Ask Dr. Zoe – I Don’t Feel a Bond with My Newborn; Is this Normal?

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‘First-time Mom’ asked:

As a new mom, I sometimes feel guilty not having that initial bond with my newborn and miss my before-mom self. Is this normal and how or what is the best way to get rid of these thoughts? I love my little one a lot.

Dr. Zoe answered:

Dear Momma,

Somehow society has created this often unspoken consensus that a good mother is all sacrificing and perfectly content to lose herself in motherhood. I don’t believe this, nor have I seen that it is healthy or creates a better outcome for children.

I really despise the word “normal” and prefer to use “healthy” instead. There are many behaviors that are “normal” in our society that are not healthy and vice versa.

Good mothers are full humans, separate from their children. Good mothers love their children, but they are not performers on a stage. As a result, our mothering will look differently. Some mothers bond instantly with their children. Some mothers bond easier with one child than another. Most mothers eventually bond with their children and that’s what matters most.

My best advice is to try to stop comparing yourself to what other mothers seem to be doing or experiencing. Yes, your ambivalent feelings are a part of healthy motherhood. Yes, it’s okay to miss the time in your life, not so long ago, when you didn’t have another human being completely dependent upon you for survival. None of those thoughts or feelings are an indication that you are not a good mother.

There is no need to try to erase those thoughts. I encourage you to honor them. That time in your life, before baby, was a formative time full of good and not-so-good memories. You have entered a new one with its own beauty and experiences that you will treasure over the years. Remind yourself regularly, “That time was good and so is this one—in a different way.”

Give yourself some grace to feel all of your feelings. You’ve got this!

It just takes a little grit and grace.

Being a mom has its challenges. Here are some tips to tackle them: Real Advice Any Grit and Grace Mom Can Use Now – 134

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