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Fatherhood/How do I build a bond with my son and deal with my mom and my girlfriend?

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I'm 24 and my girlfriend is 20 so we're both fairly young 1st time parents. We have a 3 week old son together. I still live with my mom who's older and I don't want her to live alone so I asked her to move in before the baby came and she accepted. I work 12+ hours 6 days a week so I don't get to spend the time that I'd like to spend with my baby but I have the three of them depending on my completely financially.

I honestly feel like I haven't formed any kind of real bond with him since I maybe get to see him awake 2 hours out of the day. On my days off, if I try to spend any kind of time holding or caring for him my mom or my girlfriend come along, tell me I'm taking too long to do something and take him from me.

Examples:

1) Making his bottle - It takes time to mix formula and warm the bottle

2) To change him - Is 2 minutes really that long of a time? Especially with a #2 filled diaper?

3) Soothing him - Am I supposed to be able to quiet him from crying within 30 seconds of picking him up?

How am I ever supposed to build a bond with him if they come and take him away from me when honestly I don't think I'm doing anything wrong or slow. I'd rather take the time to make his bottle right than to give him a bottle that's too hot. If I ever say anything about them taking him from me it ends up being them saying 'You don't know what you're doing, just watch me' which annoys me and most times I just walk away.

How do I build a bond with my son and deal with my mom and my girlfriend? I want to be a an involved father, not just financial support father from a distant.

I'm sorry if this is a bit long.

Answer
Jaleel,

You make many excellent points about the issues here. Yes, your time with your son is vital in order to bond. With your extreme work schedule, this must be difficult. Unfortunately, you have accurately identified your problem. The two women, your mother and girlfriend, are doing both you and your son a disservice by not allowing you time.

Time with your child is of primary importance. If you do things differently than them, that is good. They are female, you male. You SHOULD do things a bit differently. This gives your son a more accurate view of his world. Children at this age are learning at a rate we cannot comprehend, even at your age. Your son learns from his environment. By the women keeping you away from your son, they are denying him knowledge of a major part of his environment and life. One day he will be a father, and he needs to know HIS father so he may in turn be a good father.

What you wrote here tells me you desire to be a good father. I cannot tell you how to change the women's perspective. They sound "set" in their way of doing things. You will have to insist on your time. This could cause friction. I've found, though, that once a mother realizes the father is competent, she welcomes the break from her child for a while.

All I can do is encourage you to continue to strive to spend time every day with your son. Every single minute, especially with your schedule, is vital. Keeping peace within the house is important as well, I understand that. When adults get in their minds that they possess the only way to do something, like tending to a baby, changing that behavior can be difficult. Please do not give up spending time with your son.

Hopefully, your persistence will cause the women to back off a little. You have the right idea, and the right desire, and I am most confident that if you maintain your desire to be a good father, you will indeed achieve that status. Just the fact you are doing things for your son places you in a "good father" category.

Keep standing your ground that you desire to take care of your son whenever you can. This is an issue more between adults, and I cannot give you a good answer on how to deal with them. As to your parenting desire and pursuit of fatherhood, I commend you and wish you happiness and a close bond with your son.

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Michael Ray King

Expertise

I can answer questions about bonding with newborns, being an adoptive father, being a step father, issues regarding a large family (I have 6 children), positive interaction between dad and his children. I cannot answer questions regarding law nor can I answer questions about abuse. I have no experience in either area (other than the adoption of my wife's second child when he was 4 years old)

Experience

My experience involves seventeen years as a father and my book, Fatherhood 101: Bonding Tips for Building Loving Relationships.

Organizations
I am a boardmember of The Joy & Care-Giving Foundation Inc. a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation building schools in the Philippines.

Publications
Author of the book Fatherhood 101: Bonding Tips for Building Loving Relationships

Education/Credentials
I graduated from West Virginia State University May 16, 1981 with a degree in Business Management.

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