To ask what the standard expectation with a newborn actually is?

(114 Posts)
Cornettoninja Fri 01-Jan-16 14:22:16

I had dd four weeks ago on Sunday and am still very much finding my feet. In my mind it wasn't a great birth, physically there was a fair bit of intervention and injury to recover from, and I don't have any female family and very few close friends so am finding myself questioning whether I am being a lightweight or if I'm doing ok.

I'm getting massively mixed messages from people (sometimes the same people) about what I should be capable or want to be doing at the moment. In one breath I'll be congratuled on getting out the house and the next feeling belittled for refusing an invitation because when their baby was this age they took them mountain biking in the Himalayas just for a laugh.

For context I have good and bad days, some house work gets done (mainly when people are due over) and I'll be dressed and presentable, but then there are days like today where I have taken the baby carrier out of the box with the intention of strapping dd in and sorting out some house work, taken one look at all the straps and abandoned it to sit on the sofa in my pj's and eat matchmakers between feeds feeling guilty.

This week has been a busy one and this is the first day I haven't had to be somewhere or travel to anyone and frankly I'm shattered but can't shake this vague feeling I should be doing something and if I admitted this to anyone I'd be massively judged and earn another medal worthy anecdote.

Is there a standard cut off point where flaking because of the baby is pathetic? If I'm still up and down at say.. two months, are more eyebrows going to be raised?

CishAndFips Fri 01-Jan-16 14:26:30

Your doing fine. The housework can wait. Take it easy on yourself you don't have to be Wonder Woman.

RicStar Fri 01-Jan-16 14:27:41

Gosh its cold you've had a busy period just enjoy laziness / being restful. May be make some toast or read a book if you need to feel productive. I don't think there is a cut off as so much depends on sleep but whatever it is its much much after 4 weeks

TaliZorah Fri 01-Jan-16 14:27:50

I'm still like that at 4 months. Some days are great, some days I just lounge around in PJs.

You don't have to justify yourself to anyone

Takeparacetamolandstopmoaning Fri 01-Jan-16 14:28:56

You're normal! Don't worry about what others do. Congratulations

NotAClueReally3 Fri 01-Jan-16 14:29:02

Sounds like you're doing a marvellous job to me. You don't have to do it all. Try not to compare yourself with anyone else. Very few people tell the truth about life with a newborn anyway. Have faith in yourself and congratulations on your new addition.

GreatFuckability Fri 01-Jan-16 14:29:22

Well my kids are 12, 11 and 9 and I still have days where I sit on the sofa eating matchmakers in my pjs. don't be so hard on yourself.

Cornettoninja Fri 01-Jan-16 14:30:04

Thanks Cish - I'm happy to embrace that philosophy but it just throws me when I get treated to a superwoman anecdote.

I swore I wouldn't get dragged into this kind of comparison competition but here I am!

Cornettoninja Fri 01-Jan-16 14:31:18

X posted with loads of you - thanks for the normality checks!

greatbigwho Fri 01-Jan-16 14:31:55

My aim for the first few weeks was survival - and two years in that's still my aim tbh. Some days we're up and dressed and fed by 8am, other days we're mainlining CBeebies in our pyjamas at midday.

Your aim should be to do what you can manage.

icklekid Fri 01-Jan-16 14:32:24

Oh gosh very very normal I was still physically in a lot of pain until 10 weeks so whilst I would try and get out it wasn't far and no housework was done. Lots of sitting with sleeping baby and watching tv/eating biscuits! Can I recommend seeing if there is a postnatal group on mumsnet who have had babies in same month as that group of ladies are still amazing and my ds is 17 months! Great to be able to chat about what is 'normal' or not whenever anything comes up!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 01-Jan-16 14:33:19

Yes ... chill ... these are the days you`ll remember .. no one looks back fondly on the days they emptied the bin and shoved the hoover round!!
My Dnan would say `I was back at work two weeks later`... well times have changed. Enjoy the baby and pass the matchmakers. kids ate the lot

NoonAim Fri 01-Jan-16 14:34:39

I've had three babies and didn't even leave hospital until a week after the births (years ago).
I certainly didn't go out of the house until they were about 6 weeks old.
Everyone is different though, my DSIL went supermarket shopping on her way home from the hospital!

Listen to your body and your baby, take it easy and allow yourself to heal and recover from this major life event you have been through. You'll feel a little bit stronger every day - don't feel guilty about needing to recuperate, as I said everyone is different.
Congrats on your new baby flowers

TheABC Fri 01-Jan-16 14:35:06

Congratulations on your baby. Use the feeds to put your feet up and enjoy the bonding time. I got through a lot of box sets on maternity leave. As others have said, the amount you will feel like doing will depend massively on your energy levels - I had mostly recovered from the birth by 12 weeks for example, but DS decided to have all night feeding sessions, so I was a walking zombie until I started co sleeping.

Oh, and most people exaggerate what they were doing with their babies at each stage of development. Best to ignore.

coffeeisnectar Fri 01-Jan-16 14:38:07

With my first I think I lived in pjs until she was 6 months old. Yes we got out and about some days but in the early months, recovering from a c section and having a lactose intolerant baby with reflux meant I seemed to be utterly exhausted all the time. We survived though.

LordBrightside Fri 01-Jan-16 14:38:10

Everyone else can either be positive or they can get to fuck. You've got to put you and your baby first for at least the next 2 years.

Don't allow yourself to be pressured into ANYTHING you don't feel like doing. It's key for the foreseeable future to just suit yourself and anyone who doesn't like it can fuck off.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Fri 01-Jan-16 14:39:36

Take no bloody notice of what people say they did or didn't do with their babies 'at that age. Chances are its all utter BS anyway. It's very easy, Cornett for people to conveniently make out this and that.

Floralnomad Fri 01-Jan-16 14:40:07

I think you are doing fine , the whole point is that you do what you need to do or feel like doing . When I had my first DC I had 4 horses so I was out and about very quickly , when I had my second my first was at school and I still had the horses so was also out and about very quickly . Believe me if I could have sat in pjs eating matchmakers that's what I would have done ! Have fun .

PamDooveOrangeJoof Fri 01-Jan-16 14:42:16

Yes like you I found 'advice' totally contradictory. One minute you were told you were never going to sleep again. Then everyone wanted to know why baby wasn't sleeping through and what you were doing wrong:

I second finding a local baby/toddler group. That's how I met a few like minded mums and without their support I would have severely struggled

You have to bear it in mind that most people's memories of the newborn days are very hazy. So many people say stuff which is a load of old rubbish and not the reality at all.

Wrapping up and getting out for walks is what saved me. Especially with a friend who was going through the same. As much as I didn't want to I would feel a million times better with a good laugh/coffee/cobwebs blown off.
And it would invigorate me when I was so tired ( I could never sleep when baby slept as he only slept in a pushed pram or car seat).

Be kind to yourself. It's still early days and please take things that people say with a v large pinch of salt.and what a pp poster said. There have been thousands of people sitting around in their pjs eating choc this week. And I'm sure they don't all have a newborn!

tangerinesarenottheonlyfruit Fri 01-Jan-16 14:42:31

When I had my first baby, a good friend of mine said "if you manage to do one thing a day you're doing amazingly well".

And by one thing, she meant making lunch or getting a wash on, or a trip to the local shops, not trips out every day. I didn't manage to get out with the baby for a couple of weeks at least.

The problem you're experiencing IMO is that our society traditionally doesn't value the work of women. Now you've been through birth you know what a big deal it is - but we act as if it's not such a big deal, because it's "natural". Your own experience and how you're treated in society don't match up, is it you or our culture that's got it wrong? IMO it's our culture that has screwy ideas about how new mothers should be treated!

In some cultures the mum and baby stay in for a month and are looked after by the rest of the family - in others the mother is expected to wait ont the rest of the family including the in-laws hand and foot, and the baby too. We're somewhere in the middle, but I reckon taking a month (or however long you need) off is the correct response to birth. Unfortunately, that's not possible for most of us, but if you get a chance to just hang out and be with your baby, relish it, don't feel guilty, it's as it should be IMO.

If you want to just sit on your PJs all day and feed the baby, it's fine. But also, you're not doing nothing, you are busy bonding with your baby and setting her up to know she is secure and loved, and that's important.

tangerinesarenottheonlyfruit Fri 01-Jan-16 14:43:16

I have a book recommendation for you. What Mothers Do - especially when it looks like nothing

It's not a parenting manual, it looks at motherhood and how we don't have a language for what we do - we can feel like we're doing "nothing" but we've been so busy we haven't even had time for a cup of tea - so what have we been busy doing? It answers that, and will give you pots of reassurance that you are in fact doing surprbly well, from the sound of your OP.

RumbleMum Fri 01-Jan-16 14:43:24

I think the standard expectation is that everyone's experience is different, so there is no standard! But it sounds to me like you're doing brilliantly, honestly.

Anyone belittling you about not going out or laying on the competitive coping anecdotes deserves a kick in the head. Probably not literally, but this makes me so cross!

The only thing I would ask myself in your position is whether you're doing too much? Your body is still recovering, you're still adjusting to a major upheaval in your life and you're sleep deprived. Don't try to overdo it because of other people's expectations. And congratulations! flowers

CishAndFips Fri 01-Jan-16 14:43:35

Forget about peoples expectations cornetto withDS I listened to everyone's opinions and expectations and was just constantly chasing my tail instead of enjoying and bonding with my new baby. I know have DD just coming up to 9 weeks old sometimes I have really productive days where the house is gleaming and tea on the table when DH comes home, sometimes I get out and about meeting with family and friends, other days I crash on the couch having lots of cuddles and I don't feel the slightest bit guilty for it.

To sum it all up really forget everybody else, take each day as it comes and do what ever feels best for you.

Xenadog Fri 01-Jan-16 14:44:22

Your DD was born around the same time as mine but two years later. By NY day I was still in PJs, seemed to spend all my time on the sofa feeding or expressing and eating junk.

I'd had a CS so wasn't up and about as if I'd had a VB but was still able to go for a mooch around the supermarket with DP and DD. I didn't do much housework but had got ILs who did quite a bit for us.

I think once you get to your DD being 4 weeks old things will have settled down - in the sense that Christmas and New Year are out of the way and you can settle yourself into a routine. Don't try to be superwoman, some days it's hard enough just to get into the shower! As for those folks who tell you how easy it is and how they did all sorts of weird and wonderful things with a baby strapped to their backs - well good for them. There is no need to compare and in all honesty those people have probably forgotten how exhausting and repetitive the early days were. My only advice is just enjoy your baby, don't worry about what others have to say (or the baby books) and make th emits of your time having snuggles with a little one.

chocoLit Fri 01-Jan-16 14:46:40

Just stop. Stop right now and ignore everything except your lovely new baby who will never be this size again.

It took me till DC3 to realise the only important thing at such a tiny age is your health and time with baby.

You have nothing to prove so don't waste time on guilt.

Have just spent 3 days hibernating with my lot who are 12,9 & 7 and now want matchmakers grin

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