• Anna Maling

I Like Him, but I Don’t Love Him

Updated: Feb 22

By Anna Collins Maling, MA, LGPC, NCC


I was one week postpartum, it was 3am, and I was struggling to breastfeed. I was so worried, annoyed and exhausted. I also felt so guilty. I looked over at my husband and teared up as I said, “I like him a lot…but I don’t love him like I thought I would.” This is a sentence I had worked up the courage to say out loud after the first week home with our newborn. The shame! I had spent months longing for my rainbow baby to be here. How could I not love him more than anyone in the world?

My husband smiled at me and said, “Oh yeah. Me too. I think that’s okay.” I broke into tears of relief! Maybe I wasn’t doing something wrong to not have the instant bond that I saw others have.

Reflecting back on this now, it makes perfect sense. I didn’t know my baby at all, he and I were just getting acquainted. Over the next several months, I spent hours studying him while he slept (mainly because he only wanted to nap on me). As he grew older, I marveled at his developing personality. I fell in love with my baby.

If you didn’t have a head over heels moment with your little one, that is normal and okay. If you felt that instant connection, that is normal and okay. You are unique, which is beautiful.

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