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post #21 of 102
I think there is some truth to the idea that you don't know until your there...so many people seem to be experts on how they will raise their kids until they have kids. (not saying you claim to be an expert-- I'm talking in general) However, it is great to think about what what you want and how you for see things happening. You know, you might not make all your child's baby food. Or, use cloth diapers 100% or whatever...but you might!
There is no reason for her to dismiss your ideas. I suspect she has some guilt or self-doubt that is clouding the way she regards you.
Just remember that she may throw it back in your face if you don't do something you think you will and that can be rough too.
Just don't talk to her about this stuff...lots of people at MDC will support you!
post #22 of 102
Originally Posted by AislinCarys View Post
However, Iearnt the hard way that you have to parent the baby you've got, not the one you planned on having!
omg, words to live by
post #23 of 102
The things you are saying aren't outrageous at all imo but they are to a lot of mainstream society. Being here on MDC makes you feel you are normal and everything is possible but other folks don't have this luxury!

That said, you can never be sure. I sent a load of tiny vests and tops for ECing to a mum on the UK ec yahoo group who was dead set on ECing her newborn when he or she arrived. It turned out that her birth didn't go as she had hoped, she was more physically traumatised than she would have hoped, breastfeeding didn't go easily, sleeping didn't either and ECing was just one step too far for her to consider when keeping body and soul together was all she could do for months and months.

Keep your principles for sure but be prepared to flex a little this way and that if you need to. Don't draw too many lines in the sand either or you'll have people calling you on them later.

I'm a mum of 4 here from teen to toddler and well used to defying expectations and providing evidence in human form that how we raise our children does actually work but go easy on yourself the first time round
post #24 of 102
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
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.)
I think it's ridiculous and insulting when someone tries to claim that they know what you'll end up doing better than you yourself do.

I believe it's entirely possible that there are parents of newborns, who are good at cooking and for whom it's a priority, that can successfully roast a chicken the way you describe. You may very well be one of them.

HOWEVER I think only a parent of a small baby can understand just how difficult such a feat can become. :

I guess I find "I don't/can't do x, when you're a mom you'll understand" to be inoffensive, whereas "You won't/can't do x, when you're a mom you'll see."

It's the whole 'oh, you'll be begging for drugs in labor' thing all over again. Why can't people just say "I thought I wouldn't need drugs, but then I really wanted them" instead? or "Before I became a mom, I thought my kids would never watch TV, but now they do all time because I need to get things done."

I guess it's easier to mock other people's choices than to own up to yours.
post #25 of 102
Sure I was prepared that not all things would happen as I expected, but those comments drove me nuts anyway - like I somehow didn't know to be flexible according to my child's needs.

I had so many people laugh at me when I said I would do a cloth/disposable combo. They all said "you'll see..." and you know what.... I love fuzzibunz!!! (and still do disposable when out/overnight like I planned)

Now people give me a strange look when I say that my 8 month old doesn't watch any t.v. (they didn't take me seriously when I said it when I was pregnant either) Then they usually try to tell how much "so and so's kid learned so much from that kids show" Or I get the "wait until you have #2, there's no avoiding t.v then..."

I still get people asking me why DS doesn't have a pacifier.

In the end the great part about being a parent, is that you get to decide how to parent.
post #26 of 102
I have been on both sides of this fence and sometimes I think that those who don't have children yet, should think carefully about how they word their comments so as not to come across like they are judging another parent (not saying OP, that you did this).

I get advice ALL the time on how to raise my children and on pregnancy and on childbirth and and and.... and I have 6 children and one on the way!

Yet, before I had children I had many ideas of what I was going to do.... and for the most part that is what we did! There has been seasons when we didn't cloth diaper (like during an international move) etc. etc. etc. But on the whole I think it is wonderful that the OP already knows what she wants!
post #27 of 102
post #28 of 102
All I'm going to say is that becoming a parent has been the most amazing, and the most humbling experience of my life. I've eaten my fair share of crow, and my daughter is only 3 years old.

And if you had told me that before she was born, I would have told you to f off. (well, not really to your face, but I would have been pretty indignant.)

That is all.
post #29 of 102
People do say it all the time, and its true. You really don't know what its like until you have kids. That being said, it does not mean that you will not do most of what you set out to do. If you plan to cloth diaper, you most likely will. If you plan to and already eat organic food, then you will more than likely continue to do that.

However, once you have kids, your priorities change. Not just because you have a child, but because of that particular child. When I was pregnant with my second child, I figured I already had the answers as to how I would handle a newborn. I already had one, so I had it under control. But- my second baby could not have been more different in tempermant, needs, etc. Same with my third and fourth. My point is, until the child is born, you will not know exactly how it will be. And the more kids you have, the more you realize just how unpredictable children can be. It does not mean that you won't follow through with most of your pre-child plans. You may just have to get more creative.

And really, it never stops. Before I had a teenager (egads!) I thought it would be a breeze and all those other parents were just failing to see how easy it would be! My goodness! Nothing could have prepared me for this age.

Parenting is a wonderful and trying and exciting and a truly life changing, eye-opening experience.
post #30 of 102
Originally Posted by kneedeepnkidz View Post
My point is, until the child is born, you will not know exactly how it will be. And the more kids you have, the more you realize just how unpredictable children can be.
So very true!
post #31 of 102
I say this to my sister on almost a daily basis, "just wait till you have your own kids". She is TTC, but I think the difference is the perceived negative or positive outcome.

For example, my sister was saying she could NEVER have a drug free birth (I have had two and 4 c-sections, working on number 5) I told her she just doesn't know her own strength and wont understand it until she is pg and having her own baby. She will have something deep her in her that she has never experienced and not to count herself out just yet.

She also said she doesn't know if she could stay home with a baby because she might get bored. Again, I told her to just wait until she has her own kids. Not to set anything in stone and to PREPARE for her to stay home full time and financially not get into any situations that would require her to work. She is a lot stronger then she thinks she is and CAN do it if that is what she wants. She watched me do all of this at 17, she can do it if she wants at closing in on 30.

Now my MIL says stupid stuff to me when I talk about my plans (breast feeding exclusively, co sleeping, cloth diapers, NIP etc). And she tells me all the time "just wait till you have the baby, you will hate it and change your mind". HELLO, did she forget I have nursed multiple babies or that I have been a mother before. So she bugs me with that, I just hope I don't bug my sister. I want to encourage her to trust in herself and never say never when it comes to her ability to do the best by her baby.

So really, I don't think there are many things you can truly KNOW until you have kids. I am still learning daily. I have 3 kids living with me, one of which is a special needs step son and i am doing things I thought I would NEVER in a million years do (like medication for his needs), but the best thing you can do with parenthood is learning to go with the flow and doing what is best for that particular child. But all of the things that the OP mentioned just seem like the easiest way to do things and well, nothing out of the ordinary and something that most if not all moms if they can, should try to do.
post #32 of 102
When people say stuff like that, it's not that they're questioning your values or commitment. And as previous posters have said, you never quite know how your priorities might change or how you might respond to specific situations.

I was totally committed to CD'ing from birth, but the birth ended up being a lot more traumatic than I ever anticipated, and I ended up with some health problems. So instead of a newborn in cute cloth, we used sposies until I was feeling better, which was around 3 months postpartum. We were good with cloth for a while, until DD was around 12 months, she was (and still is, at 3 years!) a big night time nurser, which equalled a super-soaking peeing baby. So out went the night-time cloth and we used sposies, because I tried every single permutation of inserts and covers and it's just not fun to wake up to wet sheets.

I have friends who were committed to breastfeeding, but ended up with supply issues. Those mamas don't have to hand in their crunch cards because they had to supplement.

I do agree that your sister's declaration that you'll change your mind is annoying, but perhaps her point was that one of the qualities that really serves us well as mothers is flexibility?
post #33 of 102
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
one of the qualities that really serves us well as mothers is flexibility?
post #34 of 102
People tried to tell me a lot of things when I was pregnant...so far we've been doing all the things we planned on doing. I think the biggest thing people reacted to was the cloth diapering...they told me it'd be too much trouble. Even DH thinks the cloth are way easier to use. He have used very few disposables. I don't even own a washing machine! I have to lug diapers to my aunt's two days a week...but I still do them!

A lot of people asked me "what if breastfeeding doesn't work out?" Well...I made it work out. It was hard, yes...but we've made it this far!
post #35 of 102
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
I think it's ridiculous and insulting when someone tries to claim that they know what you'll end up doing better than you yourself do.

I believe it's entirely possible that there are parents of newborns, who are good at cooking and for whom it's a priority, that can successfully roast a chicken the way you describe. You may very well be one of them.

HOWEVER I think only a parent of a small baby can understand just how difficult such a feat can become. :

I guess I find "I don't/can't do x, when you're a mom you'll understand" to be inoffensive, whereas "You won't/can't do x, when you're a mom you'll see."

It's the whole 'oh, you'll be begging for drugs in labor' thing all over again. Why can't people just say "I thought I wouldn't need drugs, but then I really wanted them" instead? or "Before I became a mom, I thought my kids would never watch TV, but now they do all time because I need to get things done."

I guess it's easier to mock other people's choices than to own up to yours.
: (bolding mine)

Many people also make good points in saying that the actual experience of having a child (like any experience!) is not fully realized until you are in that moment and time and place, but these types of comments are not along those lines imho.

I would not be offended by that particular sentiment, nor by the expression of one's own experiences, owning them as one's own (I like the example above about drugs in labor).. But many of the time these comments are made, it conveys a clear message of- your ideas are wrong and ridiculous. A parent who plans to do disposable diapers or CIO does not get these comments- these comments are often value judgments on non-mainstream practices. Because really, we all plan and hope and think and dream about these things, especially when expecting a child, but even before that.

In most cases, people feel no need to constantly question the fact that we are planning for our little one's arrival- that is a given for any parent- or to remind us that we won't really truly know until we are there. Obviously, everyone knows that things can change and that not everything goes according to plan with little ones, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't think about these things and how we want to best go about them, or have a plan in place. All parents make certain plans, such as how they might feed and clothe and diaper their child, whether they will be working at home or out of home or stay at home, etc. Above and beyond the natural urge to learn ad plan for your child's arrival, the logistics of these things require certain discussions between partners, purchases made, things put into place. So if we had to wait until we had a child to know for sure, and couldn't plan ahead, things would get pretty hectic, you know?

Plus, I think that there are steps one can take to gain a realistic point of view and learn about all the options beforehand, even though obviously the final "test" is the actual experience of raising that particular child.. If I planned to do things a certain way without learning anything about it, I would hope someone would gently point out that I might want to research what all that choice entails.. but really, most people I know in the NFL/AP community here and in general do more research on these choices than others do on more conventional choices. I guess what bothers me most is that I have thought about what my choices entail, ethically and practically, and researched options, talked with others, etc. For someone who did things a certain way because that is "how things are done" to tell me that I don't know what I am getting myself into is offensive, because really, it should be the other way around. I can be pretty much okay with a wide variety of parenting choices if those parents have taken the time and energy to discuss them and think about them and research them, but for someone who has not done so to insinuate that they know better than I do irks me, because it is a symptom of the greater society in which we are taught not to question and taught to disdain and dismiss as wrong and crazy and extreme anything that differs from that which is accepted as mainstream.. so I suppose the issue brings up deeper issues for me lol.

I do feel it's important to be flexible, but I don't think that should stop one from planning- for example, if I plan to do cloth diapers and EC, which I do, I will read about the different issues and purchase the correct supplies, which I have. If I choose to use disposables I can always do that too, any store sells them and I can always go get them, and I do have one pack of 7th Gen disposables at home as well, as back-up if I have a difficult birth and can't do laundry or get to a store, or the washer breaks, etc. I am prepared for the fact I may need them, but also planning for the fact that I may just as easily not. But that is different from someone insinuating that my desire to plan for cloth and EC is ridiculous and unfounded, because I am naive and uninformed.

Now I also realize that the actual INTENT behind these comments is the need to validate one's own parenting.. I understand that the intent is not to be malicious, and that there are deeper issues, so I do try not to get offended. It makes sense that many people have to feel that my choices are not feasible or reasonable, that they are impossible and extreme and excessive, because if they were to acknowledge that they are in fact do-able and caring choices, they would have to question the fact that they didn't avail themselves of those choices. But I can relate to those who feel offended by these comments, because they are rather offensive when taken at face value!

I agree with the above, that I would be perfectly okay with, and appreciate, someone owning their choices and sharing their experience. I would also welcome respectful discussion about the pros and cons of different options, or what resources I have found most helpful to prepare for the choices I am making, or recommendations for resources you find helpful, or whether there is anything you can do to help support me in making my choices for my family. I am happy to let you know what I have learned that aided me in making a particular choice, and how I foresee making that work for my family.. but when someone focuses only on the negative it drives me bonkers. You know? When I say I am going to breastfeed, well the chances are good I am going to breastfeed. We all know that some mamas want to and for whatever reason cannot.. obviously that can happen and obviously it would be disappointing for me if it did. But most cases where the mom wants to nurse, she nurses! So why focus on the small chance she won't be able to, or discourage her before she even tries? I'd welcome a discussion of the resources in our city for nursing moms, or the info I have read about breastfeeding, or the benefits it offers, but why must people always go automatically to- what happens if you can't breastfeed? or, I don't think you realize how difficult and painful that will be. Oi! I just have to take a deep breath and remember that they are really reflecting their own personal issues and the broader issues in our society and that it's not about me or my family.. Plus, when my little one is here, I will obviously strive to be flexible and do what needs to be done, but I hope that I can be a positive voice for more conscious parenting and show those around me that some things can be done differently, and effectively at that.
post #36 of 102
Sure, you don't know exactly how things will go. I'm sure you do know what's important to you and how you will work toward goals. For someone to dismiss you that way is rude. I agree with pps, I do think alot of that can come from their own insecurities, and it doesn't end when you have your baby. After 3 kids and 6 yrs I still sometimes hear a version of that. Sometimes I ignore it. If it deals with something I feel very strong about, I may tell them I don't expect my core values to change and leave it at that.

I also think this is an example of ways mothers sometimes tear each other down instead of supporting each other.

Anyway, don't let them discourage you.
post #37 of 102
It's so important to have a sense of humor about life in general. I absolutely hated it when people would say to me "You don't have kids, so you don't understand." BUT it was true. There were so many things I didn't understand, for example, how much love you could have for your own child! No amount of preparation/reading/thinking could have conjured up that kind of love.

It's also like trying to understand marriage before you're married -- there's no way to really understand and predict what your marriage will be like because of a very important x-factor: the other person. Likewise with parenting, each child is an individual, not a blank slate, and you have to spend so much time getting to know your own child -- what their particular needs, strengths, weaknesses, etc. are.

I think a lot of people say those things because they are truly acknowledging that parenting is a far more intense/challenging/gut-wrenching yet rewarding thing a human can ever undertake. And it's actually true that you don't know what it's like til you're there.
post #38 of 102
I'm of two minds about this stuff.

Originally Posted by hmk123 View Post
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?
Well, you might realize that babies don't need baby food . And decide to skip all that and just share your own food (pre-mastication or not) with your baby when your baby is ready .

An old thread I remember getting particularly involved in: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ight=baby+food


That said,

Originally Posted by Niamh View Post
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.
...so true. And so .

Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Even on these boards, I heard it a couple of times
Yes, I see this on the board at times. And it can be annoying. I may have even participated a couple of times in the, "If you only have one, don't judge me because you just don't know what you'd do in my shoes" or the "if your kids don't have special needs, you have no idea."

See, I agree with those folks who are saying that it is true, on some level that you don't know. It's like what everyone has said in terms of, "Before you are a parent, you know how to parent children, and once you are a parent, you learn how to parent your own child." Flexibility is important. To me, now that I am a mom, more than the annoyance of the posts from folks saying, "you have no idea" are the posts when folks come and post how the only way good parents will do something is this one particular way that they have determined is ideal. It implies that others aren't being thoughtful enough when they make different choices. It also implies that *all* kids will be the same. Half the time, the "ideal" proposed is non-applicable to a huge chunk of kids. Just as an example, some parents seem to believe based on their own experiences that it is impossible for a baby to not like being in a sling. They will claim it's a matter of the *type* of sling, or the sling position, or the parent not liking it, or basically anything but that the child simply might not being into it. I have a nephew who really did not like it. Honestly. No matter what the sling was, and what position he was in. And it had nothing to do with his mom, who slung my other nephew. This kid didn't like to be in a sling. That's it.

I too had a *lot* of pre-parenting experience: having younger sibs and cousins (I was second to youngest in my family, so only had one younger brother, but I did have younger "God-siblings" with whom we are very close), babysitting from a young age, eventually working as a nanny, and later working briefly in a preschool. I had a lot of great skills and knowledge, and I was prepared. Like one of the other nanny-before-children posters said, I might have been a little too confident. Because I do find that now, sometimes I lose touch with my skills and knowledge by virtue of the incredibly intense and intimate parenthood experience. And I also find that sometimes life has a plan of its own, despite my hard and fast commitment.

Those who have said that parenthood can be humbling are right.

More importantly, I draw on a lot on my pre-children experience and thinking as a baseline of skills and knowledge, but I am learning now that my most significant teachers are my own children.

All that said, I think the things you mentioned are all the types of things that are among the least likely to change...and why people feel the need to say you won't be able to follow through...who knows .

Most often, what people want when they say things like that is to have their own decisions validated.
Not just their decisions, but I think also their life experiences too. Also, as others said, perhaps they worry that your standards are so high that you will end up exhausted or disappointed. Maybe incorrect, but maybe they come from a good, caring place about it.

The advice to just ask them to tell you more is good because if you can stand to sit there and listen, it gives their line of thinking time to run its whole course, and then you've validated them by listening...which over the longrun, probably will reduce the number of times they feel the need to come to you and say things like this. I've noticed that people who don't feel heard just start "shouting" eventually, in one way or another.

Originally Posted by kiwiva View Post
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 agree, and its annoying. But on the other hand, when you are a mama who is really struggling for one reason or another (example...my first child actually sleeps, my second child has an inhuman ability to never sleep, at least not for more than a couple hours at a time...at nearly three, she still just doesn't ever give me a rest), it can feel like you are on a different planet from everyone else. I can see why folks get tempted to tell others how lucky they are because it probably is true to some extent.

One thing I see a lot on MDC, and elsewhere...but especially here, is that anytime things go smoothly with our kids, we tend to give ourselves more credit than we probably deserve. "I just know my child never cries because I breastfeed whenever she is hungry," etc. Then, when things are hard, we tend to assign more blame to ourselves than we deserve. "My child cries all the time. I've tried everything, and I just don't get it. What am I doing wrong?" I swear that in the "ages and stages" section of these boards, a good 70+% of posts fall in one of these categories.

Because we tend to do that, it makes sense that a lot of times we also get defensive. If my baby was crying all the time, and I was trying all the things everybody else is saying ensure their babies never cry, it would make sense that at some point my attitude would become, "Hey you people whose babies never cry: you just have no freakin' idea!"

So if this posts make it sound like I am of two minds, you are right. Because I get why you are annoyed, and yet I also get why people say these annoying things. And I've both been annoyed by people saying it to me, and also have said some of these things myself. Ah, the experience of being a mother! It is so crazy making. It makes us comfortable with shades of grey and paradox like never before.
post #39 of 102
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
See, I agree with those folks who are saying that it is true, on some level that you don't know. It's like what everyone has said in terms of, "Before you are a parent, you know how to parent children, and once you are a parent, you learn how to parent your own child." Flexibility is important.
I agree, it definitely cuts both ways. I mean, for the last three plus years I've been hearing an awful lot of "when I have kids I'll never let them get away with that" from my recently married and recently pregnant SIL wrt to our two boys. It has often taken all of the composure I can muster to not shoot back at her with a wait and see response. Because the truth is that she really doesn't know or appreciate yet what it means to parent the child you have (never mind responding to their behavior in an age appropriate manner,) and I honestly think that having a baby will be something of a rude awakening for her.

I also agree that all those folks who predict that you will abandon your crunchy intentions once the baby is here are being unfairly dismissive of your personal parenting ideology. People often like to think that their way is the only best way to do something, so it can be a little threatening when someone else they encounter wants to do things differently. At the end of the day all you can do is your best, and maybe what some of those people are also trying to tell is don't be too hard on yourself if things don't go exactly the way you envisioned.

post #40 of 102
So, I clicked on this thread thinking that it was the "You can't possibly know...." that I had been hearing. Which is; "You can't possibly know how much you will love your new little child." and "You can't possibly know how much your life will change from the joy that your little child brings you."

Which is true. I had absolutely no idea how much I could love her. A friend of mine said to me while I was preggers; "You think you love your Husband, just you wait 'til your daughter is born." I mean, I knew I would love her to pieces, but I just didn't know that I could love her more and more each day, which I didn't think was possible because I thought I already loved her as much as I possibly could the day before. :
Another friend of mine said about her son; "I love everything about him, even his boogers." , but true.

I haven't gotten a lot of the negative comments that it seems many of you have though. Either I've been lucky or I'm just forgetful.

I can understand how insulting some of these comments can be though, it's as if they have no faith in your faith in yourself and your capabilities. Perhaps didn't meet up to thier own expectations and so they feel the need to dash your own. Or maybe they honestly feel that they are helping. Boh...

It is interesting though, how I had certain Ideas about being a mother before I actually was one. I did not possibly know how my thoughts of mothering would change once I became one. Bed-sharing had not even crossed my mind, for one, and yet DD has slept with me since she was born. I knew I wanted an unmedicated birth, which I had, but I had a consult with the epiduralogist "just in case". I knew that I wanted to avoid a CS at all costs, which I did. Yay! I knew I wanted to BF, which, 23 months later, I still am, Yay! I wanted to CD, but our living conditions here in Itlay make it too difficult, so we dont. I thought I'd do jared babyfood, and I ended up making most of DD's baby food. I didn't think I'd be happy with my DD in daycare, but I am.

My list goes on, but I gotta get ready for work.

kiwiva, I've become more crunchy too!

AislinCarys, I love Bones and House too. We used to watch with DD (who also went to bed when we did, late.) til she was about 18 months and I thought she was understanding too much. Also because we started an earlier bedtime for her when she started daycare.
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