If this is you, don’t worry. There is an outlet and that outlet is the millions of other mums who have been through, or are currently going through, exactly the same thing you are. Because whatever you’re feeling, many of these mums will have felt (or be feeling) it too. And they won’t sugar coat the details for you. Through social media, baby groups or plain old Google, they’ll help you embrace the messy madness of motherhood – even if some days it’s the last thing you feel like doing.
To prove that you’re definitely not alone, here are some motherhood quotes from real mums who realised that the only way out was through. Rest assured, the grass is greener on the other side…
It took me a long time to bond with my baby… but when I did it was incredible.
“I thought that when my baby was born I’d be desperate to hold them in my arms,” says Jess, mum to Liam, 1. “I wasn’t. He came out and I was so exhausted that when the midwife tried to hand him to me, I told her to ‘give me a minute’. It took a while for the maternal instinct to kick in, but it did eventually. These days my heart literally bursts with happiness every time I look at him.”
I felt so guilty about giving up breastfeeding… but it really was the best for everyone.
“I was determined to breastfeed my baby, but when the time came I just couldn’t get the hang of it,” says Ellie, mum to Olivia, 2. “I tried for weeks and weeks until my nipples were raw and bleeding. Eventually my husband, who could see how much pain I was in, convinced me to move to formula. It took a long time to let go of my guilt, but once I did we were all so much happier, baby included. It’s okay if breastfeeding is not for you.”
I wanted my old life back… but now I couldn’t be happier.
“I had my son three weeks early and had been working a few days before. I definitely didn’t get my head around the enormous change in lifestyle and I really did grieve for my ‘old life’,” says Alicia, mum to Niall, 3. “I think I cried every day about something or other for 12 weeks. Now I can’t imagine not being a mum. It’s the best decision I ever made.”
We were zombies for the first 18 months… but they do sleep – eventually!
“Everyone warns you about the sleep deprivation, but you only really understand what they mean when you go through it,” says Catherine, mum to Esme, 2. “It’s like a form of torture. I remember sending my husband downstairs one night to feed the dog (who was howling) and make up a bottle. He was so tired he put the milk in the dog bowl and came upstairs with a bowl of biscuits for the baby. We still laugh about it now.”
I hated the early years… but absolutely adore being a mum now.
“For me, the baby years were hard, lonely and boring,” says Melissa, mum to Alanna, 6. “It’s okay to not enjoy it, and it’s okay not to be a baby person. Being a mum gets so much easier as they get older, and for me personally, so much more enjoyable, too.”
I felt like a bad mum for not doing more… but everyone’s in the same boat.
“Before giving birth, I had so many things I planned to do with my little girl. But when the time came, I was too tired to do most of them,” says Vicky, mum to Isla, 4, and Emily, 2. “And that guilty feeling just got worse when my second daughter came along. My hands were so tied, making it out of the house most days was an achievement. From talking to other mums, I realise now that I was putting too much pressure on myself. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t make your baby signing group. As long as your kids are healthy, you’re doing a great job.”
If you are feeling lonely or just fancy a chat with other people who’ve gone through the same thing, you could read our tips on Connecting With Other Parents for some suggestions. And if you know a mum who could use a pick-me-up, we have a whole host of ideas in our crowdsourced gift guide for mums, which might be especially helpful with Mother’s Day coming up.