A mom writes in asking for advice about dealing with mom guilt. She says that her 5-month-old daughter has basically been by her side all day, every day since birth. This mom feels guilty leaving her baby with others, including family members. She is worried that this attachment is bad for her baby, who has become fussy the few times she’s let family care for her. And then she feels more guilt at the idea of leaving a fussy baby with a loved one. She’s looking for advice about how to get used to letting her daughter be in others’ care and managing her emotions and mental health in the process.
A member of the community asks:
“How do you deal with mom guilt?
My daughter is almost 5 months old. I’m always with her all day every day. She has spent 2 nights away from me at the family’s homes. And the other day family babysat for a few hours. I feel guilty leaving my baby with others. I’m anxious even though I know she is in good hands. The family would tell us she was such a calm baby until they watch her and she gets very fussy they say she “misses” her mom and dad. I feel bad about this as well because I know she will be fussy if someone watches her.
Mamas, what can I do to help her get used to being in others’ care? How do you handle mom guilt, anxiety, and depression? I go back on a college campus in the fall and she will have to be away from me for a few hours multiple times a week. Thanks in advance.”
Community Advice for This Mom Who Is Struggling with ‘Mom Guilt’
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“Don’t worry mama! All babies are like that. Have them visit (if they can) and spend time with her at her safe place (her home) with you there. That way the baby can get used to being around them with you and you can go into another room for a few minutes at a time.”
“Leave your shirt with her.”
“Get her used to being away from you now. The longer you wait, the worse it will be.”
“She will get used to it! My oldest cried and projectile vomited for years when I would leave her anywhere! It’s hard! Just give it time!”
“Mom guilt can be quite the liar…you do what is best for your child and for yourself! Best thing to do is eliminate the guilt… I understand that it’s part of loving your child, but you already are a great mom just feeling this way! Your baby will have to go a few hours without you whilst at college or work, the best thing is to know that you will be right there to give him/her all the love and attention as soon as possible. Babies do fuss without mom/dad around anyway. All part of this parenting story… Wish you all the best! You will find some peace and balance. A little prayer or positive thought each morning helped me. It goes a long way.”
“Breathe and relax. She is safe and loved and you can’t be with her every minute.”
“Please know and understand that even though you love your sweet baby you NEED breaks. She will grow and be social with others soon enough. And the best part about being apart? That moment they run to you with a big smile. That’s what gets me through dropping my son off at the sitter’s…
… Give your baby something that’s yours. Or smells like you. And don’t ‘slip away’ when you drop them off. I always tell my boy ‘okay I’m leaving. Bye-bye. I’ll be back in 4 hours.’ They don’t understand of course, but they will whenever they get older.”
“All babies get some separation anxiety! I know she’s young but time away for you makes you a better more calm mommy! As she gets older set a time to be back for example, ‘mommy has an errand, Nana is going to play with you at her house for a bit, I will be home in _______( your return time).’ Then don’t be late, 15 minutes to kids seems like an hour but if you stick to it, she will trust what you say and won’t have sick separation anxiety! Also, don’t linger before leaving even if the child is crying, separation is harder on us than them. Trust Me! You are doing great, all good mommies feel guilty, these are normal feelings!”
“It’s normal for her to be fussy with other people because she doesn’t know them. Yes, she sees them often, but babies at that age have no memory capability. All she knows is you and dad. My baby is 10 months old and I still stress and worry about them when my sister is with them in just the next room over. It’s natural to worry about them, you’re their mom!! Having breaks help a lot.”
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