to want to be there for all my children's firsts?

(168 Posts)
Mytimewillcome Fri 08-Feb-13 08:45:16

I suppose I don't really understand the people who say that they don't mind if, say their mil, can take their children to the park for the first time. I'd rather do that if at all humanly possible. I see it as some of these people wanting to do firsts with our children have already done it with theirs so surely if we want to we should be able to and not have to worry about someone else trying to take that moment away from us? It annoys me that someone like me is labelled as being selfish. Surely its the other person who is selfish for wanting to take that moment away from me?

Murtette Fri 08-Feb-13 23:50:57

I agree with the village thing. My Mum wanted to buy DD's first shoes and, initially, I was resistant to the idea thinking it was my right to do that before I thought about it some more and realised that, given how poor we were when I was small, someone other than my parents would have paid for my shoes (probably my paternal grandmother or great aunt) and so this may be my Mum's only chance to do it. As it was, we went to the shop together, there was only one pair of shoes which fitted DD (odd shaped feet) so I bought those and then my Mum bought me a pair of shoes :-)
I also remember the excitement at nursery when DD did her first series of steps (so about 5 or 6 in a row) and how relieved I was that she'd finally got going. And I have wonderful memories of our trip to the park the following weekend and how many people stopped and smiled at and even clapped DD as she took a few steps, landed on her bottom, giggled & started again as they all shared in the cuteness of a baby learning to walk... something I did myself yesterday when there was a young child all bundled up in a pram suit staggering around.

LilQueenie Fri 08-Feb-13 23:48:28

Floggingmolly No its in the back of my mind that she may have done so. Like all the little slip ups when I mention DD did such and such and I get "oh she already did that I thought I had told you." likewise all the presents that arrived on christmas form aunt and uncles for DD. Found out that for months DD has been visiting people who neither me or my DP know and we were never told about it. A few months back I was struggling to cope with lack of sleep. I allowed DD to stay overnight with my mum once a fortnight. As time went on I dreaded the whole thing. I put a stop to it this year and the improvments to both myself and DD are amazing.

duffybeatmetoit Fri 08-Feb-13 23:37:05

DD is the first grandchild. MIL also got upset when the other GPs were the first to buy her a bike (despite having been told in advance that this was going to happen as it was the other GPs favourite sport and they rarely got a look in). I wonder whether they will be the same when one of the other DCs has a child.

Big it is a very odd dynamic

BigAudioDynamite Fri 08-Feb-13 23:07:28

What a very odd dynamic confused

duffybeatmetoit Fri 08-Feb-13 23:01:05

It was far from being a one off and DD was between 9mths and 3yrs while this was happening. She remembers none of it now. It upsets MIL no end that DD's memories are of doing the same things with us rather than them and as a result they don't seem to cherish their memories of having experienced these things with DD despite having made such a big deal out of it. hmm

BigAudioDynamite Fri 08-Feb-13 22:57:46

I don't think seeing your child's 'firsts' equates to 'being there for them'. It's joyful to witness 's guest's. 'Being there for them' usually encompasses more difficult and unjoyous things smile

Whatever floats your boat though OP..I'm not understanding how you will be 'doing everything humanly possible' to do all these first though, if you ate working. You may need to forgo some firsts. Will you ask nursery that he doesn't partake in certain activities until you have done them together? confused

Yeh, I would be annoyed by that zoo day duffy - but I guess it's better to have these folks in our lives than not hmm And if it was early months I do tend to feel that child may have been quite young for the zoo anyway ?

duffybeatmetoit Fri 08-Feb-13 22:20:47

juggling no, DH wasn't invited along either. They were just trying to have the experience that they hadn't had with any of their 3 dcs by denying us the opportunity to have the experience with our only child.

Those early months with your pfb are so precious at the time and watching them discover things was one of the huge joys of parenthood - even if you don't remember them all in the future. I don't think it is about possession at all it's just the awareness that it is all so fleeting and can't always be recaptured. As a working parent I knew that there were going to be things that I would miss, and I didn't have a problem with other people sharing the firsts with us but family being thoughtless about your feelings is selfishness on their part.

PuggyMum Fri 08-Feb-13 22:03:57

Absolutely juggling. It's a shame these days that some people would find it a bit weird. He was taller than my dad too so could throw me higher up! I'd never begrudge someone genuinely wanting to spend time with my children be it family or friends.

I remember I felt special that he wanted to take me swimming and also other places. I used to sit at the window waiting. I'd forgotten about that till now.

My DH has the odd round of golf with him now!

Oh, that sounds like a lovely relationship Puggy - it's great when young people befriend a family. We have a great babysitter who's known the children since DS was a baby - so over ten years now !
When it snows she comes over for a snow-ball fight !
As well as being great at baby-sitting whenever we ask smile

PuggyMum Fri 08-Feb-13 21:46:20

Ooh I've never been properly quoted before. Feels like I've been finally initiated to MN.

I'm rubbish at name checking back when I'm on my phone!!

I really don't get all this preciousness. My dads best mate used to take me swimming. He took me the first time and taught me to swim. I was the youngest of four so maybe my mum and dad had seen it all before.

Whole other thread about how sad it is that that probably wouldn't happen nowadays. Single guy. No family, we adopted him. He went on to get married and have a family but taking me swimming of a Sunday morning and then staying for Sunday dinner was the highlight of his week.

I remember DD's first crawling - she could only go backwards at first and got herself stuck under a table - very funny grin And some of her first steps at her grandparents house with a little walker (and me there too)
But I don't remember so many of DS's (DC2's) firsts ... I have other special memories of him like when he was about 2 and looked up from his buggy at the clouds "Why are the clouds moving Mummy ?" smile
am I a bad mother ? grin

Myliferocks Fri 08-Feb-13 21:22:27

I was the person with 4 of our DC when they took their first steps. DC5 decided to take his first steps whilst his dad and me were away for the weekend and the GPS were looking after him.

I still remember how special it felt when we came home and saw him taking tentative steps on his own. It was still the first time WE saw him take unaided steps. It didn't matter or feel any less special that he had been doing it for a couple of days for the GPs to see.

When our DC learnt to swim it was me who took them to their lessons. After a couple of years circumstances changed and their dad was able to take them occasionally. I'll never forget the look on his face the first time he saw them swim albeit in a very ragged fashion. It didn't matter that the DC had been swimming unaided for a while. It was still special to him as it was the first time HE had watched them do it.

Floggingmolly Fri 08-Feb-13 21:22:20

How did your mum manage to hide showing snow to your dd from you, lilQueenie? How paranoid you sound. Your dd didn't react as much as you expected; so your mum must have somehow stolen the moment? hmm
When, ffs?

LilQueenie Fri 08-Feb-13 21:17:02

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe my partner is around 90% of the time. I take pics of her and have the video camera at the ready. We try to record as much of her firsts as we can. Hes not too fussed if he does miss one or two firsts. Eg: First spoon of solids I filmed so he didnt miss that when he was working. It works for us.

DiscoTent Fri 08-Feb-13 21:11:21

'It's great to cherish your children and the special moments you have together, just not so good if you can't share them with anyone else.' Covers it exactly. My children are amazing and special, I do cherish our time together, but that doesn't stop them having amazing times without me.

DS1 took his first steps with my mum, she looks after him while I work, puts in an amazing amount of time and energy, she is an amazing grandparent, I love her, DS1 loves her. I love that it was a special moment for her.

DS2 took his first steps in front of me but the memory will be forever tainted by the trip to casualty that followed (who knew you could hurt yourself that much falling on to a sofa?). It wasn't as bad as it looked, but it will forever remain a memory of first blood, one I would happily have missed out on if I could trade a better experience for the one I witnessed.

marriedinwhite Fri 08-Feb-13 21:06:07

And actually OP "all" your children's firsts is a bit extrememe. As the mother of teenagers I trust that doesn't extend to first, hickey, first French kiss, first sex, first ciggy, first time getting pissed, first time throwing up in someone else's garden or even first drag on a Sheesha pipe joint

marriedinwhite Fri 08-Feb-13 21:04:06

I agree - even before reading AmandaPayne's I was about to say the person entitled to the experience is the child - as and when they are ready to have it.

AmandaPayne Fri 08-Feb-13 20:54:50

"I am certainly more entitled than anyone else other than my husband."

Er, no, the person who is most entitled to experience the world is your child. Because they are a person.

Yes, it is lovely to be there for your child's first steps, or the first time they play in the snow. I enjoyed watching DD2 play in the snow for the first time this winter (though she only liked it for about 15 seconds). I'm not denying that watching your child do something for the first time can be fun. But claiming that you have some sort of right to make sure that all the firsts happen around you is to deny your child their own experience of the world. And that's not about what's best for your child.

You are still talking in the language of possession.

I also still think it is odd that you are so focused on the 'first' everything. I don't remember the first time I went swimming. But some of my most precious childhood memories are of going swimming as a family, because it was something we did regularly together. Amazing one off experiences (the Olympics!) and things you do as a family are what make a set of childhood memories.

Not quite sure how we got to staying with the MIL for a week either. I'm with Seeker .

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 08-Feb-13 20:47:18

Another one agreeing with PuggyMum... it does indeed take a village and I think children are worse off when they don't have that influence in their lives.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 08-Feb-13 20:46:09

LilQueenie... then you'd better closet yourself away with your child and never let any other significant person have access to them. That way, you can be assured of all the 'firsts'. YOU want to see them all. What if your partner feels the same and you're not there at the exact same time? How will you manage that?

I wouldn't do it, I couldn't. It doesn't make sense to me but then what I would do probably doesn't make sense to other people either.

Make your choice but don't let it impact badly on your DCs and their emerging relationships with other people who want to love them. That's the benchmark I would use and the only one really.

farewellfarewell Fri 08-Feb-13 20:43:42

Haven't read through all of the replies so amn't sure if there is a backstory here but yanbu to want to be there for "firsts"- you are bound to miss many whatever your situation though! Also those who mention that little ones don't remember who took them to the park/show etc. I feel differently about that, maybe they don't remember it but it is more about being with them at those times and sharing those feelings/experiences with them. I have memories I treasure of being in the park with my dc3 when the older two were at school and the little one had not been born. He might not remember but it was a special time. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to miss these experiences or with feeling sad when you do.

That must have been great to see marriedinwhite smile
< passes tissue >

Yes, some perspective is definitely needed here, thanks for supplying some thanks

I agree with PuggyMum too that "it takes a village to raise a child"

Personally I love a bit of delegation, and am really happy for all the people, from grandparents to band leaders and karate instructors, who are involved in my children's lives.

It's great to cherish your children and the special moments you have together, just not so good if you can't share them with anyone else.

LilQueenie Fri 08-Feb-13 20:32:15

OP I understand completely. Take the other day my 19m old out in snow for first time. I know my mum has tried to hide many firsts from me. DD didnt seem too fussed by it. That got me wondering. Has she seen it before? The first time a child does something is often met with a sense of wonder and smiles from them. Afterwards not so much or at all as its been done. I want the first times. The grandparents had their own kids its our turn now. I wonder what the grandparents would say if asked about how they felt missing their own kids firsts? What if the worst happened and you lost a child? Would you still think nothing of missing those first moments? Some kids never walk or talk. Those parents would give anything for that to change. Some parents dont know how lucky they are. I can still remember DD;s first steps. Im glad I was the one who saw them too. And for those who are asking how long seeing the first thing last for? Well until school age when you have to let go a bit but what you do with them the rest of the time depends on how much you want to actually spend time with your child I guess.

feelingdizzy Fri 08-Feb-13 20:31:11

I don't see my childrens lives in terms of firsts they are now 9 and 11.And like most parents I think they are feckin fabulous.

As many have said as your kids get older the first tooth,step,word fade away and there are memories off your fun times together.

I have always worked been a lone parent for 9 years, so probably missed many firsts.My kids and I have been blessed with a fantastic childminder,my wonderful parents who have always been there for them.I am so glad they have all these people who love them and appreciate them,they are my pride and joy and still to this day I sometimes will well up with tears just looking at them, but they do not belong to me ,I want them to share their lives with all off the people who love them.They know I am always there if they need me.

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