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Feeling Guilty About Not Connecting With Baby










QUESTION:

I discovered DadsAdventure.com after a long fought struggle with my son today. He is four months old, completely healthy and is an absolutely handsome little man. But I find myself feeling further and further from him every day.

I have run through every course of emotions with him and still find myself struggling to meet in a place where I feel "love" for him. I think one of the worst feelings is that I can not deal with his crying even for a couple of minutes. When he cries I immediately jump to anger and become beyond irrational. It is to the point my wife and I are at odds over the struggle. I have tried to "find a happy" place or "change what I am trying" but continue to find myself struggling more the next day than the one before. I often times end up feeling so angry that I wish he wasn't in my life all together. Words can not describe how guilty I feel when everything calms down and I think about my anger and emotion towards him during our battle.

Any advice to help me get back in the saddle would be great, I have so much to be thankful for with him; I just can't seem to find the common ground.




ANSWER:

We receive a variety of emails like yours. There are a lot of guys who have problems; very few reach out for solutions, so consider yourself committed, which is most of the battle.

Advice for curbing your escalating frustration and anger:

  1. Get headphones and crank up your favorite music. Put your son in a stroller or front pack when it is time for him to sleep, say bye to the wife and go for a walk. Once out, if you hear him crying, crank up headphones and walk faster, he will be fine. This gives your wife a break, she sees her husband taking care of her baby, and you spend some quality time with your boy. If this works for you, keep it up, daily if possible.
  2. Try to figure out what is triggering your reaction to the crying. Dig into your feelings to see if you can find a clue; getting it out on the table typically helps you process it and put it behind you. (A professional counselor can help you with this.)
  3. Think of something you want to do with your son in future as he grows up and take a step in that direction. If it is surfing, look for baby swim lessons you can take him to. If it is working on your car, give him a plastic child tool set and let him play with it.
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