Last night I really didn’t like Isabelle. She was a teething, screaming mess and instead of looking at her with concern and sympathy, I just thought she was a dick. Basically, I wasn’t the best dad I could’ve been. In all honesty, I was a pretty bad dad.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not that much of a bad dad. The vast majority of the time I’m really good with Isabelle. But like most people, I do have my weaknesses. Right now, that’s when she’s crying excessively. And excessive crying comes hand in hand with teething.
Teething Sometimes Turns Me Into a Bad Dad
I’ve talked about teething on this blog before. Back then I didn’t have much of a clue about it. I remember saying “the real pain comes when they start having the rest of their teeth coming through.” To that, I can say that I was 100% correct.
Whilst I really don’t like teething, I dare say Isabelle likes it less than me. But I still hate it. Is it because I hate seeing Isabelle in pain? Sometimes. But if I’m honest, I’m occasionally more selfish than that. It’s because I really don’t like her excessively crying and screaming. Especially not in my face. I still do all that I can. I give her the teething gel, the powder, the calpol, and I cuddle her when she wants. Maybe I don’t do it with a smile or with a loving voice. But I’m still there. Just like always.
In those moments I genuinely think she’s just a dick. I know you’re not supposed to call your baby a dick, but sometimes they just are. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with thinking this way. I’m not sure. But it does kinda make me ‘not the best dad.’
Suffering With Depression Whilst With a Baby
As you might know, I’ve got a history with depression. The vast majority of the time I’m in the clear and it’s fine. But it does flare up from time to time. Sometimes it drags me in pretty deep, other times I just have my foot in the water.
For some reason being alone with Isabelle and having her scream and cry makes it pretty bad. It brings up past feelings of baby regret, makes me want to ignore her and generally turns me into a worse father. But I’m not always like that.
The other day whilst Rachel was in work, Isabelle was yet again teething. Only this time I looked at her with sympathy and concern. I did all the same things that I did last night, only I did it a bit more lovingly. Admittedly she wasn’t quite as bad, but I still found it a lot easier to deal with mentally. Here’s the result:
Then There’s Last Night
Then last night it was a different story. I just felt like I didn’t care. I didn’t care that she was teething or perhaps she was in pain. All I wanted was for her to be a little bit quieter about it.
I know I’m being selfish, harsh and I’m a complete arsehole for thinking that way. But I can’t help it. In the same way I had no say in how I felt when I was fine the one day, I had no say in being a bad dad last night.
There’s a part of me that thinks it’s normal. No one actually likes a teething baby, just maybe people don’t like to say it. And that’s fair enough. I don’t really blame them. No one likes talking about their negative feelings towards a baby, maybe I’m just used to it.
Eventually though, she did cry herself to sleep. I gave up on rocking her, as I had been doing it on and off for over an hour. So I just thought “if she’s going to cry anyway, I may as well get comfortable.” And that’s what I did. I sat down, messed about on the laptop and let her cry and squirm on my lap for roughly twenty minutes until she fell asleep. There’s a part of me that feels a little bit guilty about basically ignoring her. But there wasn’t a lot else I felt I could’ve done in that situation. I also partly didn’t really care.
Here she is looking super cute and fast asleep. There’s an awful lot of irony in the baby grow she’s wearing.
It’s Ok If I’m Not Always a Good Dad
All I’m trying to say here is that I’m not always a good dad. Sometimes I don’t like Isabelle. But then sometimes I don’t like my family or even my wife. Personally, I think that’s just life. You can’t always like everyone all the time. And although a baby can’t help the way they’re feeling and the way they’re handling it, I still don’t always like her.
I know I’m going to have ups and downs. And I’m thankful that something like last night is more of a rarity now than ever before. Hopefully I’ll be a little bit better the next time. If not, then that’s fine. Maybe I’m not a bad dad. And I guess you don’t always have to be the best parent in the world every single day. Sometimes just being there is enough.