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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:
OiPanda · 22/08/2021 07:43

[quote amiwastingmytime]@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.[/quote]
Their website basically says to keep the cot clear and it's best to be cautious. No soft toys. No bumpers etc. Maybe have a read so you can make sure you're happy with your set up.

Zzzzfthg · 22/08/2021 07:56

I agree that you shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to spend time away from your baby however your later posts have come across as judgemental, particularly with the feeding. At 8.5 months I was still breastfeeding my baby throughout the day at various points (and they flat out refused all bottles) so I was never far from them (still managed the odd lunch etc). Until my first full day out at about a year old. She finally started sleeping though at 20 months. (And she did have a soft toy and we started the day at a similar time each day!) You are very lucky to have a baby sleep through at 3 months! If they don't really want to leave their babies yet then that's fine - and if you do that's equally fine. Perhaps try to find another group of mum's that will!

Fleetw00d · 22/08/2021 08:18

I would imagine it's due to the breastfeeding that your friends have less freedom, I currently am bf and either have to time a short lone outing meticulously or take her with me. It's just not worth the risk going out and her deciding she's hungry and me and her food source not being home.
Once she's weaned and off the boob I will go out for the odd dinner, hair appointment, exercise etc and leave her with my oh or mum. But bf often restricts what you're able to do and when!

Auntycorruption · 22/08/2021 08:24

My first slept through from 9 weeks old and I was probably like you.

My second didn't sleep through for 3 YEARS.

It's the luck of the draw.

Fleetw00d · 22/08/2021 08:28


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.

I find this post a little bit off tbh..
They feed on demand.. yes because their children are hungry, would you rather they sit there trying to calm a hungry crying baby? Do you not eat when you're hungry?
They don't let their partners do stuff.. or are they with partners who aren't that hands on and not overly helpful? You may be lucky with yours but lots of women are not. Also if they are bf the dads can't help with any night feeds.
Treat the babies as though they are decision makers... all babies are different and aren't all going to follow the same routine. So yes in this way the babies are somewhat influencing routine, have you ever tried to put a wide awake baby down for a nap because that's what the schedule says when in reality giving them another 30 mins of awake time or whatever will make a nap a much easier process.
Co sleeping isn't for everyone but if that works for her and her baby then who are you to judge?
Bottle feeding is a faff because of sterilising.. I would have of course done it if I couldn't bf but given the choice bf is much simpler in terms of cleaning, warming, preparing etc.

I suggest you continue to bite your tongue with your friends. Just because you were lucky enough to have a chilled baby, all babies are different and as mums we have to adapt to their needs so you're in no position to judge or question anyone's parenting style.

I left my first comment before reading your other posts and now I feel like you started this thread as a chance to boast and show off a little as you can't do that in your real life.
user159 · 22/08/2021 08:32

My DD is now 2.5 and I had similar experiences with friends. It became apparent very early on that all the babies were different as were we as parents. I had one 'friend' who loved telling me her DD's milestones, always early etc but she never slept - still doesn't. My DD hit all her milestones but was never the first but slept from 6 weeks Confused I never ever give my opinion on other people's routine as I have absolutely no idea why my DD is how she is - and I'm also sure if I had another it might not be the same.

My DH is hands on compared to some (and prob less so than others!) but happily splits time with me, bedtimes etc so we all have a happy balance and DD spends time one on one with both of us.

It's frustrating when you have the time and energy to do stuff and others don't but it just is what it is and such a short space of time.

spicychickenwing · 22/08/2021 08:35

I think your set up is great. And it bodes very well for mat leave ending and return to work and sensible discussions about distribution of chores and care.

It sounds like those ladies you are speaking of will be the ones posting on here in 2 years time tearing their hair out at being overworked and overwhelmed.

Its not even about your mothering. You sound like you have a partnership and an equal distribution of downtime. Relax and enjoy it.

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 08:48

You know what, this post has given me lots of food for thought.
What sparked me to bring up the other things was the comment about parents seeing their babies as an extension of themselves. I then started to look into this.
There is a large group of about 10 of us.
There are 3 mums that say no to everything other than sitting in a park, complain about certain things which I have mentioned. Honestly the others don’t at all to be fair. It has happened that it has been those 3 mums that have said no to doing specific things even though the majority wanted to. So, hindsight, it did peeve me off. Others lost out, myself included. They lost out as the response was always along the lines of no that’s not sensible for my baby, let’s do this instead. Even though others were happy to. Not wanting to rock the boat, nobody said, oh well I want to therefore I’m doing It anyways, who’s with me…..
It makes the group dynamics tricky. But it is a big group, so is expected.
I guess, if something doesn’t work for me; I would say, I can’t, but please go ahead and enjoy.
I certainly wouldn’t prevent others from going.

The aspect of a baby being an extension of the parent is very interesting (for the very early research on the topic so far).

OP posts:
Zzzzfthg · 22/08/2021 08:59

In that case, I would make a sub group for those that can and want to do those things. It's very difficult to arrange meet ups with 10 people. Once people start going back to work etc it becomes near on impossible to find dates or things everyone can do so you'll naturally splinter into smaller groups anyway.

Poppy709 · 22/08/2021 09:03

OP, I came here to reassure you that it’s fine to enjoy time away from your baby. I absolutely relish a few hours to myself, and my DS is nearly 1 and has had 3 sleepovers at grandparents, I missed him terribly but it was also heavenly. Some people would absolutely hate this. That’s fine, we’re all different.
However, like others have picked up on m, your tone towards these other women sounds off. You say you don’t know why your DD is like she is but actually it sounds like you think it’s because you’re really relaxed and have got her into a routine. Please don’t tell these women to use a comforter as sleep advice, your DD is a unicorn baby, sleeping through from 3 months. You got lucky, and your advice won’t be welcome because you haven’t lived through the hell of a terrible sleeper. I kicked my husband out of bed for a while and shared with my baby because it was the only way to get enough sleep to (sort of) function. I understand you want to do nice things with them, but I think it’s normal to want activities to be baby friendly, my almost one year old would be no fun in a fancy restaurant for lunch! Small babyhood is such a short season in the grand scheme of things, you’ll get these things with your friends in future x

WorryMcGee · 22/08/2021 09:04

OP I’ve just found out I’m pregnant and your post has reassured me. DH is so excited and I know he will be really hands on but I’ve just felt terrified that my identity is about to be lost (weird when I think I’m supposed to be bouncing off the walls but that’s how I’ve felt - scared!) my best friend is a never leave the house type, it works for her but it wouldn’t work for me. But who knows I guess, maybe I’ll feel differently in 8 months time…

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 09:06

@Zzzzfthg yes I think you’re right. Going back to work is starting to happen soon too. Lots of talk of could you do X day so it suits me? Which doesn’t work for everyone.
I’m not sure I’m willing to start the sub group chats though, but happy to join them Grin

OP posts:
AliceW89 · 22/08/2021 09:07

You sound like someone who hasn’t quite grasped how lucky they are to have an incredibly easy baby. My DS was the polar opposite to yours at that age. Wouldn’t accept a bottle, didn’t eat well, slept terribly and had (still has) a massive preference to me over DH. I stayed as chilled as I could and tried my damn hardest to have a watertight routine, but it made little difference. Despite this, I was actually like you and tried to build in tiny amounts of ‘me only’ time from an early age. So please don’t think they are linked.

These mothers can parent however they see fit and however they feel best to survive. You do you - you sound like you have an amazing balance but please don’t let that tip into judgement of people who don’t have it as easy as you. Everyone is just trying to survive.

I’m failing to see from your last update why some of you can’t do these things? You don’t have to do things as a big group en mass. Nobody in my antenatal group would think that weird.

Wallywobbles · 22/08/2021 09:08

It's cultural. In France all mothers are back at work at 13 weeks. Nothing wrong with it. Just not what your cultural peers do.

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 09:15

I do know how lucky I am, I have nieces and nephews and I have experienced a different side, one which is more like what some of my friends experience.

But I also know that I have built good foundations with her very early on and it all wasn’t down to luck. Consistency and routine work for us. Both are king for us. On the days these are lost, my baby is not happy, and it takes a couple of days to get it back.
While being a mum I can also be me, I still feel like me, I just have this gorgeous little human in my arms now!

OP posts:
AlexaShutUp · 22/08/2021 09:16

OP, there is no need to get annoyed with people for not doing stuff that you want to do. Everyone has different preferences and comfort zones. If there are others who want to do the stuff that you want to do, just get on and do it. It's inevitable in a big group that everyone won't want to do everything.

As for your newfound interest in the idea of the baby being an extension of the mother and the research that you're doing on this...I don't know, it sounds like you've latched on to this because it seems like another way of making you feel good about your own parenting while finding fault with that of others. Just be grateful that things are working for you at the moment and stop looking for problems in how other people are doing stuff.

firstimemamma · 22/08/2021 09:20

You are doing great but you need to remember that your friends are too - they don't have an "issue" as you suggested. Both ways of doing things are just fine.

firstimemamma · 22/08/2021 09:24

Also your 7-7 routine could be gone any minute so try to enjoy it while it lasts. My ds slept 7-7 for months and months on end then one day for no apparent reason it went out of the window! I'm not saying that will definitely happen to you but it's definitely a luck thing and nothing is certain with little ones.

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 09:25

@AlexaShutUp it’s not something I’ve latched on to. It has just help me understand something that I didn’t before. The motivation for asking here whether am I cold mum for wanting time to myself and do things not always baby centric. You see I was comparing myself to these 3 other mums, and not in a way that I thought I was better. But more along the lines, is something wrong with me?

If a mum openly says that doing a particular thing is not sensible, I overthink it and try to make sense of my behaviour to see am I doing wrong by my baby (parent guilt at it’s finest). Saying something we want to do isn’t sensible is judging us when we want to, and naturally makes us question out parenting.

Hence why I’m here and questioning myself.

OP posts:
Margotshypotheticaldog · 22/08/2021 09:32

Op were these women your friends before you had your babies? Or do you all meet and now hang out just because you all happened to have babies around the same time? I wondered this because just because you had a baby around the same time, is no guarantee that you will have ANYTHING else in common with people. Same goes for "school mum friends" My advice is enjoy your lovely baby, and enjoy guilt free time away from her. You're lucky with both a cooperative baby and a cooperative partner. Use the free time to pursue interests outside of babies, meet different people who you may have more in common with.
If these other mothers are in fact your childhood friends, bite your tongue. You may not have said anything outright, but if your posts are anything to go by then they all know you are judging them. So they're judging you in return.

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 09:34

New mum friends. All of them. I met them in NCT. I do really like them. Maybe more than others, which is normal.

OP posts:
AliceW89 · 22/08/2021 09:36

There were 2 mums in my antenatal group blessed with babies as easy as yours. One mum was so humble, acknowledged her luck and went out of her way for the rest of us. Offering to come round with lunch if we had had a bad night, stuff like that. The second one assumed we were all hopeless parents who didn’t have enough brain cells to google wake windows or bedtime routines. We were blamed for being breastfeeding too much and told us we were doing it wrong because ‘we didn’t have our lives back’.

Those babies are toddlers now and you wouldn’t know whose slept through at 6 weeks and who’s isn’t still sleeping through at 16 months. Needles to say though we’ve all mostly stayed in touch with one mum more than the other now we are all busy back at work or with second babies. Unsurprisingly it isn’t the latter one.

WingBingo · 22/08/2021 09:45

It is all luck. It really is. Not sure you can lay foundations for that.

amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 09:49

@WingBingo if it was just luck, there are a lot of bogus sleep consultants out there with fake testimonials screwing people out of money.

OP posts:
amiwastingmytime · 22/08/2021 09:53

For what it’s worth. I follow a routine set out by those sleep consultants, I took their advice and it worked.

OP posts:
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