Have You Ever Felt Jealous Of Your Own Baby?
The mere title of this post will be enough to make some of you wonder if this is some kind of joke, but I’m actually being serious. Have you ever felt jealous of your own baby?
If so, there really is nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about because this is way more common than you might realise. You can adore every single beautiful inch of that tiny baby and still feel a little jealous.
To those who can’t relate, you might be wondering how is it humanly possible to feel jealous of a baby?
Well, let’s take the negative connotation away first and foremost. Jealousy is very different from a lack of love or resenting a baby. Your love for your baby knows no bounds and nothing could ever tarnish that love. You have a natural urge to mind and protect this perfect little being that grew inside of you. You just happen to feel a little jealous sometimes.
This strain of jealousy can affect both parents. In fact, some might argue that it is more prevalent for fathers than mothers. Have you ever heard a new mum talk about the fact that her partner or husband was struggling with the amount of attention the baby requires/needs/gets? For so long now they have been the centre of your world and it’s actually really common to feel a bit put out now that the baby is taking all the attention.
It does not reflect their love or attitude towards the baby – it’s just a little adjustment faze as they accept that they are no longer the centre of attention. They used to be the reason your eyes lit up in that way. They used to have that constant physical closeness.
They used to have the ability to make you feel so many things that the baby seems to be offering you these days. They worship the baby and wouldn’t change a thing but they feel a little displaced shall we say.
I remember when I was pregnant I asked my husband would he still love me as much as he does not when the baby arrives. He giggled as I asked and was surprised by such a strange question. I was feeling insecure and spoke about the fact that people say you love your baby in a way that you’ve never loved before. It’s a different kind of love.
Totally unconditional and the easiest thing in the world to do. A given. So wouldn’t that mean that he might love the baby more than he loves me? He used the very same example and wondered if that would mean the very same thing for how much I loved him? Touché.
The truth is that when the baby comes the love IS incredible and unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before but love is love. It doesn’t take from the love you have for your partner and it doesn’t take from the love they have for you. In fact, it might just make it stronger.
My husband thanked me for giving him the gift of a child. He recognised that I brought our baby into this world and I think his love for me grew as a result. In the same way, my love grew for him when I saw him doting on OUR baby.
But there were days, for sure, that the way he looked at the baby somehow made me hyper-aware of the way he looked at me. I wasn’t jealous of my baby – but rather jealous of the way he looked at him. Let’s call it a mix of hormones and struggling to adapt to all of the change. This is normal though and it WILL pass.
If some of these feelings stick around or you are struggling with the relationship you have with your baby, it is never a bad idea to speak to a close friend, your PHN or your GP.
Tracey is mammy to five-year-old Billy and newborn Willow. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can follow her on Instagram.