View Full Version : Am I Normal?
I am a new mum, this is my first bub and he is nearly 5 weeks old. I know it's only early days for me, but I am feeling very guilty, as I feel like I want to return to work full time already. It sounds horrible, but I'm so totally bored out of my mind already. It's seems my entire day consists of feeding my son, burping him, changing nappies, settling etc etc.
I've taken 12 months maternity leave from my full time job, but I'm going stir crazy already. Today I cried and cried because I thought I wasn't a good mum for wanting to get away from him for a few hours.
I have worked full time for the past 14 years and I was in a well paying corporate position before going on maternity leave. Now I feel I am useless that I can't just stay home and enjoy my baby. I thought I would love staying home and being "just a mum", so I am really disappointed in myself.
I have tried to stay busy by joining a Mothers Group, occassionally going walking or shopping (which is really boring on your own), visiting friends and relo's, and I intend to join the gym soon, but I hate being alone and I feel like I need more mental stimulation.
Was just wondering if anyone else feels the same way?
Yes, you are perfectly normal. I went through the same thing when my daughter who is now nearly four was born. I also have a two and half year old son.
It passes, but I still have days of the same thing, thinking there must be more than this..... but having said that I still haven't returned to work.
Finding other people who are in the same boat helps. When your son is a bit older and can 'interact' (smile and laugh, instead of eat and sleep) with you a bit more it also helps.
I have the odd moment where I think this is boring and what am i going to do today, but like sopoli says when they give you a smile or you realise they are staring at you it kinda makes it all very worthwhile. And sometimes as soon as hubby walks in the door I hand him over and go and do what i want to do. This is a great place to put it all out there and not be judged, and also just reading others experiences helps me.
Please don't feel guilty just for wanting some adult company. I think it is really normal. I took 6 months off with both my babies but when I look back, it seemed to go really quick.
I really think some of us are better Mums if we do work. I have been fortunate to have employers who were happy to have me come back part time and I love it. I am keeping up my skills and contacts and also get to have Mummy time where I take my daughters to swimming lessons. It works well for all of us.
Having said that, being a Mum is the most important job there is (and I don't see any inconsistency with that and my choice to delegate a part of that to someone else while I work). I know that it often feels REALLY repetitive (endless feeding, washing, burping, cleaning) but it takes all that and more to raise a human being. I think you may enjoy him more as he becomes more interactive and can engage you with a smile, giggle or tickle rather than a cry. We all enjoy the positive interactions with our kids, but tiny babies can really only let us know that something is wrong.
Anyway best of luck and just give it a bit more time. Kids change so quickly when they are as young as yours. In a few weeks time it might all change.
I felt the same way when my baby was first born, but she was born 10 weeks early so the first 8 weeks was spent at the hospital 8 hours a day 7 days a week and I went insane. It was the most exhausting and mentally draining thing I have ever done in my life. But she was my child and you do anything for your child.
The first few months are the hardest I found when they are new born because they are so demanding. But once they start to grow and learn knew things you end up forgeting all the bad things and enjoy watching them grow up. My daughter is now 6 months old and she is not as demanding and I can enjoy play time with her more.
I think all mothers go through this the first time. I think about going to work but then I would miss out enjoying spending time with my daughter and watching her grow into a beautiful little girl.
You are perfectly normal in feeling this way a lot of women do. I think what you are missing at the moment is all the hussle and bussel of the office and the adult conversation. As your little boy grows he will turn into this amazing little man that you will adore and he will keep you on your toes I'm sure.
Maybe if you feel you need a little more in your life maybe your workplace may be able to give you some work to do a couple of days a week to help "you" feel "normal" again. Just remember it is early days and the journey is just beginning and it is such a wonderful journey that your never going to want to miss a bit of it! :)
All the best
Thanks girls for all your help and advice, I feel better knowing that other mums have felt the way I have too. I am lucky in the fact that my employer has told me that I can come back to work part time two or three days a week if I wish, so I'll probably compromise by doing this a bit down the track when he's a little older, I just felt really bad for thinking about it so soon!
Everyone tells me the first six weeks after birth are the hardest, so I'm just trying to get to this milestone relatively sane and emotionally stable, but sometimes it's really hard. Today my son stayed awake from 6am until 3pm and it felt like I couldn't do anything to make him happy. By 3pm I was at my wits end. I just cried for an hour straight and couldn't stop. Luckily my mum came to the rescue and gave me a break.
I am going to try really hard to make an effort to keep myself busy and get out everyday. At least you feel like you've accomplished something then. I want to try to stay positive, because I really believe he feeds off my moods, the more anxious and upset I get the more he does too. Sometimes it's really hard to stay cool, calm and collected though........
Thanks again for all your replies! I really appreciate it!
I also felt ready to go back to work quite soon. I was used to a busy fast paced job and felt like I had too much time on my hands. I was lucky enough to have a bub who slept and ate well, which was great, but it did leave me feeling that I didn't have enough to do. Strange how hard it is to wind down sometimes.
At that age babies are very transportable and it is easy to go out. I found that getting out and about helped a lot - I didn't feel the walls closing in on me.
I guess the flip side of this is that if we are a little bored then we have probably been blessed with a well behaved bub and should try to focus on our good luck. I have friends who used to put things in perspective by reminding me that I could have had a bub who didn't sleep well or was colicky and if boredom was my only problem then I was doing well. They had a point.
I sympathise with your feelings. I too have a "difficult" baby who liked to stay up all day in the early days. He's now four months old and a bit more settled - but still a catnapper during the day. His poor sleeping really got to me, on top of being at home alone after enjoying a busy, high pressure job. I used to collapse in tears too. I really think you should mention how you're feeling to your GP or someone. It could be postnatal depression. I was diagnosed with PND when my son was six weeks old. I'm now getting some treatment (including counselling and medication), which made it a lot easier to cope with the loneliness and his crying/ not sleeping. I hope you're not offended by what I've written, it's just that how you are feeling struck a chord with me and sounded very similar to how I felt. You are probably fine, but I just think you should talk to someone who knows about these things. Maybe there's some more help out there for you - or more company too.
good luck. :)
My son is 5weeks old atm and i returned back to full-time work and university when he was 3weeks. I have no regrets in doing this either.....now everyone is probaly thinking what a *****...but unforntunetly to say this but my career isn't going to make itself happen. My partner took 6 weeks paternity leave from his job, when he goes back max will end up at the relo's.
For the 4 weeks i did have off, the week in hospital and 3weeks at home i was bored ****less and getting frustrated as my work kept calling.
i believe its completly normal.
I have been chatting to a couple of mums on this forum who are at uni, as we are planning our first while I am in the middle of my course. I was wondering if you felt like sharing your experiences with me? I am really interested in hearing how you dealt with stuff (like how hard was it to have enough express milk ready when you went off to class and stuff like that). The way we are going now I would probably be like you, home for just a few weeks then back to uni.
Anyway, in my opinion (and that is from a non-mum viewpoint) there is nothing *****y in the world about what you have chosen to do as a family, I mean, your kids wont thank you if you give up your career and life for them if it makes you an unhappy mum! ;)
Max has been bottlefed from day 1 due to medical reasons and other issuses, and the fact i returned to work and uni asap.
so feeding was never a prob....
my uni experience hasnt changed, i go class etc just like i always have. :)
In reply to Kirby, I hope you are feeling better now your baby is a little bit older, and I understand what it's like to be depressed at home. I love staying home so much and absolutely adored it with my oldest son because it was easy to get the housework done.... but I returned to work 40 hours plus a week for financial reasons and I hated some of the people there but also had fun working with my friends, and enjoyed the mental stimulation. I felt like a monster for leaving my son and working, eventually three jobs, but I needed the money and it was great to be financially secure. When my second child was born I could not return to my first job because we had moved, and I applied for a few jobs but did not get them, and my husband didn't want me to work. I got depressed because it was so hard to keep up with the housework and I hated looking at mess, plus I had no friends. I love staying home now and I have four children under 8 at the moment, trying for number 5. It would be tempting for me to go to University if I had the money and did not live in a rural area, but there are no universities or jobs here, and I sell Avon now and I love it. Don't feel bad for wanting to go back to work. A child does better if his mother is happy. Financially we were much better off when I worked fulltime but I am very content now, and although I don't always get all my housework done I like having some kind of p aid work to meet people and achieve my goals, and earn a little bit of money :o Motherhood won't be this hard for you forever. Babies grow up and become independent, and they are much more interesting when they smile and laugh and crawl around. Hope you are happier now.
Zoe & Troy
Don't feel guilty - I know this is eassier said than done.
When I started maternity leave (1 1/2 weeks before I had Jayden), the last thing on my mind was going back to work. After we had Jayden, we decided that I probably wouldn't go back to work, not untill all the kids were at school. At first I loved this idea, and couldn't have been happier.
Then, after a few weeks and we were settled, I knew that being a home mum was not for me. It wasn't because I didn't love being with my little boy, I was just that It didn't suit me.
When Jayden was 4 1/2 months old, I made Troy quit his job (he was quiet happy to do this!) and I returned to full time work. My mum still hates the idea, but it works for our family, and thats all that matters.
Im due to have our second baby in December, and I will start maternity leave when I go into labour (I work for a medical centre so this isnt a problem ) and will return to work anywhere from 4-8 weeks later.
I don't think to be a good mum you have to stay at home. I didn't enjoy being a home mum, and I think I would have started to resent Jayden for that. I love my job, and wouldn't be me without it. If it works for you do it.
I just thought I'd post an update for those of you who care to read it.
Well DS is now 9 months old, and I still haven't gone back to work. It did get a lot easier. Although I found the first 6 months extremely difficult, the last 3 months have been fantastic. It's such a great age he's at now. he's so funny and makes me laugh all the time.
I think I found the first 6 months so hard because at 30 years og age, I'd spent the last 10 years doing what I want, when I wanted and I didn't have anyone to answer to. I was selfish and self-centred, and then all of a sudden I was tied down to this little demanding baby, and I didn't come first any more. I couldn't be selfish anymore. He was number one priority.
Lack of sleep, post baby body blues, and lack of mental stimulation were all big factors in the way I was feeling when I posted this thread too. But now DS sleeps 10 hours straight at night, my body has bounced back, and I am returning to work 3 days a week as of next week.
I am really looking forward to it and I think 3 days a week will be a good balance.
So to any new mums out there who end up reading this thread, it does get easier, and now I'm glad I didn't go back to work straight away, as I would've missed out on seeing my DS grow and develop, and this is priceless!!
I look back now at what I'd written previously and smile...........at the time it seemed so hard, but now it seems that time went by so quickly.......
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