but you probably will anyway... just try not to...
You won't know guilt until you've become a mum, it comes with the territory. This list is to let you know you are totally normal for feeling this way, and to remind you it's ok to do all these things.... You are a lovely mummy...
1. Wanting free time
Of course you miss the days when you could just pop out in the evenings at a moments notice, spend half an hour in the shower, an hour in the bath, have a lie-in, go for a wee whenever you need to... the list goes on. And it is ok to want these mundane things, that you took for granted, back. Being a parent is the only job which doesn't give you a day off every week, so you are definitely entitled to a little moan about how you haven't been to the cinema in 6 months.
2. Going back to work
Feel like you are abandoning your child after being their sole carer for the last 9 months? You're not. You probably made this decision when you were pregnant, i.e when you thought rationally and you didn't have a little person meddling with your heart and making you a sappy emotional wreck. You are probably doing it to earn money, which is for your baby's benefit and future. Have confidence in the decision your former self made and read our list of the best things about going back to work to make you feel better.
3. Not going back to work
You can't win. If you decide to stay at home, you will feel like you should be contributing financially, that society says you should be working, that people are judging you for being a stay at home mum etc etc. It's your life, your child, your decision and it's totally ok and lovely and wonderful to want to be the person that brings up their own child. It's the toughest job in the world and you are the strongest candidate. Plus you don't have to do your laundry, housework, supermarket shopping, play dates at the weekends - hooray.
4. Bottle feeding
'Breast is best' is drummed into us as soon as we get that positive pregnancy test, and breastfeeding is a brilliant, natural way of feeding your baby. Hats off to any mum who breastfeeds for any length of time, as your baby benefits hugely and it can be really tough. If you find it difficult, or for some reason, impossible, or you just decide breastfeeding isn't for you, don't beat yourself up. As long as your baby is being fed, that's the main thing. It's your body, your baby, your decision. (And do you even know whether you or any of your friends were breast or bottle-fed? Probably not. Case settled).
5. Controlled crying
Leaving your baby to cry is the toughest, most heart-wrenching experience for parents, but if it gets results, it's a good method to use. Those 10, 15 or 20 minutes of listening to your child cry, feel like hours and you have to remember: your baby is safe, isn't in pain or discomfort and will not hold it against you. (Have a read of our sleeping tips if you're unsure if how to use controlled crying for napping)
6. Feeling like you can't cope
We all have moments where it's all too much: the baby hasn't napped all day even though you've tried to put him down 7 times, the baby has cried for hours for no apparent reason, you've cried for hours for no apparent reason, you've changed nappy after nappy, outfit after outfit after a poonami disaster, the house is a tip, you're late again as you just can't seem to get the baby fed, changed, the change bag packed in time, you're (even more) tired as the baby was up for an hour in the middle of the night, your feeling lonely, emotional, you just want to sit down and have a cup of tea for 5 minutes, you haven't been to the loo for 4 hours, it's 4pm and you haven't had lunch yet...... Take a deep breath, it doesn't matter if the laundry doesn't get done till tomorrow, it doesn't matter if you're twenty minutes late to meet someone, the pooing will stop, the crying will stop, the baby has to sleep eventually! We all have those days - just have a look at your gorgeous baby and remember you are doing a great job.
7. Intrusive thoughts
Intrusive thoughts are horrible, but common. One study found that 69% of new mums and 58% of new dads said that they had experienced intrusive and distressing thoughts in the first year of baby's life. So next time something distressing pops into your mind, notice the thought but try not to associate any feeling or meaning to it.
8. Not talking to baby
So we've all read the books that tell you to talk to baby all day, even about mundane things. And we've all had one of those days where you are so tired you haven't actually said a word to your baby and it's already 4pm. Instead of feeling guilty, why not be nice to yourself instead and try again tomorrow.
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