Mom Confesses 'Why I Don't Like My Child' in Magazine
Filed under: In The News
It might be the most damning thing a mother can utter: "I've never liked my child."
But in a column in the current issue of Redbook magazine, a woman, writing under the assumed name of Jennifer Rabiner, says she was "basically repelled by my own child."
A mother of two girls, Rabiner, 41, continued to keep her identity hidden in an interview with "Today."
"I thought that she would be vivacious and smart and loving and make intense eye contact," she tells the show of her first daughter, called "Sophie" in the magazine. "That was just not what happened."
Rabiner tells "Today" Sophie was a difficult baby.
"She slept very poorly. She ate very poorly. She did not make eye contact," she tells the show. "She did not meet the milestones that all the books that I read indicated that she should be making at the various ages."
Not every baby develops at the same rate, but Rabiner tells "Today" she doesn't think her expectations were too high.
"I don't think it's too high an expectation to expect your child to meet your milestones -- her developmental milestones," she tells the show. "It's not too high an expectation to expect her to sleep, to expect her to eat, to expect her to interact."
However, Rabiner writes in Redbook, when her second daughter, "Lilah," was born, she was "blown away by overwhelming Mommy Love."
"Lilah was exactly the baby I'd envisioned: strong and healthy, with a penetrating gaze," she writes. "She nursed vigorously and smiled and laughed easily. She talked early and often and, even as a toddler, befriended everyone she met. When I hugged her, she squeezed back hard, and I felt my own heart beating in two bodies at once."
At the age of 7, "Today" reports, Sophie was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency which had caused her slow development, and treatments provided the family with a "breakthrough," Rabiner says.
"It gave me a new perspective on her challenges," she tells the show. "It made me gentler with her struggles and it also gave me more patience. It made me feel like instead of me against her, it was us against this diagnosis and I felt like we were on the same team."
Today, Rabiner writes, Sophie is in "a pretty good place."
"I watch her sometimes, looking for clues of the emotional scarring I fear I've inflicted, but I see none," she writes. "Instead, she takes running leaps into my arms, her strong legs squeezing my middle in her signature 'cobra hug.' Do we see eye to eye? Almost never. But do I try to prop her up every single day anyway? Yes, I do. After all, I'm her mom."
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.