Human beings, try to not carry regrets through life or look back on what could have been, but sometimes it can't be helped. A lot of these regrets or 'what if's' come easily to parents especially when looking back on the first few weeks with baby as there are often things that moms wish they had or had not done.
In this article, we will be going through a list of 21 Women and what they say they wish they would have done differently and wished they could do over. This may not always be possible, not only as parents but as people, there are lessons to be learned from mistakes made and experiences. So this is not to make anyone feel bad but merely to look back on and bring comfort to other Mothers who may also have these thoughts. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
So, having some regrets about the first 8 weeks with baby? Or perhaps you have none but wonder what other peoples are? Then this is the list for you. Here is, 'First 8 Weeks With The Baby: 21 Mom's Share What They Would Do Over.'
21 Try Breastfeeding
"Breastfeeding was never something that appealed to me and most of my friend's with babies bottle fed so I naturally went with formula. However, after researching more into breastfeeding I really wish I gave it a go for both me and especially my baby", shared one Mother on her feeding dilemma.
Deciding how to feed your child can be a tough choice with judgment at every corner. Many mothers look back on their choice and have second thoughts. Although breastfeeding is the best choice for babies health that does not mean you are doing anything wrong by choosing to bottle feed, this is a choice that suits many Mothers better.
20 Accept Help
"This is my baby, my responsibility. If I accept help I will be a failure and a bad mother", these being the early thoughts of this new Mother. As time went on she wished she had not felt this way and had reached out for help in those first few weeks. "I now realise accepting help does not make you a bad mother, it makes you a great one! Giving others the chance to bond with your baby and giving yourself a break".
Most first time Mothers feel that they shouldn't accept help or that they will be judged if they do but in those first few weeks when you yourself are recovering from birth it is crucial to let people help you.
19 Cuddle More
"I was so focused on getting things done when my baby was small. I obviously adhere to my son's needs first but then a quick cuddle and set them down so I could get on with household chores. Looking back I wish I spent more of those early days relaxing and cuddling my son because you never get that time back", revealed one Mother who longs for more newborn cuddles.
It is true when people say you blink and your children grow up! Grow up into fully grown adults that don't need you as often and most likely will not sit in your arms cuddling you for hours. Take advantage of this close cuddle time when they are little and appreciate each cuddle you get as they get older.
18 Speak To Other Mothers
Having a friend who understands what you are going through is really important, however, this mom did not see the benefit of having fellow mothers as friends until later.
"I had no interest in making friends with other Mothers in the beginning. I had my friends from before having a baby and I was happy with that but with my friends not being Mothers I felt like no one understood what I was going through as a new mom. I now have many friends who have children and think if I had made friends with other Mothers sooner I would have felt more supported".
Family is great, friends without children also have their benefits but having support from those who are going through the same experience really does make a difference!
17 Trust Your Instinct
We have all heard of a Mother's instinct and often trust in our Mothers' but then why when we become Mothers ourselves do we question the instinct that we know we have. One mom knows this all too well and wishes she had been more confident in her ability as a Mother.
"Everyone has an opinion on parenting and how to do it, I really felt this when I became a Mother for the first time and found it hard to trust my instinct. Now looking back I wish I was as confident in myself as a Mother as I am now and made the decisions I wanted to make."
16 Stop Comparing
"When my second child was newborn he never slept, ever! I could not help but compare him to my little girl who slept all night pretty much from the start. I now look back and feel guilty about doing that", shared an honest Mother about her experience when she became a Mother of two.
It can be hard not to compare but you just need to keep in mind that no child is the same just as no adult is the same. Treat every new baby as getting to know a new person, a new friend because that is exactly what you are doing. Learning all about a new person and how to look after them.
15 Leave The Mess
Where there are children there is mess, that is inevitable. As mothers, we feel we need to be on top of everything all the time and sometimes we can get caught up in the tidying and forget to have fun.
"I [strongly dislike] mess, I always have! And when I had children this just intensified. I would never sit down and cuddle my newborn or play with my toddler because I would be too busy cleaning up after them and myself. I wish I could go back and leave the mess and just spend more time looking at my babies. Those are times you never get back!"
14 Start Cloth Diapers
"When I had my little one I knew nothing of cloth nappies, disposable nappies are the norm and most convenient option. Once I started researching more about it I could not believe how much my decision to use disposable nappies was impacting the environment, forever wishing I could take back all those nappies I chucked out and try cloth nappies", revealed this environment-conscious mother.
It can be hard to make the best decision for the environment in this day and age due to the most accessible and cost-effective option being disposable nappies. Going that extra mile to help the environment by using cloth nappies however will be most beneficial.
13 Let Dad Help Out More
People always talk about how hard working Mothers are and how they do everything from the cooking and cleaning to taking care of the children. Although this is often true and yes, Mothers really do seem to have super powers, this Mom thinks she could of let the father of her baby help out more in those early days.
"I bottle fed from the start so my Husband was more than capable of helping out, it wasn't like the food was coming from my body, but I would not let him. I was obsessed with doing everything myself and in hindsight, I think my Husband was desperate to help out. I wish I had let go a bit more and let him step in and be the amazing Dad he is sooner".
12 Give Dad A Break
"My Boyfriend got non stop nagged by me when our son was a tiny baby. Hormones are all over the place, emotions are high and the sleepless nights take over and I just found myself being [mean] to this man who I loved so much. I wish I had stood back and appreciated him more. He needed a break just as much as I did!", a mom of one shared her feelings of guilt.
The few weeks after having a baby will put a bit of strain on most relationships as you are both going through a major transition. We all say and do things we don't mean but at the end of the day if your relationship is strong you will get through this because as well as nagging each other you are also supporting each other, which is very important.
11 Give More Attention
At the time you think you are giving all the attention in the world to your little one but in reality, the days are flying past. From cleaning to social media, there are so many distractions and although you love your baby you may not be giving them as much attention as you think.
"In the moment I thought all my attention was on my infant but in reality, almost none of it was. While I would breastfeed I would watch TV, while she was sleeping on my chest I would be texting on my phone, while she was doing Tummy time I would be busy chatting with my partner. I wish I took the time to really be in the moment and give my little one every ounce of my attention because they are not little for very long!"
10 Take More Pictures
In contrast to the last entry, this mother wishes she had had her phone or camera out more and captured those all important moments. Perhaps there is such a thing as living in the moment too much.
"I have a handful of photos from when my son was a newborn and that is it. I am barely in any of them and they are either blurry or bad quality. I was so focused on just looking after my baby and staring at him at the time that I did not think about the future and what memories it would be nice for both him and I to look back on. I really wish I had my camera out more.. fair to say I never put it away now".
9 Have Thicker Skin
"I took 'Bad Mom' comments to heart and was offended way too easily by others opinions of parenting. I wish I was not so upset during those first few weeks and ignored any bad comments", revealed a Mom who had experienced judgment in the past.
There has never been one opinion on parenting, never a way to do things that everyone agrees on. Nowadays with social media, it is even harder for Mom's and Dad's to avoid the negative comments and do what they think is right for their child. Advice is one thing but judgment is another, never let anyone tear you down. If you are feeling affected by bullying however please speak to someone you trust.
8 Deal With PPD
"I had struggled with depression in the past and I just knew that when my little one got here that I would struggle with it again. Instead of dealing with my mental health, however, I let it worsen and worsen, meaning the bond with my daughter was not there until well into her first year. I wish I had spoken up sooner and got the help I needed to get over PPD", bravely admitted this Mom about her struggle with depression after birth.
Many Mothers around the world struggle with PPD and unfortunately many do not seek help thinking that they will be judged as an unfit Mother, this is most certainly not the case and by getting help you are actually doing what is best for you and your child. Happy Mom, happy baby as they say.
7 Limit Visitors
A baby being born is a joyous occasion for so many people, not just the parents. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, friends, there are so many people awaiting the arrival of the new baby and understandably are excited to meet them when they are born but a stampede of visitors is not always the best idea.
"Pretty much as soon as my little boy was born there were lots of visitors. In and out of my hospital room, in and out of my house, I felt like this was too much for me as I had not had time to adjust to being a new mom yet but I did not want to be rude. Looking back I wish I had put my foot down and limited visitors until I was ready".
6 Forget The Thank You Cards
A thank you card is a lovely gesture that many people are brought up to partake in. You start to feel obligated to send a thank you card to anyone who ever did you a favour, bought you a gift or gave you advice, but sometimes, some occasions, it is not possible or simply unnecessary.
"I was brought up to send thank you cards whenever you received a nice gift, my Mother would sit us down and get us to write them out. I love that I was brought up like this but when my first child was born I was [bombarded] with gifts and still I sent everyone a thank you card or note. In hindsight I wish I had just left it this time".
5 Sleep When Baby Sleeps
"Everyone tells you to 'sleep when baby sleeps'. All throughout your pregnancy, right up to when the baby arrives, this is the piece of advice you get but I did not listen. I wish I could go back and get some more rest when I needed it!", shared one tired Mother.
Women do get fed up of hearing the same 'helpful tips' over and over again during their pregnancy/early days with a newborn but in some cases, the advice needs to be drummed into you. Parenthood is tiring so when that baby is sleeping, if you are tired and have the opportunity to sleep, do just that! You need to recharge!
4 Allow Me Time
"Me time is not selfish, it is necessary and I wish I had told myself this in the first few weeks of being a Mother. My child will always come first but I now see that it is important to look after yourself", explained a Mother who recently learned the importance of self-care.
Whether it be taking a bath, a shower, watching some television, painting your nails, reading a book, having a nap or any other relaxing activity, having me-time as a person is important especially when you are a parent. When you are always putting your needs to the backburner then you can self-neglect, this is not good for anyone. Look after yourself and then you are fully capable of looking after others.
3 Communicate With Partner
Before having a child it was just the two of you, now there is a little one in the picture that has changed and can put a strain on the relationship. There are many different types of family units so this does not apply to everyone but for this Mother, it really hits home when she looks back at those early weeks with her baby.
"I pretty much ignored my partner during those early weeks of our child's life, I was so busy with the baby and when he took over I would nap. We never really spoke or spent time together and it made us argue more. Luckily we turned things around but I wish we had communicated better in those first few weeks and argued less".
2 Be Louder
"I tiptoed around the house when my baby was sleeping, I did not watch TV or even think about playing music! Now my child needs complete silence to sleep in or they will wake up. Looking back I wish I had took out the hoover and got them used to sleeping in some noise", shared a Mother regretting giving her baby so much quiet time.
It doesn't work for all babies, some really do just want silence when they sleep, but many Mothers swear they have trained their child to sleep through noise. So, if you are reading this expecting your first little one maybe take ear to this advice.
1 Don't Try To Impress
"Yes, my house is a mess and I am okay with that! If you are here to look at my house and not see me and my child then we do not want you here... this is my attitude now but I wish I had adopted it sooner", exclaimed a Mother who knows all too well the stress of impressing visitors.
You have just had a baby and visitors are coming over but everything (including you and the baby) are a mess! It can be easy to panic and feel you need to get it all in check but that really is not the case. People should come to see you and if you are still in your pajamas, there are toys all over the floor or your baby is in a stained vest then that is that, that is real life. Don't worry what others think.
Sources: Facebook survey, Mumsnet, Babycenter.com, BabyGaGa.com