I need something to counteract the scary stories. Help please! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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O.k. I waited to start this thread until I was relaxed and calm. I have a confession. More often than not, when I visit the 'Gentle Discipline' and even sometimes the 'Life with Babe' forums here at MDC I have to leave because I feel so anxious. I mean, the posts really stress me out!

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?)
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#2 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 12:20 PM
 
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My advice, and you may not like it, is to enjoy pregnancy. Don't worry about parenting. You will have a lifetime to worry about parenting. Enjoy having your baby inside you now. Enjoy the first movements, your expanding belly and the anticipation.

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.

Happy gestating!
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#3 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 12:22 PM
 
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If the posts make you nervous don't read them. There really isn't anything that can prepare you for life with a child anyway. Most of those horror stories you read are true and an accurate portrayal of life with a baby. It is hard, sometimes terrifying and almost always stressful. The best thing you can do is accept that things are going to be difficult, and remember that these boards are here when you are facing a tough time. I know that this maybe isn't the warm fuzzy reassuring post that you were hoping for, but if I posted that, it would be a lie. With all the rewards of being a parent, it would be unfair if they came easily. Just focus now on getting ready for your new baby and remember when he/she gets here to take it one moment at a time.

Mom of three spunktastic kiddos, supported by super-partner while dabbling in midwifery and organic farming. Biting off more than I can chew since '03.
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#4 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 01:01 PM
 
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mama! First, you have to remember that your child will be completely different than anyone else's child, and your subsequent children will be completely different than your first child.

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.

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#5 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 02:12 PM
 
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I feel like I'm starting all over again. Now that we know we're having a girl, I'm scared lol I've been raising 2 boys for the past 6 & 8 years. I know nothing about raising a girl, or understanding feelings or emotions. It's all-new.

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

Shelley, mother, wife, sister, aunt, friend.
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#6 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 02:39 PM
 
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Hey Mama! You know, I am a lady who *often* has issues with figuring out what to do with her child -- my DS is 3 yo and he is a RASCAL! Sometimes I want to go nuts. But, let me tell you something else...

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.

Jean, happy HS mom to Peter (5), Daniel (9) and Lucie (2) and also someone new... baby.gif
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#7 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 04:13 PM
 
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Hugs Mama!! It will be okay. Just take a deep breath and know that no matter what kind of child you are blessed with and what kind of silly, naughty, hair pulling out kind of things they might do...at the end of the day (especially when they are sleeping peacefully ) you will be in love with your child. My dd is not overly crazy, she is a pretty easy going 19 month old, BUT she is 19 months old and she does throw the occasional fit, and she does climb on EVERYTHING, and she is starting to have a real opinion about what she wears...and I tell my dh all the time how awesome that is. How cool it is that she is turning into her own, strong-willed person who wants to GO somewhere, and DO something, and BE someone.

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.
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#8 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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Yep, I agree with all the PP's. My son is very high needs and has been really difficult -- colic, constipation, gas, rhinitus, little sleep, scratching, head-butting, temper tantrums, extreme seperation anxiety from birth, easily overstimulated etc, etc, etc. But I still wouldn't trade him for anyone or anything. He is amazing, and I love the priviledge of watching him grow and directing his path. And I love it when he's funny, and kisses my belly, and runs to the door to hug me when I've been out, and giggles when I tickle him, and asks for a book "one more time!" with a finger raised in the air, or shouts "hip hip hooray!".

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.

Jill , mom to Andrew (09/04), Aaron(01/07), and Emma (11/09)
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#9 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 05:24 PM
 
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I agree with everyone else!!! It IS hard... my son has been violent at times (if you can call it that... not knowing to not headbutt me or poke me in the eyes), and he has been sleepless forever. You WILL find things about your child that will make you mad, make you irritated, it will happen! But it happens no matter what other person you are sharing a home with.

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!!
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#10 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 06:20 PM
 
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Every child is different and like you said, parents very rarely post when they DON"t have a problem, but when they do. I know my husband is kinda anxious for this baby, knowing that life will once again revolve around someone so completely dependant and unpredictable. I reminded him that we were VERY lucky with our daughter---compared to the average baby she was very easy. I'm not sure if that reassured him or made him more concerned! Sure she had her witching hour in the evening but we got through it. She slept well, ate well and if she was having a cranky day all I needed to do was to take her out of the house and she was content. To this day she's a people person and she's always happy in new environments with new faces. You love these little people so much that nothing else really matters. Accept that you will have the odd day without showers and nothing cooked for dinner other than cereal and your journey into motherhood will be much more relaxed. Enjoy your pregnancy and tons of wonderful new mama thoughts your way.

Stacy
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#11 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 06:43 PM
 
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First of all, relax!!! You have such a long time until you really need to worry about discipline issues! Concentrate on having a happy, healthy pregnancy and all the ways to get the birth you are dreaming of. Prepare yourself for breastfeeding and the challenges that sometimes come with it. Honestly, the very fact that you are here means a lot. I had never even heard of AP when I had my first and just sort of fell into the whole thing by what I like to call "parenting by instinct." It felt wrong to leave her in her room to cry in a crib, so I didn't. It felt wrong to spank, so I didn't. I bet you have those same instincts, you don't need a message board to tell you those things. You will figure it all out (ok, most of it out) in time, and when you have questions or issue you will come here like everybody else and find mamas who have been there and understand and will help you through those tough times.

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!)
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#12 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 09:25 PM
 
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My son was & still is a high spirited/energy child. He honestly exhausted me with breastfeeding (every 3 hours for the first year) and he didn't sleep except at night (co-slept). All my other friends had *easy* babies that slept & did all the typical *good* baby things It was super hard, but I still loved that time because he wasn't ALWAYS like that. He did have his down time & he loved to snuggle. He was the best baby & was made just for me

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.

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#13 of 18 Old 09-24-2006, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your heartfelt respnses, Moms. I can see I haven't quite the right perspective and will just try to chill out. Lots of good advice here and as luck would have it, I picked up an Indigo Child book and it has lots of nice stories too.
I'm kind of a bookaholic, so curling up with a child focused book IS my way of relaxing and enjoying my pregnancy!

Thanks again!
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#14 of 18 Old 09-25-2006, 07:42 AM
 
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Relax and enjoy your pregnancy! Your child will let you know what it needs from you as a parent, and what one child needs, another child of yours may need something totally different. I see parenting as taking it one day at a time, and letting your kids know that you love them and are there for them, while at the same time being flexible enough to meet their needs. Some days are better than others, but I would never change it.

Your child will let you know what he/she needs- not an online board, book, or any expert.
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#15 of 18 Old 09-25-2006, 08:41 AM
 
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I'm lurking here but you may well see a post from me elsewhere about how my new babe won't sleep, between my three kids I'm getting less than four hours a night, sometimes two. Don't click on it! However, if I weren't having problems I wouldn't post about it and you'd never know that things were great. People are more likely to vent than announce all of the positives on a message board. Remember that. and also, remember my middle DD. I swear to goodness she put herself to sleep at 9:45 every night, even on the first day. She would fuss if i didn't lay her down because she wanted to be left alone to fall asleep. Miracle baby, I tell you. I still tell people about her in awe. It's not all bad.
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#16 of 18 Old 09-25-2006, 12:43 PM
 
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Before I had my daughter (14 years ago) I knew very little about raising children. No one I knew had kids. I just went by what I saw while out and about. My daughter was a great kid. Little temer tantrums here and there... went through terrible "ones" and not terrible two's. But she was a great kid. I thought I would be in for big trouble the next time.

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)
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#17 of 18 Old 09-25-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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I think the best testament to the joys of parenting is all the people that are doing again. There will be rough times, but as a friend of mine reminds me over and over, "It's just a phase; it won't last forever". On my roughest days when I'm pulling my hair out, all I have to do is watch dd sleep or listen to her laugh. One of the many lessons I have learned as a mom is that moms can do anything. Mom's truly are super human. Enjoy being pregnant, it goes all to fast.
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#18 of 18 Old 09-25-2006, 04:55 PM
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It's also different when it's your own kid. I mean, with the posts you're reading about some other kids' craziness, you don't get the benefit of their snuggles at night or laughing your butt off at the cute things they say during the day. That really is a huge part of it when you have your own. My son is very very chill, but some days does make me CRAZY - but I'm not exaggerating when I say that his moments of pure sweetness more than make up for his moments of ickiness.

M, mom to DS1 (8 yrs), DS2 (5 yrs), and DS3 (2 yrs).

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