Should mums feel guilty for spending time apart from their newborns?

Alice Sholl
·Contributor

[Photo: Pexels]

When your baby is only weeks old, when is it okay to spend some time away from them without feeling guilty?

A debate that’s sparked on Mumsnet is asking just that, as a mum posted that she left her 11-week-old at home as she went on a trip to the cinema guilt free.

She asked on the site if it was “weird” that she was “so happy” to leave the newborn at home with her dad while she enjoyed a three-hour trip to the cinema with her nearly five-year-old daughter and friends.

According to Mail Online, user Xuli wrote: “I have a darling daughter who is nearly five, and a son who is 11 days old.

[Photo: Pexels]

“This morning my daughter and I went to the cinema with friends, so we were out for about 3 hours. My son was at home with husband; he is formula-fed, which I know does make a difference.”

She added: “I can honestly say I never really thought about them while I was out. It was lovely to spend time with my daughter.

“Reading Mumsnet about leaving babies, most people seem to say they could barely leave theirs for an hour when they were weeks old. I’m wondering now if it’s weird I was so happy to leave a newborn?”

While some users were disapproving in response and said it was “a bit sad” she wished to leave her child alone, the majority said it wasn’t weird at all and offered words of support.

[Photo: Pexels]

TwistAndShout thought it was strange that Xuli didn’t constantly think of her child while away: “I think it’s quite sad that at 11 days old you didn’t even think about him whilst away from him.”

And Katienana said: “I think it’s strange, I haven’t left my 6 month old yet but I’m sure plenty of people would find that odd! Everyone is different. I couldn’t do it.”

Others, however, said there was nothing to worry about.

Sparlklesilverglitter wrote: “My daughter is nearly three months old and she’s gone to my parents just round the corner for a few hours each week while my husband is at work and I take a long bath.

[Photo: Pexels]

“My daughter is loved and cared for by my parents and I am sure your baby was perfectly safe with its dad”

BubbleGumBubble, meanwhile, pointed out how harshly people judge mums:

“You don’t love your child less you were just enjoying your other child for a few hours. It was three hours not three days.

“I think it’s sad that women are judged for not thinking of the newborn every second of the day”.

Because after all, while she was having time off with her daughter, her other little one was safe with her father.

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