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5 New Mom Guilt Trips to Skip

These guilt trips aren't taking you anywhere helpful. Here's how to get back on track.

4. Leaving your child in day care.

Going back to work usually means leaving your child in the care of someone else. Shouldn’t you feel guilty about that?

“As long as you have reliable and trustworthy child care and find meaning in the work you do and it completes you and you’re able to maintain and strike a balance, it’s a healthy thing to do,” Samuels says.

Both Samuels and Manevitz say that children actually benefit from being in the care of another loving adult. “The fact is they are providing stimulation and teaching kids to socialize and accept other people, which are all helpful things,” Manevitz says.

And as a pediatrician, many of the new moms Samuels sees report having found babysitters with skills different than their own and that contribute to their child’s life in wonderful ways. “They can bring in a different dimension and encourage different talents in your children,” Samuels says.

The bottom line, she says: “I like to emphasize to parents that it’s the quality rather than quantity of time you spend with your kids.”

5. Taking time for yourself.

As difficult as it can be to find the time, making sure you continue to exercise, spend time with friends -- without your baby -- not to mention work in a date night from time-to-time with your partner is important. And drop the guilt because taking time for yourself, experts say, can be a benefit to both you and your child.

“It’s important for each person to have an outlet and a way of recharging and reenergizing to be the best parent they can be,” Samuels says.

Release the guilt.

With so much information available in books and online about how to raise children, many new moms are left with the sense that they could always be doing more for their child.

“We’re always falling short of our sense of self,” Manevitz says.

The truth is that a mom who knows how to relax with her child and enjoy the process is likely to be happier within herself, and therefore, a better mom.

“The key is to deal with your perfectionism. It’s important to be realistic,” Manevitz says.

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Reviewed on October 16, 2013

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