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Thread: High Expectations!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Perth Western Australia

    Default High Expectations!

    Why is it as mothers we place such high expectations on ourselves? At the moment I riding high on the 'mothers guilt' train because I fell like i am not living up to the expectations I set for myself (and I know they are unrealisitic but it doesnt change how I feel).
    I have a 3 mo DS and a 21 mo DD, and the last 3 mo have been tough, I never expected having 2 children would be so difficult, my DS has silent reflux and after a 12 week emotionally draining rollercoaster ride we finally got it under control, but due to his reflux his sleeping and feeding are pretty much a nightmare.
    I feel like I have been negelcting my DD because I have to spend so much time tending to DS, feeding him, countless hours trying to get him to sleep, resettling etc (we are starting to get this under control), I had planned to start playgroup with her, take her to story time at the library etc etc, but we hardly leave the house when DH is not home because getting Liam to sleep is such a nightmare, and if he doesnt got to sleep and get overtired he is an inconsolable mess. My mum often has her once a week, and she loves going there, and has been going once a week since she was 6 mo and I went back to work, but I feel guilty about that too, because I feel like I should be able to cope on my own.
    I feel guilty because I stop BF at 8 weeks because Liam's reflux was so bad (and undiagnosed at this stage) that I couldnt cope with the screaming, kicking, fighting everytime I tried to feed him.
    I feel guilty because I am not the perfect housewife, and my DH often comes home from work and helps with the washing, housework, cooking etc when I feel like I should have it done.
    And lastly I feel guilty because I have to go back to work in July part time and I am actualley looking forward to it!

    I guess I just feel like I should be able to do it all, and reality is my expectations don't meet reality. My DH is a wonderful support, and he does heaps to help out at home, and he tells me all the time that I expect too much from myself, but I can't help it.

    Ok I feel much better getting that all out, I think I needed to get it out to move on from it!

  2. #2
    Matryoshka Guest


    Ali..... It's hard not to feel guilty i know..... I think (am i'm only guessing here) that when you have 2 close in age the initial few months will be purely survival mode - i'm getting scared in anticipation myself. You just manage the best you can with the resources you have. You're a wonderful mother and i regard you as a good friend even though i don't see you often, you know it will get easier in time. Especially once Liam is old enough to interact with Tori. I know if i've had a rough day and DH comes home and can see that absolutely nothing has been done around the house, it makes me feel like a failure, but it just means i spent the day directing my energy where it needed to go (DS). I found that to stop apologising helps ease the guilt a bit, just know you're doing the best you can.

    Also if it would help, i'm more than happy to bring DS over to play with Tori so you don't have to worry about focusing on Liam if you want. He seems to be going through a stage of becoming easily bored and restless too.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Melbourne, ready to meet peeps IRL


    Ali I know you know this already but its not your fault

    It will get better I promise I know I dont have children with your age gap but I do have 3 and as you know I too have many ups and downs but as mothers we will always find a way to make ourselves feel guilty..

    No wonder you feel like you want to go to work you havent had a break yet but I am so glad that liam is starting to settle down for you..

    just know that I am always here for you when needed :hugs:

  4. #4


    Hi Ali,

    I know what you mean by the guilt thing.

    While my situation is somewhat different (I have one 4 month year old) I find myself dwelling on all the things I feel guilty about such as: giving up on breastfeeding at 3.5 mths (low supply and own health probs); the house getting disorganised, not cooking creative healthy meals. My latest guilt is that my daughter has a slightly flat head on one side (MACH nurse pointed this out to me) and I feel terrible for not persevering more with tummy time (DD hates it)! I even feel bad about not doing my own pelvic floor exercises...

    In the end does any of this really matter? We can't possibly do everything on our own (where did that myth come from?) - its certainly unheard of in tribal cultures. I am in the slow process of learning to hand over some tasks and let others go undone. Gee it's hard though.....

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Perth Western Australia


    I know what you mean Sophia- Letting go is such a hard thing. I think one of my problems is that I am a primary school teacher and I can manage a class of 30 no probs but I cant seem to get my own to organised!

    Thanks Tan- I really appreciate that!

    Tali- I take my hat of to anyone with more than 2, DH and I have already said we are having no more.

    I guess my problem is I am so used to being in control and hate the fact that I can't organise things that are out of my control

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Ever so slowly going crazy...


    I have 5 kids, and my house is spottless, hot dinner when DH gets home, and consider myself a great house wife...

    BUT years ago, with 3 littlies, I was a mess!!! It does get easier, your babies get older, and it all falls in to place!

    My house was a constant mess, kids running wild, poor DH, never a hot dinner!! No one expects as much as what we expect from ourselves honey. You have had a hard time of it with poor bubbas reflux, and should pat yourself on the back, not punish yourself.

    It will get easier, but enjoy what you have now. With littlies this young, you just cant do it all. And noone expects you to babe. Let mum help. We've all been there sweetie, take a deep breath and just go with the flow... sounds like you have a great DH, so just enjoy the bubbas while there this little....I promise it'll all be better later.... prob much later!!!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Perth, WA



    The first few months of having two are so hard, especially when they are close together that i think we all deserve a medal! I completely understand your feelings though as i'm there every other day! The house is a mess and no tea even thought about when dh comes home. It's especially hard for you with Liam's sleeping habits but i promise you it will get easier, especially once Liam gets old enough to interact with Tori, and it won't be long.

    Hang in there and don't ride that guilt train - you are a great mum!

    take care

    Julie x

  8. #8
    morgan78 Guest


    to you Ali - reading your post was like i had written it myself. I keep telling myself what others here have said that before long they will be interacting/playing with each other and everything will get easier, but it is very hard to deal with especially when the elder child puts the "sulks" on as the little one is having a rubbish day/week
    You are doing a great job and are a fantastic mum to your 2 little darlings and you know what - housework will always be there but your kids are only kids once and for such a short time so enjoy spending time with them and don't stress about a perfectly kept home. Also if you are looking forward to going back to work this may be a good thing as you will probably feel better about yourself as you are getting adult interaction and also not feel so guilty about not have done "everything" around the house.

  9. #9


    Awww hun, I can soooo relate to this. I have struggled with this since DS was born. The first 3 months were really, really hard. Things are getting better and easier and my confidence is returning, but there are days (like today) when I am sooooo hard on myself and constantly ask myself "why aren't I doing this better?"

    Returning to work - I found with DD I was filled with absolute dread at the thought of returning to work and I feel so guilty that I don't feel the same way this time around. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm looking forward to it (LOL!), but I'm definitely not dreading it. Firstly, me working a few days a week makes life a lot easier around here for everyone financially speaking, and secondly, I know that those two days at work really helped me to feel like 'me' again. The balance is important so don't feel bad...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Perth Western Australia


    I just want to thank you all for you support, it is hard to remember that you are not the only one livin this when get stuck in a rut. After a few good days of sleeping for Liam, a day with Tori at Mum's and a bit of retail therapy on my own I am feeling much more like myself again.
    My main thing to do is let go a bit an stop trying to control everything, I cant control if my children are teething, or hungry or tired, I think the sooner I realise that the much happier we will all be!

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    Hi Ali - I just saw this thread. First off big to you. I know you are a fantastic mum and I am 100% sure that both Tori and Liam know that too. I still feel that I neglect Gabriella some days over keeping the peace with Alex - I think most mums feel that other children at some point miss out.

    Your children are growing up in a safe, loving and nurturing environment and that is what they need most right now - not a clean house! I am like you, I find it hard to relinquish control sometimes but every now and then you just have to sit back witha cuppa, look at the mess around you and breathe!

    I reiterate what Tanya said, if you wanna get together for a playdate anywhere let me know - Gaby can then possibly entertain Tori for you too!

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