your DH is gone during the day is there any difference in her attitude on days he doesn't work?
YES!
Actually, all the days he works are the days she freaks on him. In my opinion it is because he is a truly frazzled human being from head to toe on the days he works. He has 3 jobs, one is a day job the other two are from home, and he often works 12 hour days, broken up some.

Recently we went on vacation and he couldn't do any of the 3 jobs, and his energy transformed and the frazzled-ness was replaced by the sweet and mellow guy that he really is. Eden loved him.

We have talked about how he needs to work less, and I really hope that that's all it is. I just don't like the situation. I'm glad I'm not totally alone...

First time mama to sweet *~....:: Eden Magnolia::....~*  4/3/10
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#11 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by october View Post
I admit I don't like the way he handles her sometimes. I don't think he's very intuitive about how to care for a baby. For example, last night he put her in the cradle swing when she was crying hysterically in his arms. 45 minutes later I went to go get her to put her to bed and when I saw her in there I was SHOCKED. He set her down in there with her neck completely twisted to the side. When I pulled her out it looked like she experience intense relief. WTF.
How old is she? In addition to her possibly wiggling herself that way, I wanted to add that at 2-ish months old, likely even if he did put her in an uncomfortable position she should be able to shift herself a little more comfortably. And if she can't, she'd probably be crying. When my first daughter was born and I was so worried about cosleeping and a few other things, my midwife said to me very calmly "Babies don't want to die or be hurt any more than you want them to be. Rest assured that if she is uncomfortable and can't fix it, she will cry."

Lindsay - DD1, born posterior and chin up at home, Aug 2007
DD2, born at home in the water, March 2010
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#12 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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fwiw, both my other kids were like that w/dh. Neither liked being held by him until, I dunno, 5 or 6 months? Avery's easier, but I think it's just his disposition, not anything dh is doing differently. Geez, with Oliver, I was going out on knitting nights (for a couple hours) and dh would walk w/him screaming for an hour or so until Oliver finally calmed down and fell asleep. That started at probably 5 or 6 months when we introduced solids (before that I wouldn't leave b/c neither kid took a bottle). I dunno, I guess it seems normal. Takes a while before babies aren't completely mommy (read: boob) centric, you know? Right now, my boob is like his whole world.

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

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#13 of 17 Old 05-27-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by october View Post
YES!
Actually, all the days he works are the days she freaks on him. In my opinion it is because he is a truly frazzled human being from head to toe on the days he works. He has 3 jobs, one is a day job the other two are from home, and he often works 12 hour days, broken up some.

Recently we went on vacation and he couldn't do any of the 3 jobs, and his energy transformed and the frazzled-ness was replaced by the sweet and mellow guy that he really is. Eden loved him.

We have talked about how he needs to work less, and I really hope that that's all it is. I just don't like the situation. I'm glad I'm not totally alone...
Yeah, my husband works long hours away from home and then is working on commissions when he's home too so he tends to be frazzled and antsy to be getting things done. I think the baby really picks up on that stress and responds to it. I'm sure there is a lot of boob-centricness going on too but I've noticed that when we're away from home or having a specific "family" day and my husband can forget about everything he needs to get done that baby loves his papa.

mama to two little men...3/25/2010 and 10/3/2013
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#14 of 17 Old 05-31-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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My first was that way. She preffered me but any other woman could hold her without her having a meltdown (unless she was hungry.) But if daddy even made a step towards her to pick her, she'd scream. And anytime grandpa would give her a hug (even if she was in my arms), there were tears. She eventually outgrew it but I don't remember what age. Now at 5, she is a total daddy's girl (and doesn't mind her grandpa's hugs.)

Mama of three.
 
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#15 of 17 Old 06-01-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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Not in your DDC (well, DD ended up being born in March...) Anyway, I think the whole working and then being worn out/stressed thing makes the most sense. If DD is just a little bit fussy, DH gets all tense and stressed about it and then she starts crying worse if he has her. Then he doubts his capabilities to soothe her and then they both get progressively worse.

Mama to three

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#16 of 17 Old 06-03-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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Could it also be that he is trying to hold/comfort the baby during the evening hours when babies are often more fussy?

I am sorry it is like this for you... it must feel stressful to see the two people you love most not connecting the way you feel like they should. Sometimes my DH takes the baby and he starts fussing, and I feel like he doesn't try hard enough to sooth him. He doesn't talk to him or hold him how I feel like the baby wants to be held.... but it is easy for me to say since #1 I am with the baby ALL day long so I can read him better, and #2 I have the boob I can whip out at anytime. If this were the first time we were parents together I would have some serious concerns and sadness about him not being the adoring father I imagined. But, from experience I know that he is the BEST father when the baby gets a little bit older.

since your DH wrote that he felt confident about being a parent, and showed so much enthusiasm for it, I think soon enough he will find his groove.

Kelcey... in love with DH, and DD born 10/13/07, and a little DS born 2/23/10!
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#17 of 17 Old 06-03-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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Could it also be that he is trying to hold/comfort the baby during the evening hours when babies are often more fussy?

I am sorry it is like this for you... it must feel stressful to see the two people you love most not connecting the way you feel like they should. Sometimes my DH takes the baby and he starts fussing, and I feel like he doesn't try hard enough to sooth him. He doesn't talk to him or hold him how I feel like the baby wants to be held.... but it is easy for me to say since #1 I am with the baby ALL day long so I can read him better, and #2 I have the boob I can whip out at anytime. If this were the first time we were parents together I would have some serious concerns and sadness about him not being the adoring father I imagined. But, from experience I know that he is the BEST father when the baby gets a little bit older.

since your DH wrote that he felt confident about being a parent, and showed so much enthusiasm for it, I think soon enough he will find his groove.
gosh, it is so refreshing to hear that other people feel this way! thanks for reassuring me through your honesty, mamas
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