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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:
AlexaShutUp · 21/08/2021 23:59

But the point is, OP, they probably don't need advice. Yes, they might be struggling with things as they are right now, but that isn't necessarily because they don't know that there are other approaches to parenting. It's because they have chosen to parent in the way that feels right to them, just as you parent in the way that feels right to you.

The reason I say you sound smug is that it comes across very strongly in your posts as if you think you have this parenting malarkey sussed, and if only your friends would take your great logical advice, they could have it sussed too. But maybe their values/priorities are different from yours?

There isn't one right way to raise a child, or one logical approach. Different things will work for different families at different stages. It's better not to judge others. Like I said, parenting is a long game, and you may find that you're the one who is struggling further down the line.

You do things your way. They are clearly working for you and your dd at the moment, and that's great. Leave your friends to do things their way, and respect the fact that they may make different choices.

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 00:06

I don’t have it sussed, my DD was born chilled out and I’ve worked with her on it to keep her that way. I am under no illusion that if I am lucky enough to have a second, there is a good chance I am in for an awful shock.
The advice I would like to give is to try baby with a small soft toy going to bed, and create a positive sleep association, eventually they will be happy to see it. Or, start your babies day at the same time every morning. Nothing more invasive or insulting than tips like that.
It’s not advice such as don’t breast feed your child or let them cry it out for hours! My thoughts are much more gentle.

OP posts:
Liervik · 22/08/2021 00:13

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This has been withdrawn by MNHQ for privacy reasons.

BertieBotts · 22/08/2021 00:13

Neither of those things are rocket science though so I would give your friends the credit of assuming they already know they are an option and have decided for whatever reason not to try those things.

Personally I can't bear all the judgement that goes on about sleep. What makes a stuffed polyester animal a "positive" sleep association whereas presumably a breast is a "negative" one? I've breastfed all my children in the night and expect I've found this hard and let off steam about it at the time but I still believe it was and is the right way for me and beneficial overall.

I was going to say in your OP that the difference probably is that you have a supportive and equal partner, but the thread has taken a bit of a strange turn!

AlexaShutUp · 22/08/2021 00:18

But they don't need your tips, OP. None of those are groundbreaking ideas that won't have occurred to them. They want to do things their way, and that's fine.

Your earlier posts were dripping with judgement tbh. The snide comments about letting babies be the decision makers, the disapproving comment about the dh sleeping in the spare room, the Hmm face. It's great that your dd is doing well and that you're happy, but that doesn't necessarily make you a better parent and it doesn't mean that you know what would be best for other families.

I parented in a way that was very similar to your friends, and I remember being judged by people just like you, who thought they had it all sussed. Except now that our kids are all teenagers, it's not so clear that they did have it sussed after all. It's a long time until they're adults and different stages will present different challenges for each of us. Just do what works for you and your family, and don't imagine that you're in a position to offer advice to anyone else.

Liervik · 22/08/2021 00:19

This reply has been withdrawn

This has been withdrawn by MNHQ for privacy reasons.

Notenoughcider · 22/08/2021 00:27

I was back at work full time when my eldest baby was six months old. I was also working when my youngest was 6 months old. Plus, I had another child so couldn't split myself in half and be there for him all of the time.

You're doing fine. Everyone is different. I do struggle to relate to some mums experience on MN. I had two babies who reliably slept through from 3 months old. According to MN, this is a myth and all babies don't sleep through until they are 3 years old. Confused I also have a husband who pulled his weight, which helps.

Please don't me a martyr. You're kids won't thank you for it.

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 00:30

Points taken on board.

Just to reiterate, I don’t offer advice as I don’t want to piss these (very sleep deprived) people off. I really like them. So much, I want to do more stuff with them and their babies.

However I am entitled to have a different opinion on approaches to certain circumstances, privately in my own head and also on an anonymous forum such as mumsnet. Having an opinion, potentially not a popular one, is still allowed. I have shared my opinion here. No where else.
I’m sure they have opinions about my parenting skills too, privately. I’m ok with that. I’m far from perfect.

Surely you have thoughts in your own mind when you have a different views on something, but keep it to yourself when you know it wouldn’t be welcomed. That doesn’t make you smug.

OP posts:
amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 00:33

@Liervik from 6 months I believe they can be ok, certain types, not all. But I’m not representing lullaby trust, so happily stand corrected.

OP posts:
WTF475878237NC · 22/08/2021 00:37

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.

^ this kind of comment makes it sound like you think you're better than your friends rather than have a different approach and an easy baby.

CasaBonita · 22/08/2021 00:38

It's great that you're relaxed, happy and your baby is super chilled out and everything is working out. You are VERY lucky. Many other mums (myself included) were sadly not so blessed in this department. I tried everything and I was permanently frazzled, sleep deprived and barely holding it together. I co-slept, which is something I never thought I'd do, but in desperation, did. If I'd had a mum friend critiquing my choices and offering unhelpful advice I would have been seriously fucked off.

However, in answer to your other question yes of course it's fine to have 'you' time and similarly they should not be criticising you for that!

Jobsharenightmare · 22/08/2021 00:41

Start the day at the same time every morning 🤣 You really have had an easy baby haven't you. It's understandable you don't see this kind of advice is really insulting (and naive!).

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 00:43

I don’t think I’m better. But I also don’t agree that a partner should be permanently removed from his bed, with no plans to change it. I’m entitled to disagree with that, again privately, or on an anonymous forum.

My DH wouldn’t be too happy with me if I did that to him. I can’t imagine many partners would be. So, yes, I have a private opinion.

OP posts:
NatriumChloride · 22/08/2021 00:43


"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!

Exactly this! And yes, you sound irritatingly smug. Sadly, this was exactly me with my first - I was blessed with a very easy baby who fell into a perfect routine, slept well, weaned easily etc etc. I loved to think it was all due to my lovely logical relaxed parenting style. When my second was born, that theory got thrown out of the window as he was so utterly different in every way.
Some women want to breastfeed throughout the night rather than give formula. That’s their choice, just like it was your choice to start your baby on formula. And although these women may complain about it, it doesn’t mean they want you to offer up solutions. I’m still breastfeeding my baby who wakes up about three times in a night and he’s my third baby, and that’s my choice. Yes, I complain about it sometimes, but it doesn’t bother me enough to want to change a thing, and I know from experience that this time is so very short and goes by in a flash.
Now try not to stumble as you come down from your high horse and try being a little less judgy.
Samafe · 22/08/2021 00:45

Good that you are taking time for yourself.

But honestly, having a well behaved baby is almost 100% luck. And please bare in mind my DS was a super chilled out baby, sleeping through the night a 10 weeks, I could bring him with me everywhere etc.
Reason??? I was freaking Lucky!
Logic approach, positive associations....they all go out of the window if your baby is a colicky or sensitive one.

Opalfeet · 22/08/2021 00:47

I was with you until you criticised some friends for feeding in demand and kicking their partner out of bed.
That's very normal for b feeding mothers. W chose to spend the first 3 months with baby on bed and partner elsewhere, no kicking out of bed but worked for us.

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 00:49

The babies are almost a year old @Opalfeet

@Samafe, I am totally expecting this to happen me if I’m lucky to have a second some day. I’m under no illusion that I am lucky.

OP posts:
amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 00:50

I am lucky that is.

OP posts:
AlexaShutUp · 22/08/2021 00:52

Yes, it's fine to have your private thoughts, but posting smug, self satisfied thoughts on MN isn't exactly private! Perhaps your friends pick up on your judginess, perhaps they don't, but I bet you don't hide it as well as you think you do.

All parents are different and all children are different too. You spend a lot of time with your dc, so you are probably the world's greatest expert on what works best for them, but frankly, you know fuck all about what works for someone else's child.

If you really respect your friends, as you say you do, then let them do things their way and stop making snide comments about their parenting online. If they don't want to do the stuff that you want to do, find someone else who does.

Opalfeet · 22/08/2021 00:54

Then I guess it is fine to disagree how they are doing things, but at the same time accept that is their choice to parent how they see fit.

Samafe · 22/08/2021 00:55

Don't get me wrong from my previous comment, you are for sure also doing a great job and you have all the rights to feel proud of yourself, just saying that for other mothers is maybe not as easy is baby nature is not as "angelic" as yours or mine was.

Flittingaboutagain · 22/08/2021 00:55

Some couples find it works so much better if mum breastfeeds alone at night and dad takes over at other times having had an undisturbed night. I know lots of mums who bed share and to make it safe do so alone. I hope your friends haven't picked up on your attitude about their choices or your belief they could respond better to parenting challenges you haven't experienced.

It's lovely that you're happy though. Just be grateful. It's mostly luck, not parenting! Ask your friends with multiple children!

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 00:57

@Samafe you’re right.
If it makes any one feel any better, I’m a really bad cook and weaning is killing me.
Friends are nailing it. Go them. They offer me advice and I certainly take it. I don’t ask for it, but happy to receive it.

OP posts:
AlexaShutUp · 22/08/2021 01:02

The thing is, OP, parenting is not a competition. It doesn't matter what other people are doing or how their kids are doing etc. It's irrelevant. It's all about the relationship between you and your child. That is literally all that matters. Follow your instincts and be the very best parent you can be to your child. And trust that your friends will do the same.

OiPanda · 22/08/2021 07:38

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 ”. I took this approach, I let my baby tell me when they wanted a bottle or have a snooze. It worked fine for me.

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. this is probably safer cosleeping? I don't see anything wrong with this.

They find bottle feeding a faff due to the sterilising, but happy to feed on demand 24/7. and?! That's their choice.

There is nothing wrong with any of those approaches. Are you a parenting expert with qualifications and experience? If not then stop judging your 'friends'. You are coming across as if you think your way is the best way. If you had just posted saying you feel bad about taking time away then people have assured you that you aren't. But now you're just bashing other women for their choices.

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