New Parent Woes
anonymous Asks ...
We are a lesbian couple that has just adopted a beautiful baby girl. My partner and I have been together for 6 years and we both wanted this and worked very hard to get everything lined up and then after so many failures it all just happened and 3 months ago we brought Gloria home with us from the hospital.
My partner is a lawyer and makes much more money than I do so we had planned that she would work and that I would stay home with the baby. I had not expected it to be as much work as it is but I am not whining about it because I am sure most new moms get surprised by this. But I am really disappointed that my parter is so disinterested in doing anything with the baby. She won't admit it but I think she is staying even later at the office now so she won't have to do anything with Gloria at all.
I guess I always took care of her since she was so busy and now I just don't have time to do that anymore. This seems like an impossible question but how can I make her love this baby? If it hasn't happened already is it going to ever happen? I don't know how she can be so blind and I am starting to think she's more selfish than I ever knew. I am also so tired I can't think straight and even though she makes or money it would be nice to have a little more help and support. She was so excited before and she was the one that really made the adoption happen but now that it has it is like she wished it hadn't (though she won't admit that) and I wasn't sure and she convinced me and now I am totally won over forever with this baby girl. What do I do to make her want to be a mom, or is that an impossible thing to even try for? I try to talk to her about this but we always end up fighting (we used to be able to talk).
Rachel Starck Says ...
Well, you are right, you cannot MAKE her do anything. While a very difficult and challenging adjustment, it is not uncommon for new parents to experience this dynamic. A new baby takes all your energy, and there is a huge discrepency between the media portrayal of new babies, parenthood, romance, and the reality of newborns, new mothers, couples etc..
She may be feeling very left out and abandoned. Rather then making demands that she love the baby and like the situation, I would try coming at it from her perspecitve, ask her about her feelings, validate them even if you don't like them. This may open the door to further more productive discussion! And seek a professional counselor familiar with these issues!
Rachel Starck, LPC