"Are you enjoying it?" - update: post 47 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-21-2010, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At the risk of sounding like a bad mother here... I don't know how to answer this question!

I have always known that I wanted to be a mother. Every adult decision I have made in relation to education, marriage, employment, and home ownership has been with my "future children" in mind. After a lot of discussion, my DH and I decided that we would have 2 children--no more, no less--so that they would each have a sibling to share things with without us compromising our lifestyle. There were a lot of other issues factoring into this decision, but the important thing is that DH and I were both able to agree to this 100%.

So now I finally have my first child, who is 5 months old and, I think, overall an easy going baby. He doesn't sleep much, and he gets cranky when he's tired, but he's very social and loves to smile at strangers. This is great, but then I get questions like, "Are you enjoying it?" referring to either my maternity leave or motherhood, and I am at a loss for what to say. (I have been told that the correct answer is, "It's wonderful. I love it!") I am truly thankful that I am not working out of the home right now because there is absolutely no way I would be able to function, but as for "enjoying it", I always pause because I have to wrack my brain trying to figure out what aspect of motherhood I am supposed to be enjoying? The exhaustion? Not sleeping more than 3 hrs at a time? The screaming and crying when he's exhausted? The ear-splitting squeals of delight when he is happy? The diaper changes (which are, actually, one of my favourite parts of parenting ever since I started CDing)? Smelling like sour milk and being covered in spit-up all the time? Not being able to get anything done around the house? Never having time alone with my husband? Being tired and sore from carrying the baby all the time?

I am okay with these things because I understand they are part of parenting and my "future children" (which I am having a hard time resolving with my current child) are still very important to me. That said, I still do not feel like a mother--I guess I feel like I'm just going through the motions or I'm doing a long-term babysitting job. But I cannot use the word "enjoyable" to describe any of it. For what it's worth, I felt the same way about my paid employment. When people asked me if I liked it, I would reply, "It's a job" and I'd think, "What is there to enjoy?" It was just a means to an end and that end was to make money to support myself when I had children.

I don't think I'm depressed. I've asked DH and he doesn't think I'm depressed either. But if I am, perhaps he is too. He has been wonderful and I couldn't get through a day without his support. But as much as he loves DS (and I often think he loves him more than I do), he says he regrets the decision to have children and he no longer wants a second child because two wrongs don't make a right. In my mind, my family is by no means done, but I won't waste my time arguing with him about it now because I am not ready yet to start trying for a second anyway.

But I guess my purpose for posting this was to ask, is it supposed to be enjoyable? What do you enjoy about being a mother? Is it bad that I don't enjoy it?

Now mom to a boy born January 2010. 
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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I didn't enjoy life with an infant very much. It was a hard slog. And I appreciated it when other mothers were honest about that aspect of it. The correct answer is whatever you feel. "Not particularly" is an ok response. Hang in there. It gets better. Feeling guilty for not enjoying it won't get you anywhere.

However, I think your dh needs to lay off with the "two wrongs don't make a right" comments. Ouch. Not saying his feelings aren't valid, but what's done is done, and he should keep hurtful statements like that to himself.

You might enjoy Andi Buchanan's Mother Shock: loving every (other) minute of it.
http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Shock-L.../dp/1580050824
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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I don't think you are a bad mom at all. Dont feel guilty!!!
Everyone's approach and feelings toward it are going to be different.
I think as time goes on your feelings will change as you grow into being a mom.
I always try to remember that you dont just have a baby and POP suddenly you are the perfect parent. There are a lot of growing pains so go easy on yourself and enjoy what you can and let the rest fall where it may.

As for me I am LOVING every minute of being a mom.
I love nursing, cosleeping, cloth diapering, reading, playing, staying up late on the porch looking at the stars, getting up early with the first birds.
It is so much fun watching him experience life and everything for the first time.
And I love that my relationship wih my husband is not lacking.


Hope that makes sense

Tee wife to Peter! Mama to Angel baby and Miracle baby born February 23rd 2010
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

However, I think your dh needs to lay off with the "two wrongs don't make a right" comments. Ouch. Not saying his feelings aren't valid, but what's done is done, and he should keep hurtful statements like that to himself.

You might enjoy Andi Buchanan's Mother Shock: loving every (other) minute of it.
http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Shock-L.../dp/1580050824
I missed that part! Yea I agree, those statements do more harm than good.
How can you feel good about your situation (that you cant change) if its thought of us a WRONG?

Fear not though! Some people do better with older children than babys. My friends husband is a baby dad and older kids are harder for him to handle (and they have a handful). My husband is a older kid dad though he is great with the babe. Hes just more at ease with older kids, feels they arent as delicate.

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Old 06-21-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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TBH, it does sound to me that you and your husband could be at least a little bit depressed. I don't know that regretting having a baby is a normal emotion in the first few months, especially one that isn't special needs and/or high needs.

That said, I do think it's normal to not love motherhood when you are exhausted and your baby is still kind of a blob, LOL. But you are right on the cusp of big things happening - babbling, movement, mimicking - it gets a lot more fun after about 6 months.

My son was a pretty easy baby. He didn't sleep much, but 6-18 months were by far my favorite with him. He was easily portable and was such a joy. My daughter however, is very high needs, so after the first couple of months when everything was predictable (eat, poop, sleep), it's been pretty challenging for me. She drives me crazy. But she also brings me a lot of happiness, and I try to do things that I enjoy with her. She's kind of a nightmare at home all day, so we go to the zoo, or Disneyland when we can, or the park, or shopping, or the beach...I've made lists of things we can do this summer because I get resentful when we are home all day and she's intolerable.

(((hugs)))

It gets easier when they become more like little people than babies.

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Old 06-21-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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yes, i think parenting is enjoyable. there are certain parts of it which aren't enjoyable, but i'd be questioning my mental health if i didn't find the good parts to outweigh the bad parts. i don't think it's bad to not enjoy it, but i do think it might be unhealthy not to be able to see the good parts and balance them against the bad parts. i don't enjoy screaming, spit up or sleep deprivation either, but i love those goofy smiles, nursing, cuddling, and knowing that i'm raising a little person to become a great big person.

i think men might find it even harder to adjust to the reality of having a child, since they often aren't solely responsible for the child's care, it's a bit more jarring for them. my husband is much more negative about the hardships of raising a baby than i am... the fact that your husband isn't enjoying himself doesn't mean that you aren't depressed.

your whole post sounds a little deadened and foggy to me. i would absolutely not be surprised if you had PPD. that said, infanthood is an incredibly challenging period. i don't think you would be wrong to overall prefer another stage of your child's life, but if you do have PPD, dealing with it will help you find the joys in raising a baby, that's for sure.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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To be brutally honest, I didn't enjoy it until my older dd was about a year old. In fact, her first year was the worst time of my life. I felt awful about it, and worried about my ability to parent, and if my feelings would harm my dd, and what it meant about me as a person. It was so different than I expected. Like you said, I felt like I was babysitting someone else's child that whole time. Thankfully, something happened hormonally or something after she turned a year old, and I started to feel differently. And over time, things became wonderful and have stayed that way. Luckily, I haven't gone through that with my second, and I think it's largely because I had more realistic expectations, as did my dh, and therefore I was more prepared and he was more supportive this time around. But I will say it took me 7 years before I was ready to have a second one.

All I can do is give hugs and tell you that it will get better. Hold on. You say you don't think it's depression, but I would talk to someone, your doctor or midwife maybe, and just go through it with them. Just to look at that avenue. And really just hold on and accept help when given, nap when the baby naps, and don't worry too much about housework for a while.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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As for me I am LOVING every minute of being a mom. I love nursing, cosleeping, cloth diapering, reading, playing, staying up late on the porch looking at the stars, getting up early with the first birds. It is so much fun watching him experience life and everything for the first time.And I love that my relationship wih my husband is not lacking.
See, this is the kind of statement that used to drive me batty as a new mother. Here I am, sleeping with my child (sleep-deprived to the edge of madness), getting up at the crack of dawn (because the baby was up and there went any chance of more sleep), changing yet another cloth diaper (poop everywhere!) and as for sex...way too tired and touched out and while dh was terrific, it was all about keeping the ship from sinking rather than having a relationship.

And you, doing all those exact same things, tell me that you love every minute of it. Not most minutes, or a good many minutes, but every minute. That waking a million times a night doesn't bother you. That you still have a fab relationship with your husband and lots of sex, that changing diapers makes you joyful, that instead of staying up late because your baby won't sleep more than 20 minutes at a time, you're staying up late looking at the stars!

I mean, it's great if this is true. That there is no minute when you think, "Dang, I wish this kid came with an "off" switch. And if that's the way you feel, I really can't tell you not to express it. But it's very hard for those of us with a more typical experience of motherhood to hear.

ETA: I don't think regretting having a child is an abnormal emotion at all during the first months, whether special needs or not. Parenthood is a huge shock.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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i think some people love the newborn baby stage, i personally LOVE when my kids are closer to a year old then the 12 months to 18 months is SO much fun.

and omg shame on your dh for saying that... how awful.

i personally did not even consider another until my dd was close to 16 months i didn't even have a twinge of baby fever or even like holding/looking at other newborns. than bam it hit me and we were preg right away. it was hard again having a little one but now that he is over a year and walking running every day gets easier (minus a bit of fighting!) because he is able to keep up with my dd (which is his ultimate goal, always LOL)

hang in there mama

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Old 06-21-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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Well, sure there are parts I don't enjoy. I'll admit that there are parts of every thing I love that I don't enjoy.

I love nursing my son, but I don't love the leaking and I miss my old bras.

I enjoy co-sleeping. I don't enjoy being kicked in the stomach and back at all hours of the morning and night.

I don't mind diapers, and I am learning and excited about beginning CD'ing (we are getting a late start at 7 months)

I love hugging and cuddling our baby, though I don't enjoy having my hair pulled or my skin pinched.

I love taking him out and showing him off to people, even though the car rides to get there and back can be H*LL. I miss using both hands to eat. (knife and fork)

The good outweighs the bad, everytime though for me. I think that's what you need to look at. Your husband might feel done, I know a lot of women who feel that way for months, if not years, after #1, until they finally decide they want or are ready for #2. And it is ok for plans to change. I always thought we'd have 3, but DH actually thinks he might be ok with 4. I thought I'd have one potty trained before thinking about the next. But DS is 7 months old, and here we are, thinking, if not planning, #2. I never thought I'd be the breadwinner. but I am.

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Old 06-21-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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Another thing I thought of is that of that first year, the first three months were absolutely awful, and also that there was a big improvement around 6 months, when she started to be able to play with things a little and responded to me more. It was still hard until a year, but hopefully you'll find some improvement around 6 months as well, and that's very close.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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I don't know that regretting having a baby is a normal emotion in the first few months, especially one that isn't special needs and/or high needs.
I don't know. Having your first baby is a huge adjustment. It's perfectly normal to feel feel regret at losing your old life, your old identity, even if you love your child. I tried for a long time to have my baby and even I sometimes regret not waiting a little bit longer, because there are things I can't do with a baby.

I found the baby days hard work. Because it is hard work. And it's ok to acknowledge that.

I don't think I want another baby. Although it's only recently that I've even considered the notion. I loved pregnancy but I'm not sure I (or my relationship) could survive another newborn. (Unless I could be guaranteed an easy baby next time!) If they could be born aged one I'd have half a dozen.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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I didn't enjoy much of my DS's first year. I was far too sleep deprived to enjoy it. DS was never happy no matter what I did. He had reflux and food allergies that we never quite figured out... It was rough. My answer to people was always "well, it is a big adjustment but I wouldn't trade it for the world." To those who were genuinly interested, and who I thought would understand, I told them the ugly truth.. But around 10 months old, after DS had just started walking, things got a LOT better. And I have thouroghly enjoyed it since. Yes, it is still tough, I am still worn out and there are days I want to rip my hair out. But the good by far outweighs the bad now. I get kisses and hugs, and can have a conversation with my toddler. He is learning new things everyday and it is amazing to watch. I am much more of a toddler/kid person than a baby person I think. But to me, that's a good thing, because they are only babies for a short time and they are a kid much longer.

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Old 06-21-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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I can honestly say that I am just now beginning to "enjoy" motherhood. DD is 9 weeks, and I found the adjustment period when she was first born to be really hard. I had difficulties breastfeeding (which I did get resolved), I was totally exhausted, and overall, I just felt like I was white-knuckling it through those early weeks. DH feels the same way.

Recently (like within the past two weeks or so), DD has started smiling and laughing. She is interacting with us more now, and we see glimpses of her personality. Now she is becoming a lot of fun! It also helps that she sleeps well, and we have gotten into a good rhythm with nursing. DH just said to me the other day, "You know, I think that I'm just now beginning to enjoy her because I can see her personality coming out." I totally agreed with him. Infancy (I know I still have a few weeks left) is not my favorite stage. I did not anticipate that it would be, but *boy* I was right! I'm holding out for the walking and talking stages (like four years old! ), but I know we've got to slog through these early years to get there.

As much as we are not fans of infancy, DH and I are already talking about number 2! I guess we just want to get these tough early years out of the way quickly so that we can move on to the fun stuff!
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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See, this is the kind of statement that used to drive me batty as a new mother. Here I am, sleeping with my child (sleep-deprived to the edge of madness), getting up at the crack of dawn (because the baby was up and there went any chance of more sleep), changing yet another cloth diaper (poop everywhere!) and as for sex...way too tired and touched out and while dh was terrific, it was all about keeping the ship from sinking rather than having a relationship.

And you, doing all those exact same things, tell me that you love every minute of it. Not most minutes, or a good many minutes, but every minute. That waking a million times a night doesn't bother you. That you still have a fab relationship with your husband and lots of sex, that changing diapers makes you joyful, that instead of staying up late because your baby won't sleep more than 20 minutes at a time, you're staying up late looking at the stars!

I mean, it's great if this is true. That there is no minute when you think, "Dang, I wish this kid came with an "off" switch. And if that's the way you feel, I really can't tell you not to express it. But it's very hard for those of us with a more typical experience of motherhood to hear.

ETA: I don't think regretting having a child is an abnormal emotion at all during the first months, whether special needs or not. Parenthood is a huge shock.
Thank you for saying that. I have been dealing with facebook friends who had their babies around the same time as I did that keep ending every status update with some variation of "loving every minute of being a mom."

I talked to DH again and he is encouraging me to talk to our doctor about my feelings. I previously talked to the public health nurse, who told me that my expectations were just too high. I'm going to check out the book you recommended.

DH said that he doesn't really regret having DS and he apologized for any comments that made it sound like he did. He said it is just hard to deal with sometimes when he is crying. We talked about the fact that he will probably be more "fun" as he gets older and that we can wait until then to evaluate whether or not we want a second child.

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 12/08 (6 weeks),  1/13 (11 weeks), &  12/13 (9.5 weeks)
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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My answer out loud was always "Oh yes I love it" (that's what you're supposed to say right???) but inside I felt like I was lying.

I don't regret having DS, I don't think it was wrong, but I do think it is very different than I ever imagined. He is high-needs and difficult but finally getting better (at 16 months) and although I desperately want more children (we always wanted 4-5) I feel crazy saying that because I don't fully enjoy the one I have.

There are complicating factors for me -- besides having a high-needs kid I also have an untreated chronic illness, an unfinished house that we aren't able to finish at this time so half the house is unusable, and I WAH many hours to maintain health insurance. There are just so many stresses in my life and between the physical & logistical & financial limitations PLUS a baby I am often sort of miserable. But I don't consider it true depression because it's very much situational and not biological.

I do wonder if you & your DH might be a little depressed, especially if you don't have additional sources of stress & feel that your baby is pretty good/easy. I also wonder if you've gotten caught up in your plan -- 2 children, no more, no less -- and are viewing your child as a means to an end, rather than enjoying having just one child for the moment (of course I don't mean you don't love your child to death, I hope I'm explaining things correctly!) Like, you said your job was just a means to a financial end, so you didn't really enjoy it, do you have those same feelings about parenthood?

Beyond all that, I think parenthood is stressful and tiring & I think some people just don't enjoy having an infant. I definitely prefer having a toddler, there were some wonderful things about the infant stage but I could definitely do without the lack of clear communication & the constant spit-up & the relentless crying & the intense dependency. I love that now he is outside playing with DH and not crying for me. I love that I can run to the store for an hour. I love that he can TALK to me and communicate his wants/needs. I also love that he can walk and reach for things & pick things up and follow directions. I think I am starting to love being a mom but there are still days that it just feels like I'm going through the motions, 'pretending,' and sometimes I feel like until I am able to quit my WAH I will always be more of a career-woman than a mom. But I may get to that point and realize I still don't fully feel like a mom. Or time alone may bring more comfort with this role.

Sorry that this is rambly but I hope something I said hit home or helped in some way...

ETA: DH also kind of regretted having DS for a while (regret isn't the right word but he had a hard time of it) but now wants another... you know I sort of wonder if your baby isn't as easy as you think & maybe is high-needs? That really could lead to some of your feelings...

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Old 06-21-2010, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, sure there are parts I don't enjoy. I'll admit that there are parts of every thing I love that I don't enjoy.

I love nursing my son, but I don't love the leaking and I miss my old bras.

I enjoy co-sleeping. I don't enjoy being kicked in the stomach and back at all hours of the morning and night.

I don't mind diapers, and I am learning and excited about beginning CD'ing (we are getting a late start at 7 months)

I love hugging and cuddling our baby, though I don't enjoy having my hair pulled or my skin pinched.

I love taking him out and showing him off to people, even though the car rides to get there and back can be H*LL. I miss using both hands to eat. (knife and fork)
Thank you for this as well. I am really going to try to focus more on the good aspects of each of these things.

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Cautiously expecting Dec 2014!

 12/08 (6 weeks),  1/13 (11 weeks), &  12/13 (9.5 weeks)
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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But I guess my purpose for posting this was to ask, is it supposed to be enjoyable? What do you enjoy about being a mother? Is it bad that I don't enjoy it?
I don't think that it's necessarily abnormal. I also don't think that it's abnormal to have two children, love it most of the time, and then find one's self not loving having a third baby all that much. I think there are some moms that really do enjoy every moment and that's wonderful for them. I don't think you should measure yourself by that standard however. Everyone is going to experience life...motherhood...whatever differently. It's a YMMV kind of thing.

Three children later and I'm finding myself less in love with having a baby with my third. I try hard not to wish her babyhood away, but I was *done* with the baby thing before she was born. Having her hasn't changed that fact. I'm looking forward to the end...of breastfeeding, co-sleeping, diaper changing, etc, etc. My oldest is 5 1/2 so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I love all three of my children dearly, but I don't always enjoy the babyhood part. It's full of moments of wonderful joy, but it can be equally exhausting and difficult.

I find when it comes to questions like that from strangers (or acquaintances/well-meaning family members) the best bet is to smile and say "Yes!" as enthusiastically as possible. They aren't actually interested in your answer...they're just making conversation. It's a question akin to "How about the weather?" and not much more than that.

It gets better (and I say that for myself too) - I think when it comes to motherhood it's a good idea to take a long range view. The joy will come in spurts here and there, but I think the larger sense of joy comes when looking back on things later. It's a cumulative kind of thing. Just take it one moment at a time and do the best that you can with it. I think that's all anyone can do.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
To be brutally honest, I didn't enjoy it until my older dd was about a year old. In fact, her first year was the worst time of my life. I felt awful about it, and worried about my ability to parent, and if my feelings would harm my dd, and what it meant about me as a person. It was so different than I expected. Like you said, I felt like I was babysitting someone else's child that whole time. Thankfully, something happened hormonally or something after she turned a year old, and I started to feel differently. And over time, things became wonderful and have stayed that way. Luckily, I haven't gone through that with my second, and I think it's largely because I had more realistic expectations, as did my dh, and therefore I was more prepared and he was more supportive this time around. But I will say it took me 7 years before I was ready to have a second one.

All I can do is give hugs and tell you that it will get better. Hold on. You say you don't think it's depression, but I would talk to someone, your doctor or midwife maybe, and just go through it with them. Just to look at that avenue. And really just hold on and accept help when given, nap when the baby naps, and don't worry too much about housework for a while.
It is very helpful to see somebody who felt the way I do.

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Old 06-21-2010, 08:03 PM
 
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See, this is the kind of statement that used to drive me batty as a new mother. Here I am, sleeping with my child (sleep-deprived to the edge of madness), getting up at the crack of dawn (because the baby was up and there went any chance of more sleep), changing yet another cloth diaper (poop everywhere!) and as for sex...way too tired and touched out and while dh was terrific, it was all about keeping the ship from sinking rather than having a relationship.

And you, doing all those exact same things, tell me that you love every minute of it. Not most minutes, or a good many minutes, but every minute. That waking a million times a night doesn't bother you. That you still have a fab relationship with your husband and lots of sex, that changing diapers makes you joyful, that instead of staying up late because your baby won't sleep more than 20 minutes at a time, you're staying up late looking at the stars!

I mean, it's great if this is true. That there is no minute when you think, "Dang, I wish this kid came with an "off" switch. And if that's the way you feel, I really can't tell you not to express it. But it's very hard for those of us with a more typical experience of motherhood to hear.

ETA: I don't think regretting having a child is an abnormal emotion at all during the first months, whether special needs or not. Parenthood is a huge shock.

I know its hard and I feel for you but I wasn't exaggerating. I swear I didn't write it to throw it in your or anyone else face.
I lost my firstborn and I was separated from my baby for awhile so yes I enjoy every minute I get with him. It was weeks before we heard his first cry and It was amazing. Parenthood isn't easy, and its surreal at times but I love a challenge.

Time will tell if this will continue as I'm not as good with toddlers as I am with infants.

Tee wife to Peter! Mama to Angel baby and Miracle baby born February 23rd 2010
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Like, you said your job was just a means to a financial end, so you didn't really enjoy it, do you have those same feelings about parenthood?
To some extent I do. At this point, I am looking forward to the point when I have two older children and to do that, I have to get through this stage first.

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ETA: DH also kind of regretted having DS for a while (regret isn't the right word but he had a hard time of it) but now wants another... you know I sort of wonder if your baby isn't as easy as you think & maybe is high-needs? That really could lead to some of your feelings...
I wonder about this too, but I have nothing to compare him to. I thought he was easy as a newborn, but he seems to be getting more difficult every day.

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Old 06-21-2010, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It gets better (and I say that for myself too) - I think when it comes to motherhood it's a good idea to take a long range view. The joy will come in spurts here and there, but I think the larger sense of joy comes when looking back on things later. It's a cumulative kind of thing. Just take it one moment at a time and do the best that you can with it. I think that's all anyone can do.
Thank you. This helps too.

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Old 06-21-2010, 08:13 PM
 
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I lost my firstborn and I was separated from my baby for awhile so yes I enjoy every minute I get with him.
Ah. This makes your position a whole lot easier to understand. Your membership in the Neener-Neener I'm So Perfect Mommy Club is hereby revoked.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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I think it's about ages and stages. At least for us it is. I don't love the newborn/baby stages. Do i love my children, absolutely with every breath in my soul. But i don't love the neediness that comes along with the first few years. It doesn't mean i'm a bad mother and it took me years to realize it's ok to not love the newborn/baby ages. It's just how i tick. DH on the other hand, he balances me out and adores the newborn stage but fumbles with the toddler and older stages.

It took me till my girls got older to realize this and be ok with it. We have a 2 week old and a 4.5 and 6.5 year old. The older ones are so independent and emerging their individual selves and here i sit with a newborn that i finally put in the swing for the first time all day, and he's crying. It's polar opposite worlds, and one i struggle with as a mother.

Loving mom to 2energy.gif ,1jammin.gif , & 1dog2.gif . Surrodaughter 4/09
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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Trust me. 5 months is not a great age. The fun stuff is coming. Everything from 15 months on for me with my son was amazing. He's 3.5 now and I just love being his mom even though three has been a challenge. It's about communication (he's always been very verbal, very fluent and conversant) and a full night's sleep.

You'll get there and faster than you think. My Mcreamy McGee second child is nine months old on Friday. I swear she was a screaming 5 week old just a few weeks ago.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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I wonder about this too, but I have nothing to compare him to. I thought he was easy as a newborn, but he seems to be getting more difficult every day.
I don't usually link to Dr Sears but this is the only article I had handy, I know there's a high-needs tribe on here somewhere but I 'lost' it
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T050400.asp See if any of that sounds familiar. I always thought babies were high-needs from birth but maybe yours is different!! Or maybe something is specifically causing the high-needs behavior (if that's in fact what you recognize it to be) -- food allergies/intolerances, for example...

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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You have a 5 month old, it is friggin hard. Enjoyable as my DD was as a baby she was a train wreck of a toddler, and there have been many a times where I have said, "This sucks. Why the heck did I think this was a good idea?!" Babies are hard, toddlers are hard, kids are hard-they all go through phases, some being awesome and some are downright awful.

I think that your DH is not helping, he needs to knock that off right now.

We just had our second and while pg with him I had a daily cry and questioned what I was doing bringing another person into the chaos our DD brought, she really is wonderful but she was the biggest PITA toddler ever, not destructive, but mouthy, running away-you say bring it on and she more than did, ugh. I really felt like I was having a nervous breakdown most days.

Once DS was born though it was like something clicked in her, she changed and actually became a better kid, but also I think that turning 3 was a pivotal change for her. Having 2 kids has actually made her easier to deal with.

I did have a few moments where I was like No way do I want 2, but now I cannot imagine life any other way. Sure it sucks at times, my house is messy, and I can't get crap done some days, but as my DH said our lives are better with them and he's right. I get sweet kisses from my DD, she cracks me up and infuriates me multiple times a day, DS is needy but a very funny baby, all in all it is great.

Give yourself a break, 5 months is barely into being a parent, plus I'm not a newborn person, babies get fun to me at about 7 months, I like interaction. Once they wave, crawl, cruise, LOL, say mama and dada-that's when the fun begins.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:50 PM
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Not enjoying much of it and I honestly never expected to. I've never "liked" babies - didn't understand why others were so crazy about them and thought they were boring. Now that I have one, I still don't get why others are so crazy about them and think they are boring and way too needs. I think that older children are much more interesting and fun and I just have to do this part to get to that part. Fortunately for me, my friends and family know that I'm not a "baby person", so when I tell them that I think she's kinda boring, they either roll their eyes at me or they agree that they aren't much fun until they're older.

Just so I don't sound horrible, I will add that I do love my baby girl. And there are things that I do enjoy about her. I just never had the expectation for myself that it was all supposed to be wonderful and enjoyable.

To answer your initial question about how to respond to the "are you enjoying it" question (at least to those who don't know me well enough for me to give the full, honest answer): I respond with "I absolutely love my beautiful little girl". It's the truth, and no one seems to notice that I didn't actually answer the question.

When people ask if I'm enjoying maternity leave, I answer honestly that I'd return to work today if I was allowed to bring her with me. I actually thrive on my job, and miss it greatly, but am not ready in my nursing relationship with her to have her on bottles for the day.

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Old 06-21-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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I don't think it's unusual to feel a bit of regret, like others have said...regret for your lost life, ability to move about freely, function the way you used to...becoming a parent is a gigantic shock and can be soo extremely overwhelming. I say give yourself some love. It's alright to be utterly exhausted and not totally overjoyed and thrilled with a newborn!

Before having ds1 I so longed for a babe. I had nannied, babysat, and taken care of my neices/nephews for years. I thought I was all good. But it did not prepare me for the newborn phase with nursing, life change, postpartum healing, etc. Plus it felt as though all my friends kept asking: "so, when do you think life will get back to normal?" Or, "why aren't you getting on a plane with the babe to visit me?" Or, "when are you going back to work, what is your plan?" It felt like people wanted me to be the same and didn't understand the major life change. So while I was thrilled to have my ds and loved nursing, I didn't like most of that first year. It was very trying in lots of different ways.

My second was so much easier and I was more prepared and relaxed and life flowed much easier while he was a baby. Now that he is a toddler life is harder and there are lots of days I want to pull my hair out and scream. Lots of them. BUT, there are soo many beautiful and sweet moments that I am happy to have had.

Take care of yourself-have a bath, chocolate, tea, a walk, yoga...whatever to give yourself a little tlc. It's important. And remember it will change, probably sooner than it seems. It will get fun, there will be enjoyment, there will be so many moments of joy. Good luck mama!! You're not alone.

Mary

Mary, Mama to 3 boys! 9/05 & 8/08 & 7/12
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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I don't love babyhood, at all. With DD1 I think it was around 18 months that I felt I could mostly enjoy her. It took me a long time to feel like I could do babyhood all over again (there is a 6.5 year gap between DD1 and DD2).

A few things I have noticed. With DD2, I can more readily accept the aspects that aren't pleasant. I remember with DD1, when dealing with a stinky diaper, I could picture in my mind this endless stream of stinky diapers I'd have to get through before she was done. When being woken for the millionth time at night, or having her awake playing for hours, I would be tallying it up. It's like I was quantifying all my suffering or something.

With DD2, I don't watch the clock. I think "have I gotten enough sleep, to cope? Do I need a stronger coffee?" and then I let it go. I actually do enjoy the times when she is awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night, teething. I don't count mounds of diapers. I don't count hours of sleep. I do what I can to take care of myself, and try to ride out what I can't change. I let the bad stuff go, and remember the good.

There are other differences, too. Because DD1 is here, is observing, I see things partly through her eyes. AND I am careful of how she will see my struggling. So we stay positive. We talk about how quickly the various challenging stages pass. And we talk talk talk about all the good things.

Also, another thing because of DD1, we are getting out all the time. Taking her to school, bringing her back. Going to the park, the kids museum, out to lunch, etc. The other parents, the other kids, love to see DD2 and dote on her, say sweet things about her. I find, whenever I am feeling down about having a baby, what I need to do is take her out to the grocery store where the little old ladies will coo all over her and give me a boost
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