How important is it to have a life outside being a mum?

I have been struggling the last few weeks with not having any life outside my daughter. She's 7 months old and a bottle refuser, so I'm unable to spend much more than about 4 hours away from her. It's not enough for me and I'm feeling very restricted and I have no time to myself, and even H and I haven't really been out since she was born. I feel like a mum and that's it. No me. No wife.

I guess my question is, am I being unrealistic? Is this what I (perhaps unknowingly) signed up for? Should I just suck it up and look forward to when she sleeps through and doesn't BF anymore, whenever that may be?

Please be as harsh as necessary, I think I need a kick up the bum to snap myself out of this pity party

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  • I don't think it's unreasonable to want your own identity outside of being a mum.  It's an all-consuming job, but everyone needs a break every now and then.  I can't really help with advice, though, as this will be my first, so I have no idea what I would do in your situation.  Is there really no way to get her to take a bottle, though?  I assume you've probably tried all the different types, etc.  I would have assumed that in the absence of the breast any baby would take a bottle if it meant being fed or not.

    If you do have to suck it up and stick it out, how long will A still be feeding often?  How many feeds does she get a day now?  

  • Hug Isaac wouldn't take a bottle until 16 weeks and even then it was on his terms. How that she's 7 months what about offering her milk in a TT cup?

    Tbh I don't get anytime away from both kids, I can occasionally go to slimming world and maybe have 3 nights out a year but that's it, but it would be the same if we ff as we have no childcare.

    I do think its important to have ur own time though, mines is when I'm at work unfortunately

  • Wispa, that's not the case tbh, if only! We tried EVERYTHING to get Isaac to take a bottle but he just wouldn't, in the end he did (not reliably though so we ended up giving him it in a cup and he'd then just feed when I got home

  • She might be able to take a cup during the day...she's getting better at it with water, but at night its about comfort as well. At the moment I think the sleep issues are because of teething so she wants the comfort as well as the food. It might be worth a try i suppose but its caused a lot of stress and disappointment in the past so we're reluctant to go back to that!

    The bottle thing really is a no-go...we've tried everything under the sun and she just won't have it lol

    Its not like i want an amazing social life or anything, just dinner with my husband or some friends every once in a while would be lovely.

  • You are being completely normal to want a bit of me time.

    I have no advice on how to get her to take a bottle I'm afraid as W  Thad a bottle of expressed each night from early on. But if she is now 7 months then she should start to need less milk in the day soon as she starts taking more solids so even if you can't get her to take a bottle she should start going a bit longer between milk feeds during the day soon to allow you to have a few hours away from her.

    I hope someone comes along with some advice on bottles but in the mean time please don't feel bad. I stopped bf ing at 6 months because I felt I needed my body back. I really enjoyed bfing and felt so guilty and selfish for wanting to stop but I wanted to be able to get my body back to normal, and not have to limit what I wore to clothes I could easily whip a boob out of. Being a mum is emotionally and physically demanding. We go through our whole lives until that point with ourselves as our sole focus and we have all our time to do whatever we want. It's a huge change to give all of that up when baby arrives and anyone who says they dong need any me time is kidding themselves

  • I think a cup is the only way tbh as bottles just aren't going to happen. We're doing BLW and she isn't quite at the stage of regularly eating decent amounts of food...she will graze on bits if she happens to be interested, but I don't think she'll be chowing down for a while.

    As long as I'm not being unrealistic to hope for some me time, I think I just want some reassurance that its normal and will get better!

  • If she's not keen on a cup you could try one of the ones that's got an inbuilt straw.

    She might be a bit young to understand using the straw but worth a try as another option.

    W drank water from a sippy cup, but when I tried to get rid of the bottle for her milk at 12mths and put milk in the cup she wouldn't touch it, but would happily drink it from the ones with a straw

  • A is 10 months now and he was a bottle refuser but will take it now. He only takes formula though and will refuse a bottle of my expressed milk.

    It won't be long before she could technically go all day without milk, as she ups her solid food instead.

    It is normal and it will get better. I recently went to a wedding so left A from 1pm to 8pm and he was fine. Remember also that just because she won't take a bottle when you're around, doesn't mean she won't take from someone else if you're not there.

  • You are completely normal to want to be you as well as being mummy. My LO is 3.5 years old and I still have wobbles about not getting me time! I don't have any advice on taking a bottle I'm afraid but she will start going longer between daytime feeds as she gets the hang of solids. Hang in there! Xx

  • I can only go by friends who have babies, but it's not unrealistic. The me time for a group of 5 friends who all had babies over the past 2 years began at different points.

    I can't offer support on feeding but will just say hang on in there, it will happen for you x

  • If its just and again once she's weaned she should be ok missing boob feeds? For a meal out as an eg?

  • It's normal to want "me time". I'd go batty without time to myself.

    I can't help with the bottle refusal though.

  • I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting some you time at all, especially after 7 months. S is 5 weeks and I'm overwhelmed at times by the fact that I haven't spent this much time with one person since I was a baby myself with my mum.

    I can't help with the bottle refusal I'm afraid but just wanted to say that I think some you time sounds perfectly reasonable x

  • Isla was a bottle refuser til we tried the playtex drop ins system. Can be bought from amazon. Have you tried them?

  • S is a couple of weeks younger and tends to need feeding every 2 to 3 hours. H took both girls out for 2 hours this afternoon which was fabulous. What did I d?! Oh yes, clean! It is the longest I have had to myself since she was born and I am seriously in need of a bit more. This phase of total dependency passes so quickly so I am just trying to savour it as I know she is my last. Doesn't make me dream of time off though!

    It will happen. X

  • I could have written your post so yes you are normal! I still have this problem but it does get a bit easier when weaning is more established as H can go most of the day without a feed now. Also I'm not sure what your babysitter would be like but H won't settle without a bf when I'm there but will fall asleep in an eve with my mum. He won't go all night but will do a few hours till he wants me and a bf (then we are up every couple of hours but that's another story)

    It makes a lot of difference to just get a couple of hours away to remind you if who you are or used to be! Will you be going back to work at any point?

    It is SO HARD being a mum to a baby who won't sleep and only bf, no one really tells you how hard and it can feel like its only you but dint feel like they at all. I just keep praying it might improve!

  • Not unreasonable at all. It's one thing I'm not looking forward to going back to when number 3 arrives. I felt like I was just getting back to being me when I became pregnant again. And as much as I am looking forward to this baby the thought of no social life, me time or time for just my H and I is really bothering me.

    I just keep telling myself its such a short time (in relative terms!) and in 2-3 yrs ill no doubt miss having wee babies around.

  • Its incredibly important to retain some sense of self. Do you have a babysitter you could call on - surely you must be able to go out for dinner just you and your H sometimes? Get her to sleep before you go and then head off out for dinner or a drink. We never had bottle refusers but at 7 months i wouldnt bother with a bottle anymore as you'd only have to wean her off that in a few more months. If you aren't there when it is being offered it might also be the impetus she needs to drink from it rather than taking the more obvious choice of boob. Quite a lot of women are back at work by the time their babies are 7 months old so maybe kind of get yourself into that mind set (i.e. not needing to be there all the time if that makes sense) and reclaim sometime for yourself!

  • Thanks everyone, i feel better today and think we're going to try and get her better with a beaker/sippy cup. Luckily H is very supportive so he's ordered me to make plans with friends so I cam get away :)

  • Definitely not unrealistic!  Last week was the first time we have been out without A for dinner, and he's nearly 9 months!!  He sleeps through from 7pm to 5am, so we put him to bed and had a table booked at the local mexican for 8.30.

    That's good that your H is supportive.  Mine didn't really 'get' it for ages, he kept saying that as I was out with friends all the time what was the difference, the difference is that when I meet my friends I always have A with me!!

    Oh, and A won't take a bottle either.  He drinks water out of a cup, but we haven't tried milk.  Going to give it a try over the next couple of weeks though, as I have some early evening things planned.

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