Parenting & Childcare

Maternity leave is hard and lonely

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By host - sandra.harmon
Maternity leave is often held up as a magical, idyllic time to spend with your new baby. The worries of your usual life evaporate while you're"off work", and saying anything otherwise is still considered taboo.

But a new poll, conducted for BBC Radio 5 live by ComRes, shows that maternity leave is far from a walk in the park - although that's what a lot of mothers find themselves doing most days to keep sane and get their babies to sleep.
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sandra.harmon
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Host
Parenthood is a different experience for everyone, some of it is great and some of it is not so great, we don’t all live insta wonderful lives - open and honest dialogue is the positive way forward.
2 mths
gerrard-lipsett, michael-mcguinessey, joph and 7 other people started following this discussion
gerrard-lipsett, michael-mcguinessey, joph and 7 other people started following this discussion
Host
Its a wonderful and lonely time. If you don't have a good support network, you're world suddenly shrinks. If you've no friends with kids, your days can be very lonely. I'm not just talking about maternity leave, but any stay at home parent.
1 mth
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Host
I looked after and always adored children as I do my own two beautiful sweethearts but post natal hit me hard and I found it very lonely. I’m delighted for those who find their stride immediately and have no linked problems but we do need to dispel the myth that things are automatically glorious and wonderful. Support for each other is the key.
1 mth
Host
Just too much pressure on women to be the full focal point of the kid. Baby wearing, co-sleeping, feeding. Insanely too much self sacrifice and judgments made against you.
1 mth
More than 50 people have joined this discussion.
Host
One lady who became my friend said if you have worked go to as many groups as possible and treat them like they were a meeting. I did this and it helped so much I loved the baby and toddler years and can see the benefits now in the teenage years.
1 mth
Host
And if you think that sucks wait till they’re teenagers! 😂
Edited
1 mth
Host
Maternity leave is hard. Having a baby is hard. Many women don’t get maternity leave. Paid or otherwise. Supporting each other is paramount. Being honest with yourself and others is equally important. Parenthood is about changing your priorities entirely. And that change can be tough.
1 mth
Host
Everyone’s different, I’m really enjoying my maternity leave despite a difficult start. I found the change in routine and priorities terrifying at first but I’d not changed anything I did (eg. work/gym) during pregnancy til right at the very end so it had to be a quick adjustment. I’m also pretty happy with my own company and have formed a new routine - I had to throw myself into finding groups (most of them free) and talking to new people (they might have been as terrified as me!). I’ve also never had any confidence in myself at work and am constantly riddled with self-doubt and imposter syndrome - something I’ve never experienced as a new mother, no idea why!
1 mth
Host
Trouble is, the best bits with your kids come when they're a little older - 1 and a half or two. By that time, everyone is forced back to work nowadays. The newborn baby months are dull. Just sad that parents have to miss out on the best bits because we all have to work, work, work in the modern world. Taking 2 or 3 years out of work seems unthinkable now :-(
1 mth
Host
I suffered post natal depression & was totally alone, but now my child has grown up, moved away, I regret not making more of the time we had together. They are only babies for such a short time, embrace it, they will be teenagers and adults before you know it, wish I could turn the clock back.
1 mth
Host
PATHETIC. Don't have kids then.
1 mth