When You Don’t Love Being a Parent
Dear ones! This is a hard topic to address, but I want to try, especially if some of you are treading these waters right now.
Do you ever feel like you love your baby, but you don’t love motherhood?
Maybe you always wanted to be a mom and are surprised that you aren't basking in this new role. Or, maybe, you didn’t plan to be a mom—but now you are.
You are not alone. Many women have these feelings. Like you, they might be surprised or ashamed or sad or disappointed that they don’t love being a parent.
Motherhood is challenging. Most people highlight the joys, which is great, but the truth is that motherhood can be a hard, exhausting, confusing time.
You may feel
. . . more fatigued than you have in your whole life.
. . . resentful about your shift in identity from independent woman to on-demand caregiver. This may be exacerbated if you recently quit your job to care for your new baby.
. . . a loss of self as all your needs seem secondary to the baby's needs.
. . . fear or anxiety that you might do something wrong, that the baby might get sick or injured, or that you might get pregnant again too soon.
. . . out of sync with your partner—and with the world.
Again, all of these are normal.
Try to be honest with yourself and your loved ones. Your feelings and emotions are real and important. Practicing communicating your needs to others. It is hard at first, especially if you are known as a gal who “has it all together.”
Take time for self care. I know this is easier said than done, but it is critical. Get some rest. Get time alone. Eat nutritious foods. Take a walk. Buy some new clothes, even if your body isn’t quite where you want it to be yet. (We know moms need this. That is why Tennessee Family Doulas offers live-in help and night nannies.)
Also, you don’t have to parent like you were parented. Or like your friends parent. Or like your mother-in-law parents. Some women feel a burden from all the people around them. It can be hard to set those new routines, rituals, or boundaries, but you can do it. You be you. Seriously.
I want to leave you with two things: give yourself grace and get help. Give yourself time and remind yourself that perfection is only found on highly curated Instagram reels or tiktok videos.
And, please, if you have an ongoing feeling of depression or despair, please seek help. Reach out and we will put you in contact with a professional.