There’s a myth floating around that all mothers experience love at first sight when their children are born.
We’re told by movies, Tv proves, and even commercials that becoming a parent triggers an instant and unbreakable bond between us and most children.
But … if you want to know the truth? That doesn’t always happen.
It’s pretty common for new parents to deal with confounding bouts of apathy and postpartum depression, and it doesn’t assist that newborn and young kids aren’t always completely comfy with one or both parents right away.
Biological papas can be at particular risk for feeling a little left out, especially if mom is breastfeeding and they don’t want to intrude on that process.
Terence Mentor, who blogs under the name AfroDaddy, opened up about his own struggles bonding with his son in an emotional Facebook post.
His first son was adopted, he says, which meant it was easy for him and his wife to take turns feeding him and appeasing him. His bond with his son was instant.
But Mentor’s younger son , now 2 years old, took a little longer to warm up to dear old father. His son had an instant connect with his mama, however, and when that consolation gap lasted beyond the newborn stage, it was emotionally brutal on Mentor.
On Facebook, he lamented:
“It is quite a thing to be a daddy who can’t consolation his child, who is constantly told ‘No, I go to mommy’, who never seems to have a real, relational moment with his own son.”
He felt extremely jealous of the bond his son had with his wife. “It was actually more difficult than I had allowed myself to admit, ” he explains in a Facebook message. “For the first time, I had real doubts about my ability to be a truly involved dad.”
After an agonizing two years, things are starting to turn around. Mentor says his son is eventually starting to show some real affection for his daddy, celebrating a particularly “magical” milestone in his Facebook post 😛 TAGEND
“This child, who would shout when I so much as looked his route, came to me[ last night] for his convenience and calm. Not going to lie … I got a little teary eyed.”
These feelings of “indifference” can go both routes, of course.
While kids may carry a preference for one parent over the other, sometimes new mothers just don’t feel that instantaneously deep love they expect they should feel for the new baby.
These feelings are actually super-duper normal, household therapist Leslie Seppinni told ABC News. “It’s not automatic that you’re going to bond with your child. Usually it does take a little while, ” she says.
It’s hard to be patient, but if Mentor has learned anything, it’s that you have to push through those tough times by dedicating loads of affection — even if you’re not getting it in return.
You also have to talk about how you’re feeling, he says.
“Frankly, dads don’t talking here this kind of thing, so I have a suspicion that moms think we don’t care that our child doesn’t want to be with us or have anything to do with us, ” he says. “We care. We care a lot.”
He hopes his narrative, which has been shared far and wide, promotes more mothers to stop beating ourselves up and only be honest with ourselves and our partners.
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