I remember when I was pregnant with my first baby; I’d rub my beautiful, ripe belly with a smug feeling that I knew exactly how much my world was about to change.
In my mind, I could manage anything, and nothing could make me feel out of my depth. My baby would come along, and we would fit into our new rhythm together seamlessly.
That is until reality hit.
Not only was there my baby to look after, but there were also piles and piles of washing, stacks of dirty dishes and friendships that seemed like they existed in another lifetime. That isn’t even counting my marriage, which was also being neglected.
The guilt hit me hard. I should have been able to manage all of this stuff but, honestly, I wasn’t. Because I was a mother now, and I was going through a huge adjustment.
On that note, here are five things all new mothers can stop feeling guilty about.
Read more about parenting:
- 5 reasons why it’s time to tell your mum guilt to take a hike
- Mummy guilt is no joke: Why it’s time to let go of ‘perfect’
- The guilt that keeps mums isolated
1. The laundry
This one is a biggie, because as we all know – babies create a lot of washing. Things we don’t even foresee being pooped on – get pooped on! Do yourself a favour right now and never expect to get on top of the whole laundry situation. There is always going to be more. It is never-ending and not worth stressing out over. So pop your guilt about it into the laundry basket and move on to better things! Or better yet, make your husband or partner deal with it.
2. The state of the house
Until I discovered the joys of babywearing and being able to have my little one in a carrier or a sling while I got stuff done around the house, my home was a sty. It was a constant battle to get on top of things. But that’s OK because new babies shift their mother’s priorities in a big way. A happy, settled baby in a house that is a bit messy is far more important than an upset baby in a tidy house. Cut yourself some slack, and trust that you will get there eventually.
3. Cuddling your little one
Whoever said that a mother could cuddle her baby too much was delusional. There is no such thing as holding your baby too much or giving your little one too many cuddles. There just isn’t, even science says so! So sit back and enjoy those snuggles with your darling little heart because there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t. Babies are only small for such a short amount of time and this is not something you’ll ever regret doing.
4. Not enjoying playgroup or library time
You may be the type of mum who enjoys library hour or playgroup, and if you are, my hat goes off to you. But if you are more like me and find those types of gatherings more painful than shoving a spoon into your eye – I hereby give you permission not to feel guilty over it. There are plenty of ways to make other mama friends, that doesn’t involve maracas or children’s books.
5. Changing relationships
Before having a baby, going out for a coffee with a friend was quick, easy and required minimal preparation. Adding a newborn into that equation, however, certainly shifts things. So does having to meet up with friends around a baby’s nap schedule, or needing to cancel because you are so tired it wouldn’t be safe to drive. All of which is perfectly normal for a new mum.
New mums, I know it all can seem daunting and overwhelming right now, but I promise you will find your groove. Cut yourself some slack, lather on some self-love and compassion during this time of transition and remember: you are enough.