I Didn’t Love my Baby

What do you do if you don’t feel love for your new baby? One Mama shares her story.

Interestingly, my source of mothering wisdom is an elderly Kentuckian farmer named Wendell Berry. In addition to farming, he also is a prolific writer of truths that my soul has known for years but could never satisfyingly communicate. I have finally found a language and a logic that at once cultivates my passionate spirit and settles my anxious mind. I feel so at home with his essays, fiction, and poetry that I often wish he’d adopt me as his spiritual, or perhaps more fittingly, earthly granddaughter.

You see, Berry is entrenched in this physical world in the most beautiful way, and he views the care of the land, its animals, and plants as the most spiritual task a human can put herself into.

Providentially, it was his words I was soaking up in the early postpartum months, holding my newborn baby and freaking the eff out because I didn’t feel motherly love towards her. More specifically, I wanted to give her back. I wanted to undo her. I kept fantasizing about my college days, longing for my semi-damp, cricket-infested apartment, sunny days napping on the lawn instead of going to class, and late night “Scrubs” binges with my best friends. In short, I wanted this needy little rosy thing to go away so I could be free again.  I even had the scary “throw the baby” thought one time. I panicked and begged my partner not to go back to work because what if I did actually throw the baby?**  Continue reading “I Didn’t Love my Baby”

I’m not a baby person… but I am a mother

Can you be a good mom if you don’t actually like babies?

You know those people who are “baby people?” They’re the ones who babysit from the time they’re young, who love holding babies, who can’t help but pick up a crying little one, who have always been able to change diapers without gagging. Yeah, I’m not one of those people. Never have been. My sister is one, so I know what they look like, but I’ve never fallen in that category.

I’m a pet person. Bring in a puppy and I’m down on the floor getting licked in the face. Let a kitten fall asleep on my lap, and I’ll stay there until the mountains fall down so that it doesn’t wake up and we can blissfully cuddle forever. You bring a baby into the room, and I’ll happily admire it from where I sit on the couch.

And yes, I’m also a mother.  Continue reading “I’m not a baby person… but I am a mother”