Megan Gale doesn't want to hear your judgmental thoughts about her parenting. The Australian model, actress and mom of two recently left her newborn to go on a dinner date with her fiancé, Shaun Hampson, and returned to negative online comments about the decision. She quickly shut down the hate and defended herself in a way many new moms can relate to.
Gale posted an Instagram photo of her and Hampson on Oct. 6 in the car after "about 10 (minutes) to get ready." The couple was headed to a "quick dinner date" while River, 3, and Rosie, born Sept. 27, were with their grandmothers.
"Missing our babies 😩but SO important for parents to have some couple time when / if they can grab it 😘," she wrote.
Tuns out, the mom ended up getting so much flak from "ignorant, judgmental people" that she felt she had to justify her decision (but not without blocking and deleting all the haters first).
In a later edit to her original post, Gale explained that the hourlong dinner was only three minutes away from the house. (It's not as if she left the kids alone and went on a trip to Europe, which one mom actually did.) Gale left Rosie in her mom's very experienced and capable hands, and that was after Gale had already bathed, dressed, fed and put the newborn—who sleeps for four to five hours before needing to be fed again—down. Like the boss that she is, the celeb mom also had pumped enough milk for two more feeds, just in case.
"For sure we have to devote the majority of our time to our kids. However, if it can be managed well, stealing an hour or two, here and there as a couple or an individual is a 'win' for parents," she wrote.
When she was a new mom with her first child, Gale knew how important it was to make some time for herself and for her partner.
"With River, I barely left the house for the first (six) weeks, out of fear, out of guilt and I lost a little part of myself and also developed what I now feel was a mild case of postnatal depression," she confessed.
Postpartum depression affects about 1 in 9 women in the U.S. alone. It can look different for everyone. Maybe you cry more than usual, withdraw from your loved ones and cause a strain on your relationship, or feel that extra dose of guilt because for some reason, you're not enjoying motherhood as much as you're expected to.
As Gale points out, "If you've ensured your child is well looked after in your absence, then there is nothing wrong with some alone time as a couple or as an individual. You'll be happier people for it and more importantly, better parents."
Remember to take care of yourself, mama, because if mom's not happy, nobody's happy.