First timers' thread? Other mamas please share experience/advice! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,
I thought I'd start a thread for those of us who are going to be moms for the first time. This can be a place where we can share our fears, uncertainties, questions, excitement over the changes that will be coming with a new baby. Experienced moms, I would love your advice.

So, what are you worried about changing? How do you feel about entering this new life phase? What are you most looking forward to?

I got really bummed last night because I realized I wouldn't be able to take part in a writing workshop, with a novelist I admire, because I will be (if all goes well) having a baby the week before! For some reason this made it all seem more real to me--it triggered a bunch of stuff about career and identity. I am a writer and am so worried about neglecting it once I have a baby; I know I will need to work out ways to build in time to nurture my own intellectual and career development, but this intimidates me.

Fiction writer by training, writer/editor of anything anyone will hire me for by trade. Me + D=my girls E (4/2011) and little N, 1/2014.

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#2 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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I look forward to being a SAHM. I have wanted to leave work for a few years though DH says he's okay with me leaving anytime, I plan work until Jan, take my sabbatical and possibly not return. I worry about the money because my income will be a huge loss, which is why I plan to stay at work as long as I do so I feel better about the savings account. Otherwise I just look forward to the change, and don't feel I will be missing out on anything. I will be leaving behind a career that does not excite me (software engineer), and starting a whole new journey. When the time comes that I need a little bit of space from baby, I can teach yoga, or help DH with the business.

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#3 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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I'm worried about DH and it will be a big challenge for our relationship. I'm very crunchy and DH is not really mainstream, but doesn't really question things. So it irritates him often when I don't just go with the status quo (of what he's seen done previously anyway). Oh, and did I mention he's stubborn? That's probably my biggest concern.
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#4 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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Do the first time moms have any questions for us mamas that have been there, done that?

Earlier when I was cleaning, I found my Babyhawk baby carrier. So, I'd like to suggest that everyone look into some form of baby carrier. They make life soooo much easier. You can nurse the baby in it, clean house, go shopping, etc...

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#5 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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Hi mamas....
Sheesh I can't believe I'm an "experienced" mom LOL but since this will be our third I guess that qualifies me a little.
Stuff changes. My husband and I struggled A LOT the first few months of our first sons life. But then we found a rhythm and got comfortable being parents and now things are AWESOME. For some stuff it took DH a loooong time to come around....I don't think he admitted that we have a family bed until DS2 joined us....but as long as I'm patient and don't label things "co-sleeping" "attachment parenting" ect and just kind of do what I'm comfortable with he eventually sees how well it works for everyone and is fine with it.
The only other thing I would say is make sure you make time for yourself and your marriage. Babies are easy to take out to dinner. And it is OK to leave them with someone who loves them for an hour while you have coffee with your husband or a friend. It's when I forget about this that things get hairy at home
It's a great journey and you all will LOVE it

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cautiously expecting to meet someone new in April...if you know me IRL please don't out me yet! It's still a secret!
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#6 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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...as long as I'm patient and don't label things "co-sleeping" "attachment parenting" ect and just kind of do what I'm comfortable with he eventually sees how well it works for everyone and is fine with it.


My DH is much like yours, Ola, and we had to go through a lot of heartbreaking battles when we were pregnant with DD. Some of them (like the homebirth vs. hospital question) we will have to revisit. I'm not looking forward to it. My DH just isn't comfortable doing things that nobody else in his circle of friends (i.e., conservative white male corporate men) is doing. And trust me, nobody in that circle is babywearing, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, or birthing at home. (At least, they aren't admitting
it to the other conservative-white-males who share their corporate cube farm!)
So DH can be VERY hard to convince. If you need any help figuring out ways to introduce the conversations you need to have, I'm here to help! We've figured out a few things over the past couple of years.

I'm traveling the world with my kids without ever leaving home and blogging about it -- watch, taste, and share our adventures at TheGlobalStayCation.com!
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#7 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 07:32 PM
 
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Hey, sometimes those corporate cube farm people are crunchy too.

Mama to my sweet Sophia, born at home on 4/6/11.
 
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#8 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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i don't know how active any of your tribes are, but it might be worth posting over there if you haven't already. there may be some first time or currently pregnant moms locally who, in the long run, would be able to trade off child-care. if nothing else, it's really nice to be able to meet up with other women who are in the same general stage of pregnancy/parenthood. i didn't learn about my tribe until my son was a couple of years old, and i feel like i missed out a bit.

Sara ~ one dh + one 5yo boy + baby in 2011
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#9 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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For some reason this made it all seem more real to me--it triggered a bunch of stuff about career and identity.
I can relate - see user name!

The most amazing thing about parenting is how totally unpredictable it is. I remember the things I was worried about not even being a thought after DC was born...and then the whole huge bunches of things that I never thought of being major challenges, delights - you name it. I did have a hard time fitting mothering into my view of myself. Still do.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#10 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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Oh I forgot the one thing that helped dramatically with my DH. I found a local AP group and convinced him to come to an outing where there were other husbands. Then he saw there were other "normal" people doing all the crazy things I wanted to do.
So it might help to seek out a parents group or see if he will go with you to a LLL meeting (we have ones for couples around here) or if you're going to Bradley class. Just try to expose him to other people that feel the way you do so it seems more normal.

Jessica mama to 2 boys 6/07 & 2/09
cautiously expecting to meet someone new in April...if you know me IRL please don't out me yet! It's still a secret!
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#11 of 22 Old 08-27-2010, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh I forgot the one thing that helped dramatically with my DH. I found a local AP group and convinced him to come to an outing where there were other husbands. Then he saw there were other "normal" people doing all the crazy things I wanted to do.
So it might help to seek out a parents group or see if he will go with you to a LLL meeting (we have ones for couples around here) or if you're going to Bradley class. Just try to expose him to other people that feel the way you do so it seems more normal.
That's a great idea. Mine is like many of yours seem to be--I think he's more open-minded than it would seem, but I was raised by a pretty crunchy mom myself, so this stuff just makes sense (she was a longtime subscriber to Mothering back in the day), but DH comes from a much more culturally mainstream background. The one thing that really worries me is if we have a boy--I don't want to circumcise but DH doesn't see why not. I guess we'll figure that out farther down the road.

I'm really interested in what you all have to say about life balance--how did your views of yourself or your priorities change? How do you make time for yourselves?

Fiction writer by training, writer/editor of anything anyone will hire me for by trade. Me + D=my girls E (4/2011) and little N, 1/2014.

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#12 of 22 Old 08-28-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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That's a great idea. Mine is like many of yours seem to be--I think he's more open-minded than it would seem, but I was raised by a pretty crunchy mom myself, so this stuff just makes sense (she was a longtime subscriber to Mothering back in the day), but DH comes from a much more culturally mainstream background. The one thing that really worries me is if we have a boy--I don't want to circumcise but DH doesn't see why not. I guess we'll figure that out farther down the road.
This really made me kind of shudder and chuckle at the same time! DH, should we go for chinese tonight? Sure hon, I don't see why not. DH, should we cut off a piece of our son's genitalia? Sure hon, I don't see why not.

No judgement at all, honestly. It just really made me chuckle at how nonchalant you put it. I'm sure you didn't mean it so flippantly, but it sure made me laugh!

Lisa - Mama to DD (12/07) and now a DS (3/11)! A wonderful uc.jpg!
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#13 of 22 Old 08-28-2010, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This really made me kind of shudder and chuckle at the same time! DH, should we go for chinese tonight? Sure hon, I don't see why not. DH, should we cut off a piece of our son's genitalia? Sure hon, I don't see why not.

No judgement at all, honestly. It just really made me chuckle at how nonchalant you put it. I'm sure you didn't mean it so flippantly, but it sure made me laugh!
Ha, I guess I did put it pretty casually! I guess that's because we haven't really talked about it in detail. I don't actually know that he feels that strongly on the issue so I may be putting the cart before the horse. But we will definitely have to have a serious discussion at some point!

Fiction writer by training, writer/editor of anything anyone will hire me for by trade. Me + D=my girls E (4/2011) and little N, 1/2014.

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#14 of 22 Old 08-28-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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Ha, I guess I did put it pretty casually! I guess that's because we haven't really talked about it in detail. I don't actually know that he feels that strongly on the issue so I may be putting the cart before the horse. But we will definitely have to have a serious discussion at some point!
I thought my husband would be in the "yeah let's do it, why not" camp, and he probably would have been had neither of us taken the time to look into it. I remember being a little nervous about how the discussion would go. I told him why it seemed like a bad idea, he asked a few questions, and then he agreed with me. Phew! Now I find that I am always surprised when I hear of people circing... it's definitely not as popular anymore. And my husband and I have convinced several friends not to circ, as well!

Baby Boy 9/08 & Baby Girl 3/11

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#15 of 22 Old 08-28-2010, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought my husband would be in the "yeah let's do it, why not" camp, and he probably would have been had neither of us taken the time to look into it. I remember being a little nervous about how the discussion would go. I told him why it seemed like a bad idea, he asked a few questions, and then he agreed with me. Phew! Now I find that I am always surprised when I hear of people circing... it's definitely not as popular anymore. And my husband and I have convinced several friends not to circ, as well!
That's great--I think one reason my DH resists the idea is because he doesn't want our kid to feel too different--but I have been looking at statistics and seeing how the numbers are changing.

Fiction writer by training, writer/editor of anything anyone will hire me for by trade. Me + D=my girls E (4/2011) and little N, 1/2014.

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#16 of 22 Old 08-28-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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The one thing that really worries me is if we have a boy--I don't want to circumcise but DH doesn't see why not. I guess we'll figure that out farther down the road.
We were in the same position when I was pg with our first (who was a boy). When the discussion came up, DH was open to considering not circ'ing but favored doing it. I sent him links to websites and he read them, and after talking to our priest about whether it was ok church-wise, he agreed to not circ'ing.

As far as not looking like other boys, I don't think that's something to be too concerned about. DH is circ'd and the boys haven't noticed their differences yet. As they get older and if they notice that they look different from others, we'll talk about it and give them ideas for things to say should anyone else notice.

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I'm really interested in what you all have to say about life balance--how did your views of yourself or your priorities change? How do you make time for yourselves?
I can say that it was a process that took many years. Heck, it's still going on. My views of myself are constantly changing. It seems that as my kids get older, my idea of my Self adjusts along side what they need from me. It's a wholly unique experience, to suddenly have a small part of yourself existing outside of you and separate

Making time for myself is hard. In the beginning, the first year or two, DH would have to kick me out of the house sometimes. I didn't want to do something for myself even though I desperately needed it. It got easier as my first got older.

There are ways to make time for yourself without even leaving the house. When your babe is new, have a stack of good books or DVDs to occupy yourself while you nurse (which you will be doing a TON of the first couple months lol). Take bubble baths. Go for a walk. Learn to knit/crochet. You learn how to make the little moments count

Allison.... mom of DS1 (7) and DS2 (4) and awaiting #3 near the end of April 2011
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#17 of 22 Old 08-28-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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:My DH just isn't comfortable doing things that nobody else in his circle of friends (i.e., conservative white male corporate men) is doing. And trust me, nobody in that circle is babywearing, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, or birthing at home. (At least, they aren't admitting
it to the other conservative-white-males who share their corporate cube farm!)
unless the birth is planned as a team building exercise, i fail to see why they should have any influence on it.

general stuff i learned the hard way (and am still struggling to practice): make time for your marraige. take people up on offers to help, especially if you live far from your family. i was surprised at how stressed we always feel. i have a HUGE family. but nobody is here and it's all just on us. it gets very tiring. open communication is key, and you are always only just working on it.

and i second the babywearing. dh could only get ds to sleep when he was in the kozy. it was a lifesaver for him. plus he could walk the dog at the same time.

as for circumcision, we voted against b/c we would have had to pay out of pocket at the time. as it turns out, dh has a family history of circumcisions going very badly (MIL is extremely open and direct unforgettable public conversation). so we were really glad we chose against it.

Liz, wife to John, mom to Dylan and my giant slug zocha :
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#18 of 22 Old 08-30-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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When my DH was skeptical about some of my choices (no vaxes for instance - we don't have a boy (yet) so we didn't have to discuss circ) I handed him the stack of books and articles i'd compiled and told him when he'd read all of that then he would be in a position to discuss it with me. lol. Needless to say I'm the researcher of the family so he had no choice but to heed my decisions.

As far as circumcision goes I think it should be REQUIRED to do two things: (1) Watch an hour of video of infants being circumcised and (2) the parents should have to WITNESS the circumcision. Also, from my DH's perspective: He wants to undergo the LOOOONG process of foreskin restoration and he points out if it were the other way around (he wanted to be circ'd) it would take a simple out-patient procedure but because the decision is made for him he would have to spend painful years in restoration - never to really be the same as a true foreskin. In other words being uncircumcised is much easier to change than being circumcised.

Liora - wife to Pete, IVF miracle DD babygirl.gif (2.11.09) 11 year Infertility survivor! FET miracle TWIN boys babyboy.gifbabyboy.gifborn 2/28 at 32 weeks and growing strong in the NICU.
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#19 of 22 Old 08-30-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who hasn't figured everything out (;

DH and I have some big conversations ahead about vax. When we've talked about it before, it hasn't gone well. My family and I are opposed (my siblings and I weren't vaccinated) - his mom is a nurse and a nervous nellie (; Also DH is from India and baby will surely go, so I'm thinking some vax - carefully selected and delayed. DH would rather just do whatever a doctor suggests and not think about it. Hopefully we'll be able to come to some agreement. I dread the topic though.

DH isn't circ'd himself, so at least that won't be an issue if it's a boy

The other big thing I'm thinking about is work. Ideally, I'd love to take a year off and just stay home. That would be tough financially though and I doubt I'd have a job to go back to. So I'm hoping I can be part-time after the baby comes. I don't know if my company will go for that - my co-worker with "reduced hours" works 45hrs/wk during busy season and 40hrs/wk the rest of the year. Will they let me do 20-30 hrs/wk all year? I have no idea. And if they do, I'm guessing I won't get healthcare, vacation, etc. I also will have to figure out where I can pump in this small office (amongst people that will think it's strange). Just thinking about it stresses me out. Plus, I think DH would like me to continue full-time and have my nurse-MIL come and live with us and take care of baby for 6 months and then maybe some other relative (that I've probably never met) come and stay for the next 6 months

I'm also wondering about this busy season - working 55+ hrs/wk up until about 1 week before my due date. Can I physically do that? Even if I can physically do it, when will I have time to get ready for the baby??

Thanks for reading. Sorry that was super long

me + v + baby girl

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#20 of 22 Old 08-30-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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cb718 - are you in accounting? If so I think you are likely valuable enough to negotiate a PT arrangement. If not where you are now, then maybe somewhere else.

Regarding pumping when they are no facilities - in general I have found people to be more understanding than I expected. All you need is a private space and a plug for your pump and that usually isn't too hard to come by. But as a last resort, you can pump in your car, and while it's not preferable by any means it's a good option of last resort.

Baby Boy 9/08 & Baby Girl 3/11

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#21 of 22 Old 08-30-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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Yep, I'm a CPA. I'm hoping I'm valuable enough to negotiate PT hours (: I would feel better about it if I'd been here longer - it'll be just 1 yr in December.

There is one small, empty office that could work - if it stays empty. There's usually someone in there during busy season, but not after that. If that doesn't work, I guess it would be the car.

me + v + baby girl

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#22 of 22 Old 08-31-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I look forward to being a SAHM. I have wanted to leave work for a few years though DH says he's okay with me leaving anytime, I plan work until Jan, take my sabbatical and possibly not return. I worry about the money because my income will be a huge loss, which is why I plan to stay at work as long as I do so I feel better about the savings account. ...
When we decided I would quit to become a SAHM and have children, at that point we started living on only his income and saving all of mine.

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ADVICE FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS BTDT...
Do your Christmas shopping in advance, so you don't have to worry about it when you have an infant. Otherwise you end up spending too much because you order online and pay shipping.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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