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Taking time away from baby for short period of time

117 replies

amiwastingmytime · 21/08/2021 22:25

Hi everyone.

I’m a FTM to a 7.5 month old DD. My DH is very hands on and very capable when taking care of her. I bottle fed (breast milk initially now formula) from early on which always meant my DH could help me out with feeds.

As time has gone on, my baby is in a wonderful routine, sleeping 7-7 since about 3 months. Eating very well, growing and very happy and healthy little girl. We live a few hours away from family so we don’t have back up locally to give support, which is fine we accepted that.

Overall, I’m loving my maternity leave. I adore my DD and this is probably the best year of my life.

I have other Mummy friends who’s babies are a simile age to my DD. As expected we all have different parenting styles, which is fine and it’s great to chat about them as we all learn from each other.

One thing that I do get guilt about though is that, I like to go to hairdresser (once) meet friends for dinner (twice), go to an exercise class once a week for an hour, pop to the supermarket alone etc. I do so knowing my DH has everything under control. I have done this since the baby was maybe 3.5 months old. I love getting out for short bursts of time, not too often, because I miss my DD and feel so renewed when I come home.
However, other Mummy friends don’t do this. They never leave their babies, take them to hair appointment, don’t meet friends, rarely leave the baby with their partners. I can’t help but feel maybe I’m wrong and shouldn’t be so keen to do those little things for myself. These mummy friends do breastfeed so they are needing to be there more but. Am I a cold mother? Or is the need for me to get out of the house alone from time to time normal? Yes it works for me. But am i deficient in some way?

I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others but I can’t help it sometimes.

OP posts:
RainbowMum11 · 21/08/2021 22:27

It's important to still do things that you enjoy - you are a mum, but you aren't o put a mum.
Your DP is capable and hands on and you trust him to look after your baby - quite rightly so, you are both the parents.
You need time away, enjoy it and please try not to feel guilty.

Popitdontstopit · 21/08/2021 22:28

I breastfed OP and I was more like you than your friends. I found the opposite - the friends I made in baby groups had others (usually their parents) looking after their baby so they had nights out, the gym, hair etc.
If what they are doing works for them that's great, but personally I think it is wrong to not allow the baby's dad to have the experience of caring solo for his own baby.

PeasPeasPeasAreGoodForYou · 21/08/2021 22:28

Absolutely not op.
Your family sounds like you all have everything under control and your DD is a very happy baby!

I wish I took for time for myself in my maternity leave and looked after myself abit more.

OiPanda · 21/08/2021 22:32

It's about what works for different familys. If anything I wish I'd got a bit more time to myself as I lost myself in mum hood.

LadyCluck · 21/08/2021 22:32

Of course you’re not a cold mother. Comparison is the thief of joy. You do what works for you. You still need time for yourself - don’t underestimate how important that is and don’t feel guilty!

OiPanda · 21/08/2021 22:32

It's very important to see your baby as an independent person not an extension of yourself.

WashableVelvet · 21/08/2021 22:39

I suspect it’s just coincidence that the others are all like that. I don’t think that’s typical. And even if bf a lot of mums are happy to express occasionally, feed a little bit of formula, or head out between feeds - so I don’t think that all bf mums are like that.

If it helps to have a contrast in the other direction, our dc is younger than yours and I’m back at work already while DH takes leave!

amiwastingmytime · 21/08/2021 22:39

Thanks everyone that is reassuring.
I don’t really even talk about how my baby sleeps and eats as most of my mummy friends are struggling with those things still and some are older than mine. They do lean on each other more as they are in the same boat, but for me, my baby is the only one I the group super chilled out.
I have taken a very pragmatic approach to being a mum. I’m way more relaxed than I ever expected. I do see that me being happy rubs off on my DD, so I prioritise that too.

The comment from @OiPanda about the baby being an extension is interesting. What does that mean exactly. I have a notion but still curious. I do feel some fo the mums may have this issue.

OP posts:
Nannyamc · 21/08/2021 22:43

Congratulations you seem to have aced it. Your husband is also to be commented. Shared parenting is the way forward.

AlexaShutUp · 21/08/2021 22:50

If your way works for you and your family, OP, that's fine. If your friends don't want to leave their babies yet, that's fine too. Neither way is right or wrong. Just go with your gut.

rhnireland · 21/08/2021 22:50

How terrible a parent you must be for your child to be perfectly happy and perfectly cared for both of her parents!

Seriously though its important to remember you are a mother not a martyr and if going out gives you a bit of a break and everyone is OK then go for it.

amiwastingmytime · 21/08/2021 23:05

I think my insecurities come from myself having a raging narcissist as a mum.

I do not want to be anything like her we she was cold and nasty to me.

But also I try to arranging things that mums would enjoy and babies can come along to. But a couple of mums just say no cause it’s not sensible or baby friendly. I guess I see a baby that isn’t walking as easy to take anywhere. Not every thing we do needs to be about the baby, it can even for us along with the babies (I’m talking lunch in a nice restaurant).
Maybe that comment above will change your opinion of me Blush

OP posts:
mamababy1955555 · 21/08/2021 23:06

My second is 10 weeks and we are having to do more of this just by virtue of him being a second baby. Even though he's breastfed, he gets passed to my DP or DM for significant chunks of time while I give some of my time and attention to my eldest. This must be true of most second and subsequent kids? And most of them are ok!

Danikm151 · 21/08/2021 23:10

Nothing wrong with having some you time.
Sometimes you need a break from all the mom duties.
My mom would look after my son for a few hours so I could go out and get things done without lugging a pushchair around.
He’s a Nanny’s boy so I know she had everything under control.

There are times when she suggests to me to go do something, even if it’s going to get my eyebrows done or going to see a friend for a few hours.

Parsley1789 · 21/08/2021 23:11

I think you sound very sensible! It’s important to do things that you enjoy on your own.
Some people become martyrs to motherhood, I’m not sure it does them any favours. Some of my nct class were a bit shocked when I left my 8month old baby overnight with grandparents so we could go for a wedding - he was fine, we had a good time, grandparents enjoyed it. I think it’s much more realistic to approach things the way you are.

Sleepless2022 · 21/08/2021 23:14


I think my insecurities come from myself having a raging narcissist as a mum.

I do not want to be anything like her we she was cold and nasty to me.

But also I try to arranging things that mums would enjoy and babies can come along to. But a couple of mums just say no cause it’s not sensible or baby friendly. I guess I see a baby that isn’t walking as easy to take anywhere. Not every thing we do needs to be about the baby, it can even for us along with the babies (I’m talking lunch in a nice restaurant).
Maybe that comment above will change your opinion of me Blush

Different strokes and all that for you and your friends - you do you!

You sound perfectly balanced Smile your friends who haven’t been lucky with easy babies however are likely to be much less relaxed and feel like they have to be more baby focused - it puts a dampener on things. I’d love to have been like you in an ideal world but with a difficult baby until about 8 months I just couldn’t!
IncludeWomenInThePrequel · 21/08/2021 23:16

Oh fuck those people who are all 'I didn't leave my child until they were 12, and even then it was only because I was kidnapped'.

Go and get your hair done, go to the pub, do whatever you want as long as it's working for your family.

LunaLula83 · 21/08/2021 23:19

Go for it!!!!! Seriously!

amiwastingmytime · 21/08/2021 23:28

My friends aren’t lucky with easy babies for reasons I can possibly identify from long chats.
They feed on demand, little and often.
They don’t really let their partners do stuff, then complain they have to do everything for the baby.
Treat the babies as though they are the decision makers, for example “oh they haven’t fallen into their own routine yet but they might work it out some time ”. Hmm
One has even kicked her DH out of bed so the baby can sleep with her, for feeding at night time as it’s easier.
They find bottle feeding a faff due to the sterilising, but happy to feed on demand 24/7.

I reeeeally want to give some helpful advice, but really bite my tongue as I fear they wouldn’t appreciate it.

If I’m honest, I’m sad we can’t do more stuff together but they are so consumed, it’s impossible.

But yes, I’m a happy mum, baby is happy and my DH is happy. So all is right.

OP posts:
Grognonne · 21/08/2021 23:36

I’m in exactly the same boat as you!! We have a great routine that works for us and her dad is perfectly capable of being solely in charge (I wouldn’t have had a baby with him if I didn’t think that would be the case)!! My first night ‘off’, I went to the pub for a few hours as a close friend was leaving the country. A (not so close) acquaintance told me repeatedly that she just couldn’t have left her son alone at that age because she couldn’t bear to be without him. She may have not not realised how judgy she sounded, but she kept going on and on. I just told her that I was so grateful that I am lucky to have a husband who is loving and capable, so I don’t feel any baby related anxiety, in fact the thought of them bonding on their own made my heart swell with pride!

Heyha · 21/08/2021 23:38

I was going out for half an hour twice a day from really early on to go and check my sheep and ponies. I loved that little bit of breathing space! I think DP liked being in charge as well although it being such a short period of time helped I guess.

AlexaShutUp · 21/08/2021 23:42

If I'm honest, OP, you sound a teeny bit smug and judgemental towards your "friends".

It's fine if they choose to parent differently from you. There is not a single "right" approach. Rather than bite your tongue while silently thinking that you know better, why not just respect the fact that they have slightly different ideas about how they want to do things. Don't assume that you have all the answers. Parenting is a long game.

amiwastingmytime · 21/08/2021 23:50

Not smug. I just wish I could help when they are struggling. But they don’t seem open to advice. I love to help people. It’s who I am.
I’m a ridiculously logical person, and I apply logic to parenting. I would love to share it, but not in a smug way. I remain respectful to others.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m so proud of how my little girl is doing but I don’t talk about it. If I was smug, I would .

OP posts:
Popitdontstopit · 21/08/2021 23:58

"They feed on demand, little and often"
You know this is recommended, right?
If you have a second child, you may discover that the parenting you believe is resulting in your well behaved baby, 90% of it is down to your luck!

KitKatKong · 21/08/2021 23:58

It's great that you have a good routine with your DC but I have to agree with PP that you do seem smug. I have a 5 month year old and BF, she's not sleeping through from 7 to 7 yet and tiredness can make meet-ups difficult. However I do have me time thanks to DH and DP. You don't know what your friends are doing or not doing and your logical approach may not work with all babies. Enjoy the time you have and appreciate that you do have an easy baby and that could be due to luck rather than logic!

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