It gets better ... Six in every 10 mums said they'd been through a period of feeling they weren’t capable of being a mother.
Being a new mum takes a bit of time to get used to – in fact, according to one survey, it takes an average of four months and 23 days.
But the amount of time it can take to feel comfortable I the role can vary, as some mums took up to two years to really feel on top of the motherhood role.
Becoming a mum is a massive change, and the flood of self-doubt or worry as to how you'll cope is perfectly natural
In the survey of 2000 mothers, conducted by British baby brand Munchkin, it was also revealed that 50 per cent of pregnant women were scared or nervous about being a mum, while 25 per cent admitted that the idea was completely daunting.
It didn’t get much better after birth, when more than half the mums admitting to being overwhelmed with their new roles. Six in 10 said they went through a period of feeling they weren’t capable of being a mother – but the majority said they wouldn’t admit that to other mums, as they didn’t want to be seen as being a failure.
Munchkin spokesperson, Claire Rayner, said, “It’s perhaps reassuring that so many mums went through the same period of worry, as it shows just how common a reaction it is to feel that you might not cope.”
Australian lactation consultant Pinky McKay encourages mums to discuss these kinds of feelings with other women.
“There’s a conspiracy of silence that isolates mothers, and because they don’t want to face criticism they perpetuate the very conspiracy that divides and holds them hostage,” she wrote in her article The myth of mummy failure.
“Accept that if things are tough right now it’s not your fault, and that it’s okay to reach out for help.”
So what were the key markers the average mum used to indicate that everything had clicked into place around that five month mark? Getting into a routine, knowing what to do when the baby cried, and not being worried about dealing with the baby in public were the top three things that made them feel like a ‘proper mum’.
“[Becoming a mum] is a massive change, and the flood of self-doubt or worry as to how they’ll cope is perfectly natural,” Rayner said.
“But the fact they care so much only proves what good mums they will eventually develop into.”
Top 10 things mums felt had to be mastered before motherhood 'clicked into place'
- Getting a good routine sorted.
- Knowing what to do when the baby cries.
- Not being worried about dealing with the baby in public.
- Not panicking when the baby is sick or has a temperature.
- Always leaving the house with a spare change of baby clothes.
- Never leaving the house without food/milk for the baby.
- Being able to change a nappy quickly.
- Having the baby sleep through the night.
- Feeling able to keep on top of the housework.
- Always having a baby toy in their handbag.
Do you agree with the list? How old was your baby before you felt like you knew what you were doing? Comment below.