Congratulations! You’ve survived pregnancy and birthed like a boss! You should be totally loving yourself and amazed at what you’ve achieved, but let’s be real, you probably aren’t.
If you are or have been suffering from mom guilt, know that you are not alone. We all seem to get it from time to time. Moms have a tendency for being kind and caring to others, yet relentlessly tough on ourselves.
It’s time to call it out and shrug it off. Guilt steals our joy and leaves us feeling lousy.
So, if you’re feeling that typical mother-guilt right now and ANY of these are familiar to you, feel confident you’re doing things un-ashamedly right!
1. You use baby wipes for EVERYTHING
You wouldn’t leave home without them.
If you haven’t got a pack of these little wet-wipe-miracles in your bag right now, are you even a mother? (sorry.. no shame).
Seriously. You need these to wipe baby’s bum, but also to; do a quick wee-wipe of the toilet seat; to get the spew off your fresh top; to get that stain off your carpet; to wipe the dusty dresser and to clean the silver. Ok, I’ve not tried that last one, but I could be onto something.
You’ll be carrying these around long after your nappy changing days are over.
2. You give baby a dummy/pacifier
You pop in one of these at baby’s first squeak.
I freakin’ LOVE dummies. I seriously don’t know how you survive early parenthood without one. If you’ve achieved it, you’ll need to share your horror stories with me someday.
There is NOTHING wrong with using a dummy. Some babies are particularly ‘sucky’. These are the ones that want to be glued to mom’s nipple 24/7. Cute but perhaps not preferred by most.
A dummy doesn’t have to be your first port of call, but it’s a mighty good weapon to have in the arsenal.
Are they habit-forming? Yep, too right, but you’ve got other mountains to climb right now, and this hill is not the one to die on (just yet).
3. You plot ways to get more sleep (for your own sake!)
Of course you do.
Sleep is at a premium and when you spend the better part of the evening settling baby, only to have 8 minutes of sleep-pay-dirt returned, it’s no wonder you’re searching for things (anything!) that might help.
Think smart and guilt-free with your choice of sleepwear. Grab sleepsuits that fasten at the bottom hem. This means you can change soiled nappies by stealth, and baby gets best chance to stay sleepy without being entirely woken by the poopy-process.
A little residue on her singlet? Turn a blind eye and she’ll settle back to sleep whilst you get a bit of extra shameless rest!
4. You rarely bathe your baby
You don’t bathe your baby every day and when you do, it’s done in the laundry sink.
You might choose to bathe baby each evening to help ready her for her night’s sleep, but if you think the baby needs it because she’s dirty, you’re mistaken.
By all means, make sure her little bottom is clean and fresh, and her face will need a warm wipe too, but apart from that, the baby will only need a full immersion every few days or once/week. Apart from being kinder to baby’s skin, you’ll be preserving water. Give yourself a high-five for thinking ‘green’.
5. You leave your baby in her onesie ALL day
They’re all she needs. Little jeans, blouses and sneakers are super cute but it’s total madhouse to feel your newborn needs day clothes at all. Bring these out for a special occasion, otherwise, skip it and keep her comfy and ready for that next nap.
6. You eat frozen meals or buy take-out most nights
If you haven’t got friends or family bringing you meals EVERY day, then this is your necessity.
Don’t fret it.. you won't be dialing Dominos or ingesting McCain’s forever.. this season is intense and ANYTHING you can do to lighten the load is essential for now.
7. You use disposable nappies ONLY
Of course, you do and you don’t care if your gran had six kids all in cloth nappies.
You’ll likely be changing that cute butt 10-12 times/day for the first few months, so keep it simple.
I know there’s the landfill shame that comes with this, but truly, this is something you can address a little later and look to satisfy in other ways.
There’s a world of shame out there if you’re vulnerable enough to feel it, and let’s face it, as new moms, vulnerability is at its peak.
Keep it simple, stick to the short-cuts and give yourself a guilt-free start to life with a newborn.
Your baby isn’t concerned about you achieving perfection and nor should you be. She wants you in your best form and you entirely. If it takes these ‘hacks’ in order for you to be in your prime, then there’s no shame.
hugs into the ether…
Mom of six fabulous kids and foster-mom to numerous others. Event manager, doula, childbirth educator, lactation counsellor, owner of Sydney Birth Support, Mamaway Advocate and an encourager of all moms out there giving it their best crack!