Matrescence and Ambivalence

I Love My Baby, But Sometimes I Don’t Like Motherhood via

Alexandra Sacks MD
Jul 22, 2017 · 3 min read
Photo by Sean Roy on Unsplash

Am I a bad mother because I woke up this morning wishing I didn’t have to do this right now?

One of the emotional “through lines” discussed in my NYT article and in my forthcoming book, The Emotional Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum (Think: What to Expect When You’re Expecting, for your emotions, hormones, and relationships), is ambivalence.

Ambivalence is an emotion that prepares you for a very important part of parenting: separation.

BUT, don’t beat yourself up. The truth is, everyone has a hard time liking their babies (and their partners, and themselves) sometimes. We love them, but we don’t always like them. Ambivalence makes us feel out of control because during motherhood, it’s not either/or, it’s both/and. (It’s not good or bad, it’s both good AND bad.) Growing a baby can be a wonderful experience; coping with morning sickness, not so much.

It’s not that you feel ambivalent about your child, it’s just that at this moment, the parenting role is not so fun.

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Alexandra Sacks MD

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Reproductive Psychiatrist / Parenting Contributor @NYTimes / Book Author “What No One Tells You” | Podcast Host @GimletMedia’s “Motherhood Sessions”