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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:
AliasGrape · 22/08/2021 15:29

My baby is 1. I'm much more like your friends. I haven't left her much at all. She was a lockdown baby so I couldn't, then even when I could I just didn't particularly want to. When I read your op and first few posts I was mentally composing a reply that said even though I've been the kind of mum who doesn't leave her baby much, I think it's fine and great that you have and that everyone finds what works for them.

But then I read your following posts and didn't feel so much like being a cheerleader frankly.

I think it's really disingenuous to post as if you're worried that theres 'something wrong' with what you're doing and talk about your 'insecurities' when actually you just want to talk about how relaxed and cool you are, how.great your baby is doing and how that's all down to your brilliant approach that is so different to those silly neurotic 'mummy friends' if yours who feed on demand and dont have it sussed like you. And unfortunately that's very much how your posts come across, whether you mean them to or not.

And the judgement goes both ways. Maybe there are some knobhead mums who look down on others for being happy to leave there baby, but there have been at least as many condescending replies and comments the other way - for what its worth I'm not being a mummy martyr or completely losing my identity because I dont want to be out without my baby twice a week, I just dont want to? Shes ace, I like being with her, and i didn't have a lot of options either for a long while there. Now shes a bit older I'm slowly starting to get back into things and you know what? It was only a year, it's not that big a deal, and I don't think shes been scarred for life or won't be a 'chilled out' toddler or older child because of it.

Oh, and my husband slept in the other room for most of the year because it made co-sleeping easier and helped us all to sleep better. It worked and my husband was perfectly fine with it, my own private opinion in my own head is that if I thought my relationship wasn't strong enough to withstand a relatively short time of prioritising the baby's needs and better sleep for me as a new mum then I wouldn't have had a baby with him, and I'm really glad that he's not the kind of man to 'not be happy' about it.

IncludeWomenInThePrequel · 22/08/2021 17:46

Yes @AliasGrape very disingenuous. OP I was on your side after your first post but now it seems you just want to put others down so you look better in comparison, and that's just not nice.

WTF475878237NC · 22/08/2021 17:49

Rather than want reassurance there's nothing wrong with you (from your OP) subsequent posts suggest to me that you judge people who want to spend more time with their babies than you do.

WingBingo · 22/08/2021 21:46

You really can’t see how you are coming across can you?

BertieBotts · 23/08/2021 08:22

YY AliasGrape!

For anyone on Facebook this came up today and I thought it was relevant for this thread! Research relating to baby routine books (which is basically the same advice as being given by all the sleep consultants) showing they only work for about 20% of parents. And true, when they work they REALLY seem to work, which is probably why they breed a particular type of patent who is convinced other people are having problems because they have done everything wrong rather than because their baby is being a baby.

WingBingo · 23/08/2021 19:04

That’s really interesting Bertie and echos a lot of this thread.

Opalfeet · 24/08/2021 21:48

@BertieBotts so true and seems to be summed up in that Mumsnet phrase 'Babies don't read the (text) books. 🤣

Abitlost2 · 24/08/2021 22:18

Do your friends breastfeed their babies @amiwastingmytime? It's a very different dynamic if they do , I have three dcs and me and my dh often swap over as I run, we have hobbies, we swap over with taking them on weekends away so we can each have a break. However at your babies age my dc were all still breastfeeding a lot and still waking at night, it's way more common for formula fed babies to sleep all night early, that's not to do with parenting but they are so much more full.
So if your friends are still bf as 7 months is still very young, the babies might become inconsolable or if they are still up at night they simply might be too tired to face doing things yet.

Abitlost2 · 24/08/2021 22:26

@amiwastingmytime , reading your replies , you do sound smug, I'm sorry. Breastfeeding is actually way healthier than formula which is designed for calfs (not human babies) and highly processesd. They might also be bitting their tongues about that....
Your baby being super chilled is just luck and sleeping well is formula. I have 3, all totally different, one v chilled , one very high maintenance as a baby ( extremely bright and driven now they are older) and another a mixture of v chilled and v busy toddler, all brought up the same way.. It's nothing your friends are doing wrong at all.

luciasanta · 25/08/2021 06:01

Thank you @AlexaShutUp for your posts on this thread. I've found them so wise and wholesome to read, I really learned from you today. I must admit back when I was a FTM I was also overly judgemental of other mums (in the opposite direction to the OP, funnily enough- it would have been her routines, talk about sleep associations etc that I would have judged) and now later down the line I can see how wrong that was and how right you are that it only shifts our attention away from being better parents ourselves and focussing on the relationship with our children. X

AlexaShutUp · 25/08/2021 07:27

@luciasanta, what a lovely post to wake up to, thank you! 😊

I'm certainly no saint and I know I have been guilty of judging other parents myself at times, but as they get older, I think you begin to realise that there just isn't any point. We are all doing our best as parents and there are so many complex factors that impact on how our kids turn out. It doesn't actually matter what anyone else is doing, we just have to do the very best that we can with the kids that we're given and in the circumstances that we're in. And hope that our kids will forgive us for the mistakes that we will inevitably make along the way, based on the strength of the relationships that we have tried to build with them!

luciasanta · 25/08/2021 09:08

Yes- I think that's so, so, so true! Really well put! Smile

tegannotsovegan · 25/08/2021 10:35

As someone who gets no time for self-care because I'm very similar to your friends (albeit I do not breastfeed my son, and my son is 3, and I do work part-time), you are NOT a cold mother - having time away from your child means that you are in a better mindset when you go back to them. Of course, some parents LOVE never being away from their child because they feel it helps their bond - and of course, that is fine too. But if you can happily take time for self-care, then more power to you.

NatriumChloride · 26/08/2021 00:35

Yes, I agree. Very measured and balanced responses from @AlexaShutUp.

Jk987 · 26/08/2021 08:13

I think it's important for your mental health to have some time to yourself. It leads to a happier you and motherhood becomes more enjoyable.

KrispyKremezz · 26/08/2021 16:19

I love the sound of you as a mother, you sound like you have the perfect child time/you time balance and if it’s not broke don’t fix it.

Comparison is the thief of joy OP. Let them be them but you do what is working for you and like you say your happy and that’s key. Baby is well looked after by dad and everything is ticking along nicely. Enjoy!

LikeTheOceansWeRise · 26/08/2021 19:01

It sounds like you have a dream baby, and that you are having a lovely maternity leave. Totally fine to enjoy spending time to yourself.

But there is no way that your friends don't know about creating positive sleep associations or about starting the day at the same time everyday etc. If they have bad sleepers, they will most likely have spent hours in the depths of the mumsnet sleep boards trying to figure it all out. Don't insult them by assuming they don't know these things. They are going through a really bloody hard time, and unless you've had a baby that doesn't sleep/has reflux/is generally very unsettled, you can't really relate.

Enjoly your lovely baby, but remember that there are a million ways to parent, and luck has really been on your side.

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