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Old 11-16-2012, 05:11 AM
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Default Not Feeling the Whole Parenting Thing:

Hey all,

So, my baby was born almost a month ago, and I am not feeling the excitement or happiness or anything like that.

My wife and baby are fine (despite some scary moments during the birthing process as she needed to have an emergency C-Section) and both are healthy.

I guess my problem comes as this: I have conflicting feelings, I feel like I am not happy, and because of that I feel kind of like a jerk because I am supposed to be happy.

Any other parents feel that way? I don't have the heart to say that I don't feel anything when I look at my baby? I don't feel that "fatherly glow" or that lightbulb go on... or however it was that was described to me... I feel like such a horrible person right now....

Last edited by tick; 11-16-2012 at 05:12 AM. Reason: Crud.. Edit the title.. It was a typo... Should say "Not" not "Bot"
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:41 AM
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Paternal bonding. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternal_bond

Not everyone is the same. Do you remember bonding with your father? Your mother? Did you really love them more than anything in your early years? Even now, do you feel love for anyone? I mean really real love? Isn't psychology fascinating?

Just realize that there are 7 billion people on this planet. They all had parents. At least initially. Some, of course, lost their parents early in life. But I'm saying that you are most likely not alone in your feelings. Don't put yourself down so bad. Guilt is the worse thing you can do to yourself. Some things just develop slowly.

When she start noticing the world around her, things will change for you. You will be more instructive and protective. I think that is your role, to protect, and it will kick in by instinct. Just imagine what it is going to be like when she starts bringing her boyfriends home. When she keeps asking you for money for new shoes, even though she has many and outgrows them each year. Nothing difficult is ever easy. And I think such bonding is not as easy for males as it is for females or mothers.

Once she is able to look into your eyes, you will be captured.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh View Post
Nothing difficult is ever easy.
Great quote! I'm gonna get that put on a bumper sticker

Thanks for the link.. And you're right.. It'll probably just take some time.

I don't remember really being that close to my father, and I know my older brothers weren't either really..

Could that have something to do with it? I suppose we learn by example, and that could have a large part of it. I don't know... I guess, it always came down to something he said to me once, a couple of things actually...

I seem to recall him saying that he had us because "mom wanted to" (second marriage), and then also something about "if I have to choose between you and your mother, I choose her" which makes sense I guess.. I was being a s**t at the time, and I suppose it makes sense. I don't know. I guess you could say the relationship was sort of distant, I know he is trying in his own way to be closer now, but... *shrug* But that is a story for another time, place, and perhaps not at all..

And don't get me started on the whole love topic... It leads to all those debates as "what is love", what does "love" feel like, Have I ever experienced true "love" and all that jazz

I could go on all day on the subject of psychology, why we do what we do, how our actions and pasts intertwine and make us who we are today. etc etc etc...
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:36 AM
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I did not immediately feel real excited or particularly attached to any of our children either.
In retrospect I think the huge additional responsibility overcame everything else.

I now had both a wife to support and children. Not to mention trying to be a good parent so I would not mess them up.

It was more scary than anything else. When my feelings about my children showed more than ever was if they were in danger or something even remotely was threatening toward them.
I felt much as you did but I loved them all the same.

It may take a while before you see this because as men we are not particularly good at deciphering emotions, but you will see it for yourself.

Give it time.

Dan
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tick View Post
Hey all,

So, my baby was born almost a month ago, and I am not feeling the excitement or happiness or anything like that.

My wife and baby are fine (despite some scary moments during the birthing process as she needed to have an emergency C-Section) and both are healthy.

I guess my problem comes as this: I have conflicting feelings, I feel like I am not happy, and because of that I feel kind of like a jerk because I am supposed to be happy.

Any other parents feel that way? I don't have the heart to say that I don't feel anything when I look at my baby? I don't feel that "fatherly glow" or that lightbulb go on... or however it was that was described to me... I feel like such a horrible person right now....

I'm sorry and surprised, but glad you shared. With the lack of sleep and all the 'societal' crap that gets pushed on us, we can wind up feeling guilty based on what we feel is a social norm. I've been reading "How to Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons" and it's a great book written by two behavioral psychologists. Got it for $5 in hardback to my doorstep. I highly recommend it.

Before we became more aware of our food and media, we received some bad programming that we need to remove.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:01 PM
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Tick,
Do you feel like you're in 2nd place now?
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
I did not immediately feel real excited or particularly attached to any of our children either.
In retrospect I think the huge additional responsibility overcame everything else.
Thanks for the words of encouragement Dan.. Yes, hard to explain.. I guess it will just take some time to decipher how I really feel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Solstice Goat View Post
I'm sorry and surprised, but glad you shared. With the lack of sleep and all the 'societal' crap that gets pushed on us, we can wind up feeling guilty based on what we feel is a social norm. I've been reading "How to Keep People From Pushing Your Buttons" and it's a great book written by two behavioral psychologists. Got it for $5 in hardback to my doorstep. I highly recommend it.

Before we became more aware of our food and media, we received some bad programming that we need to remove.
Very good suggestion going to pick it up now. Hopefully it gets here before the "holiday shutdown". Who knows when I'd get it then!

Quote:
Tick,
Do you feel like you're in 2nd place now?


More like 3rd or 4th place Cookie... You see, got a house full of people "helping" out too. You know I appreciate that they are there for my wife since I need to work a lot, but... It's almost as if my opinion doesn't count for "Jack S***t". So, yeah, I guess I do feel like 2nd, 3rd or even 4th place now.

One step at a time I guess... One step at a time...

Sure it's stressful.. I'm sure it'll be fine... Dan's story at least made me feel like less of a douche knowing other people felt the same..

You know, I don't know if I have just had all the good examples to ask about it.. Because everyone I had been asking said the same thing.. "Fatherly Glow...", "Happiest thing ever"... Of course, they didn't mention what time frame.. I really didn't want to go back to these people either and say.. Uhh... About that... I feel kinda stressed and like crap because I'm not feeling it... I guess I didn't want them to look at me and be all "Hmmm.. What's wrong with this guy? Fatherhood is great..."

Which it is, just... I guess from what I'm hearing it takes time to get the the great part.


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Old 11-19-2012, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tick View Post
1) Very good suggestion going to pick it up now. Hopefully it gets here before the "holiday shutdown". Who knows when I'd get it then!



2a) You know, I don't know if I have just had all the good examples to ask about it.. Because everyone I had been asking said the same thing.. "Fatherly Glow...", "Happiest thing ever"... Of course, they didn't mention what time frame.. I really didn't want to go back to these people either and say.. Uhh... About that... I feel kinda stressed and like crap because I'm not feeling it... I guess I didn't want them to look at me and be all "Hmmm..

2b) What's wrong with this guy? Fatherhood is great..."

[/FONT]

1) reads like a Dr Sues book with every paragraph a lesson, so don't worry too much. Even a dult like me can vault through the first few chapters.

2a) Remember, some of these guys could be feeling miserable right along with you.......

2b) DING DING DING!!!! Some of them could be spewing the ol' 'company line' for fear of being ostracized.

Hang in there!
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solstice Goat View Post
1) reads like a Dr Sues book with every paragraph a lesson, so don't worry too much. Even a dult like me can vault through the first few chapters.

2a) Remember, some of these guys could be feeling miserable right along with you.......

2b) DING DING DING!!!! Some of them could be spewing the ol' 'company line' for fear of being ostracized.

Hang in there!
Hmmm... Are you suggesting that when someone else asks me about this some day... That I too will spew forth the "company line" as well?

I suppose it makes sense, if they tell you about the stressful crap, it might freak you out. Although I'm not your average bear, I prefer to know what I am up against.

Ordered, and on it's way....

Now to play the waiting game....
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:44 AM
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A B C

A= Event

B = Preconceived interpretation

C = Your affect from the event


A; Doorbell rings

B; My damn neighbor is here to bitch about my long lawn

c; I'm fed up with that A=hole!



So, let's look at the ABC again.......

A; doorbell rings

B; __________

C; It's your buddy Solstice Goat with a brand new juicer and a sack of organic fruits and vegetables!





So, in the second scenario, the 'C' was a pleasant, not a miserable, however, if the 'B' was the same, you suffered anger unnecessarily.

Even with the first scenario, you suffered unnecessarily. Maybe you open the door, and it IS the neighbor, but he has come to apologise for being an a-hole based on something that happened to him the other day, or even to apologize because he remembers the suffering he endured with a new child and offers his empathy.


They also help uninstall more societal crap we've been programmed with, not unlike the guy who claims he's in bliss when he's not. Maybe that trip to Mickey D's really will restore bliss to the family. Maybe he really does 'deserve a break today'.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tick View Post
I don't remember really being that close to my father, and I know my older brothers weren't either really..

Could that have something to do with it? I suppose we learn by example, and that could have a large part of it. I don't know... I guess, it always came down to something he said to me once, a couple of things actually...

I seem to recall him saying that he had us because "mom wanted to" (second marriage), and then also something about "if I have to choose between you and your mother, I choose her" which makes sense I guess.. I was being a s**t at the time, and I suppose it makes sense. I don't know. I guess you could say the relationship was sort of distant, I know he is trying in his own way to be closer now, but... *shrug* But that is a story for another time, place, and perhaps not at all..

And don't get me started on the whole love topic... It leads to all those debates as "what is love", what does "love" feel like, Have I ever experienced true "love" and all that jazz

I could go on all day on the subject of psychology, why we do what we do, how our actions and pasts intertwine and make us who we are today. etc etc etc...

Oooh you made such a GOOD point here. We certainly learn by example & boy I wasn't gonna inflict that on my kids LOL
Parenting is a learned thing, we don't automatically know how to be parents. One of the best things I ever did was to take parenting classes because it teaches you how to discipline fairly, stay two steps in front of your kids and how to make them 'own the problem.'
The one thing we always forget is that our parents are individual people. I think your dad was just shootin' the breeze with you.. who knows what you asked in order to get those reponses Chances are, you're one of the best things that ever happened to him.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tick View Post
More like 3rd or 4th place Cookie... You see, got a house full of people "helping" out too. You know I appreciate that they are there for my wife since I need to work a lot, but... It's almost as if my opinion doesn't count for "Jack S***t". So, yeah, I guess I do feel like 2nd, 3rd or even 4th place now.

One step at a time I guess... One step at a time...

Sure it's stressful.. I'm sure it'll be fine... Dan's story at least made me feel like less of a douche knowing other people felt the same..

You know, I don't know if I have just had all the good examples to ask about it.. Because everyone I had been asking said the same thing.. "Fatherly Glow...", "Happiest thing ever"... Of course, they didn't mention what time frame.. I really didn't want to go back to these people either and say.. Uhh... About that... I feel kinda stressed and like crap because I'm not feeling it... I guess I didn't want them to look at me and be all "Hmmm.. What's wrong with this guy? Fatherhood is great..."

Which it is, just... I guess from what I'm hearing it takes time to get the the great part.
Oh my gosh tick, take the help while you have it hahahaha
The great thing about you is you're willing to talk about things and get them off your chest. Starting a family is a big responsibility so it takes time to adjust.
You know you felt something when you first saw your baby, even if it was merely relief that all the parts were there.
Once it's just the three of you, things will all fall into place.

C'mon, show us how you can turn on that Fatherly Glow on demand! Nothin' wrong with fakin' it for the time being.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
Oh my gosh tick, take the help while you have it hahahaha
The great thing about you is you're willing to talk about things and get them off your chest. Starting a family is a big responsibility so it takes time to adjust.
You know you felt something when you first saw your baby, even if it was merely relief that all the parts were there.
Once it's just the three of you, things will all fall into place.

C'mon, show us how you can turn on that Fatherly Glow on demand! Nothin' wrong with fakin' it for the time being.
"Fake it till you make it" - Yep.. I put on a pretty good show..

And yes.. it was relief when I saw she had all the right parts after she came out of the delivery room. I even slept on the floor of the hospital room until 5AM when I needed to get up and drag myself home so I could go back to work.

I should be grateful for the extra help I know, but at the same time it's like.. You know we need to do things on our own too. Because eventually they are going to get fed up with it, or the novelty of the new baby is going to wear off, and they'll be gone, and it will be just us again.

Christmas is going to be interesting... That's for sure....
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:02 AM
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Hey Tick, how ya doin' buddie?!
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