Our own Jessica Valenti wrote an incredibly brave and powerful piece for the Guardian on the premature birth of her daughter (and my niece) Layla Sorella, and the complex emotional journey that followed.
While personal, it’s one that any mother or parent could relate to around the societal pressures to love your child completely and unconditionally, when it’s just not always that simple. She says:
The truth is that relationships are nuanced. There’s no “natural” way to love a child. There’s no measurement of adoration that will gauge what’s in our hearts and minds. And yet, the expectation looms large. Even today, with Layla pudgy and happy and starting to say words such as “kitty” and “baby”, I worry about her health constantly and, at times, can feel myself starting to drift away from her. It takes work, more than I’d like to admit. If we really value parenting, if we value mothers and children, then we’ll lose the notion that there’s a proper way to love a baby.
Whether you’re a parent or not, go read it. Now.