When did you first bond with your child? Elise said that while that true love for her son eventually came to her, it wasn’t immediate. This can heap shame and guilt onto new parents and leave them feeling even more alone.
This is a comment by Elise on the post “Confessions of a Temporary Monster: When Do You Really Start Loving Your Kids?“.
How wonderful to read about this topic from an unapologetic perspective! I had a very similar experience, as a young mother, when my son was born. I was the first person I had ever heard discuss this ‘limbo’ period where I felt duty, responsibility and warmth towards my child, but I did not feel a connection or a passionate sense of lifelong love. Unlike you, I cannot pinpoint the exact moment that I felt true love for my son, but it came with time.
When I share this story with others, albeit somewhat timidly, I’m always somewhat relieved when they understand or share a similar experience. Several parents admitted never having shared their experience because they were so ashamed. Parenting is an enormously daunting experience filled with profound ups and downs. If we can remove shame, misunderstanding and guilt from the experience, perhaps we can face it with a greater capacity to learn and grow. Thank you for writing about this!
Thanks, Elise, and I’m really glad you liked it. I loved your comment.
I actually mentioned in a comment on my blog, that I can’t imagine how harder it is for women who feel this way. I think most men have high expectations about this “click,” but society in general will accept a delayed emotional response from fathers. Moms, on the other hand, are expected to bond with the baby during the first trimester. And if a mother has fed her baby for the first time and still feels nothing–well, that means it’s time for the pills…
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Photo credit: Flickr / Ginny Washburne