This is the first post in my Ask Happy Mum Happy Child series. Myself and Mum-of-5 Kelly (from Love on Paper) are answering questions sent in by you.
These questions have been pre-approved to be asked here, and have been made anonymous, so as to keep the Mum’s identity private.
Disclaimer: myself and Kelly are not trained professionals. We are Mother’s, first and foremost. Kelly has five children and a lot of experience. I have 2 children and post natal depression. We are just giving our thoughts on situations.
If you have an answer to a question, please let us know! We (and the person asking the question) would LOVE to hear what other’s think.
I’m a first time mum with a beautiful newborn daughter. When I say to people that I’m not going back to work, I get “so you’re only going to be a stay at home mum, you only have 1 baby – you’ll have plenty of time to go out have coffee and get your nails done” what should I say in response?
I have struggled through a crap pregnancy and went through a pretty horrific labour and birth. Because of the trauma we went through, and along with the drugs, I didn’t produce milk, so had to bottle feed from early days.
I have a high expectation of myself to know it all and be a perfect mum, so with all these combined, I have been struggling to get through the day because I feel like I’m failing the mum thing already.
People who say “I’m just a mum” or that I can “do my nails” don’t understand that I feel like a failure, and to get organised to get out of the house is a huge struggle – in fact I’ve hardly seen anything out side of my house in the last 6 weeks.
How do I respond to those people or am I being overly sensitive and need to suck it up?
I used to get people saying the same thing to me. When I myself was struggling with becoming a Mum. In the end I just learned to say “yes I know” but on the inside knowing that ultimately they had NO CLUE WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT. The newborn phase is just the start of life as a Mum, and in my personal opinion is the toughest. We all do what we can to survive, and get through this part of our child’s life. I honestly don’t think you need to “get over it”, but you do need to realise that you are YOU. You have your own experiences and deal with things in your own way. There is no right or wrong when it comes to parenting and motherhood.
Ah, you know what? My eldest was born nearly 14 years ago and I still remember the feelings of uncertainty and guilt that I wasn’t a perfect mum. It was all so new and I was in charge of this tiny human, what crazy person came up with that idea?
To be perfectly honest, you will probably always feel some sort of guilt, its what us mums do…but, you have to cut yourself some slack too. You will never be a perfect parent because there are so many ways to parent. You can do your best to be the best parent to your child.
In my opinion, we get so caught up with the extra bits, breast or bottle, cloth or disposable, routine vs non routine and while they certainly matter the most important bit of parenting is that you feed protect and love your child.
Feed, protect and love.
If you do those things then as far as im concerned you are an A+ mum.
Try and do your best to ignore other people’s opinions like that. Whether they mean it in good fun or not, being a SAHM is a very worthy role, and the negativity their words make you feel do not deserve to have a place in this oh so special time. If anything just stare them straight in the eye and say ” yeah” – you and I both know you do far more than that, and if they don’t see it, thats their problem, not yours.
And as for the feeding, i just want to touch on that, I am a big fan of breastfeeding, but sometimes for whatever reason it doesnt work out, and I’m not going to tell you to get rid of your feelings of guilt, not being able to feed can be hard for mums to come to terms with and its not as easy as that, but please remember this: there is more to being a mum than how you feed.
Finally, know you are not alone, I guarantee there will be a lot of mums nodding along to your post.
Congratulations on your wee girl, just remember to be kind to yourself x
If you guys can think of anything to add to the answers we’ve given, go for it! I like to think of Happy Mum Happy Child as a wee community – we are all there for each other. To support each other in one way or another.
If you want to ask me a question, just PM me on my Happy Mum Happy Child Facebook Page. All questions will be answered by me personally, regardless. And then I ask if you are ok if I publish it on here, anonymously.