Mom Lesson: Falling in Love with Baby Takes Time
Posted by Rachel Engel
I'll admit it: I'm just now really feeling the over-the-moon, "Wow, I can't believe I'm allowed to be this happy," feeling that's supposed to come with being a parent. Because of course, I love and have loved my daughter from the second I laid eyes on her, and I knew it was a special kind of love, but I didn't have that "wow" factor, yet.
Well, it finally hit.
Maybe it's because I was nervous and not ready to be a parent while my husband was miles away in a war zone, or maybe it's because up until I gave birth, I literally had not been around babies in several years; the last time I was consistently around a baby, I believe I was 4, when my sister was born. All of that, plus the fact that I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, and I had no way to interpret what this tiny newborn they sent me home from the hospital with wanted.
In the beginning it was very little sleep, late-night feedings, and lots of diaper changes, with very little reward. Did I love holding her and knowing I created her? Of course, but without reciprocal affection, all of it felt very one-sided. I hear it goes back to that when the teenage years roll around.
But now, after a full year, I finally feel like I'm hitting my stride. I hate being away from her, because my heart literally aches, and when I walk into the room, her wide, tootheless grin makes my stomach turn upside down and inside out, like an internal rollercoaster. The infatuations I had with boys in junior high is nothing compared to how infatuated with her I am.
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