Hate is a strong word, and women don’t honestly hate their newborns. However, many moms find they have very strong feelings about them those first few weeks.
Those feelings include love and caring, but they also include resentment. Babies change everything, and there is no way to prepare in advance for what will come when the baby arrives. All the commercials that show pregnant women already in love with their children may ring false to women who really didn't like their babies that much in the beginning, or at least didn't like the drastic changes that came with being a mom.
Mom's body is recovering from labor, her hormones are fluctuating, and she is tasked with keeping a tiny, helpless person alive. It's overwhelming, to say the least, and sometimes moms blame the stress on their newborns. It's not that they don't want their babies. They just want them out of the newborn phase so sleep, intimacy, and life can go back to whatever normal is.
The normal after having children is never going to be the same as before kids, but the newborn phase is especially brutal. Sleep deprivation and sore body parts don't help. Plus, moms worry constantly about their babies, causing anxiety to creep in.
Surviving the newborn weeks is possible, but it is hard. It's important for moms to know that babies aren't responsible for their behavior and shouldn't be blamed for keeping parents up all night. However, there are still reasons moms find themselves less than happy with their newborns in those early days.
15 Lack Of Sleep
We know it's not technically a newborn's fault that he can't sleep for hours at a time. Newborn tummies are tiny, so they need food often. They then very efficiently expel that food, so they need their diapers changed. Plus, they are just really into their moms and can't seem to get enough of being held. However, it's a bit much in the beginning.
When moms are trying to recover from birth, they want and need rest. Newborns exist to make sure that is not possible. While trying to heal from birthing a human, this tiny person needs mom 24/7, and that includes all through the night.
If mom is lucky, her partner or family members will make sure to chip in and let her rest. However, breastfeeding moms report not feeling much relief because they still have to feed the baby at night. Only mom has the magic milk, so while everyone else rests, mom gets to sit up and serve as a milk machine to her tiny little boss.
14 Babies Destroy Our Bodies
A woman's body does not ever look the same after childbirth. Mom may lose all of the weight and get close to her pre-pregnancy look, but there will be noticeable differences for the rest of her life. There's nothing wrong with this. Our bodies are awesome for bearing witness to us bringing life into the world.
However, for some moms the body changes are hard to handle. They don't feel like themselves, and when they look in the mirror they may not recognize their bodies. Clothes that used to fit now don't, and everything they wear ends up stained in breast milk.
Moms usually come to terms with the ways their bodies change, but those first few weeks can be rough. Covered in a haze of sleep deprivation, every emotion is intensified, so post baby body woes may seem much worse than they really are.
13 Moms Don't Know Why Babies Cry
Crying is a major past time for babies. It's the only way they can communicate to their parents that they need or want something. Even knowing babies cry for logical reasons doesn't make it any easier to deal with when they just won't stop.
After mom has fed and changed a baby and offered plenty of cuddles and the child is still screaming, it's always good to check for signs of illness. If there are none, mom usually starts to feel her stress level rise. Of course she's grateful her baby isn't sick, but she's beyond frustrated that she doesn't know how to soother her baby.
Food allergies, colic, or just super sensitive little ones can make this journey hard, but mom is not a failure for not knowing how to calm her little one. If mom feels frustration taking over, she needs to call for back up so she can catch a break.
12 Everyone Is Concerned About The Baby
Mom is concerned about the baby, and it's precious to watch dad, grandparents, and everyone else make sure the little one is doing well. However, sometimes this means they forget about mom, the person who has just given birth and is now dealing with hormone spikes that feel like they may bring on insanity.
Moms don't get jealous of their newborns, but they can get upset when they need support and everyone just wants to hold the baby. Coming to visit a new mom should include bringing food or planning to help with laundry or dishes. Holding the baby while a sore, tired mom tries to perform domestic duty is not all that helpful, and it can lead to resentment when mom feels like those around her aren't looking out for her needs. Partners should be especially aware that leaving the hospital doesn't mean mom has healed.
11 Postpartum Depression
For 10-20 percent of women, having a baby means dealing with postpartum depression. Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen have been open about their struggles, and no one is immune from this issue. It's an overwhelming, scary experience that leaves moms sad, angry, and fearful, and it steals the joy out of becoming a mother.
Women with PPD may actually feel like they dislike their children because this condition messes with their minds. They may also blame newborns for causing this condition. It's not rational, but PPD doesn't often lead to rational feelings, and that's not mom's fault.
Women who struggle with PPD need to get help immediately. Taking care of a newborn means we have to take care of ourselves first. It's too demanding of a job to try to deal with PPD at the same time, so women with signs need to get help. There's no shame in a PPD diagnosis.
10 Babies Make Us Feel Guilty
Do we go back to work or stay at home full time? Do we breastfeed or depend on formula? Attachment parenting or cry it out? Whatever moms choose, they have guilt.
The guilt that comes with having a newborn is intense. Though our babies sleep most of the time, just not at night, we still feel guilty if we aren't holding them, looking at them, or absorbing every moment since people are obsessed with telling us how fast it all goes by. We have guilt about pursuing personal interests if it takes time away from the baby, and we don't want to ask anyone for help.
The guilt can, after a while, make us start resenting everyone. Our lives change quickly and irrevocably, and we need someone to blame. Sometimes our blame falls on the baby who is taking all our time with no consideration for our needs. It's unfair, but most moms admit feeling this way at least once.
9 They Leave Us Isolated
Getting out and about with a baby is complicated for a ton of reasons. Newborns don’t have the strongest immune systems, so it's not a good idea to take them into large crowds or to have a ton of people over exposing them to germs in the early days.
It's also not easy to get out with a newborn. Planning around feeding times, nap times, and just cranky times means planning to go anywhere is complicated. When we do finally make it out, it's likely our baby will decide that it's time to launch a poo explosion, slowing the entire trip to a halt.
When moms feel isolated, it can be difficult to feel content. They want to get out of the house, but they feel tethered to their home because of their newborn. A solid solution is asking dad to take the little one for at least 20 minutes a day so mom can get out on her own.
8 Moms Are Tired Of The Gross Parts
There are so many bodily fluids associated with having a newborn that mom will absolutely have to develop a strong stomach. Poop, puke, spit up, and pee are the usual suspects, and it's absolutely shocking that babies so small can produce so many bodily fluids without dehydrating.
Moms can grow tired in those early days of constantly changing diapers, changing baby onesies, and then changing their own clothes so they won't smell like poo all day. Laundry piles up, making it look like mom gave birth to a football team instead of one tiny person. Plus, as awful as we feel about our child having to deal with all the poop and spit up as well, we also can't wait for them to be potty trained, even before they can walk.
Parenting gets a bit less gross, but between the umbilical cord stump, meconium, and all the other fluids, those early days are memorable in the fluids department.
7 Newborns Make Us Anxious
Many women actually are diagnosed with postpartum anxiety, a condition where racing thoughts, never ending worry, and nausea are common symptoms. Just like PPD, any woman who thinks she may be suffering with postpartum anxiety needs to seek help. Postpartum anxiety can cause women to lose sleep and stop eating, something that is not going to help their situation.
Other women suffer with just being overly stressed because of all the fears that accompany a child's birth. The thought of sudden infant death syndrome(SIDS) is something that gives moms nightmares because of how randomly it targets victims. The soft spot a child has on the head for months is a cause for concern, and many moms obsess over anyone even coming near their children's heads.
This constant obsession with safety wears mom down, emotionally and physically. It can cause her to be irritable and stressed constantly.
6 Mom Feels Like She Loses Her Identity
Feeling a loss of identity is normal after having a child. As we embrace our identity as a mother it sometimes feels like losing our identity as anything else. Since we are on call 24/7 with a newborn, we don't have time to invest in our hobbies, careers, or personal relationships in the beginning.
A woman can start to feel disconnected from herself, unsure of what her role is now that parenting is her full-time job. This is normal, but the emotion can lead to mom being frustrated with her child because she sees him as the cause of her identity loss.
Moms need to remember that the early days can be the hardest, and they need to try to take time to invest in activities for pleasure that remind them of things they did before the baby was born. They may not be able to spend much time doing anything but mom duty in the beginning, but even a little time investing in something else can help.
5 Mom's Body Crashes
It's not uncommon for women to feel like pregnancy changed their health, and not always for the better. Many women develop thyroid problems after their children are born, leading to weight problems, fatigue, and brain fog. Others struggle while their hormones try to deal with producing milk and getting back to normal now that the baby is out. Basically, women can end up feeling awful while trying to care for a baby.
Some women report losing their hair after giving birth or struggling with other areas of their health. Many moms don't feel like their immune systems are fighting as hard as they did before, leaving them more susceptible to illness.
When a woman is sleep deprived and feels unhealthy, it's not hard to be frustrated. However, it's not the baby's fault, and doctors can help mom feel normal again.
4 Careers Get Derailed
Women go to school, find jobs, and follow their passions as they build their careers. Then they have babies.
While having a child should not derail a mom's career plan, many feel like it does. Time off to recover and bond with the baby means mom may miss opportunities for promotion, and if a woman decides to stay at home or go part-time, she's likely to find it's harder to find work when she wants to go back full time later on.
Every woman should have the choice between staying at home or going back to work, and there is no wrong choice. It's just hard for women who have built their careers up to a certain point to feel like they lose ground just for becoming moms. Since the world doesn't celebrate the calling of motherhood like it does women who climb the corporate ladder, mom may become frustrated that she is working so hard and nobody seems to care.
3 Spousal Relationships Suffer
The newborn phase is not easy on couples. Mom is still feeling tender from birth, neither partner is sleeping, and intimacy is the last thing on anyone's mind. Mom and dad may be arguing over sharing responsibilities, and they are both more likely to be edgy due to lack of rest.
All of these issues add up to a bumpy road in the beginning. Parents can't go out on dates as easily, and there are no breaks. Mom and dad may both feel resentment that so much attention is going to the baby that they can't nurture their bond.
It gets easier, but open, honest communication is key for making it through the early days. Neither spouse should blame the other for the difficulties, and neither one should blame the baby. Working as a team and stealing moments when it's possible are important when making the newborn transition.
2 Friendships Suffer
Because the mother/child relationship requires so much attention, especially early on, friendships suffer. Mom can't go out with her girlfriends, and her childless friends may not have a lot of sympathy for the new mom's situation. This can cause fractures in the relationship that may or may not heal.
Feeling isolated is a common complaint from new moms, and some of that isolation simply comes from not being able to hang out with friends in the old way. When friends come over to visit, it may be hard to carry on a conversation when the baby's needs have to be met, and this can make it hard for relationships to thrive.
Mom friends tend to understand a bit more, but when both people have kids, it can be even harder to spend meaningful time together away from the kids.
1 Everyone Says We Should Love The Newborn Phase
"It goes so fast!" "This is such a sweet phase!" "Oh, I wish mine were that small again!" These are all words we hear when we have a newborn. Though they are well-meaning, it can be frustrating for a mom who is not enjoying the newborn phase to hear this all the time.
This makes her feel guilty for not loving this phase, and that can lead to anger that she has to feel guilty for not liking something that is so hard.
It's not necessary for moms to love the newborn phase. It doesn't make them bad mothers. It's just a really hard time when emotions are everywhere. It's not necessary to love it but to simply survive while bonding with our little one as much as possible.
Most people don't remember the details of the newborn phase and that's why they can so easily say that it goes quickly.