Something I have learned in becoming a parent is that people aren’t always honest. I’ve known that for sometime, obviously, but I never realized how much people say what they think is the “right” thing to say instead of what they actually feel. This happens A LOT in relation to pregnancy and babies.
You never hear someone say “it’s a girl but I was really hoping for a boy” or “we’re pregnant and we aren’t excited about it” There are lots of things like this that we say because we think we should feel a certain way. You hear mother’s all the time say they quit breastfeeding because they didn’t have enough milk supply when really maybe they just didn’t want to deal with it. You hear new mom’s say that they never miss the days “before baby” when in reality they may day dream about a time when they had the freedom to do whatever they wanted. You hear parents say their child is the most precious thing on earth when they might secretly think their kid isn’t quite as cute as they had hoped.
Why do we feel the need to put on a front all the time? It’s like we’re afraid of people judging us for our true feelings…but do you know what all this fibbing really does? It makes us think something is wrong with us when our feelings differ from the norms we hear everyone else say.
Something I have struggled with since becoming a mom is the initial feeling of being a parent. People on tv, in movies, and in my life have all made it look like it’s INSTANT love. As soon as that baby comes out of you, you are overwhelmed with emotion. You cry. You look at that baby and instantly love it more than anything else on earth. Right then and there you’d die for that child. You’d give up everything for that baby to be happy.
I did not have this feeling. And you know what? I’m okay saying it. I want other people to know that it’s OKAY if you don’t have an initial feeling of love and warm fuzzies. I didn’t and I feel like it’s more normal than society would let on.
When Kye was born I did not cry. My first thought? “Wow it feels so good to not be pregnant anymore.” I did not count every finger and toe. I think it’s the hormones and adrenaline but I really didn’t feel very emotional at all. I was very, very happy, but I didn’t feel some outburst of love and excitement like I expected. And you know what? I felt a lot of guilt about this. I wondered if I loved my son like I should? Was I a bad mother for not feeling an instant bond and connection with him?
It took me a good 3-4 weeks until I looked at my baby and realized my heart was extra full because he is in my life. I remember a moment where I held him and got chills and cried thinking about how much I loved him and how much it bothered me to think someday he’ll die (I know kinda morbid but it’s what I thought). But this feeling took me 3-4 WEEKS. Not hours, not days, weeks.
As time as continued my love for him has only grown and grown. I truly love him more each day. I went on a 5 day trip when he was 7 weeks old and I did not miss him one bit. I went on a 2 day trip when he was 13 weeks old and I missed him like crazy. I think this is a natural thing and really such a blessing if you think about it. I get to love him more and more and it makes me excited for the future knowing that somehow I will probably even love him more than I do now!
I used to nurse him at each feeding then quickly go change his diaper and play. Now, however, I want our special time together to last as long as possible. I play with him in my lap and cuddle with him. Enjoying each precious moment because I know soon enough he’ll be squirming all over the place wanting to have his independence.
When he was born I didn’t think I had the most beautiful baby in the world…now I can’t get over how precious his little nose is, how soft his skin feels, how pretty his eyes are. Every part of him (even the patchy hair) is perfect to me. I’m his mommy, he’s my baby and I love him.
It’s okay to feel differently than society makes you think you “should.” It’s okay to sometimes wish you could go back to the pre-mommy days. I think that way sometimes! When I talk to Ashley and she’s been enjoying everyday by the pool I miss last summer and being able to be out there with her each day. It doesn’t mean I don’t love being a parent, it means I’m human and that as a human we don’t quite appreciate what we have when we have it. I didn’t enjoy my selfish “me” time as much as I should have. And I’m probably not enjoying my precious “baby” time as much as I should either! I may sometimes miss time before baby but can I imagine my life without Kye in it? Heck no!
It’s okay to still be a little selfish sometimes too. If Zach told me I could spend $20 on shopping would I buy Kye a pair of jeans that he needs? Nope! I’d buy something for myself. It’s okay if you don’t want to breastfeed because you just don’t want to. It’s okay if you are a little dissappointed that you had your third son. If I have three boys in a row I sure as heck will be a little upset! We all need to give ourselves a break and allow ourselves to have natural feelings without beating ourselves up over it.
As a new mom I’ve learned that having a baby does change your entire life. 90% of those changes are for the good, but 10% are for the bad. It’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. But it is so so so rewarding. To look at your baby and think “I made that.” To see him achieve something and think “I helped him do that.” You made a little person! Someday he’ll be an adult and you know what? You can sit back and be proud because YOU made him who he is!
My love may not have been crazy intense when Kye was first born but it is a love that slowly grows with time and builds as I’ve created a stronger and stronger bond with my son! I’ve heard many people say they can’t imagine having another baby because they don’t know how they’d be able to love it as much, but I’m not afraid of this happening. When baby #2 comes someday (not any day soon people) I know the crazy love may not be there at first but it will only grow with time.
I am so glad you have realized all of this. It really takes a lot of deep thought and really knowing yourself to truly understand your feelings and be okay with them. I agree 100% with everything you said and I really think that more people need to have this mentality. This also applies to other aspects of life. Tell the truth, although it may be against society, and even if people don't like to hear it, they may respect/trust you more. Who cares about society anyways? We make it what it is anyways – so why not try to change it to the way we want it?
What a great post! (I told you I am going back and reading all your old posts!) 🙂 This is EXACTLY how it was for my with #1. I didn't feel that instant connection and it took several weeks for it to develop. I actually wrote a very similar blog post when #1 (Hannah) was a little over a month old – http://thevaccaropeanut.blogspot.com/2010/04/so-this-is-love.html Love when momma's are honest in their blogging! Thanks for being yourself and being real!
You're old posts are showing up in my pintrest…crazy! But I read this one and it took me back to when my son was born. I wrote something similar in his baby book. My husband cried when he saw him the first time, I just stared at him feeling very overwhelmed. I remember having an emotion that I can only sum up with "this is it?" I feel like I just stared for hours thinking, what am I supposed to do. A few weeks later I was completely exhausted, and I just started balling as I was trying to nurse him but he was fussy. And there we sat both crying, and I remember having that ah-ha moment where I just gave in LOVED him! With my daugther, it was instant! But I told the Dr. to put her on my belly as soon as she was born (didn't do that with my son, they rushed him to the sink and washed right away). I think holding her the moment she was born and seeing her first breath was amazing and really helped with that connection. Did things change with your daughter, or did you feel the same way?