I have a four-week old baby so I’m obv very new to the parenting thing and have a limited perspective. All I will say is that in my case, I have never liked babies or even children – I find them boring at best and a huge PITA at worst. I was a nanny for a few summers and also babysat a lot as a teenager to earn some money, and I hated it! I was that awful babysitter/nanny who’d park the kids in front of the TV so I could read a book or something rather than be forced to play with them. I was pretty awful. I did not like most of the kids I babysat/nannied for, and the feeling was mutual!
I do not like interacting with kids because I feel super awkward and am never sure how to relate to them. I think kids pick up on my discomfort too, making the whole thing even worse. I don’t really find babies all that cute and would always dread being asked to hold a friend or relative’s new baby lest it start shrieking or something.
That being said, I always knew I wanted to have kids of my own – it was never a question. I think I just wanted a family and assumed when I had my own kids I’d feel differently about them than I did about other people’s kids?
The jury is still out since, again, four weeks of experience…but I will say, in MY experience, having a newborn that is my own has so far been an entirely different ballgame. I did not bond with my baby immediately – like, the moment they handed her to me I was definitely emotional, but in those early days there was definitely also a feeling of “who is this baby??” and even an occasional, “what have we done???”
But at the same time there’s a deeper connection that is almost …I dunno how to put it into words exactly, but it’s almost like I’ve gone into autopilot. Caring for my baby is a sleepless, 24/7 job, but I find that I’m just doing it innately…it doesn’t even really feel like a burden or boring or any of the things I was worried about or experienced as a nanny/babysitter. Like it’s tiring as hell and draining, but at the same time it’s like second nature. I’m sure part of that is hormonal. But I think one of my biggest fears before I had this baby was that I’d just feel detached and maybe even resentful at the thought of devoting so much time to her, and so far I haven’t felt that at all.
I dunno this is all over the place, and I want to be very clear that this is only MY experience, and it is obviously very limited given how new I am to motherhood, and there is no guarantee it would be yours or anyone else’s experience, etc etc etc. But anyway just thought I’d share in case it is at all helpful.
ETA: I should also mention that *so far* our baby has been relatively easy as far as newborns go, which I’m sure is helping. She is not overly fussy and pretty much only cries when she’s hungry or needs a diaper change. If I had a baby that wailed 24/7 I might feel very differently, and there’s obv no guarantee what type of baby you’re gonna get!