5 New-Mom Guilt Cures

The sources of guilt in the early days of motherhood can be numerous and all-consuming. The good news is we certainly aren't alone: "Women have very high expectations of themselves," says Jenn Berman, PhD, author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. "We tend to feel like we should be it all, know it all, do it all, and handle it without a sweat. Becoming a mom is one of the most wonderful things, but it's also one of the most stressful, difficult transitions in your life." Here's why you should give yourself a break, starting right now. Don't let these common guilt trips trip you up!

Why Don't I Love Every Minute of Motherhood?

New Mom Guilt

Dave Wheeler

The image of Mother that we have filed away in our head -- selfless, always caring and available -- is hard to live up to. Although you're in love with your new baby, you're not always in love with how much work it requires to care for her. "I felt guilty about enjoying my newborn best when she was sleeping," recalls Jessica Engelhart, of Hoboken, New Jersey, mom to Julia, 2 1/2 years old. Moreover, the pervasive idea that your life should revolve around your baby can breed guilt when you go out alone with your spouse or, horrors, do something for yourself. "I feel guilty when I do things like getting my hair done," says Deborah Moniaci, of Brooklyn, New York, mother of 5-month-old Gabriella. Though, she adds, "when I actually do something for myself, I come back feeling so refreshed and rejuvenated, I'm happier to see my daughter. So I hope that I remember those feelings for the next time."

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