Instant Unconditional Love & Other Rubbish

There are many, many falsities surrounding childbirth and being a new parent but I’m not sure there are many as misunderstood as the “I’ve just had my baby and I’ve NEVER FELT LOVE LIKE IT” crap that seems to be the tag line to any new entry into the world.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m all for loving your baby (obvs) but it’s not always true to say that this love comes into being the instant that sticky, slimy, beautiful mess of a baby lands on your chest. As Sandra Bullock famously says in Speed, “…relationships that start under intense circumstancesnever last.” Well, nothing is more intense than childbirth.

What does happen the minute you expel that small being from your nether regions is an overwhelming and undeniable need to protect. It’s an instinct bigger and much better than you and from the moment that baby is released into the world, you want to know that it is ok and you know you will do anything and everything to make sure that it is. But, do you love it? Not really.

Quite simply, there are a million other emotions fighting for space amongst your basic need to survive as a new parent and something as airy-fairy and fantastical as love really doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting a look in. Plus, you’re too damn worried about this tiny, helpless little being and you’re way too busy feeling inadequate, exhausted, physically and emotionally annihilated, terrified etc., that love is way down on the list of priorities.

On day six, I had a conversation with my husband that went like this:

Husband: “Babe, I think there’s something wrong with me.”

Me: “Why?”

Husband: “I don’t think I love her.”

Me: “Oh thank god. Neither do I.”

The relief I felt was overwhelming. We didn’t fully understand or comprehend the love that we would feel for the Tiny Terrorist at that point, because we genuinely didn’t even know our own name. We were so far away from possessing the emotional capacity to love this child as we adapted from being regular humans to parent humans that we weren’t even sure if we still loved each other.

They talk a lot about ‘bonding’ with your baby. What they should call it is ‘falling in love’ with your baby because like every other person you’ve loved, you fall in love with your baby. Just like every other person you’ve loved, you didn’t lay eyes on them and fall head over heels in love. You got to know them, you learnt their ways, their things, you started to understand the stuff in their head and then, then, you fell in love with them.

It’s the same with babies.

You may not love them from the first second, but you will die for them.

 

9 thoughts on “Instant Unconditional Love & Other Rubbish

  1. Shelby says:

    This is almost as big of bullshit as your breastfeeding post. You are clearly suffering from post pardum depression and need help. The moment I looked into my daughters eyes I loved her more than life itself, I knew in that moment I had never ever loved anything or anyone…never because the love I felt for her was light years beyond anything I’d ever felt. And just so you know, that was after 12.5 hours of exhausting painful labor, that was after 1 hr 15 minutes of pushing and then pulling her ucky body out and onto my chest. She looked at me with those gorgeous eyes and no matter how blood covered and gross she was– she was the most beautiful thing on the world and I loved her more than words could say. That’s the truth of motherhood. My husband didn’t meet her until she was 6 months old because he was in Afghanistan and I know until he met her he didn’t love her like i did. But that night he first held her and she screamed and cried because it was 3am and the gym was noisy and crowded….he fell in love with her instantly. I’m sorry but if you don’t love your child the moment you hold them….your ppd needs to be managed better. That’s a sad life to have a a a newborn. 😦 I feel so sorry for your daughter who you so disgustingly call a “tiny terror.”

    Like

    • Anon says:

      Shelby has perfectly illustrated the need for a blog like this. It IS possible to have negative thoughts without it being PPD, but even if the blogger did/does have an illness, is judging them and calling them names the best way of helping them? For my money, Shelby and others like her are dangerous in the extreme.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Malcolm says:

      You clearly suffer from an overwhelming case of Post Partum Ego Inflation Shelby.
      Please see a medical professional as soon as possible and have them help you down off your high horse.

      Like

  2. Jules says:

    Given that the writer of this blog has also been so refreshingly honest, raw and open in sharing her experiences, I do feel that it’s a shame and rather unhelpful that the commenter above feels the need to be so aggressive and judgmental in response. Just because they were fortunate to have a lovely experience, that doesn’t necessarily mean it equates to the ‘truth of motherhood.’ This is exactly what the blogger is trying to say; that there is no singular ‘truth of motherhood’ for every single person out there, no text book answer for every baby, but that’s ok! Surely mothers should be slightly more supportive of each other rather than saying horrible things such as ‘I feel sorry for your daughter.’ Motherhood presents enough challenges without unhelpful judgmental attitudes such as these.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tashy2 says:

    I’m as well as disgusted, the best word to use is disappointed really that people like Shelby above would post their self-righteous comments to not only laud it over but crush all other mothers who have had a similar experience to the refreshingly honest and brave Mummy Blogger here. It’s because of Mothers like Shelby that we need more Mothers & honest bloggers like CS to come forward to let the rest of us (and I suspect the majority of us), know that we are not alone and are ‘normal’. No one should project their own experience on to others telling them that they are wrong or sick just because they didn’t share the same experience as them. You are lucky and blessed to have had such a positive one from the off set, how about encouraging other Mothers from your own experiences rather than slamming them? Or just allowing them to have their own appreciating it could be very different from yours. Where’s the sisterhood?!
    I for one will be following this blog and look forward to more supportive stories that help me to hang in there with my own often tough journey of Motherhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Louise says:

    I cannot tell you how much I can relate to this post and the breastfeeding one, which brought tears to my eyes, bringing back those raw memories of the hardest, craziest days of my life. Your posts will help new mums so much. Keep going and ignore the negative comments – those commenters should be thankful that they never experienced such things- and you are very brave to write about them in the way you do. Also your posts are hilarious! Bravo x

    Like

  5. Malcolm says:

    When my daughter was born the love was instant! When my son was born 3 years later it took me a few weeks to deeply connect with him.

    Love is so personal, so mysterious, who could say what is normal.

    (And if you haven’t read We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver you must! Incredible fiction writing…on a subject close to this one, but more extreme)

    Like

  6. bbbjane says:

    I think the love you have for your children, even from minute one, dips up and down. It’s not always the same two days running, and sometimes that love can hide although I think it’s always there somewhere. The commenter doesn’t take into account that some people need time to truly love, and others can love instantly and consistently. We’re not all the same and if we were, it would just be weird.

    Like

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