13 July 2017, by Siau Jiahui

My Own Child Rejected Me

“Will she know who her mother is?” I asked innocuously as my mind went blank.

“Of course she knows!” answered Ti in bewilderment.

Ti, my domestic helper, has been with us since Little T was 2.5 weeks old. After the confinement auntie left, Ti and I shared the main responsibility of taking care of the little one in the subsequent months.

Though younger than me, Ti is the veteran in infant care and childcare in our household because she has three children who are already in primary schools! Whereas for me, let’s just say that I’ve been learning on the job since the birth of my firstborn in September 2016.

Taking care of a newborn/infant was a huge challenge for me and even more so when I had DeQuervain’s Tendonitis, also known as Mommy Thumb.

There had been instances when I was carrying Little T, I could feel the tendons on both wrists snapping out of place, and almost lost grasp of my baby! Consequently, I left most of the baby care to Ti who, fortunately for me, did a good job and put my mind at ease.

However, up till now, I still am not sure if the decision then was a right one.

When Little T was between three to four months old, she had gotten incredibly close to Ti. Ti and I used to take turns in coaxing the baby to sleep every night but during most of that period, Little T would wail and struggle when I carried her before bedtime. Ti seemed to be the only one who could better coax and pacify her in the evenings.

When I had officially returned to work after four months of maternity leave, I would rush back home every evening because I was yearning to spend time with my little darling.

However, never did I expect that my own child would reject me.

Almost every evening in January, after her last milk feed of the day, I would carry Little T and try all means to coax her to sleep but she would cry and cry and cry.

Each session could last up to 40 minutes until she was clearly adamant and desperate with her struggle and I was clearly exhausted and exasperated from her rejection.

Left with no choice, I would ultimately pass Little T to Ti who could somehow eventually manage to soothe her and get her to sleep.

Helplessness and dejection caused me to end each hopeless night with a heavy heart; and then I would light up this secret little fire within me and tell myself that “maybe it’ll be better tomorrow”.

Until one evening, I really couldn’t take it anymore.

Little T’s face was changing colour from the violent crying and after I passed her to Ti, tears flowed down my cheeks uncontrollably. I headed to my room, sat in a dark corner, and called the one whom I could pour out my woes to…

“妈,我的baby不要我。。。我怀她那么辛苦,生她那么辛苦,她竟然不要我。。。”

“傻瓜,哪里有孩子不要妈妈的。。。她还小,都不懂事。。。”

Other than my mother, my BFF who’s a mother of two, patiently consoled me and explained to me that since Ti was the main caregiver, my baby would inevitably be closer to her.

Yes, I had heard of similar occurrences but when it actually happened to me, my heart shattered. I’m the mother. I should the one whom my baby is the closest to, but why wasn’t my ideal scenario happening?

My BFF further quoted anecdotes of friends and shared with me that most, if not all working mothers, encounter similar problems but when the child grows older, things would eventually work out.

She even remarked that someday my daughter would be sticking to me like glue and I might be the one craving for me-time then! Thus, while hopefully waiting for that day to come, I should still do whatever I could to strengthen the bond between me and my only child.

The next day, Ti approached me cautiously while in the midst of clearing the household chores and shared with me her own experience of her children being closer to their grandmother who was their main caregiver. She also gave me suggestions on how I could bond with my child.

Taking the advice of many mothers, I made changes to our lifestyles. Little T would sleep in the daytime and nighttime with my home-worn tee wrapped around her little pillow to familiarize her with my smell.

I would spend more nights with Little T and be the first person she saw in the middle of the night or early in the morning.

I would remind myself to be more patient and positive even though my solo presence still made her cry before bedtime. And many more little adjustments here and there just to make sure that Little T accepted me more and more.

After some time, it did work! It was absolutely rewarding when she finally slumbered with my company. =)

Though this happened months ago and things had improved significantly from then onwards, it still brought tears to my eyes when I recalled the sequential events that had occurred then…

It was heart wrenching.

No mother would ever want to face this kind of rejection.

Hence, to all mothers who are in the same predicament now, please persevere. There’s a rainbow always after the rain. =)

 

Now, we enjoy each other's company every moment of the day!

Now, we enjoy each other’s company every moment of the day!

Posted on : July 13, 2017

Filed under : Mums- & Dads-to-be, New Mums & Dads

6 Comments

Siau Jiahui

Siau Jiahui

September 15th, 2017 at 11:54 pm    


Thank you so much for sharing, Jophan! After all the different stories that I’ve heard and incidents that I’ve experienced, I’ve realized that all mummies require very strong minds! 不能轻易被打倒啊!

Siau Jiahui

Siau Jiahui

September 15th, 2017 at 11:52 pm    


How have things been for you, Veronica? Hope it’s way better now! Jia you!

Jophan

July 31st, 2017 at 4:51 pm    


I had the same experience, thank your for sharing your experience.
My daughter is closer to her grandma who is the main caregiver and her aunt. (姑姑). She will reject me when she sees me and worst when my MiL (daughter’s grandma) said negative things like “see she don’t even want to look at you when you said Byebye to her before work.” Back then It makes my heart sunk and kept thinking baby doesn’t need me, she don’t even know I’m the mummy. And how can my MiL said those things? Well that’s not all among those many negative comments she made. Being a working mum it’s not easy, I go to work when every one is till sleeping and baby seldom sees that I get to work unless she wakes up early. Baby gets to see My hubby and baby’s 姑姑 when she woke up and when they head to work. And sometimes when I got home at night, baby already gone to bed. My MiL will not make her wait for me to be home before hoaxing baby to sleep, but will kept her awake to wait for 姑姑to come home. Come on I’m the mum not 姑姑!

I asked my mum why baby don’t want me, does she even knows I am her mummy. She assure me saying she will know when she is older and will stick to you eventually.

I tried to spend more time with baby during the weekends, bring her for walk etc. Now things got much better and oh yes, I learnt to not put it to heart those negative comments by my MIL 🙂

Things will get better, Jiayou!!!

Veronica

July 31st, 2017 at 12:55 pm    


This is so relatable on many levels. Inhad just returned to work for 3 weeks and it is really heartwrenching. The pain when me, the mother, was unable to calm my own flesh and blood and my MIL can. Seriously it makes me feel less of a mother everytime. That is why i am always babywearing my girl for that closeness, even though it is taxing on my back at times. She is turning 4 months and i can only hope it gets better as she grows older. To all mummies going through this, u are not alone.

Siau Jiahui

Siau Jiahui

July 14th, 2017 at 1:06 pm    


Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It wasn’t easy, but I’m glad the situation improved for the both of us! Let’s continue to work hard on the mother-child bonding! =)

BHC

July 14th, 2017 at 7:10 am    


My heart was wrenching with pain as I read through your article…. I had similar experience and could totally understand your situation.. the pain was so intense that I was asking myself the same qn. How could my baby whom I have bonded for 9 months in my tummy be closer to someone else?? I am thankful and grateful that I do not have to work for now but having an older kid still caused some strain to my ability to care for the little one. Some adjustments were made as demanded by me (at least your helper offered suggestions and know you are the Mother!) but the journey wasn’t easy… even though things are better now (at least I think my kiddo knows who is his Mother!!) but I am always cautious (almost to the point of being possessive!!). Things changes now and then – there are times when the baby is extremely attached to me and there are times I was fearing things have gone back to square one where he became attached to my helper and started fussing when I care for him… I can only press on and hope things will be better next time.. my elder one couldn’t even remember the face of our previous helper who cared for him when he was 6m to 2 yr..I Guess I just have to let it go a little in the meantime….. 🙂 press on, mummy!!!

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