When you announce your pregnancy, you’re told of the love you’ll have for your baby and how lovely it’ll be on maternity leave to bond with the baby.
I agree that the love is instant, the love is unconditional and it’s overwhelming.
Although bonding with the baby is a different kettle of fish.
I have since discovered I find it really hard to bond with babies.
waits to be struck down
With both of my two children, although I love them, more than can be described, I didn’t bond with them straight away. I found it incredibly hard to bond with a small human who’s only interaction is crying, sometimes incessantly for hours on end. I couldn’t figure out their needs, sometimes they needed nothing, then why are you crying?
If my partner decided he would wake me up hourly, every night, for a quick snack, he certainly would not be my partner now. But this is the norm for a small baby. I accepted this norm, but the tiredness as a result of it meant, yet again, I’m finding it hard to bond with you.
I have no idea how to play with babies, google gave me some ideas but with my first child I felt, well, stupid. Singing, reading, chatting or showing toys to a baby who seemingly wasn’t interested. It felt silly. I felt silly. Since having our second, it no longer felt silly, quite normal in fact, as our toddler will join in the charade.
During the baby months I never felt connected to them, was I really a mum, their mum? I wasn’t sure how a bond with a child should feel. Until our son started communicating, walking, getting ‘easier’.
I then learnt that the bond isn’t instant. You have to get to know each other, like you would a friend and this is hard to do with a baby. The bond grows gradually over the months you spend together.
I had always felt like I wasn’t ‘doing it properly’ because I just couldn’t connect well with babies, as cute as they are. The older they get, the more responsive they get and the more they sleep [high five to sleep] the more I see them as real individuals, someone whose company I enjoy just as much as they push my button, the big red ‘do not push’ button.
It’s a lot of pressure to ‘bond’ with your baby. It may not always be instant, for me it wasn’t. But our bond now is there and it was well worth the wait.