Do you love your DC in the way you expect?

(17 Posts)
Thurlow Mon 23-Sep-13 16:56:12

Random and slightly merry conversation with friends at the weekend.

I know most people go into becoming a parent with rose-tinted glasses (I will bake, all the time! And write that novel while the baby has 3 hour naps! And never, ever even show them a telly before they are 4! grin) and quickly realise that generally real life is different. None of us were actually that surprised by this. But most of us agreed that the love we felt for our DC was different from how we thought it would feel.

I imagined I would have an overwhelming rush of love for my baby and would spend hours staring at them in utter adoration. I imagined something quite romantic, really. This isn't remotely how I actually feel about DD. I can't stare at her forever, I never have been able to. I don't look at her and regularly feel awash with amazement about how incredible she is, though of course she is awesome and super baby and all that. What I do feel is a very simple protective instinct, if that makes any sense. She might drive me loopy (she's a toddler, after all) but I know that I would do anything to protect her from something bad, anything at all. I know that she is the most important person in my world.

Do you think you feel the same way that you imagined you would?

bymoonlight Mon 23-Sep-13 17:01:41

No I don't feel how I expected.

I didn't expect to feel that rush of love but I did, with both of them, immediately.

I could stare at them for hours when they were babies and I found that quite surprising. Didn't imagine myself to be that kind of parent.

Now they are 2 and 5 I'm surprised how much I miss them when they are away for longer than a few hours. I miss the cuddles and them sitting on me all the time grin.

I'm surprised by the intensity of my love. I don't really like other peoples kids so it was a surprise how utterly and immediately I fell in love with my own.

That sounds weird doesn't it?

Thurlow Mon 23-Sep-13 17:04:00

It always sounds weird! When I was trying to write the post above I wanted to use words like 'base' and 'animal' and the like. Which are probably quite scary, but are the words that spring to mind!

PoppyWearer Mon 23-Sep-13 17:08:18

I remember watching a wildlife programme on TV when my DC1 was a few weeks old and sobbing my heart out because there was a lioness protecting her cubs, risking her own life in the process and I knew how she felt. It's a much more primitive/animal/instinctive feeling than I expected.

With DC2 it was a slower burn, as I was still so attached to DC1, but I think the protectiveness has lasted longer second time around, perhaps because he is still my "baby" and there won't be a DC3.

Thurlow Mon 23-Sep-13 17:11:08

Primitive! That's the word I was looking for!

CailinDana Mon 23-Sep-13 19:33:43

Yes totally primitive and very certain and definite in a way very few other things in life are. I will love my children until I die even if <god forbid> I face the horror of them dying before I do. The thought of something happening to them is truly horrific. I at times almost resent the hold they have over me. My brain can't quite compute the fact that I actually grew these two gorgeous creatures. It totally amazing and weird

gymboywalton Mon 23-Sep-13 19:40:07

my sons are 10 and 13 and i am still completely in love with them. i just can't believe how big and handsome and clever and funny they are and yes-i would still kill someone who hurt them.

i did get that rush of love with both of them .

if they are away for any reason-for eample my eldest son went abroad with schoool for a week-i MISS them so much!!!!

I thought it would be much 'fluffier' than it is. But the fact it can get gritty/hair raising and be almost impossible hard at times actually makes it the strongest love I think I'll ever feel. I don't care about all the above & it's the only love I think is really unconditional.

(I realize how strong/raw it is when something bad happens or someone has upset DS etc. It brings out the primal side in me grin )

Mintyy Mon 23-Sep-13 19:52:34

I think I do, actually. I was lucky not to suffer from any pnd or anything like it (although I found the first 6 weeks with both very hard indeed), I did feel an immense rush of love almost straight away and it has just kept going in an upward trajectory since then. Now I look at my dc and I feel I want to burst sometimes with happiness and gratitude and a feeling of immense good luck. And that includes slightly tricky pre-teen dd! shock.

SilverApples Mon 23-Sep-13 19:52:49

Agree, and the primitive and uncompromising nature of it hasn't worn off, even though mine are adult.
I've told this story before, but my friend was asleep in bed when the fire alarm went off, and she awoke to clouds of smoke.
She found herself in the garden, in her nighty, with a child clamped firmly in each hand, having stormed through the house and saved her most important things without a sentient thought in her head.
Despite the fact that her two lads were a foot taller than her, and the fire was caused by eldest DS making a snack after coming home from work.
Her babies were safe. grin Terrified at the sheer strength of their mother,, but safe!

Thurlow Mon 23-Sep-13 20:09:57

Cailin, yes to the unconditional side of it. Knowing in a very certain way that nothing will ever stop them being your child - even if, god forbid, they grew up to do something awful, there will still be that knot in your stomach that says you must protect them they best you can.

That's a great story, silver! DP had to think long and hard about which of his 'three items for saving' he was demoting once DD turned up (he even asked me if she was allowed to carry one item grin)

What brought these thoughts on for me and made me bring it up with my friends was watching that Brian Cox documentary, of all things. There was a bit on vivisection. I watched it and I thought - if it was for DD, you could test on a 1,000 gorillas, I wouldn't care in the slightest. I'd herd the damn things up myself. An odd thought, I know.

mummyxtwo Tue 24-Sep-13 14:05:53

Yes, that primitive instinct! I didn't realise how strong that would be. I never thought of myself as a brave or unselfish person before - I remember reading stories of everyday heroes risking their lives to save others, and thinking that while I'd like to be like that, I'd never be brave enough. Then along came my dc's and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would willingly lay down my life for either of them.

I do also watch my dc's sleep sometimes, and marvel at how precious and amazing they are, and how much I love them. In the past 9 months I have also had both of them in hospital seriously ill - dd2 with severe bronchiolitis and struggling to breathe, and ds1 with suspected meningococcal septicaemia. The downside to the fierce maternal love is the anguish when they are seriously sick. But it's all worth it.

matana Tue 24-Sep-13 14:54:32

I didn't have a rush of immediate love but always knew I wanted to keep him safe. He's almost 3 and I had no idea just how intense a love it is. I would die for him in a heartbeat. He totally captivates me now because he has such a strong character. I could watch him sleeping for hours. No, this isn't at all what I thought it would feel like. I thought I'd be able to switch off easily. I actually don't want to.

stowsettler Tue 24-Sep-13 15:17:55

I didn't get a rush of love for DD, I was a bit spaced out after a horrible labour and EMCS. It took about 2 months I think before I realised how much and how I loved her.
She's 7 months now and can be is always really hard work, because she's such a busy little thing. But she's so much fun!
And yes, I know without a shadow of doubt that I would kill or be killed for her.

chrissieone Tue 24-Sep-13 15:32:08

I didn't have a massive explosion of love (like I expected) I knew I loved him but I think at first you are on autopilot just taking care of their basic needs.
I was actually thinking about this the other day. DS was asleep on the sofa (he is 6) and I thought about how much I love him now. It has grown and grown until sometimes it makes my heart ache!

It is a feeling that never felt before and I'm so grateful that I had the chance to experience it.

GreggsOnLegs Tue 24-Sep-13 15:43:28

I had the rush of immediate love with them both and the staring at them for hours on end. It has worn off with ds1 although I still love him as much as I ever have but not ds2 yet, I still stare in amazement and adoration.
I get moments of overwhelming love which bring me to tears, I had it today with ds2, He is poorly atm and was tired, snotty and gently sobbing on my lap while I was singing 'you are my sunshine' to him, I meant every word, he fell asleep while I was singing and I was crying my eyes out at how much I adore him.
I'm so lucky!
I underestimated the intense love and protection I thought I would feel for my dc.

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