Having a new baby is such an exciting, magical time in life! You wait nine long months to meet your little human face to face. And when you finally do, you fall in love immediately.
But having a new baby isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Being a parent is hard. There are a lot of things people DON’T tell you about when you announce your pregnancy.
One of the things I found the most surprising was the amount of guilt I felt in certain situations. It was completely unnecessary, but it was that nagging voice in my head telling me I was doing something wrong.
So here is a list of things you should NEVER feel guilty about when you have a new baby, or are about to bring a sweet little munchkin into the world.
- Don’t feel guilty about not wanting every member of your family in the hospital room while you are in labor. Having a child is a very personal and exhausting experience. It’s OK to tell your parents that you want to share that moment with just your partner. It will also decrease the chance that you will yell at someone for trying to make small talk while you’re having a contraction.
- Don’t feel guilty for asking visitors to leave your room if you need rest or asking them to wait until you get home to come see the baby. You will be so tired. And you will need sleep. Taking care of a new baby is hard work. And they will understand because most of them have been there.
- Don’t feel guilty for not doing anything around the house when you get home. The laundry will pile up. The dishes will overflow the sink. The floors won’t be vacuumed or mopped. Most likely you will have created some sort of nest for you and baby on the couch or in the bed. Take that time to rest, spend time with your baby, and heal.
- Don’t feel guilty asking for help. Like I said above, the laundry will pile up and the dishes will be overflowing. There will be so much laundry from a tiny human. So, when your mom asks how she can help, put her to work! If someone wants to bring you food, say yes! If your friend asks how they can help, hand them a vacuum! They wouldn’t be asking if they didn’t really want to help. And if they didn’t want to help, they should have stayed silent because that laundry won’t fold itself.
- Don’t feel guilty for leaving the baby for a few hours to be alone or go meet friends. It is good for you and your health to get out of the house and around those people that make you happy. Plus having a conversation with an adult that doesn’t live in the same home as you is extremely refreshing. I don’t care if it’s with the cashier at the gas station. Get out for a bit and get a breath of fresh air.
- Don’t feel guilty for going back to work. It’s a fact of life. Not all of us can stay at home with our babies. It’s very hard to spend 6-8 weeks doing nothing but caring for your newborn then handing them over to a sitter so you can get back to the grind. But it happens. You will be sad. You might cry. You will miss your baby. But hopefully, you also missed your job just a little and the friends you have there. If you have to work to pay the bills, like I do, you will make the best of the situation and find the joy in working too.
- Don’t feel guilty for not feeling like yourself after you have the baby. I had my second baby in July and I still don’t totally feel like myself. Hormones are crazy things. I still find myself crying during movies or when I watch those sad animal commercials where Sarah McLachlan sings.
If you are a mom, I hope you can relate to this list. If you are about to have a baby, take this to heart. You must put yourself and your new baby first. And you can only do that by resting and spending time bonding with your little human – guilt free.