If you have ever felt anger toward your baby, you are not alone. I've been there and I have felt all the intense emotions being a new mom brings.
My daughter was seven weeks old. My husband and I were trying to navigate our lives while sleep deprived and quite frankly, traumatised by a baby that refused to sleep and settle. (We would later learn she had silent reflux).
Our oldest child had swimming lessons and I went along to hopefully ease some of my cabin fever. I fed the baby, changed her and did everything I could to keep her happy and comfortable... or so I thought.
I dropped my husband and son at the pool while I ran a quick errand that was meant to take 15 minutes tops. As I drove, my daughter began to fuss and then scream loudly. Her cries cut through me and I felt like I couldn't cope.
I felt my blood begin to boil and my blood pressure increase. A tightness grew in my chest as I forced back tears and instead allowed my anger to boil over. I just needed her to be content for 15 minutes, was that too much to ask for!?
I turned up the music and simultaneously shouted "Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!"
The guilt that comes with being angry at your baby is so intense. Here's what I want you to take from this: it is okay to be angry and frustrated. It's especially okay to feel these things if your baby has been challenging, you are sleep deprived and/or you're having a shit day. In my situation these feelings of overwhelm, frustration and anger had been simmering under the surface for days and weeks. I was embarrassed because of the feelings themselves but also because I felt this huge expectation that having a second kid was somehow meant to be easier than having my first. There was this belief that I was supposed to "have it all figured out," while I definitely didn't.
What really helped me feel better was talking to a friend from work, having a good cry and reaching out to my doula for help. Addressing my feelings so I could find a way to cope with a challenging second baby was key. Finding the support I needed was the best thing I did. It allowed me to deal with and process those feelings in a healthy way.
Give me a call or get in touch here if you're looking for a safe person to chat with, someone who "gets it" and someone who wants to take some of the stress out of early parenting. One postnatal visit can make a huge difference in your life! I am here for you!