Ever wanted to go back in time to tell your ‘pregnant self’ a thing or two about being a new parent? In a series of posts, Laura does just that…taking some of the most common things pregnant women and new mothers experience and giving herself (and others) a quick pep talk! However you’re feeling, you’re most definitely not alone, take it from us!
'Mum guilt'. These are two words that are going to become as frequently used as yes and no. You'll even start using them as a hashtag in your NCT WhatsApp group. Remember that decision about whether to breastfeed or bottle feed? Cue the mum guilt - when you were breastfeeding you felt guilty about your partner not being able to feed the baby, and when you start to bottle feed you'll feel guilty about not being able to feed your baby the way you are 'meant to'. Remember when you cried out of fear the moment you brought your baby home and realised you now had to parent without the midwives help? Cue the mum guilt - how can you be feeling anything other than joy right now? All you've ever wanted is a baby so why aren't you more excited? Remember that time you left your baby sleeping in their crib while you ran to the toilet, then came out to hear them crying? Cue the mum guilt - why weren't you there with your baby the whole time? They were crying for you but you weren't there - you need to be spending more time with them.
You will naturally start to question everything you do and every choice you make, and a lot of the time you will berate yourself for getting it wrong, but you need to know this - worrying and questioning is a sure sign that you care about getting it right. In your baby's eyes, you always get it right and as long as you do your best that is always going to be enough. Mum guilt is a normal, albeit frustrating, part of motherhood but don't let it trick you into thinking you're not doing a good enough job because that couldn't be further from the truth.
A little bit about Laura...
Laura lives in Hertfordshire with 17 month old Harry, and when she can, enjoys meeting up with friends for lunch, seeing family, and watching too many episodes of Friends on Comedy Central! She was motivated to write about her experience because…
“As a new mum, with all the raging hormones and uncertainty that involves, it was just nice to hear from people who were going through the same thing from time to time, to reassure myself I wasn't losing the plot completely! So if I can give that same reassurance back to another new mum, that's definitely something I would want to do.”
Read more about managing your mental wellbeing.
Find out more information about feeding your baby.