Motherhood is not an easy job. Some women take to it quite easily, but most of us have difficulty adjusting, at least at the beginning. Never before have we had to put our own needs second and someone else’s first all the time, while still having to balance our own priorities against that. It's a tough act to juggle, but something that must be figured out in a relatively short amount of time. After all, baby is depending on Mom for food, warmth and love. All this is also happening while new Moms juggle a home, sleep deprivation, and sometimes other children as well.
The combination of all these factors sometimes causes even the most positive, relaxed, and organized of Moms to snap. They get frustrated, feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and may say and do things they wish they hadn’t. Sometimes they worry that these mistakes could cost them the most important thing in the world - their baby. By this, women worry that baby will be taken away from them. Most of the time, Moms are worrying for nothing. But it's still a scary thought to have, and if a Mom finds herself feeling this way, she should talk to family and friends so she knows she's not alone. If more support is needed, seeking professional help is an even better idea. She should never hesitate to call about that. Here are 15 things that make Mom worry that the baby will be taken away:
15 Not Wanting To Take Care Of The Baby
Moms go through days when they don't want to change another diaper, prepare meals, play and handle the baby’s schedule. It’s called exhaustion, and lack of family or other support that can provide tips, a shoulder to cry on, and babysitting all add to this. In most cases this community is there, either in Mom/Tot groups in her neighborhood, virtually on line, or sometimes can even be found in her family if she is brave enough to call up and ask for help. Family have been known to fly in and come and help if they know Mom is struggling. Moms who burn out are not bad Moms, but are Moms who are tired and need help and guidance. No one will take babies away from a Mom as long as they see she is trying to get help for herself and do what is best for her and her baby.
14 Spanking The Baby
All Moms have at one point slapped their babies on the arm, leg or behind. Sometimes more than once. They are ashamed and afraid to admit this, especially now that more information is coming out on how damaging physical punishment is to a child’s well-being. As a parent, they also feel bad in having modelled the “might is right” way of teaching which is wrong. Yes, parents are in charge and need to have some form of authority, but in a gentle loving way by setting boundaries. This has to be relayed to children as young as toddlers and even younger which is not always easy. Moms worry that social services or someone in the medical profession will consider this abuse and deem her unfit. Of course, an isolated incident here or there is nothing to worry about. If it is happening frequently, she should seek counselling and therapy for herself. Anger management may be needed too.
13 Yelling At The Baby
Again all Moms have done it and will do it at some point. It’s only human nature to lose one’s temper, even if we know it's silly and pointless to yell at a baby that doesn't know better. As long as Mom is not yelling at the baby for every little thing they do as they get older and are moving around, or for babies that are simply being babies when they cry to eat, be changed, or due to discomfort, she has nothing to worry about. Social services are not going to take away a baby from a good and loving home. If they see Mom is doing her best, seeking help if she needs it through counselling, extra help at home so she can have a break, or medication if she is suffering from mental health issues, they will work with her to make sure she's calm, the baby is happy and everyone can live amicably together.
12 Complaining About Hardships Of Motherhood
Moms who complain a lot, cry, and get angry venting to family and friends, will worry that they are wearing out people’s patience and sometimes think that people will report them as not being caring and loving toward their children. If any woman has family or friends who would even consider that, she needs to get these people out of her life. Most people know that new Moms need to vent and are supportive in this regard. Sometimes Moms can even see the humor in their situations when they're venting. All of this will go a long way to helping them become stronger and more positive Moms, help make their kids happier and healthier, and the people around them will see that and work with them to make this possible. If family or friends suggest she see a professional to talk more, this should not be met with animosity. This is just them trying to encourage her to help herself and her child.
11 Wanting To Shake The Baby
If a Mom is at the end of her emotional rope, similar to slapping, she may find herself about to shake her baby. This is a very dangerous thing to do, even once. As long as Mom never acts on it, it's fine. If she does, even one time, she needs to seek help immediately. She needs to put her baby down in the crib, close the door after making sure he or she is safe, and go calm down in another part of the house. It’s best she make sure someone else is able to take care of her baby, and if she can, go for a walk and clear her head. If a Mom has thought of doing this or does it once, it means her frustration level has reached its max. She needs help to control her anger and emotions. She loves her baby but is burned out. No one will remove her baby, but rather will work with her to show her how to handle her emotions so that she and her baby have a loving and safe relationship. The health care professional’s job is to keep the baby with its Mom as long as it is in the baby’s and Mom’s best interest.
10 Thinking They Don’t Like Being A Mom
Sometimes motherhood is hard and we want a break from it. Maybe we think, "I don’t like my child and I don’t like being his/her Mom." Again, as long as this is not a regular pattern of thinking, it just means Mom is burned out and needs a break from being a Mom. An afternoon or evening away is helpful. Sometimes even a night away is good if she can find appropriate childcare arrangements and work it out with her partner. Medical professionals and therapists will help Mom find ways of working through more difficult emotions of becoming a mother and the stresses that go with it. Moms who think this way are guilty of one thing - too much time spent on others and none on taking care of herself. She needs to recharge her batteries. Every Mom goes through this and babies are not removed from homes where the Moms are tired. Those Moms just need to give themselves permission to have a little break once in a while.
9 Wishing They Could Take Off Alone
Again this is quite common, especially at the beginning of motherhood, when Moms are overtired, overwhelmed, and don’t have a lot of social support or other adults around to help with child care. It's actually healthy to want to go away alone for some time to recharge, and Moms should not apologize for feeling that way. An evening out, a day out, or a night away, can save a Mom’s sanity and help her remember that she is a separate person with wants and needs of her own. It's healthy for her to continue to pursue the things she cares about to stay whole and be the happiest Mom she can be. Often times though, Moms feel that they are failing as mothers if they feel the urge to run away. It's the exact opposite. The best thing for a Mom to do if she is having these thoughts is to carve out some "me-time" and make a point in having it regularly. Then, she will see that the thoughts will fade away. She will not lose her child, but gain her strength back.
8 Accidentally Dropping The Baby
If Mom drops her baby once, or baby falls off the changing table or bed on her watch, it just means that she has to be more vigilant. Many Moms have had had that moment of horror when the baby falls, rolls off and gets injured. Seeing the bleeding lip or cut, they imagined it was far worse. Thankfully it was not. As long as this is not happening frequently, Mom is not having thoughts of dropping the baby, and is making sure to get as much sleep as she can (relatively speaking), no one will be going anywhere. Baby will stay with the mother where he or she is best off. Mom will undoubtedly find new and better ways to watch out for baby’s safety, and baby’s doctors will keep an eye to make sure that all is well. But no one, baby or adult, is permanently harmed from one little fall. Mom will not be judged by family and doctors for one mistake either.
7 Not Realizing Baby Was Getting Sick
Sometimes babies get a fever and they get really sick in a short amount of time. Mom can usually see the symptoms of a virus coming on, but if she misses it, no one will say she is deliberately putting her baby in harm’s way. This is another case where Moms tend to be hard on themselves. Yes, doctors will ask her questions about signs and symptoms, but no one will think the worse of her if they see she is being proactive to help her baby, and bringing him/her to the hospital shows that she is on top of things for sure. Moms will miss things, especially if they themselves are tired, busy, and have other children at home. The medical practitioner’s first priority is helping baby get well, and Mom is at the top of the team to help him or her do that. They will work with her, not against her in helping baby get better. A lot of times Moms beat themselves up for not seeing things. She is not perfect, but needs to remember that her energy is best used for helping baby in the present.
6 Severe Lack Of Sleep Or Oversleeping
A sleep deprived Mom will visualize the worst, namely that she is a bad, uncaring Mom whose baby will be taken away from her because she loses patience and feels depressed. Sleep deprivation is the worst form of torture a person can go through. And Moms who don’t sleep, envision the worst. The solution is for her to try and catch up on her sleep as much as she can. Then, when she is more rested, she can have a better understanding of her patience level and her situation than before. Consequently, if she is oversleeping, this could be a sign of postpartum depression, anxiety or a burnout. Only if she does not seek help from professionals and tell family and friends, can her relationship with her child be endangered. Everyone wants the baby and Mom to stay together, but it will require work on Mom’s end.
5 Missing Old Lifestyle
Missing the complete freedom to sleep, eat and go out when one wants to, as well as wearing beautiful clothes and the like is normal. In many ways, this was the ideal life for Mom prior to baby. Now, she has to make sacrifices that are not always easy or fun. It doesn't make her a bad or unfit Mom to miss those days and sometimes long for them. As a matter of fact, she could even try and recapture a bit of her previous lifestyle by asking her partner to take over some nights if she wants to go dancing with friends, go out to a nice restaurant or whatever helps her have fun again. This makes her a good Mom for recharging her batteries. If the pediatrician and her own family doctor hear how she is doing this to help herself, they will agree that as long as baby has another adult in the home taking care of his/her needs, Mom taking time for herself will mean a better relationship for her and her baby down the road.
4 Over Or Under Eating
Not eating enough is not good and could be a sign of postpartum depression. Over eating could also be a sign of extreme anxiety. If Mom falls into either camp, she could start worrying about baby being taken away, but doctors would soon tell her to leave the baby with a trusting adult and get her own health issues under control. Once she will have control over how she handles her own stress, everything else will fall into place with her and her baby. No one would want to disturb that. The mother-child bond is so important for the baby's future mental health, and everyone in Mom’s life would work with her to make this possible so that the whole family could stay together. Moms gradually learn to lessen up on all the expectations they have of themselves being super woman. They soon learn this ideal doesn’t exist, and they need to do their best to simply be there, give baby the necessities for healthy living, and cut themselves some slack.
3 Baby Is Not Putting On Weight
It’s normal being a first time Mom to miss some signs such as the baby not putting on enough weight. No one will accuse her of child abuse or neglect. If she sees baby is crying more, not settling and seems pale, it's important she visit a lactation clinic and her doctor to see if the baby is gaining weight at a healthy rate. It may be that Mom’s milk supply is low and things need to be done to increase it, or she may need to supplement with formula or put baby on formula the whole way. Regardless, no one will take baby away. Mom will be shown the changes she needs to make to help baby grow healthy and strong. Only if Mom doesn't take into consideration what lactation consultants and doctors have said after examining the child, then there could be more serious consequences. This would mean she is very deliberately ignoring sound medical advice against the best wishes for her baby’s health.
2 Having Disturbing Thoughts
This is a valid thing for Mom to worry about. Yes, she would most likely lose her baby if she was having constant thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby, and God forbid, if she attempted to hurt herself of baby. But how many women resort to harming right off the bat? It's usually a process of it building up, and if she is aware of these horrible feelings, she has time to get help. No one would prevent her from seeing her baby, but would recommend another caretaker stay with the baby until Mom is healthy and strong again. If a family member or friend is available, it would be the best bet. Otherwise, someone would be temporarily appointed most likely to help Mom while she heals. The full intention would be to reunite her with her child once she's better. And there is no shame in getting on anti-depressants as well as going to therapy for postpartum depression.
1 Baby Is Not Developing Properly
Many Moms blame themselves when baby is not developing properly and has developmental delays. Unless Mom did deliberate harm or neglect, this is not her fault. Doctors and other medical or health care professionals will not rush in to take her baby away. They will ask her lots of questions, give her support, so they know how to address baby’s lack of progress and make sure to help him/her catch up. Moms in general put a lot of pressure on themselves to be there for everyone, but it's impossible. As long as she is following up with anything that doesn't sit well about her child, she will get support and help. Her confidence will return when she sees that baby is on his/her own developmental path, and that she is there to assist and support him/her to the best of her abilities. Once Moms get on board with helping their children, things will get moving.
So that is 15 things that make Mom worry that baby will be taken away. As we have seen, if Mom works with the medical establishment and other health care professionals, seeks help in her family and with friends, everyone will do their utmost best to keep Mom and child together so that both can grow and bond with one another in a healthy way.