Mum guilt. It’s a thing. And it’s incredibly annoying. And also incredibly unnecessary.
So, to all the new mums out there, who are about to embark on this brand new world of motherhood, here are the things that you really don’t need to feel guilty about!
Dear mum guilt: get stuffed
Have you ever heard of the mum guilt fairy? No?
The mum guilt fairy is born when you become pregnant and pretty much follows you around for the rest of your life, buzzing in your brain and making you question every parenting decision you will ever make. EVER.
New mums often get the brunt of the mum guilt fairy. In time, you will learn how to ignore her, but, for now, let us help you.
10 things new mums should NEVER feel guilty about
1. Breastfeeding in public
It is your right as a mum to breastfeed whenever, wherever.
If you want to use a cover up, then use one. If you don’t want to, then don’t. If your breasts happen to offend onlookers, then it’s their issue, not yours. You are doing EVERYTHING right.
2. Bottle feeding anywhere
Not breastfeeding? Again, this is your right. It’s your baby and your decision how you choose to feed baby. As long as you are feeding the baby formula or breast milk, then you have nothing to feel guilty about.
3. Having to go to work
Leaving your baby sucks. There is no getting around it. But don’t let the guilt make saying goodbye even harder. Push past the guilt – you’re doing what’s best for your situation. And that’s all that matters.
4. Not working
Flip the coin and you will probably feel just as guilty if you chose to stay home with your baby. Why? You know, for not contributing to the household, for being ‘just a mum’, for ‘babying’ your baby… the list goes on. Take the list and burn it. Never feel guilty for choosing to be a parent.
5. Ignoring the advice of others
Your baby. Your decision on how to parent. The end. Argument over.
6. Putting your family first
And ignoring other commitments. Family comes first. This can be a hard thing for friends to grasp but it’s the truth. All other commitments, from mates’ birthday drinks to co-workers’ goodbye parties, are allowed to be brushed aside.
7. Leaving your baby to go out
Contrary to what the mum guilt fairy wants you to believe, you are ALLOWED to put your baby down every once in a while. You are ALLOWED to leave the house, to go for a run, to meet a friend, to enjoy a weekend away. Your baby will be fine with dad or grandma. And you will feel so much better after a bit of a break!
8. Not keeping the house/car/yourself/your baby perfectly clean
Chaos comes with the territory when you are a parent, especially if you have a newborn. And, despite your best efforts, sometimes things are going to fall out of place. Sometimes a baby is going to vomit all over you the moment you arrive at a party. Sometimes guests are going to come over in the middle of a laundry cyclone. And sometimes your car is going to be covered in baby poop. And you have no reason to be sorry! It happens. It’s all part of the fun.
9. ANYTHING sleep-related
As long as bub is sleeping safely, then that’s all that matters, regardless if you co-sleep, if you sleep train, if you use a swaddle, if you use white noise, if your rock your baby to sleep. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. If it works for you and your family, then you have NOTHING to feel guilty about.
10. Not ‘bouncing back’
Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as ‘bouncing back’. Your body isn’t a ball. It doesn’t do that. It grows babies. Then it changes. So stop with the guilt about the excess skin, the excess weight and the excess stretch marks. You also have an extra person to look after. And that’s way more important!
Enjoy these first weeks with your new baby and take the gentle approach to losing the baby weight.