Shannon Armitage, LMFT

Adult, Child, Couple, and Family Therapy in Seattle

Eh, baby, baby

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Let me say first off:  I love my children.  Love with a capital L.  But I did not enjoy them as babies.  Sure, they’ were cute, but so are bunnies.  And they smelled good, but so does a pine tree.  Bunnies, pine trees, babies, nice, but eh, I could take ’em or ‘leave ’em.  I loved my daughters, but my brain registered very little reward in caring for them.  Breastfeeding was fine because I never had to think about what they were going to eat that day.  It was a convenience about as thrilling as a trip to 7-11.  Nursing, bathing, diapering all felt like a slalom course I just had to get through.  For me. 

Now, other parents really relish their child’s infancy.  They document all their favorite moments, of which their are a myriad.  The pleasure centers of their brains rapid-fire whenever they look at their babies.  Time feels to slow down whenever they are with them.

Which is how I feel about my daughters now.  I love talking to them, hearing about what they did at school, helping them navigate the social world, running with them full-bore down a soccer field.  I love parenting them at this stage.  Love it.  And I love them, just as I did when they were babies.  But now I love my parenting job, too.

So, to new parents out there:  I know this goes against the common discourse, but it’s ok not to love parenting a newborn.  It doesn’t mean you’re a defective parent.  Give it time.  You and your baby may both need some time to grow.



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