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Why do I still not enjoy any of it?

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      Ed
      Participant

      I’m not sure how to structure this exactly, so apologies if it’s a bit of a ramble.

      I’m struggling. My daughter recently turned 5 (I share custody with her mum 50/50, and for the most part things are amicable between us) yet I STILL don’t enjoy any aspect of parenting. Not one. Every block of days with her feels like a chore rather than something to look forward to. I love her and will do anything to give her a good, happy life, but I still don’t feel that deep connection parents are supposed to. Like when she has a fall and cries tears of shock, all I feel is frustration that she’s crying. I don’t feel sympathy or parent-like reflexes to comfort her (I do comfort her, but it’s like I’m a robot doing the right things). Even when I’m reading a book to her at night or sitting on the sofa watching TV and her head is on my arm, I don’t feel the heart-wrenching affection from her touch. It’s just someone lying on me. Everything is robot-like. I feel like I’m just getting through every day and wasting the opportunity to enjoy being a parent to such a sweet, funny little girl who loves me.

      What is wrong with me?

      Co-parenting doesn’t help. I hate being a single parent so much. It was a very unexpected pregnancy and I could see this coming a mile off, but I didn’t have any say in the matter (there’s a long story re: the pregnancy and what happened before and after it, but I won’t go into it here – let’s just say I have a lot of resentment I need to clear.) Now I’m in a situation where I’m working full time but still struggling financially, living somewhere I would never have chosen, and trying to raise my daughter and be present and do the school runs etc. while enjoying absolutely none of it, and I feel trapped. It’s not like I’m even stuck in a marriage – there’s literally no way out. Having a child is the most responsibility you can have and I’m doing it no matter what. I just hate doing it. I’m stuck raising a child and I just don’t feel any joy or fulfilment from it, which leads to intense feelings of guilt and depression. I don’t know what to do.

      I know I must sound like a horrible person. I feel like one. I just needed to share with someone who might listen, or understand even slightly.

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