Thursday, May 21, 2009

Parental Love

When each of my kids were born I could tell that I had a certain amount of, I don't know what to call it, I guess instinctual love works, for them. I knew that I loved them from somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind and heart but I never felt that certain connection or bond right from the get go. I think part of the reason for that is that I did not feel the love from my kids right from the start. I know that may sound wrong but that is how I felt. I felt the need to protect them and nurture them but that reciprocal part of the relationship just wasn't there. Lauren nursed each of the kids so they didn't need me.


I didn't feel connected to Maxfield until about he was about 6 months old. Sure, I loved him more and more each day, but it wasn't until his personality developed that I could feel his affection and need for me that I truly experienced the love that a father can have for his son. It was also about the same time that Lauren stopped nursing.

When Wyatt was born, I became Max's best friend. Lauren spent more time with Wyatt and I spent more time with Max. My attention and time was focused on Max and it took at least 9 months for me to feel the father connection to Wyatt. Although he was still nursing he became more independent and his laugh and attitude made me completely fall head over heels.

Now with Jackson my time and attention is now split between the two older boys. My focus is on taking care of them, knowing that Lauren is taking care of Jackson. I was sure that I would not feel the bond between us for a much longer time. I was wrong. For some reason, with Jackson, it was around the three month mark where I came to fully appreciate my love for him. Maybe it is due to Max and Wyatt interacting with Jackson more and Jackson is giving back quicker than the other two did. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I am more calm and patient as a dad. Maybe it is due to the fact that I am finally getting this parental love thing down and I can recognize Jackson's personality and needs of me quicker.

Lauren is nursing Jackson and maybe the reciprocal love is due to the fact that a few years ago I was in better shape and now I am starting to get man-boobs and Jackson is just confused.

15 comments:

Charity Donovan said...

You've done it again. Tea snorted thru my nose! Just glad it isn't soda or you & YOUR MAN BOOBIES WOULD HAVE TO PAY UP!!!!! lol!

I get you on the whole bonding thing. I have just decided that I am a toddler person. I LOVED my babies. Teeny bundles of sweet smelling goodness...but I am especially fond of the toddler phase. When most people are FREAKING OUT w/ their kids, I fall madly in love!!! Who doesn't just LOVE a kid that can wipe snot on you & then point & giggle! It's awesome!!!!

Michelle said...

yeah, must be the man-boobs.

eclectic said...

Nah. Jackson just got promoted to 2nd oldest since Max is broken and therefore the honorary youngest for the next 6 weeks or so. ;)

Give 'em all an extra hug for me, please. (But be super gentle with Maxfield, poor little guy. Hope he's in good spirits today. I've been thinking of him and wishing him lots of superpowers.)

SciFi Dad said...

Everyone loves the moobs.

(btw: how is Max doing?)

kcinnova said...

Moobs! *snort*
With the 3rd kid, you learn the art of balance. You have to... there are only 2 parents (each with only 2 hands) and there are 3 of them.
Or maybe it was your initiation into the "My Three Sons" club?

I hope Max is resting comfortably, preferably with as many popsicles as his heart desires.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Who needs a pacifier if you have moobs to keep you occupied.

Sounds like all is going well. That's great to hear.

Melissa said...

you crack me up.

Susie said...

All three of your little bastards are extraordinarily lovable. Prayers for Max's quick and complete healing.

Bogart in P Towne said...

I don't know if I should tear up or put a buck in your pants.

kalki said...

Women often talk about how they do or don't feel an immediate connection to their baby (and the guilt they have if they don't, even though it's normal not to) but I'd never heard it discussed from a father's perspective. This is really interesting to me, and an important read for new dads, in my opinion. If nothing else, as a warning about the man boobs.

Anonymous said...

I think you are a man boob.

Melinda said...

Anon. has such way with words.

I bet Lauren wishes you could actually do something useful with those 'moobs'.

creative breathing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mommia said...

LOL! Oh you are too funny!

Alis said...

Isn't a small percentage of the male population able to lactate? Maybe he is smelling some milk in there!