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Hating new mum life

Community Member
My baby is 2 weeks old, and while I love her, i hate the new mum life. I was massively under prepared. I feel like I cannot deal with the no sleep, I hate her screaming and and me not knowing what she wants, i hate that i dont have time to do even the basics, eg shower, clean house. I feel at my wits ends lots of the time, like I'll go insane. My baby barely ever settles and i feel like all i do is hold her all day. I feel like i cant even fit in time for things like tummy time etc. Everyone tells me this phase will pass. But ive barely made it 2 weeks... i dont know if i can cope much longer. People say sleep when baby sleeps... baby doesn't sleep long enough for me to get to sleep and when she does i feel like i am doing other essential jobs like eating, toilet, cleaning breast pump things etc. People also say get others to help, well there is minimal support from others for me. I dont know how to get more sleep or make it through this newborn stage
9 Replies 9

Hi Sarah89,

I can definitely understand why you must be feeling so overwhelmed and so exhausted right now, and I'm so sorry to hear that right now it feels like there aren't a lot of places you can turn to for support when you're already struggling so much to cope. It sounds like that right now you are doing everything you can do be there for your baby and care for her, but that in the meantime you're not getting any time or space to look after yourself because of everything that needs to be done.

Here on our forums, please know that this is a safe, nonjudgmental space for you to talk about whatever is going on, and that in the meantime you might also find it helpful to see if there are any supports available in your area for new mums and parents. For example, the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline is open from 7am to midnight (AEST) at 1800 882 436 and can offer both advice and referrals to other services. The Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE) also has a list of resources across Australia and for each state from things like counselling to parenting support, and local councils in your area will also have services to support new mums.

I will open this up for the rest of our community to chime in, and please keep us updated on how you are travelling.

Community Member

Hi Sarah,

I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. My babies are teenagers now but I absolutely remember feeling the way you do. I just didn't bond with my first born and people kept telling me how wonderful it was to be a new mum and I just didn't feel that.

I will say that the first few months are absolutely the hardest. I remember thinking I could not even fathom why anyone would be stupid enough, after having a child, to go and have another one! And people kept telling me to "enjoy it" because it doesn't last long. Seriously! Some people just don't cope with newborns and I was one of them so please know you are not alone.

I would really recommend you try to link in with a new mothers group. I found it really helpful to talk to people going through the same thing. It does help to know you are not going crazy. Do try to take a little time for yourself - sometimes a simple 10 minute walk around the block can do wonders for our mental health. Don't worry about tummy time or any of the millions of things people tell you you should be doing. Just getting through the day with a screaming newborn is enough of an achievement. And believe in yourself. You are doing a wonderful job!

P.S My daughter is 17 now and I think she's the greatest person alive 🙂

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Sarah89, a warm welcome to you and SarahB03, excuse me for replying, but it reminds me when my wife delivered our second son, (there were no problems with our first) but no matter how much she loved our second child, PND took over where I was running a family hotel by myself and had limited time, thankfully my MIL was living with us.

The answers from other people, family or friends saying it will get better over time, maybe right, but that doesn't help you right now where it's not easy to settle the young one.

It's natural to put the baby first, but hey, you also need to be looked after so that you also need your strength and willingness because you can’t parent a draining baby if you’re drained.

Can I also suggest you make a chart and list the things you absolutely need for your well being, this is important because it's doing what you want, even if you miss doing something, and remember it’s tempting to keep giving until you give out.

Find ways you can motivate your baby to behave better, and your baby will soon get the message.

I'm sorry as a male to mention these and hope I haven't upset you.

Take care.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Sarah

Hello and welcome. My goodness you have brought back memories of my children as babies.

What do you do with a screaming baby? Well, set some priorities. Your baby is the most important person so everything else must wait. Baby gets upset when she senses you are upset. So if only for this reason you need to rest and relax. How do you do this? Cuddle baby and talk to her. This is the most important time and trying to do housework etc is not a priority.

What does your husband do around the house? I understand he is at work during the day but he needs to take on a few extra jobs at home. If you really feel the floor needs sweeping then he must lend a hand. Cooking/cleaning/washing etc. All these may be a priority but again, not as important as baby. If you are like most moms you want to be the perfect mother. Let me tell you she does not exist. Getting through the day without tears and with a happy baby is the best most of us manage. This sounds simple but it most certainly is not.

So let go of the need to do housework. Washing may need to be done but mom's learn to hold baby in one arm and put the clothes in the washing machine with the other. Gets easier. Similarly making a meal for yourself. If you have somewhere safe to park baby near you then do so for a few minutes but make sure you have regular (or close) meals. This is also for baby because you will be more tired if you do not eat well (or at all).

Baby crying is a sound we all hate and gets us all uptight/worried/feeling inadequate and any other emotion. So cuddling baby is your first priority. Plenty of time down the tack to do those exciting jobs like washing up. If you have a dishwasher use it. Same process as the clothes washer. Get your husband to tidy up and sweep so you don't feel overwhelmed.

I do not normally tell someone what to do so feel free to ignore my comments other than to know I care about you and your situation especially because I have been there.

Many congratulations on the birth of your daughter.


Community Champion
Community Champion


welcome and thanks for being so honest. there will be other new mums reading your post who will feel glad to know they are not alone.

others have given you helpful suggestions here so I won’t add to it.

I am not sure if you have a baby carrier / pouch ( nit sure what they are called) but something you put out baby in and carry it on your front so your hands are free. The baby usually is calm being close to you and you have your hands free.
Some babies respond to music, singing .

It is a difficult time as you have described so well and some babies adapt better than others to being out of the womb.
Ignore these suggestions if they don’t work for you.

Like Mary and SarahB03 8 really feel for you as I have been through it and it is so exhausting.
I hope that writing down how you feel has helped a little and feel free to post here as much as you like.

Community Member

Hello Sarah89,

reading your post just brought back memories from when my son was a newborn (he’s almost 10months now). I so understand what you are going through and I know when people tell you ‘it will pass’ doesn’t help. It didn’t help me, only made me more upset. I remember crying from the overwhelmed feeling and lack of sleep. I felt that all i was doing was changing, feeding, expressing, settling and then repeat. He was 2 weeks on christmas day and we had a family gathering and i literally had a nervous breakdown, and I still feel embaressed about that. It’s a big change in life, relationships, body, the way you see yourself and the world. Plus you are healing while looking after a newborn that is fully dependant on you.

What helped me get through that stage was talking to my best friend. She didnt solve issues but she fully listened and understood my concerns. If you have someone trusting to talk to and be open about your feelings, it can help greatly. Online new mum forums can be helpful as many mums go through similar things and share their experience and tips.
- If you have a partner to help with chores while you just focus on baby and yourself it can help. If not then prioritise what needs to be done and what doesnt. Only do what is really necessary and dont worry about messy house or other chores apart from baby and yourself. -Listening to calming music, dim lights, diffuser with essential oil, hot cup of tea can also help to destress especially in the evenings and nights. I found nights were the worst.

Another advice which I would tell myself now, is dont worry about routine or sleep training right now. You can never spoil a newborn. I was desperately trying to get into routine and sleep train because i needed control and predictability. But thats never the case with kids. Only from about 10weeks was when the routine and sleep training started to work. I wish i was more relaxed and waited until 10weeks to start when he was ready, because it just caused unnecessary stress. I was lucky that he started sleeping through the night at 11weeks and has been a great sleeper since. I feel guilty for not enjoying the newborn cuddles and sleeps on couch more. I look at photos of him clinging to me asleep due to being milk drunk and it just gives me this warm feeling and brings memory of how time stood still and the sweet newborn smell. It is the toughest time but it is precious too. I think with right support you will get through this.

Community Member

Hi Sarah,

Thank you for sharing and being honest. You are not alone with struggling with it. I have a toddler and I'm due to have my second in a couple of weeks and although I am excited I am also dreading all the challenges and sleep deprivation coming my way. During the newborn months I just felt like a milk machine and the sleep deprivation felt like a form of torture. Midwives and forums would say I would learn what the different cries mean, but my baby only had one cry and it was full volume scream. I also had no support around us as we'd just moved to a new city and knew no one, so we paid a cleaner to do a weekly clean for as long as we could afford that to happen and the day she came was always a good day for my mental health.

I never used our baby bjorn/ carrier thing around the house, but I will be trying that with our second.

Child health nurses and other parents have said it's ok to just let the baby cry in a safe space for 5minutes if that's all you need to feel like you can give yourself some "me time". Listen to 1 or 2 songs you love which will shift your mood, while drinking a coffee/ tea while it's still hot. Don't feel guilty if you need to put yourself first for 5minutes here and there because anything you do which is going to improve your mood and mental state for the next few hours, your baby is also going to be benefiting from. I hope that makes sense.

Use what ever support is out there - your local child health nurses, mothers groups, mums and bubs classes like yoga or pilates, baby massage classes, your GP could refer you to parenting support services?

Parenting forums/ blogs are great but there are a lot of opinionated people out there - one great piece of advice an experienced mum gave me was not to take on any advice at all. You will get friends, family, health care workers and even strangers all offering advice on what you should be doing and for every piece of advice out there, there is the opposite also being said. Once my child health nurse told me one thing and the next day my GP told me the opposite! So only take on what you feel is right for you and your baby.

The new mum time can be a very isolating experience, but just know you are not alone!

It does get easier, a mum friend used to promise me that when I was sharing my struggles with her and it is true. It may not feel helpful in the moment but just know it will get easier and you will look back and the this would have flown (somehow).

Hope this helps.

Community Member
Others will shout this down but it worked for me. My mum gave me this and it was the best advice. When you are feeling overwhelmed put the baby in it’s cot. It’s safe. Go and have a shower, brush your teeth, do what you need to for sanity. Your baby will not be harmed by being left alone in a safe cot for a while when you need time.

The Snu
Community Member
Hi Sarah,

Try rolling up a towel and place baby in bed with you on your breast with towel behind her so she doesn’t roll away. Then nap while baby keeps happy. Babies can be colicky (cry non stop) for up to three months (mine did too). If not fixed in three months, switch to formula instead of breast milk as it satisfies them greatly. Something else to try is to eat brie and camembert and cheesecake as these fatty foods do turn into satisfying breast milk. Some people have a small drink of spirits which transfers through breast milk to calm colicky babies (but only a little amount like 1 drink needed).

Colic is very bad and traumatic and awful. It seems to be caused by baby not latching on properly to breast due to lip formation not perfect, or breast not giving enough satisfying milk. When you feel angry, please go into another room and close the door (after making sure your baby is safe) and take deep breaths and say “this will pass” and try to cope. It is hard, but colic is the hardest. After colic, it gets easier and when they get older, it gets easier again.

Hope this helps.