I guess the problem is, noone starts a thread with, "Oh my baby is such an angel that parenting is fulfilling". If they don't have a problem, they don't post.
Instead it's, "My baby is scratching my eyes out, head-butting me, screaming non-stop and parenting is so fullfilling" KWIM? How can children be so violent? Or sleepless?
I am torn between knowing that reading this stuff is setting me up to fulfill my dismal expectations. On the other hand, I also know reading firsthand experiences is a good way to prepare myself for all the different ways of thinking one must use to be an AP. I mean, I wasn't raised AP-I need to reprogram myself and waiting until I'm in the moment doesn't sound like a smart approach.
I want to surround myself with happier stories of baby-rearing/toddler rearing. I know that nice experiences exist. I mean, DH and I were actually pretty mellow kids according to our parents and our memories. Any advice? (from any DDC/ BTDT mama?)
Regardless of how much you fret now about parenting, in a few months you will have no choice but to be a parent. It will be everything you imagined and more. Your instincts will be your best guide. Try to learn to relax now and roll with the experience.
Our eldest is 6 1/2 and a complete and total suck-up. She goes out of her way to be the first in her class, and the best at everything. She is also incredibly bossy with her 4 1/2 year old sister, and goes out of her way to subversively instigate her sister. But she is sweet, and gentle, and kind to a fault, and has never hurt anyone. She does not talk back, and we rarely have to punish her.
Our middle daughter is 4 1/2 and almost polar opposite to her sister. When she was 2, she drove her biomom (I'm technically their stepmom) absolutely crazy to the point that bio wanted us to "take her" several times. For us, she was fairly easy to deal with, mostly because we didn't accept her behavior as okay, or normal, or "just what kids do." If she screamed in public, we left, no matter where we were or what we were doing, or how much money we'd already spent. If she threw a tantrum, she went to her room to do it. She was not allowed to fuss and scream in the middle of the room. Now that we're past all of that, she's more of an instigator than her older sister, but is also kind, and sweet, and the parents of all of her schoolmates constantly tell me how wonderful she is. She's more cuddly than her sister, and they're both amazing.
Both of our older two girls nap for 2-3 hours every day that they're with us, and sleep about 11-12 hours every night.
Our youngest is only 5 months, so jury's still out on her demeanor, but there is hope for the sleep thing! DD3 spent the first month of her life in the NICU, so she ended up on an incredibly exhausting 3 hour schedule around the clock. Last night I put her to bed when I went to bed at 10:30, and she layed there and talked to herself for a while, and didn't wake up to be fed until 6, and then went back to sleep until we woke her up at 10 this morning. Usually she sleeps from 11-6, then from 6:30-9:30.
Kids are different, and even if you use exactly the same parenting principles with all of them, they'll all be different. And don't worry...no one is going to come bang your door down because you're not completely 100% GD. If you lose your temper and yell one day, you're not going to be the worst mother on earth. As long as your kids are safe, and know you love them and aren't being physically hurt, everything is fine.
It is scary, but it's an amazing, wonderful, fulfilling ride too. Kids are awesome, and I wouldn't trade any of my soon-to-be 4, no matter how many headaches or gray hairs they've given me.
As much as I'm scared, I'm so excited to begin this journey, knowing it’s my last child and all. But hey, I was scared and excited when I had my first son. We parent the best way we know how, what is most comfortable for us.
You can't walk in a room and have 100% of the population do things your way, the right way and exactly deal with issues the same way you'd do it. You have to do what is right for you. On the most part I parent the gentlest way I know how.
I can't even say that DH and I parent the same way, I'm gentler, and he is firmer. But we learn through every experience. And sometimes from each other's actions.
I haven't go through the biting, spitting, scratching stages with my boys. They just aren't that way, but right now I'm dealing with my 6 year old and his fascination of the word fart, the sound of fart and the motion of a fart. It's driving everybody crazy around here and we're trying to get him to understand why it's not appropriate in every setting.
Also the constant back talk and attitude in my 8 year old. He thinks he knows it all and not only is my 6 year old never right, but DH and myself are never right either. He is so bossy with this little brother that it's turning into a little bit of manipulation of sorts.
It truly is a great right and an amazing blessing, just sit back and live it and enjoy it. Some days will be better than others, but we all make it through to the next day
My BIGGEST worry, by far, with this pregnancy is that I can't imagine loving anyone more than I love my DS. He is at the museum right now with his dad, and I can't wait for them to get home!!
The other posters are right when they say that your love for your child is unlike anything you have ever experienced. It is going to blow your mind.
I don't know if that makes sense, but I guess my point is that parenting is hard. There are lots of things to worry about, your child will not be perfect all the time, you will do the best you can and so will they and in the end you might be frustrated at times, but the love is SO much more overwhelming.
And also, remember that most of the non-desperate everyday stuff in Life with a BAbe and the toddler thread (ie the happy stories) are in the month-by-month "clubs", so maybe try reading the June or July or August /06 mammas for a more well-rounded picture of what its like to live with a babe. I know that's where I post my happy / funny / proud moments.
So get ready for the ride, and remember that its amazing. I have had so many women in their 50's and 60's tell me to enjoy watching my kids grow and appreciate them while they're around. It is a hard road, but like marriage or grad school or getting a high-powered job or anything else worthwhile in life, it takes work and has its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and in the end, you'll be proud you made it through.
The thing that is really cool though, and was overwhelming to me when I was a new mom, was just HOW much you love your child. I love my son so much it hurts. I have never felt more vulnerable in my whole life, because suddenly I had something so precious and if I lost it, I couldn't possibly see any reason to continue living. I saw a quote once that went something like "Mothers wear their hearts on the outside of their bodies" and I do feel that's true.
So - will you be frustrated? Absolutely. Will you realize not long after the birth just how much you love this little creature, and how much it will blow your mind? Yes. At the end of the day, you will still be frustrated, maybe mad about something they did, exhausted from long nights, at the end of your rope because you can't figure out what's wrong. But you plow through because it's just what you do when you're a mom. If you go back and read this thread a couple of months or so after your baby is born, it will make a lot more sense.
I know that no matter what kind of child you get, you'll do just fine!!
p.s. children can be really "violent" and sleepless, but guess what...you will love them and think them angels anyway! (at least I do!)
Grayson did head butt me a few times (not on purpose though) and did give me a black eye once... I wish I would have taken pictures to show him now-he doesn't believe me
A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.
I'm kind of a bookaholic, so curling up with a child focused book IS my way of relaxing and enjoying my pregnancy!
Your child will let you know what he/she needs- not an online board, book, or any expert.
My son is 3.5. After 10.5 years as a "girls' mom, I had no idea what to do with a little boy (found out all you do differently is buy cars and not dolls! LOL). He started out very high needs... hissy fits every evening from about 2 weeks until 10 weeks old. Then... suddenly... he changed. He was (and still is) the best natured little boy I have ever seen. He has NEVER had a melt down. Never went through the terrible ones, twos, or even threes. He is polite (always please and thank you) and actually listens to what I say. He cleans up his messes. People in restuarants and airplanes have commented when we leave they didn't even know there was a baby/toddler/child with us because he was so quiet and well behaved.
So.... not every kid will give you nightmare stories. I am blessed with two wonderful children (my teenager is stressing me out a bit right now... but she's a very good kid nonetheless). So, for every post about demon kids, think about the one that isn't written about the angels.
(And I know of a few demon kids .... they are raised very main stream. My SIL even commented on how, after seeing my son, she may rethink her way of parenting! LOL)
M, mom to DS1 (8 yrs), DS2 (5 yrs), and DS3 (2 yrs).