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To find it odd to justify your love for your child?

(47 Posts)
PowerStranger500 Sat 11-Jun-16 22:06:26

My friend recently had a baby. Everytime she speaks about her it goes something like this... 'She's not sleeping too well but I love her' or 'had me up all night but she's worth it, I adore her'. Posts on FB are similar in that it will be a photo of said baby with a caption like 'love this girl 😍'. My friend isn't the only one. I often see MNetters say things like 'he's hard work but I love him' and so on.

I suppose I find it strange because it is already assumed that ppl love their child, it's not something that needs to be confirmed regularly. Also, it doesn't happen with any other family member, for example you don't hear ppl say 'oh my mum had a go at me earlier but she is my world' or get ppl posting photos of their DHs with captions like 'love this guy' (although, I can imagine some ppl do that).

So what is it? When does it stop? I don't see many ppl regularly updating their friends/colleagues with how much they love their teenagers or grown up children, so is it a child thing? And I don't mean ppl now n then saying lovely things about their children, I mean daily updates that you love your child.

corythatwas Sat 11-Jun-16 23:23:23

Errhmm, it might just be because your teenagers don't keep you up all night screaming and then pee in your face as you stumble around bleary-eyed trying to sort out their nappy. It is rather telling that both your examples concern sleep deprivation- which is a form of torture. And not something commonly a problem with older children.

My 16yo ds can make me a decent cup of coffee. I don't have to remind myself of my love for him: he earns his keep. When he was 16 days old otoh...

If my mother woke me up every twenty minutes by howling inconsolably and wouldn't let me put her down for even 10 seconds, I might need to remind myself of my love for her.

AnnaMarlowe Sat 11-Jun-16 23:34:56

It's perfectly normal.

It's because she's exhausted/annoyed/bored/etc etc etc by the baby (all perfectly reasonable) but feels guilty in expressing that so tags on the "I love her" part.

It would be better if she laid off over sharing on FB and spoke to a RL friend but I accept that this is an old fashioned view.

fatmomma99 Sat 11-Jun-16 23:42:54

at work there's a form I often fill in with parents, it's very detailed and all about the family. I'm a touch-typist (hence the length of some of my posts!) so when a parent talks, I type word-for-word what they say. Often they say things about the child(ren) which are jokey or sarcastic or which rely on the tone of their voices.

When the form is done I give the parent a copy to sign and I ALWAYS say "if you don't like any aspect of this, I'll change it" and I say this because parent after parent comes back to me and says "this sounds like I HATE my DC". Because they're just describing a behaviour or telling an anecdote and it sounds fine when you're person:person/voice:voice, but written down it reads like a criticism.

Email (and I assume FB and other media) kills the tone of voice, and things get misconstrued. So .... Here's a funny story about a frustrating moment or irritating thing, but I'll add the caveat because I don't want anyone to think I'm actually angry about this.


PowerStranger500 Sat 11-Jun-16 23:49:52

I suppose that's just it, I'm her friend so would hope that she could sound off to me without feeling the need to add that caveat in the fear of me judging her. It just makes it look very forced to back every statement or anecdote up with a 'but I love her though'. Always makes me think, who thinks you don't love her?? Who are you convincing?

Hurryhurryhurry Sat 11-Jun-16 23:50:17

Aww, she's JUST had her baby! She's excited, overwhelmed, emotional and full of oxytocin... She wants to shout it to the world that she loves her child!
If she's still doing it in 2yrs time then yanbu grin

EveryoneElsie Sat 11-Jun-16 23:51:32

I find it odd. Its how defensive women talk about their shit boyfriends. confused

AnnaMarlowe Sat 11-Jun-16 23:56:54

Do you have children Power Motherhood comes with a huge amount of guilt. It takes a while to get used to it.

Cut her a break.

some good replies here,
also i find myself saying things in a similar vein, i.e 'she's being a total little madam just now but i love her to bits etc etc' because i always feel guilty about moaning of her tantrums/sleeping/whatever because i know there's a ton of people who would chew my arm off just to experience tantrums and the like because they are desperate for a baby and so when i say things like this, i guess it's to show that yes, DD has totally done me in and i could cry, BUT i know i'm lucky to have her.

she's 19 btw.

lol just kidding, just turned two. hence all the tantrums hehe!

OhMyGoddess Sun 12-Jun-16 00:04:55

Enough with the "do you have children" crap. People can have an opinion even if they haven't bred.

Misnomer Sun 12-Jun-16 00:05:24

Actually, it's not a given that parents love their children. Ask the children of abusive / narcissistic parents who use those things - she's hard work, she's not what I expected, she isn't perfect, so and so's child sleeps better, I've sacrificed a lot etc etc - as reasons they don't love their children. When you have that background and then you have your own children you don't take that love for granted and the contrast conditional love and unconditional love becomes stark.

PowerStranger500 Sun 12-Jun-16 00:49:16

It's just a shame that ppl feel the need to justify anything though, especially when it comes to their own children.

I don't have children, no. So I have ever experienced the maternal instinct.

Misnomer I am all too aware of parents not loving their children. However, in terms of judgement, I don't think anyone would presume a new mother wouldn't love her child without her firstly expressing/showing so.

PowerStranger500 Sun 12-Jun-16 00:49:57

Sorry, *I have never

Chris1234567890 Sun 12-Jun-16 01:09:31

I'm with you Power, I'm always suspicious of those who publicly gush ..... But there again I'm a cynical old witch who gets utterly pissed off by professional manipulators. Sadly the worlds full of them, (manipulators that is) but in this instance, I would fall on the side of a lacking confidence new mum, rather than a loveless narcissist attempting to kid the world/and or herself. It takes confidence to say my DDs been an absolute horror today, without worrying about the tar and feathering you'd get from the self appointed child watch council, who of course had utterly perfect children themselves. My guess, she's simply hedging her bets to avoid potential tar and feathering.

PiSeas Sun 12-Jun-16 01:39:32

Nope, I don't find it odd. And we're not justifying our love, we're sharing it and vocalising it . She's pointing out the hard bits but reaffirming the love for her child. It's hard being a parent, teaching morals and lessons.
What's wrong with gushing about your child chris??
that's a sad post. It's depressing that you're so negative and jaded.
I hate to be that person, but you'll never understand until you have your own.

NerrSnerr Sun 12-Jun-16 02:16:35

Pis how patronising. I hate the whole 'you'll never understand until you've had your own' shit. Very cruel for people to read who can't have children too.

I have one child and do my best not to talk like this ask don't want to sound like a dick (or a bit annoying)

PiSeas Sun 12-Jun-16 02:27:17

nerr the OP just admitted they had no kids so I'm not patronising anything or anyone. power just says that they don't have kids not they can't have kids. You're on a whole different subject

Chris1234567890 Sun 12-Jun-16 02:50:33

"What's wrong with gushing about your child chris??" Publicly gushing.....which is what I said, Everything. Which is why all the gushing and social media shit drops off dramatically the older they get. Thankfully for both the children and readers subjected to it.

PerspicaciaTick Sun 12-Jun-16 02:59:51

It sounds like she is feeling rather overwhelmed and possibly a bit negative about this parenting lark (it is a huge shock to the system). But if she only posted about how she felt ("I wish to god she would sleep", "my nipples are killing me", "why can't she shut up for long enough for me to eat/drink/have a shower") some judgmental tosser would tell her she should think herself lucky to have a baby...or tell her she isn't coping. So she tries to preempt the judgement by reassuring them (and herself) that in spite of it how it sounds, she absolutely does love her DD.

She wants people to tell her that they've been there too, and reassure she is doing a grand job. Be a friend and give her a tiny word of support.

LauderSyme Sun 12-Jun-16 03:55:40

I don't think it's odd. Whether she's saying it to convince herself, or because she is already entirely convinced, or because she feels guilty, I think it's a natural expression of motherhood.
If her baby is very young she may still be in the process of bonding, and this is a way of affirming their bond. I remember falling in love with my ds more and more over the first few months. From the very beginning I knew that I loved him and my feelings were huge, but they were kind of abstract at first because he was such a new arrival, they became more focused and personalised as I got to know him.
I still regularly, vocally and publicly affirm that I love him though!

branofthemist Sun 12-Jun-16 05:48:04

It's not odd at all. She is saying something that could be perceived as being negative, so following it up with a positive.

I am knackered after 70 hour work week this week, but it was worth it because my business got a huge contract.

LaContessaDiPlump Sun 12-Jun-16 06:00:22

I find it really weird too op - like you I tend to take it as read that people love their kids. Publically reaffirming this every time they express frustration about some challenging aspect of Junior's behaviour is just bizarre to me.

If I didn't love my kids (which is the accusation these people seem to fear) then I wouldn't be stressing over their behaviour - I'd probably have left. Therefore, the fact that I'm still here makes me think that my love for them must be evident and that I don't need to publicly restate it.

MissMargie Sun 12-Jun-16 06:40:06

I agree it is to justify having a little moan about baby but reminding everyone how much you love them.

But I also had some mixed feelings with a new baby - your old life is gone, gone, gone - you never do ANYTHING at first, not so much as have a cup of coffee, without wondering 'should I check she is ok', 'did I hear her cry?' This is pretty stressful and on top of that you are solely (or mostly) responsible for keeping this tiny defenceless thing alive - it's scary, but you love them (or at least keep telling yourself that).

branofthemist Sun 12-Jun-16 06:49:52

Therefore, the fact that I'm still here makes me think that my love for them must be evident and that I don't need to publicly restate it

But that's not always true. In my years I have come across people whose kids would have been better off if they left. What about people who commit DV!

In fact, yesterday, dh told me he thinks his mum regretting having kids and he didn't really spend any time with her from being about 6. He thinks their house would have been better if she left them and they grew up with just their dad. She isn't interested in him or our kids now.

Which is fine by me as it means I have no interfering mil problems.

Fil is awesome though.

AnnaMarlowe Sun 12-Jun-16 07:20:08

OhMyGoodness and Nerr

Where did I say that the OP couldn't have an opinion if she didn't have children?

I went through 6 years of infertility and two rounds of IVF to have my twins so I am not the least insensitive to people who can't have children. And I certainly had a number of opinions about my friends and families' children before we had our own.

However there are somethings that I just didn't know before I had my own. Like the crushing guilt that you might not be the best Mother in the world ever for this new baby which envelops you as soon as the baby's born.

The OP sounded to me like she didn't understand her friend because she hadn't been through it herself, and I was right. I'm not judging her for that, but the simple fact is that there are all sorts of experiences in life you can't understand fully unless you've experienced them - this is one.

I was trying to help the OP not judge her (as you have judged me)

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