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Is this how all Mums feel or is it just me? :((30 Posts)
I have an 8 month old baby and am currently on maternity leave.
I overthink absolutely everything. I worry if the love I have for my baby is how it should feel? Why am I not loving mat leave? Why can I not always think of ways to entertain my baby? Why do I get bored playing? Why do I feel hugely overwhelmed with having a life to take care of? Does that mean I don’t love her? Why do I crave my own time?
Every move I make (no exaggeration), I worry that i’m doing it wrong. If I’m out shopping with my baby I think ‘am I interacting with her enough?? Should i be talking to her more? What can i talk about??’
I didn’t think I could have children, spent pregnancy in a total state of severe anxiety and am currently having CBT now. My question really is, aside from perhaps my thoughts being persistent and bothersome, are these sorts of things most first time mums think, or is this just me?
I so wish I could have other mums experiences. I hear so many women talk about this overwhelming love and absolutely blissful first year. I have spent mine drowning in self doubt and wondering when I will ever feel like myself again
Yes I think it’s normal.
I over thought every single thing. Would beat myself up. Make my life hell.
I find when they turn 2 I relax a lot.
My youngest is 4 now and i don’t over think much at all anymore. I know she knows she’s loved and I have a great bond with all my kids so there’s no need to worry anymore.
I think a lot of those things, though I do also struggle with anxiety. A lot of mum have these thoughts!
Also, you have a baby during covid- that’s really tough. Don’t be harsh to yourself x
In my experience what you are feeling is completely normal - mine is now 18mths and I reckon in maternity leave I felt absolutely everything you have described.
Your maternity leave also coincides with a pandemic which causes huge amounts of underlying stress.
Babies are both hard work and very boring! Just focus on some quality interactions each day and remember you are doing an amazing job
I didn't overthink things that much. It sounds like you might be having some problems with anxiety still?
I found it eased when I went back to work and I take medication for my anxiety.
That’s not been my experience. I haven’t ever questioned the love I feel for my baby because the love it just so overwhelming. It may be worth you speaking to your health visitor or GP for support with your anxiety and possible attachment difficulties?
Bless you op yes it's normal. Lots of mums struggle to adjust, I definitely did! Like you I didn't think we could have any, then had a difficult pregnancy and stressful birth, it didn't help. My children are 3, 6+7 now and if I'm honest it's only the last two years I've actually felt confident and settled being a mum. I love my children more than anything in the whole world and always put them first, but it's not easy.
Don't stress yourself out worrying, be kind to yourself and enjoy your baby, make sure you get time for yourself too. Is there any other mums you can make friends with, a bit hard at the moment I know but even at the park, it saved me once I made other mum friends, this only happened for me when my children went to school, I wish it had happened earlier.
I found this a lot when DS was a baby. It turns out I just find babies quite boring. He's 2 now and I never really worry any more about whether I talk to him enough, give him enough attention etc because he talks back and is engaging! I also think that some of the advice that new mothers get given on interacting with their baby can come across as more alarming than intentioned - I think a lot of women who are perfectly good, engaged mothers get a bit frightened by the stuff about how vital singing and talking to your non-verbal baby is and of course it is, but it doesn't have to be constant. I remember being really worried that I wasn't talking to him enough when he was in his pram because I had read so much about how I must (and therefore why I needed parent-facing) but then one day walking around town and realising that no one else pushing a baby in a pram was wittering away essentially to themselves in the middle of a public place and that perhaps I had been taking this advice too literally! The advice seems to be given in the assumption that without it you'd just stick your baby in the corner and ignore it - I can't imagine actually negligent mothers whose babies are at actual risk of developmental harm from a lack of interaction take any notice, but it makes lots of conscientious women a bit neurotic (see also: tummy time, the advice not to let them cry, etc)
Normal. They are a pain in the arse even though you love them and would die for them.
I remember taking my first born home after a terrible birth and thinking "He's crying and it's midnight and I feel like death and need to sleep. What am I going to do?".
You can't do what you want when you have a kid and that was a huge, shocking realisation to me. You just have to survive for the first year.
Sometimes you have to put yourself first or you'll go mad. You still exist as a separate independent person.
Not my experience either. But IME the first year was BOOOORING!
I remember taking my first born home after a terrible birth and thinking "He's crying and it's midnight and I feel like death and need to sleep. What am I going to do?". You can't do what you want when you have a kid and that was a huge, shocking realisation to me. You just have to survive for the first year.
I remember since a similar shock on the first night home - it was 2am and I still hadn't been to sleep since I went into labour 48 hours earlier and he kept crying every time I unlatched him. I just remember feeling such bewilderment, like that this couldn't possibly be the arrangement, it couldn't all be set up as badly as this?!
Fwiw, though, I've never heard anyone talk about a blissful first year and I'd think 'yep, not going to have anything in common with you!' if they started... I know people who really loved the newborn phase (normally they cite getting to watch lots of Netflix, which I didn't think was worth cracked nipples personally, but...) but I don't think it's a reasonable expectation that the whole baby stage will be bliss and joy.
Having a baby is hard. I didn't love maternity leave (better than work but far from a holiday). I don't enjoy playing with babies. You don't need to constantly be talking and playing with your baby. It gets easier when they talk back and need less constant care. I found the toddler stage easier than the baby stage.
I felt the same OP. And I still do sometimes. She's 15 months now. X
@KateEC91 try not to be so hard on yourself. I always wanted kids and lives babies and then had such a shock when I had my first. Awful delivery and felt like I was in a car crash.
He was colic, silent reflux, eczema and other things and I definitely had post natal looking back.
Sometimes now I even look at him as a 3.5 year old and feel regret for how I felt sometimes.
It's the best thing I've done but it's the fucking hardest thing I've ever done.
Try and be kind to yourself. Couldn't imagine having a baby while all this shite is going on. That's very hard
Overwhelming love yes, blissful first year? God no! I was so miserable a lot of the time and so afraid and tired and inadequate. People laughed at me for breastfeeding the first time I took ds1 to a baby group. The HV told me I was spoiling him by using a sling. DH didn't understand why I hadn't made a crowd of new mum friends and I wanted to run away and hide a lot of the time. Ds1 didn't sleep. It was a phenomenally hot summer just after he was born and we thought it was that but then winter came and he didn't sleep them either. My mum came up all the time and I think she wanted to be supportive but she just policed the fuck out of me and was always taking over. I really wished I had not had a baby for a long time, even though I loved ds1 so much it hurt. And I hated myself for not loving it. I never tell people about this. Not even dh knows how low I felt that first year.
Having a baby is hard work, and you'll overthink everything and anything (I certainly did) It'll get easier as you get used to it!
Totally relatable. I’m a couple of weeks behind you and everything you said speaks to me. Wonder if there are perfectionist tendencies etc but asking these questions of ourselves I Hope point to us being generally attentive parents and being more than the “good enough” parent our babies need. I’m trying to go easier on myself. Hope you can too.
So normal OP. There will always be those who had a blissful first year, but that certainly isn't everyone's experience.
I so identify with the previous posters tales of getting home from the hospital, desperate to sleep and unable to because they suddenly had a tiny baby to look after. I remember being dead set on catching up on the 2 days worth of sleep I lost during labour, convinced I'd get to while OH looked after the newborn once we were home from hospital. Nearly 6 months later, I'm still waiting for that lie in!
For me, the biggest issue is how isolated I feel. I know that making mum friends will help me feel less isolated and bored, but I'm too tired to be socialable.
Having a baby is amazing but bloody hard work. Try not to compare yourself to other mums, do something nice for yourself and remember how brilliantly you are doing, having a baby during a pandemic is no walk in the park x
It was the same for me - it gets easier
I had similar OP. I had terrible PND and anxiety after I had my eldest. I genuinely did not feel like a mum until I had my youngest two years later.
My daughter is 2.5 years now and I love her unconditionally but it can be quite boring having to play, listen to the same song over and over, wrestling when trying to get dressed or brushing her hair. You sometimes miss your life before but given the chance would never swap for anything! Be sure to take time out if you can, go for a walk alone, go look round the shops alone .
The first year is hard as it is boring and you don't get much back - but when you get to 2 and they give a lot back you miss the quieter baby stage 😂
I've found mat leave tedious at times and I do worry about some things, mainly sleep related. However nowhere near as much as you are describing. Maybe it's normal for some people, but you can always ask for help from health visit or/GP if it's overwhelming.
Yes I've felt like that op. I also had terrible anxiety during pregnancy. I take Lexapro now and while I still question whether I'm doing things right I don't get dwell on it and feel much more relaxed.
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