Having a baby is among one of the most sacred and valiant achievements any parent could ever hope to attain and with it, the grand expectation that children will not only fill your days with purpose, but also happiness for all eternity. However, did you know that there is a dark side to becoming a parent that people never talk about? Here are just a few…
You may not automatically bond with your child
While research has shown that holding your baby and breastfeeding them minutes after giving birth is a lifeline to a baby, the same may not be automatic for all mothers. Women suffering from postpartum depression – the lack of affection or any sort of connection to their child – admit to feelings of guilt and even suicidal thoughts as a result of realising that they are not ‘normal’.
Tip: Ask for help if something is amiss such as when you start having thoughts of harming your baby or yourself. To caregivers, check for red flags such as aversion to feeding or holding the baby a2nd offer the new mother the support she needs.
It is possible (and okay) to feel lonely
For a lot of parents, the road down lonely lane is inevitable. For fathers, you can forget about being the centre of attention as soon as pregnancy is confirmed. Once the baby comes, often times, people will visit with gifts for the baby and forget about the parents.
It is even worse when they leave and the real work – breastfeeding, diaper changes and dealing with colic – starts. The situation can be direr for stay-at-home moms because the adult connection is reduced and most days are spent tending to a non-speaking human being.
Tip: Ask friends and relatives if they can help out with babysitting so you and your spouse can have some time for adult connection.
You might regret your decision
If you thought it was taboo for a woman to declare she does not want a child, imagine the backlash when women who already have children declare they regret their decision. That is exactly what happened when several sites such as
The Huffington Post and Marie Claire ran a series of articles of women who regretted having children. Some of the women, especially those with promising careers, confessed to feeling bogged down or trapped because they had to divide their attention between their kids and their careers.
Tip: Honestly, there is no escaping this. Buckle up and purpose to enjoy the ride t4hat is parenthood. It’s a full time job that never stops.
You may have an aversion to sex for a long while after childbirth
It is normal for a woman not to want to engage in sex after childbirth. After all, you are exhausted trying to get your parental bearings not to mention that Caesarian section scar or episiotomy. While research shows that it is common for women to have low libido after childbirth, it should take around three months or even less to get back on the sex saddle. However, research also shows that some women can take up to a year to regain their sexual desire with some having an extreme aversion to any sexual activity.
Tip: Be open with your partner with regard to your intimacy situation if you are having trouble reconnecting. Do not be afraid to seek professional help for both of you if things deteriorate.
You might lose friends… and then gain new ones
The truth is, as with every transition in life, you are bound to shake some people off and pick new ones along the way who fit more with your lifestyle or vision. The same happens with parenting. You will simply not have as much time for your friends as you used to have before children came calling hence some relationships will be broken. However, the good news is, with daycare, playgroups, and teacher-parent meetings and conferences, you will find new people to interact with.
Tip: Don’t fret over broken relationships. Be open to meeting new people.
Published January 2017