You didn’t fall in love with your baby straight away
That’s what you’re supposed to do, just fall in love from the first sight of your precious little baby, right?
Not for everyone, we’re all different and there are different reasons why all of us don’t feel that overwhelming love at first sight of our new baby.
First of all, childbirth is a very different experience for all of us and sets us up for being in different moods. Exhaustion, fear, pain, and discomfort isn’t always the best combination for a love meeting even though it is for some.
Second of all, the feeling that we love someone usually doesn’t come straight away when we meet someone. It’s actually something that grows as we spend time and get to know a person. Even if it’s your baby. That doesn’t mean you don’t love or don’t care for the baby.
Whilst it can be tempting to ask friends, family members who have children and even colleagues the question: When did you fall in love with your baby? The answer is going to be different for everyone. And most importantly, the answer is going to be: At the time that was right for you.
Children are individual. Even babies! Every single child has their own set of wants, needs, desires, fears, talents and individualities. Parenthood is the process of learning these attributes, accepting them and understanding them.
Respecting these core parts of our children lets us identify and respond mindfully to their needs, which can unlock their true full potential and lead to them living more meaningful lives.
Comparing our process with another’s and setting unfair expectations hinders this process. Only by freeing yourself from expectations, desires, and past luggage, can you welcome the art of education and enlightenment, and experience openness, time for self-reflection, change, and truly begin to bond and appreciate the little person in front of you!
It may not happen overnight. But if you are dedicated to wanting the best for your baby, it will happen naturally. Try to encourage as much skin to skin contact as necessary, and carry your baby in a sling or carrier facing you. Not only is this amazing for your baby, the attachment begins to shape between the two of you as you begin to build the healthy and strong emotional bonds between you and your child.
If you didn’t feel love at first sight, it’s okay and very common. It’s nothing wrong with you and you’re no less mother/father than anyone else! Every parent is different, just like every child is different, but there is no such thing as a wholly perfect person, so why should there be the same pressures and expectations on parents and children?
Trust and enjoy your process. Learn your baby by understanding what makes them individual. Once you begin to see these first shining sparkles of personality, everything else will fall into place and become clear.
For further help, I talk about these issues and how to best address them to save them negatively impacting your bond with your child later on, here.