Why do I still not enjoy any of it?

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    • #235312

      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.

    • #251300
      Andrew Campbell

      Hi Ed.

      Have you considered talking to a therapist? I found just talking to be a rewarding and very useful process.

    • #253603
      Govind Kullar

      Firstly I hope your doing OK. As a man we have this thing inside us that wants to protect what we have. For you it’s your daughter. The underlying impression I get from reading between the lines is that you were not ready to have a child. Or didn’t want one with your ex at the least. But what you are doing is stepping up and being responsible for your child. You know you’re ding the right thing and that there’s nothing you won’t do to make her happy and that there shows how much you love her.

      Maybe you need some time away from the scheduled visits and some time to focus on yourself to come back refreshed. Maybe a holiday for a week or two somewhere camping anything that you enjoy. If your struggling you need to make sure you look after urself as well as ur daughter. Two weeks away isn’t going to ruin her life. Might ruin ur exes social life for a couple weekends but it’s important to have a balance and not just go through the motions otherwise there will become a point where you could stop caring about spending time with her.

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