Monday, May 9, 2011

truthfully ...

I'm probably about to start a shit storm with this post.

I read tons of parenting blogs. Some are parenting after IF and some are not. In many of them, the women write about the depth of feeling they have for their kids in terms of bottomless pits. I read how they are totally overcome with love.

What happens if I don't feel like that? Am I still a good mum? I love my kids. When I travel and get home the first port of call is their room. When I smell them it I just seem to sigh. When I touch their soft hair I melt. When they smile and laugh with me it makes the sun come out.

Yes, I love my kids

I'm bothered because the descriptions I read make me think I don't feel enough, that I don't love my kids enough. I feel that there is a level of love that I haven't reached. That bothers me. That others are feeling more than me because they are better or more human than I.

(I'm sorry if this is an insensitive post for those that haven't been successful in their child quest, not my intention.)


  1. I spent more time than I'd like to admit after Henry was born, watching relatives and friends sniff his scalp and then coo something about 'that wonderful scent of a newborn...' I couldn't smell anything. Baby shampoo. Baby hair. Yeah? It bothered me a lot. No, make that A LOT. I wondered if it was because we had no genetic connection, if it was because I was a bad mother, if it was because I was so out-of-touch with my baby that I couldn't smell this smell that had everyone else swooning.

    Yeah. Whatever.

    You know, some people weep every time they hear Bach. Yeah, whatever. Some people are overcome when they see a cherry tree in bloom (ok, I'll fess up that that's me SOMETIMES.) Some people write rhapsodic blog posts about their bottomless pit o' love that exists for their offspring & makes them fully human in a way they weren't before. It doesn't mean your love for your kids is less real, less bottomless, or less valid.

    Also, I read your posts. You love your kids plenty. You adore them, can't wait to see them, you 'sigh', 'melt', and they make 'the sun come out'. I think you might be confusing writerly hyperbole with 'more love than you feel'. I think your kids are lucky to have you for a mum, and I hope you're not really beating yourself up about this.

  2. You know. I don't have kids...been trying for five years (maybe more), but I am not a natural nuturing person and I would probably feel the same way. I also think that the pendulum has swung on motherhood and it seems that mothers are expected to stay home from work and give everything to their children (or maybe its just that way in the midwest). It seems that if you don't live for your children something is wrong with you. I couldn't do that. I think part of being a good mommy is being a whole person with a life and interests outside of your children.

    Also, these people may be posting on days when they are feeling particularly loving and censoring themselves on days when they just aren't feeling it as much.

    There are days when I feel so much love for my husband that I can barely stand to think about it...other days my love is more subdued.

  3. well, hello. I popped over from somewhere? and no, you're not alone. I feel intense love for my twins (after 2 IVFs) but I also have lots of days that are not all that passionate :)

    Maybe we're the level-headed ones? :)

  4. Listen, one thing about writing is that it allows for a depth and breadth of imagery that sometimes goes beyond reality. I would say to take what you read (and, frankly, what some people say) with a grain of salt. There is no 'love continuum' for the way one should measure how much they love their children.

    I am not saying that others' are lying or even exaggerating but I am saying that when one is a good writer or speaker they can create perception with their words and are moved to do so. It says nothing about how you feel or should feel about your own experience of motherhood or loving your children.

    It is the same way I feel when someone describes their fiery hot sex life. It may or may not actually be what I would perceive as reality if I were peeking in :)

  5. Thank you. I feel the same way. I get alarmed when I read former IFers gush about how the instant their baby was placed on their arms they fell deeply in love, every sleep-deprived moment is a joy, etc. I wonder if people are exaggerating, b/c of what they went thru,or do they really feel that way?

  6. Yes, I admit that I am one of those people who is totally overcome by the love for my child. I think it's because the contrast of what I was before is so different to what I feel now. For example, I rarely felt envy towards other's pregnancies (twice that I remember) and have never really been a baby person. I like kids (which helps since I'm a teacher!) but never felt gushy about them. The expressions of the depths of love seemed trite to me. So now, now that I feel this overwhelming feeling of love for my son. The's a contrast to the person I was before him. Does that make sense? So, I don't think it's that you don't love them with the same depth. It's the nature of expressing yourself through writing. :)

  7. You know what's spooky? Just today I was walking the dogs at lunch time thinking that I wanted to write a post entitled something like "MY truths about motherhood" - challenging some of the generally accepted truths (which aren't necessarily so true). More to the point of your post, I think some of the previous commenters said it better than I could. But I do believe you are a great mom, the world is full of hyperbole and frankly, not every moment of motherhood is bliss (to be discussed in my post!).