22 Aug 2011

Does the doubt ever go away?

The doubt is setting in again. That I am not a natural mother.

I love E to bits and often find myself crying with how much I love him but this evening I have asked Mr B to take him for a walk so that I can have some time to myself. I feel bad. He has done nothing wrong, yes he has been a bit more whingey than normal these past few days but nothing to complain about. Certainly nothing compared to the 'old days'.

He is still smiling and playing, and being his usual charming, monkey self but for some reason I just needed a break.

I have tried to think about whether it's because I am tired? No. Have not been out of the house? No. Missing adult conversation? No. I don't know what it is but I know I needed it.

So rather than catching up on Twitter or Facebook which is what I normally tend to do when I catch a few minutes to myself (when E is asleep) I have decided to do something productive and actually write a blog post. I just don't seem to have had the words recently to write anything, and I haven't been making the time. If I am honest, I feel guilty about having time away from E.

Is this silly? I feel it shouldn't be silly, surely everyone is entitled to some time off but it's not like I am at work. Mr B is at work, 5 days a week, 9-5 and whilst he can't wait to see and play with E when he gets home in the evening, he is entitled to some time on his own too.

I just don't know what the balance is? When I mention to Mr B how I am feeling, he always jokes - well you go to work for me tomorrow and I'll go to the park etc. And to be completely honest I would love to swap for the day. To do something other than just be a Mum. It's not that he doesn't understand or isn't supportive. He couldn't be more supportive. If I arrange a day out at the weekend with a friend, he won't mind, and when you look back over the last few months it is me that has had more time with my friends, away from E than what he has (in my defence, I am just better at organising things than he is!).

I don't know what the solution is. In the next few months I will need to start doing some days of work in the week (who knows where that is coming from, but that is another post altogether) and that will give me time away. Then, I will probably be complaining about not seeing E enough, and focusing on all the things I am missing out on!

There really is no perfect solution is there? Am I over thinking things? Any advice? I can't be the only/first one to feel like this can I? If so, then I really am a crap Mum.


  1. Aw hun, you are not alone. We all feel like this. I certainly do. In fact Dan has taken my two to the park right now. We all need some time to breathe and be who we are, that unique person, not mum, wife, cook etc.

    I used to feel guilty about it too, I used to think it was my sole job to care for the boys and anyone else having them I should feel eternally grateful and then I'd get the guilts. I think I felt this more when I was still breast feeding.

    It will pass... and now 5 years down the line, I can actually say I dont feel one bit guilty. I see it as all time in the bank... a happy calm relaxed and focused mummy, means my kids are too! (anyway, they must get bored of me just as I get bored of them!). Enjoy this time, now get off the computer and put some music on. Lou x

  2. You are definitely not the first mum to feel this way. And I don't know what a natural mother is, but I don't know a single mum who hasn't wanted, needed and/or deserved a break! I think it's great that you are self aware enough to know what you need and that you have a supportive husband who can help to make it happen.

    Finding balance is hard, and 3 years on, we're still trying to figure it out. Some days {weeks even} things just click and all is well. Some days {weeks!} are tough, but you just gotta hang in there. You guys will figure it out, I have no doubt. In the meantime, BANISH the mum guilt!

  3. I think all mom's go through this, although some don't admit it. I will admit that I am not programmed to be a stay at home mom. I love my son to death, but due to finances, the need to find balance and be my own person, I went back to work when he was 3 months old. He went to nursery for 3-4 days a week. I think it was good for G socially as well. He mixes well with children and adults alike.

    You shouldn't feel guilty, you'll find your balance.
    Breaks are a good thing.

    My husband is the stay at home parent, or has been for the past month and he is a saint. I try and give him a break as much as possible, having been on the other side at the beginning.

    Speaking of breaks, we need to meet up for coffee or a glass of wine soon!

  4. Thank you so much for your lovely replies, I feel human again :) As soon as I had written the post I felt better, I think I just needed the feelings out. Just as I clicked Publish Mr B and E arrived home, no time for music but definitely enough time to restock and reset myself. I was like a different person after, full of energy, motivation. Brilliant. I definitely need to keep it up and have encouraged Mr B to arrange something with his friends soon as we both need time off from everything and everyone. I'm not sure I can remain guilt free forever but I'll always read these responses next time it creeps in. Thanks again, Lx

  5. You are doing a great job.

    I am 13 years down the line with my son and he's taller than me now (not hard, since I'm pretty short) and sometimes I'm amazed that he seems to have reached his teenage years so quickly!

    I certainly remember having the feelings you describe.

    It seems only yesterday I was pounding over the heath on walks with our dog - with my tiny son strapped to my front in a baby sling - and on bad days I was crying & wailing into the wind in time with my son's crying (and the dog looked at both of us with a puzzled stare).

    but these days ....

    When I joke around with my big, lolloping son (huge feet!), he often gives me a spontaneous hug and says,

    'You are the best mum in the world to me.'

    There were many times I thought I was the worst mum in the world to him (especially when he was a tricky toddler) - but it seems that's not his opinion of me.

    You'll find your son grows up feeling exactly the same way about you because you are the best mum in the world to him.


    PS One time, when my son was about five years old, I was travelling with him in a train carriage full of home-going business-suited commuters.

    My son was sitting quietly, watching out of the window, and being very well-behaved (much to my relief). Then he turned to me and said, in a loud and serious voice,

    'Mummy, I think you are wonderful'

    I was feeling pleased with myself until, after a short pause, he added,

    '...Except when you fart and when you are horrible to me.'

    I could see the Telegraph & Financial Times newspapers shaking with laughter all around me. Mortification.

    You'll have a lot of fun with your son as he grows up, I promise.


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