Oh, mom guilt! It’s such a real thing.
And in those early days of a new baby, it’s easy to feel guilty about practically everything. Hormones are on high-alert, and you’re functioning on a fraction of the sleep you normally do. Plus, if it’s your first baby, everything is a new experience (and even if it’s not your first baby, every baby is so different that previous experience doesn’t always help a lot).
It’s so easy to feel guilty about what you’re doing or not doing, but here are six things new moms should never worry over.
1. Rocking your baby. Now that I’ve had three other children, I recognize that those newborn days really do end quickly, and pretty soon they’ll be way too busy exploring the world to snuggle with you. This time around, I’m soaking up this baby that drifts off in my arms and wants nothing more than to snuggle with her mama. And it won’t ruin their ability to sleep on their own in the future.
2. Cold cereal (or takeout) for dinner. If you’ve kept that baby fed, whether by bottle or breast, it’s perfectly acceptable to keep the rest of the family fed via a bowl of cornflakes or a pizza delivery.
3. Not leaving the house. In the first few weeks with a newborn, the house can feel like a cozy cocoon as you get to know your new little person. Some people want to get out of the house immediately, but if all you want to do is stay home and snuggle, don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong.
4. Wanting to get out without your baby. Especially if you’re nursing, it can be hard to leave your baby for very long, and new dads might be nervous about being left home with the baby, but even a quick solo trip to the grocery store can make you feel like you’re more than just a caretaker.
5. Not wanting visitors. Some people love a parade of people at the hospital or to the house to visit the new parents and baby, but if you don’t want those visitors, it is absolutely your prerogative to ask people not to drop by. It’s your baby and you get to make the rules about who visits.
6. Sharing a million photos of your baby. Sure, some people might not notice the subtle differences between 10 nearly-identical photos of your baby, but YOU do. And you’ll love looking back on them in a month or a year and recognizing how much they’ve grown and how tiny they were then. Overload that Instagram feed with milk coma pictures and baby yawn snaps.