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You cannot possibly know...

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
I hate it when people tell me that I cannot possibly know what I will do when I actually have a baby, about how I will raise them and what I will and will not do.

"You cannot possibly know until you actually have them. Then you will see and change your mind." My sister is particualrly annoying on this subject.

How do I know that my baby will eat local and/or organic food? Because hubby and I already do, at least 85% of the time, it will require no change in our lifestyle at all.

How do I know I will make baby food? Because I cook EVERYNIGHT and our blender and food processor sits perpetually on the counter for our daily uses. And since we grow organic veggies on our farm, why would I feed my child those organic veggies which Gerber got frow who knows where and squashed up for me?

How do I know that I will use cloth diapers? Well I may not 100% of the time, but since I already take care of my own needs with cloth it is not a stretch to expand that to my children.

How do I know... Because I already live that way! I am already crunchy, so why would I become less so when we add our first little person into our lives? :

Just thought I would vent...
post #2 of 102
Oh, sweetie, it doesn't end after the baby is born. Then you get the "wait til they start walking', 'wait til they start talking back', 'wait til they have a sibling', wait 'til, wait 'til, wait 'til..... It never ends. You will eventually fall into line with the mainstream because of something that your kids do. I'm expecting to hear 'wait til you have grandkids' in twenty years.
post #3 of 102
I hear you! I heard a lot of that before I became a mom. Even on these boards, I heard it a couple of times: People said that once I gave birth I'd understand why I couldn't go back to work, or that once I had a child who was partly toilet-trained I'd understand why they have to wear disposable pants every night. All of those people were wrong! It's not that I never change my mind about anything, just that the things I've changed all have been things I wasn't sure about in advance: I said I'd breastfeed for at least one year, but I didn't set an upper limit, and I breastfed for over two years. I said I'd start out sleeping with the baby and see how it went and probably have him sleep alone once he was nightweaned, and now he's 4 years old and completely weaned and I still sleep with him most nights. I said I didn't want to get a highchair before he was born because we might not need it, and then we bought one when he was 11 months old. Etc.

Most often, what people want when they say things like that is to have their own decisions validated. So, if I think I can possibly stand to hear their opinions, I say, "Tell me more about how that worked out for you." and let them spell out their whole procedure and decision-making process. Even if I still think they're wrong, at least I get to know them better and they feel that I listened.
post #4 of 102
Well, it's true that weird unforeseen circumstances happen, but some things DO go according to plan.
post #5 of 102
Thread Starter 

Also said...

"You will use a bottle because you don't want to breast feed in a public restroom." Well, you are right I do not want to breast feed in a public bathroom, and I will not but that does not mean that I will not breastfeed in public...

I am ready to be flexiable, but I do see what you mean about people want their own decisions validated. They could not or choose not to so I will not or should not either.
post #6 of 102
I just made a point to NOT talk to people about what I planned to do unless asked directly and actually still don't 2 years later often until after the fact. But even then, they talk to others. My cousin was dissing me to others at my baby shower bc I planned a natural birth. She was pregnant and not planning that at all.

Just get used to it. Seriously once the baby is here, if everything isn't perfect they will tell you how much worse it could be or usually that it is/was worse for them. If it is going well, then the "just waits" go on and on.

I think some people are trying to be helpful but it is SOOOOOOO annoying! Definitely everyone else is trying to validate their own actions. And in the 27 months since my daughter was born I have never nursed in a bathroom (I have nursed almost everywhere else though!!).

And I have become MORE crunchy since DD. Tell her if she doesn't have anything supportive to say, please keep her opinions to herself as that sort of talk is not helpful.
post #7 of 102
It is odd because none of what you are suggesting is outlandish to me. None of it requires super human effort and it cannot be denied that these choices are the best and most sensible ones.

I really think a lot of the time people are justifying why they couldn't/wouldn't make the same choice. If someone does it 'better' then that casts doubt on them. It is easier to say "it is impossible" rather than "I didn't want to".

Cloth diapering is super easy, so is making baby food and why would anyone choose to feed their baby in a toilet? Why wouldn't you just nurse outside? Plus the whole hygiene issue when it comes to formula - yucky stuff.

Expect pinched faces whenever you are able to do something others can't be bothered to do (not saying this is the only reason people don't but in many cases IME it is). I've rarely received validation for the things I do for my ds but I'm not doing it for others! My validation is in seeing my little boy healthy, bright and happy. As yours will be when you make great choices for your dc.

Perhaps ask your sister what she found so difficult about cloth diapering. IME most people who slag it off haven't even tried it. Then at least you can turn the tables and examine her thinking instead of having the focus on you.
Ignore the nay sayers and do it your way. There are many things I didn't change at all from before I had my ds, in fact having him made me more committed to my ideals not less.

Congrats on your impending family!
post #8 of 102
I clicked on this post because I found myself saying the "you won't know until you have kids..." line to my sister yesterday. Tho' I was saying "You won't know until you have a baby how little you'll get done in one day!" It was great to read everyone's responses...reminds me that I'm not the only crunchy out-there mom out there I got a ton of those "just wait" comments from my much more mainstream friends, but funny thing, found myself getting even more alternative & AP once DS1 was born. Like, I never thought I'd BF past 1 yr. Well, DS1 self-weaned @ 3.5.

Oh, & I've definately nursed while in the bathroom. My own. While peeing. Sometimes neither of us could wait.
post #9 of 102
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Well, it's true that weird unforeseen circumstances happen, but some things DO go according to plan.

post #10 of 102
of course there's unseen circumstances


i would try not to get hurt over this.

it's possible that your sister is speaking more out of her own self-conscious fear that you are judging her for not doing the things you are planning

maybe in her perfect world she would do some of those things, or at least more thing that are in line with her priorities, but doesn't have the time or motivation. maybe in her circumstances she didn't even get to think about certain things she wished she had thought about before having kids.

i think almost every time someone isn't completely supportively listening to us and responding empathetically, it's because they are dealing with their own issues around the matter

maybe you could try responding to her unspoken feelings and get some good deep talking going on instead of taking it personally
post #11 of 102
Ooooh!!! That is a HUGE peeve of mine.

"Oh, you are NOT A MOMMY yet, so you couldn't possibly understand."

Okay, first of all, my stepdaughter has been in my life (about 40% of the time) since she was 2. I have been pooped on, peed on, puked on, lost more sleep than I care to recount. I have held her hand while the doctor reset her dislocated elbow (and the desk chose the wrong time to pull her dad out to fill out the paperwork) and have gladly traded places with her. No, I cannot understand chapped nipples or recovering from a fourth-degree

Second of all...what does this have to do with the environmental impact of cloth diapers versus disposable? With what size shoe an average 4-year-old wears? With why I've had better results from roasting a chicken at 450 for 15 minutes then 325 the rest of the way to proper temperature, versus 350 for a set amount of time per pound? (Yes, I got told that I couldn't understand all of the above, by perfect strangers at a baby shower because I am "not a Mommy," whatever that means. "I don't have time to watch a thermometer. When you're a mom, you'll understand." Yeah.)
post #12 of 102
People say that because THEIR real life experiences were not the same as their expectations/dreams/concerns whatever about parenting.

And it's true, there are some things you just can't know how you'll deal with until you're in the thick of things.

But lifestyle stuff - the stuff you're already doing and will simply extend to your child/ren - is a pretty safe bet you'll continue.

I'd guess the people telling you that you won't do all the crunchy stuff with your kids don't live that way themselves, so it seems impossible/overachieving to them, maybe?

But, in general, I didn't/don't talk about parenting except with people I know share my outlook. It's just easier.
post #13 of 102
I hated hearing things like that (and still hearing them to a degree -- "you'll see it differently when you have teenagers," etc).

So far, I haven't deviated much if at all from the way I planned to raise my children when I was pregnant with my first. If anything, I've become more liberal and more crunchy, not less (which was the prediction everyone made).

There's nothing you can do but give it time and how people how wrong they are . . . but in the meantime, it does suck!
post #14 of 102
I hated being told this before DD was born. I was a nanny, so I had plenty of experience, and was very confident, perhaps overly confident.

However, Iearnt the hard way that you have to parent the baby you've got, not the one you planned on having!

So we planned to give our baby only organic food, freshly made(after 6 months), and of course we do (we do Baby Led Weaning, or self-feeding).

We planned to breastfeed, until she wants to wean, no formula, no bottles, and so far so good, although it certainly wasn't easy for us. I had low milk-supply, and we worked really hard on feeding for 6 months, and used donated milk in a Supplemental Nursing System.

We planned to use cloth nappies, but ended up using disposables for about 6 months (many reasons, I was to tired at first, then I couldn't find any organic cloth nappies that fitted my tiny baby, who at 10 months still fits the newborn sized cloth nappies).

We planned to do EC, and we do. Also, for this reason I insisted we'd use only tops, no onesies or anything else with buttons in the crotch. Easy.

We planned on using only organic clothes, nappies, sheets etc, and we do.

We have got a lot more toys than I planned to (I'm quite toy minimalist), but a least they are all organic/natural, and she had only a couple of stuffed toys and a teething peg by 4 months.We just got her some more, as plenty of toys is the only way I can get a couple of minutes without her in my arms - or chasing her to keep her away from vacuum cleaner, push chair and other things we just can' t put away anywhere in our tiny flat.

I planned to babywear, but DD loved the push chair, and hated being restricted by any of the slings/wrap tyings, and always wanted to be held upright anyway. Now we use the Ergo, which is the first one she didn't hate, but we've just had it for 2 months.

We got a moses basket for DD to sleep in the daytime, so I could keep her close, what a joke! She slept there twice in the first few weeks. Our baby would only sleep in her push chair in the daytime, and now in the Ergo.

I've cooked maybe three meals since DD was born, and burnt one of them, once DD's hand was burnt too. And I was only able to start doing the dishes when she was 8 months old, and started sleeping better in the Ergo. I always cooked and cleaned at work - easy!

I was going to make most of her clothes - I used to make mine, and knitted a lot for her before she was born. I've found it impossible with baby in arms.

We planned to do signing with her, and we do.

We planned not to let her watch any TV, but as she stays up as late as we do, and has never slept away from me, well, we do enjoy watching a pre-recorded episode of Bones or House or the Antiques Road Show or sometimes a film.

Some things have changed, and things certainly didn't turn out the way we planned (just like the home birth, unfortunately), but we are still us, and we do things our way. Every baby is different, as is every parent, so I think it is hard to tell anyone what it is going to be like.

Although, I did think "you have no idea what it's like", to a friend of mine, who still has no children of her own, when she told me that DH and I "had needs too", after learning DD sleeps either in bed with us or in the Ergo. I think I said something like "Well, needs change somewhat after having a baby. I need a long shower by myself once in a while, o example." I don' t think she understood what I meant (I meant that I'm not a saint, doing without what I need for my baby's sake, there are usually other things I need more than DTD).
post #15 of 102
There were lots of things I planned to do with my DD that didn't quite work out. I planned to co-sleep, but she had other ideas. I planned to breastfeed but have been exclusively pumping for 9 months because we had numerous issues. I wanted to cloth diaper, but couldn't for various reasons.
I think it's great to have lots of plans for your child, but also to be flexible and realize that sometimes life throws you curves balls and you have to be willing to shift your ideas to what works best for your family.
post #16 of 102
I think it's true that often people respond that way because they somehow feel you are judging them, which means they are feeling a little inadequate. It's annoying, but probably best to handle them gently.

Other times they may just be concerned that you will put too much pressure on yourself, in which case it's probably best to appreciate their concern, though it is still annoying.

Also sometimes it is just a matter of the other person trying to share her experiences with you.
post #17 of 102
I really feel that mothering is like most life experiences. How can I ever truly, deeply KNOW/UNDERSTAND the ins/outs of mothering unless I am actually a mother? I don't think it's possible. That being said, I have only said that to one person who kept insinuating I was wrong in terms of CIO, family bed etc. - never having a child herself. I understand the need to plan/ formulate ideas on mothering before having one- I certainly did this!! Some worked out and some didn't- just like every other well-laid plan in life
post #18 of 102
My DD is 20mo and I got this from another mom I met yesterday at the park... who has one 20mo, too. I don't know, maybe she was looking to validate things that she'd changed from her plans. It came right after I mentioned I was there with an AP group, though. I could hardly believe it. We're at the exact same level of experience in motherhood

I got some laughs about cloth dipes and other things beforehand, too. Just having already read about the experience of getting these comments helped me just laugh inside.
post #19 of 102
Hmmm... well, there are so many things about children and being a parent that i thought i "knew" before and... was i wrong!!

I think parenting is like visiting another country- sure, you might *know* that you'll wear sunscreen and take pictures etc... etc... and you will. easy. but the feelings, reactions, emotional journey are the things that you can never know. Those are the things that i find myself eluding to with friends who aren't moms yet. But even then, i've learned to just keep my mouth shut. Because being told ahead of time makes no difference. It doesn't change anything, it doesn't prepare you, and it's only another person's experience.
post #20 of 102
I agree- irritating! When I was pregnant, I used to share things I was excited about to my friends, and I learned early on that it was a waste of breath and invitation to frustration. (My friends when I was pregnant all had adult children.) I wish I had found this site when I was pregnant, I could have shared my excitement about certain things! (I remember talking about co-sleeping for example, which went over like a lead balloon. Whatever.)

Before I was even pregnant, two different people asked me why I babysat in the nursery at church. That made me so sad! Why wouldn't I? It's so much fun to hold them and watch them play, for starters! People are weird!

Some things do go way different from "the plan" but that is life in general.
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