Holding a sense of loss and grief alongside the joy of becoming a parent can feel confusing. Often new mums and dads feel shocked, guilty and ashamed by their feelings of loss and grief. So they often push their feelings deep down inside.
Try to remember that it is common for new parents to feel the loss of a part of their sense of who they are, activities they enjoyed or their relationship with their partner. It can take some time to adjust to what they might have lost. It can also take some time to really appreciate the new things they have gained. Some new parents feel ashamed by this unexpected grief and if the feelings are not addressed it can impact their mental health and wellbeing.
Myths about parenthood
The arrival of a new baby is a time of excitement for many families. Mixed in with the joy there is often some anxiety as well. It is also a time where many women learn that their belief that motherhood is nothing but joyful, that they will bond with their baby immediately, is actually a myth. This instant bonding and pure joy can and does happen, but not with everyone!
Many myths about parenting add a sense of pressure to feel nothing but positive emotions about the birth and meeting and caring for the baby. This can cause confusion and anxiety when the less pleasant feelings common to expecting parents occur, such as anxiety about learning to be a parent and uncertainty about the new reality the parents are facing.