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relax

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by seagirl, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. As an experienced Mum of four I often have a nose in this forum and sometimes answer the queries / questions based on my own experience. But.... I have been really struck by just how anxious some new mums seem to be. It looks as if some mums are so concerned about doing or not doing the right thing about every single aspect of looking after their babies, that it is sucking out all the joy from the process. I don't remember being like this and had a 'just get on with it' attitude, trusting my instincts and taking cues from my babies' moods. I guess things like forums weren't around to turn to anyway then (youngest is 12). I urge any anxious mum to relax and trust yourself to do a good job as this time goes by in a flash and you don't want to miss any of the lovely and funny moments by worrying too much about feeds, naps, computer games, potty training etc. etc.
     
  2. As an experienced Mum of four I often have a nose in this forum and sometimes answer the queries / questions based on my own experience. But.... I have been really struck by just how anxious some new mums seem to be. It looks as if some mums are so concerned about doing or not doing the right thing about every single aspect of looking after their babies, that it is sucking out all the joy from the process. I don't remember being like this and had a 'just get on with it' attitude, trusting my instincts and taking cues from my babies' moods. I guess things like forums weren't around to turn to anyway then (youngest is 12). I urge any anxious mum to relax and trust yourself to do a good job as this time goes by in a flash and you don't want to miss any of the lovely and funny moments by worrying too much about feeds, naps, computer games, potty training etc. etc.
     
  3. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    You are right, but now there is much more pressure on mums. Second timers aren'tinvited to some prep classes at our local HS, maybe so they can't tell it how it is!
    I know lots of mums are told they can have the birth of their choice, and they can understandably be shocked or feel they've failed when they don't get a natural birth. Many women feel failures if they struggle breastfeeding, or if their baby doesn't hit the milestones as quickly. It does sound unuaual, but I have known new mums who feel suicidal over these things.I think it's great you've posted this. I know many of the people, me included, just ask questions on this to get advice from real experts, experienced mums notleaflets promoting the current trends, but some people really are desperate and my heart goes out to them
    In most areas, there is less support, fewer midwives, hvs, no regular GP, as time goes by, fewer people ar eliving near family for support.
    Like weddings, it's more of a 'competition' now.
    And as you say, most of the mums on here obviously care so are probably doing a great job!
     
  4. Exactly my point - if you assume most people on here have been left in charge of other people's children and are trusted to deliver them back safely at the end of the day, then I would think they would be great mums. I just feel so sad when I see / read people fretting and worrying about the small stuff and I totally agree with you that there is no support for many people. Children are remarkably resilient, mine have grown up ok despite my ad hoc approach and I loved it when they were small. We followed our own rules, trusted our instincts, laughed at our mistakes and had a great time.

    So to help new mums relax here is my top tip:

    Always put your baby down to sleep when they are awake, unless they have dropped off from a feed. If you do this your baby will learn to put themselves to sleep and you won't have to suffer months (years even!) of lying next to them to get them to go off at night.


    Now anyone else got a really helpful tip for mums?
     
  5. learningyoghurt

    learningyoghurt New commenter

    I think that you've raised an interesting point with this one. I find this forum difficult, not because the people on it aren't lovely (they are [​IMG] ) but because the vast majority of topics are about things that I haven't even begun to think about and then I feel inadequate.
    I'd echo what everyone else has said about the people on here obviously being brilliant mums, as well.
    I was lucky in a way because I skipped the whole worrying-about-everything bit, mostly because with an unplanned pregnancy, no partner and erm, an unresolved and messy relationship with the father I was distracted by a whole host of other issues. It was an unmitigated disaster at the time, but actually I think I dodged a bullet.
    During my pregnancy me and the baby had a (somewhat one-sided) conversation in which I said something along the lines of "Right mush, I'm prepared to sacrifice my dream of a 'normal' family life, my lovely flat stretch-mark-free tummy and any financial security I might've had to give you life, in return you can accept that I'm pretty slapdash and I've already cocked up your chances of a fairytale childhood. Oh, and for the first nine months of your life we'll be lodging with my very elderly Grandad and I should warn you that the ceiling leaks". I think he agreed to it, he seems pretty happy with the arrangement.
    From observations of myself and friends I think that the following contribute to panicky motherhood:
    - It's sold as an 'experience', mostly so that people can flog you stuff. Hey - want a fun pregnancy? Buy this funny-shaped pillow RRP £39.99 so you can sleep without your toes going numb!
    This would be great if it was a theme-park or even a TV reality game-show but it's not, it's just a part of life and life is generally pretty messy and goes wrong quite often. No sensible person would go into, say, a marriage expecting it to be a trouble-free and unmitigated joyous experience but for some reason mothers are told to expect that from their relationship with a teeny tiny little tyrant who is 100% intent on getting their own way all the time. Provided they spend enough money on it, ofcourse ofcourse.
    I read more than one pregnancy/books book that said things like "Enjoy the experience!!!"(they tended to be the same ones that said things like "Why not get your partner to jet you away on a fun holiday in your second trimester? It's the last time you'll have a stress-free break for a while! laugh laugh" **** off!). Luckily they were soft-back so they didn't make too much of a dent in the wall when I missed the bin.
    - Partners. Not having one I've been hyper-tuned to this one. I'm sure that 99% of the time they are lovely and a great help (I'd rather have one than not) but I think that they probably add to the pressure. Mostly because you want them to think that you're great and a fantastic mother to their child AND sexy and fun and able to run a beeyootiful house and good grief, really no-one could achieve that with a small baby.
    If they've wired into the 'experience' claptrap as well then that's even more difficult. If it's just you and the baby, that's one relationship to worry about. Add in another person and you have three, four if you count the whole family unit. That's a lot of dynamic to deal with on not a lot of sleep.
    - HVs and midwives. Like teachers, some are lovely, sensitive, empathetic and sensible people who are good at their jobs. Some are not. I have at least two on my list of People Who Are Going To Get Theirs eventually.
    - The 'Control' Baby. This is the one that responds in the correct way to all the advice that is dished out to you ad nauseum, regardless of the fact that Babies Are People and No Two People Are The Same.
    Lite is in general a lovely and easy baby, but he doesn't like sleeping - I think he just doesn't enjoy the sensation. We've followed the official advice about routines and whathaveyou to the letter, but it doesn't work because it just doesn't. That's fine, I might cry on the (frequent) occasions that he doesn't let me sleep until two and wakes me up at 6:30, but he seems fine on it and I have lots of coffee in the house.
    - Choice. Choice is a luxury item that really doesn't make life any better. As soon as you have choices you fret about making the wrong ones. I know a lot of mums that got very upset about choosing to go back to work so that they could maintain their lifestyle etc etc. I didn't have a choice about it so my choice was basically either choosing to be miserable about it or not. Much easier to make a decision with that one.
    - Other mums. I don't have much experience of these (apart from people that I'd want as friends under any circumstances), in the first place because I didn't want to make snidey bitter comments at them and in the second because I was back at work. I've heard quite a lot about how inadequate they can make you feel, though.
    I hope that none of this comes across as smug - I am very lucky in that Lite is healthy and happy and easy baby and anyway I'm very very far from perfect. But I'm amazed by how brilliant motherhood is and how much I enjoy it. If you are worrying about anything then take heart in the fact that even if I can do it (I assume successfully, check with Lite when he's older though) then the other people on here DEFINITELY can.
     
  6. Wow that's quite a post LY - I think you have a brilliant attitude and you raise a really important point - babies are people and all people are different. How on earth can any book / manual know more about your baby than you do as a mum?

    It is time to accept that none of us are perfect and that whilst we all do our best we will not always do everything 'right' - if right even exists anyway.

    Another thing that makes me mad is the amount of stuff that you are told you have to buy - my midwife told me I had to have a top and tail bowl, I told her that I planned to wash the baby's face first and then his bottom using an ice cream tub.
    She spluttered a bit, but couldn't give me any good reason as to why that wasn't ok. That's just one example.

    All I had ready for mine was somewhere to sleep, a good supply of nappies and a few clothes. I took pride in the fact that I had low cost babies and didn't fret abut the latest gadgets etc.

    Babies are easy really, they let you know when they want something and it's only a process of elimination as to what that is, they don't answer back and stay where you put them. Yes it's exhausting, but you don't need to add to the pressure by being anxious all the time, as an anxious mum will make a baby anxious anyway. So try and relax and enjoy it, as they will be teenagers soon and that's a whole different ball game.....
     

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