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What do you wish you had done/known? - Page 3

post #41 of 56
Originally Posted by Carma View Post

I agree with all of the above. But I also have one advice. Don't start too late trying for kids. I started at about 30 and we had infertility issues. We had a good marriage (>10 years together at that time), both a PhD and both a good job, no debts. For a while I really worried that we started too late and we would not have kids together and then all the other things we had started to seem worthless. It took 3 years to conceive our first. Right now we have 3, so everything worked out for us. But the 3rd we had when I was 39.



Oh my, this is wonderful advice. I lived in Washington, DC and know so many young couples with well established careers, who own their homes, etc., who are struggling with infertility.
post #42 of 56

I honestly can't think of anything other than maybe losing a bit more weight before I got pregnant.  I weigh more now that I did when I got pregnant, so I think that weight looks pretty good from here.  lol


I used to wish that DH and I had traveled more before we had dd, but I honestly look forward to traveling with her more than I ever did before.

post #43 of 56

Terrible two's are NOTHING compared to the THREE's they will push you to your limit.....several times a day.


Parenting is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. You will be so tired you can believe someone can be that tired and still standing.


If bedtime goes well, don't stay up late. One of your kids will get up in the night with a fever, vomitting etc. You definitely will not get a chance to catch up on sleep or laundry. SO.....never believe you will have an early bedtime and be able to stay up. MURPHY'S LAW...happened to me last night.

post #44 of 56
Thread Starter 

Bumping - DH and I have set an actual "start trying to TTC" month: December 2014(!) So any new people want to weigh in on the original question?

For someone who is planning to have a baby in about [3] years ... what words of wisdom do you have?  Specifically, what do you wish you had known or done *before* becoming a parent?  What do you wish you had known or done *after* you became a parent?


Since posting the original post over a year ago, I've become more active, built my own business that can easily accomodate SAHM duties for a year or more, worked with DH to pay down his remaining student loans, DH is looking into the requirements for getting the MBA he's been thinking about, and we've made some major headway on some projects around the house. :) I think my big goal for this year is continuing my path to better physical shape and starting to work on some of the habits I've been meaning to address (my temper, procrastination, etc.).


As much as I look forward to 2015, I am also very glad that I can have this time to plan and work!

post #45 of 56

Everything AP and Gentle discipline in general!! That I did NOT have to have a hospital birth. My son's birth anomaly was NOT as serious as doctors made it out to be, and that surgery at 6mo was NOT the best thing for babe!!!!!!!!! Also, wish me and dh had looked into both therapy for issues we brought with us because of how we were raised, and also parenting classes.

post #46 of 56

I don't really wish I had known too much more- other than about birth .

But I do know, now that I am a parent- that I am really glad I had all those me years before having my son.I travelled a lot, had a lot of alone time.

Because I was surprised a little by how much more having a kid changed my life than I thought it would. when you have a kid it takes so much focus and attention on them. It really becomes a lot about their well being and you as the parent have to learn to adapt more.

It is also much more work than I expected!

I think it is really great if you can have a loving strong comitted partner to help raise the kid- if you can- try to be in a good solid relationship as the work and sacrifice of parenting can challenge a relationship.

Regarding birth- I was totally naieve. I had read only natural birthing information- I was totally in the mind set from all the books and stories I read that birth is easy, that doctors are invasive and unnecessary when it comes to birth, and if I just had a mind set that it would flow then it would be a peaceful easy flowing experience. I did not allow in my mind for any possibility other than a perfect natural home birth.

What I learned is that support around birth- having people you trust who can help you physically and medically IF somehting does go wrong- is very important. I did not have a good support team- I had only my husband and midwives that I did not like or trust, and I was very surprised by how major and challenging my birth was! I had only read happy birth stories and while those are great- I think it is important to know that birth can be unexpected and surprising, and is sometimes dangerous. I didn't even allow myself to consider those ideas. I ended up with an emergency c section which turned out really well for me but it was different than I expected.

Having a kid is life changing more than I ever expected too. But really wonderful and life enriching too!

post #47 of 56

Get your wild stuff you want to do out of the way! I found that I didn not like/want to have babysitters for DS, and even if I did I would not now go on a drinking/party thing. So anything crazy you want to do, get out of the way beforehand.


Eat better while I was pregnant. I want at my ILs and they eat the weirdest foods, most of it pretty unhealthy. Fortunately DS is healthy despite it (he did get the benefit of BM on a pretty healthy diet) but next time I would eat better, since I can control my own food next time.


As a baby, watch less TV. I kind of had this attitude that since he doesn't understand, it doesn't hurt for my to watch TV around him, so I watched whiel I BF'ed, which was a lot. In the end way too much TV was watched. I would read and listen to more music next time.

post #48 of 56

I wish I had known what the signs of PPD were and that one could have a severe case of PPD even without any history of depression/mental health issues. I probably did "know" this intellectually, but my first months with my child might have been much easier had I known what the heck was going on with me. 


I wish I had known some of the signs of food allergy in a breastfed baby and had trusted my gut more that something wasn't quite right. (My child has very severe and extensive allergies. It's clear to me now that she was reacting to foods in my milk from birth, but nothing ever seemed wrong "enough," so I didn't think to pursue it until she had a serious reaction at 1yo.)


My biggest piece of advice would be to take charge of the birth of your child (whatever that means to you). Research your options--realize that you HAVE options. Besides reading everything we could get our hands on, we took a Bradley childbirth class and the information that I learned in that class was priceless. Learn about the biases behind the books/authors you choose to read BEFORE you take their advice--don't just pick up "What to Expect when You're Expecting" because that's what "everyone" does.


And of course: read and plan all you want, but expect that some things--many things--won't go as you expected, and don't be beat yourself up when that happens.

post #49 of 56

I wish I had known more about unconsolable babies.  Pretty sure I put myself through the ringer on that one. 

post #50 of 56
Go to the movies as much as possible before birth. It's soooo hard to go to the movies with a baby (unless you hire a sitter, which I didn't want to do). Other things are easier---out to dinner, travel, etc., but the movies were hard for us.
post #51 of 56

Wow, you are quite the planner.  It is really wonderful you and your husband have been able to set your lives up to easily transition into parenthood.  I find this thread kind of overwhelming to read... you won't face all the challenges listed here, and there also may be some that you didn't hear about/plan for.  I have loved being a mom so far (my little guy is about to turn 1), and it has only made our marriage more rich.  Logistics are more complicated, but oh well.

As such a planner it may help if you don't try to fix all the problems before they happen.  I repeatedly told myself (and others) I wasn't sure how birth/newborn/parenting a toddler would be for us, so my plan was X... but that will change if it needs to. I am informed, and read tons before I even got pregnant but I try to allow room for grace and flexibility in all my parenting.  I don't let any vivid vision of how things will be settle in, because that will only lead to frustration, disappointment and even guilt.  I think it has really helped me enjoy being a mom :)

post #52 of 56

Not to be a contrary smart-ass, but-


The best, most important things I've learned were only possible because I had a child.  I think on all the things I wish I'd known or had done differently and most of them are instances that happened exactly the way they did because that's what I was capable of at the time.  Wishing it was otherwise is utterly pointless, I wasn't that person yet.  We're all different, and it sounds like you, OP, are a bit more grown-up than I was at that same stage of my life. But I imagine it's true of most people to some extent.  Our kids re-forge us into new people.  We find strength to do what we were never capable of doing before. 


I wish I had traveled more. 

post #53 of 56

Make sure your relationship is solid.  You will need to rely on each other more than you ever thought you would.


Talk about your hopes and plans for raising a child.  Your ideals.  They will probably go out the window once you have kids but it is nice to get important disagreements about raising a child sorted out before the child is actually here.


Save money!  Plan to be out of work for longer than you think during pregnancy.  I had back issues and was out of work for 2 months more than I planned to be.  It really hurt us finantually.  Some people have to go on bedrest because of high blood pressure really early on.  You never know what can happen and the most important thing during pregnancy and motherhood is to take care of yourself so you can take care of your child. 

post #54 of 56
Build a support network of family, friends and neighbours.
It has seriously saved our lives as parents that we have family around to help - and it's one of the reasons we chose to return to our home city before having kids - and live in friendly neighbourhood where we know everyone.
My mom will pick up DS1 from daycare if we're working late or DH is traveling on business. She looked after him while I was having DS2 and takes him to concerts and out fishing. I know my neighbours and can ask them in a pinch to stay with napping DS2 while I pick up DS1. We trade babysitting with BIL and SIL.
post #55 of 56
Thread Starter 

All good points!

Oddly enough I'm not a huge planner in other areas of my life, but I think knowing that having a child *will* change things massively and forever has made me a bit more aware of preparation. ;)

And of course, this is planning that will be flexible - there's a reason there's not a manual for parenthood!  Kind of like a choose your own ending book, at this stage I'm making sure that when it comes to things I can plan for I have several different "options" for situations that may come up. LOL One can't plan every little detail, but having a framework to fall back on is never a bad idea!


The reminder about getting on the same page with DH about the "big items" in child rearing is a very good point - the last time we discussed some of the hot topics I realized we have diverging ideas on discipline, parental roles, and several smaller subjects, so that's going to take some time to work through to a mutual agreement...


We live 500 miles + away from family, so the support network foundation will be one to start work on *now* vs. waiting until the little one is on the way for sure!

post #56 of 56

More than anything, I wish I had researching breastfeeding half as much as I researched everything else. I assumed it would come naturally, and then it didn't. DD and I had nothing but problems and we didn't make it past two months. All the problems I had with breastfeeding then I know how to handle well now. I regret that so much, especially now that I have such a wonderful breastfeeding relationship with 17 month old DS and it has really hit me just how much DD and I missed out on.

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