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  5. Is it normal not to enjoy motherhood in the early days?

Is it normal not to enjoy motherhood in the early days? Rss

I think my son is just beautiful and I love him but I'm not loving being a mother. He is 3 weeks old and the constant cycle of feeding, changing, settling I find exhausting and frustrating yet I expected it to feel rewarding & fulfilling.

Should I not be happy to get up & attend to my sons needs rather then resentful?

Im finding it to be all hard work and not sure if it's normal to feel this way in the early days and the joy comes later or if I have PND?
Is this your first baby Ms.Dee? I felt very much like that first time around, the constant feeding and settling - visitors and phone calls, no time to do washing or even have a shower etc. I totally understand how you feel. Your expectations of "rewarding and fulfilling" are correct but I find sometimes we can only see how beautiful the whole experience is in hindsight and not whilst we are doing it (that may be different for some mums). Some babies are an absolute joy (like my second one) and some babies are extremely hard work (my first). Please dont place too much emphasis on what you "should" or "should not" be feeling - we are all individuals and approach/deal with things in our own way. The early days of a new baby are confusing/tiring/frustrating for even the best of Mums so dont be too hard on yourself if you are not enjoying it yet - you will. In saying that maybe try what I did (suggested by psychologist) and that is to set aside a time each day for some quality bonding time with bub (best tried when he is calm). Take the phone off the hook and find a quiet place where you can be alone with him. Lay him down on a soft surface and give him a massage all over and watch how he reacts to your touch, smell his skin and give him kisses, talk to him and watch how his mouth moves because that is bubs earlier sign of communication (they copy us), maybe some skin to skin contact with both your shirts off - but keep an eye out for those tired signs as if he gets too tired he will be hard to settle and will defeat the purpose of the exercise. All of those things will increase your "mummy" hormones and should make you feel a little more relaxed and connected to your baby and a little less like his "babysitter" as I once described my firstborn. If in a few weeks you feel these things dont make you feel a little better, then maybe you need to talk to your GP about it. Just remember you are learning as much as he is so give yourself some time to get used to it all. Feel free to msg me if you want to chat. Good luck and hope I have helped.

Christopher 08/10/05 William 30/12/08

Thank you so much for your reply.

Ive suffered depression prior to pregnancy so not sure how much of what Im feeling is "normal".
i felt the same way with my first and actually my 4th. I also just felt like i was babysitting my baby. In all honesty i didnt bond with my baby foir a long time. it does seem like a chore, and to some people it is not rewarding nor fulfilling havingto get up to a baby, but that doesnt mean you love your child any less than anyone else who feels overjoyed to get up and do those things. Some stages of baby and child relate to us differently and some better than others.. of course keep yourself in check with your moods and things, but at this stage i think you are very normal.. it doesnt all come naturally to each of us, but when you do get to the stage where you have bonded and you really enjoy your newborn, baby ,toddler, it will be great. Dont be to hard on yourself just yet!!
I'm so glad I found this post as I feel exactly the same way and was starting to feel really guilty about it and questioning if I've done the right thing. It is also my first and he is nearly 4 weeks old. People keep saying that everything gets easier after the first six weeks and I really hope that applies to me as I'm pinning quite a lot of hopes on it. I like the massage idea, I just need to find the energy and motivation to do so.
It's really normal to feel like this. I did for ages with my DS, I didn't enjoy the baby stage at all! Of course I love my son but gosh, the first few months I just felt like I was on autopilot. I didn't even feel like I 'liked' him, let alone love him in the first 4 wks. Everything started to change when he was 5wks old and smiled for the first time. My heart melted a little seeing him smiling at me and my feelings grew from there. It still took me a couple of months before I could honestly say I loved him.
I think a lot of mum's feel this way but it's not really talked about all that much. It really helped me to talk to my friends about it, once I did I discovered that I certainly wasn't alone.
Are you going to a mother's group? I found that to be a great support too. No one really talked about their feelings in the first couple of meetings until I blurted out that I wasn't enjoying it (I never had PND thank goodness, just wasn't loving it), then about half the group started saying they were feeling the same way too. For me the first 6 months were really challenging, not the whole time but they were the months where things were very up and down. After that I've LOVED every stage.
I think having a baby is the only time in our entire lives when we're expected to love something we don't know, who's extremely demanding and gives us nothing in return. It sounds harsh but I just don't think we're all wired that way. When you start getting feedback from your bub (gooing, giggles and big smiles), it makes all the things you do for them so much easier.
Hang in there and try not to dwell on it, it will get easier and a lot more fun!

I really didn't enjoy motherhood until DS was 3 months old. It was such a shock to my system having no sleep and a crying baby that wanted to eat and poo all the time!

It does get A LOT easier as they get older. Hang in there smile
Ms Dee how are you feeling now? I have reached 6 weeks today and I'm definitely starting to feel more positive about the whole thing. Not sure I'd quite go as far as saying I enjoy it but I'm not so negative about the whole thing anymore. I guess it's partly getting used to the new situation and also as I'm starting to see my son's character develop it makes it all less of a chore and more personal and worth while. I hope that makes sense and doesn't sound really terrible.
Hi, thanks for all your responses and for being so honest.

The more I speak to other mums - in mothers groups, friends, work colleagues, family members they all rather sheepishly say yes I didn't enjoy it until he/she was 3 months, 6 months etc old.

So many struggled in the early days I'm surprised more women don't talk about the reality of it.

My bub is 9 weeks and we are very bonded and I definitely love him, however the actual job of being a mum I still find more difficult, then not difficult. I'm still adjusting, and some days are good days and some are bad days and on those days we just cry together.

I did the PND test and got a 12, and apparently 12 and over is an indication of PND so I'm borderline I guess.

I'm 32 years of age and have had experience with children and our son was desperately wanted so I thought I was prepared but in hindsight nothing can prepare you!!!
[Edited on 06/04/2009]
Its completely normal dont beat urself up! it does take a while to get used to the idea of this little human totally dependant on u! and ur not the first one to feel resentful towards them for the constant wake ups and having their needs put first!! It will get easier...
Hi, you know it's funny you say this because I just said to my husband this afternoon, lucky our daughter is so cute because this routine could get old really quickly so I completely understand how you're feeling. My daughter is 4 weeks old today. You know, it's a huge life change and all the pictures of motherhood are of these wonderful bonding moments where baby looks at you with such love but at this age they don't give you any feedback because they can't smile and look all calmed by you and so on. So the gap between the image and real life is large. It doesn't make you a bad mother to feel this way, you're going through change and letting go of your old life. I think what is important is to focus on some small things that do give you pleasure that will help with the transition. So when she coos now I talk to my husband about how I love that. When she takes the bottle well I feel I'm making progress and take joy in that. I was once given some advice when I moved into a new job, - you have to redefine your definition of success and that probably applies to this new job too. All the very best to you!
I make no excuses and I say loud and proud !! ...I HATE NEWBORNS !! lol lol lol lol

I really dont enjoy it ..it is tedious and boaring ..I love my babies to bits ..and I enjoy sitting and holding them ..I open my heart to them and do what I have to do ...but this stage is certainly not one i enjoy nor look forward to !!


I also hated pregnancy ..that diddnt mean I hate or even dislike my baby ...but I just hated being pregnant ...

my favorite stage is around 4-6 months ..when they can interact with you and they smile when things are funny ..they need and want me around ...I lvoe love love this age !!
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