Please tell me it's not so bad...

(65 Posts)
Gingerandcocoa Sat 09-Feb-13 21:21:40

I've come to the parenting board because I want to hear from people who have children from different ages...

I've been wanting to start a family with DH for ages, but now we're nearly ready to TTC and I'm scared I'm "throwing away" the best years of our lives. We're around 30 y/o, professionals with good salaries, lovely flat, good social life. I want to have a baby and don't want to leave it too late.

But then I read here about how tiring and terribly difficult children are, about mums not having time to brush their teeth, tantrums, crying, strained marriages as a result, more crying, messy houses, lack of sleep, -and yes more crying.

Is it worth it, though?? Not at the end, but throughout it all, do you ever regret it??? Are there "easy" children who are not much work at all??? Basically I'm just hoping someone will tell me there's hope and that motherhood will be a GOOD thing!!!!

ilovepicnmix Sun 10-Feb-13 14:14:29

Im 7 months in and love it. Im thoroughly enjoying being on mmaternity leave even though I've always enjoyed working. Im knackered and didn't particularly enjoy the first 2 months. I am happy to admit that there were times that I would wake up and think id made a terrible mistake. However it very quickly gets easier.

Foggles Sun 10-Feb-13 14:21:38

I enjoyed my career also and was very fortunate that I was able to go job share for 7 years - until my youngest was at full time school.

waterrat Sun 10-Feb-13 17:32:48

so heres the thing..it:s amazing and its very hard work - some days amazing, some days you are sick with exhaustion and some filled with extra energy because it makes you so happy.

There are many, many moments when I think this is so amazing, I can:t believe everyone I know who has kids doesnt talk about it all the time - now I know that parents talk to each other about it being amazing and funny - and the hard bits, but tend not to really talk about the reality to people without kids because it would bore them!

Everyone is different - but I really love my job so I can offer the opinion that even having done work I loved, I still really enjoyed maternity leave - and enjoy the prospect of having a balanced home and family life.

for me, the really hard bit has been the lack of sleep - its tougher than I thought - but....work can be hard too, so on balance it:s not as though it:s the worst thing I:ve ever dealt with. and now - at 9 months - he sleeps through, sort of..! it:s much better anyway.

and...I found the being at home and having to make sure I kept my life social and interesting all day hard work - I am very sociable and didn:t like being alone with him too much - I dont think motherhood is meant to be conducted alone - we are tribal animals....but its also a great chance to meet people.

I would recommend really putting in actual effort to build a network - it takes time and effort to find real friends in all the people you meet - its like a job in itself! And just when you are so tired, you need to push yourself out - the more friends you have the better it all is.

its fantastic - you will love it -and some days you will hate it! but overall - it will definitely change your life for the better.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sun 10-Feb-13 17:37:38

My dses are 8 and 10 now, and I can honestly say each day with them I feel blessed to have them.

Yes, the early days were tough, particularly as we thought it a good idea to have them close in agehmm

It's wonderful though, having children. The smiles, the special hugs, the sharing of experiences, I love being a mum so much I'm making myself tearfulblush

DS has barely slept for the past few days, he's been screaming most of the time, his nappy exploded this morning covering me in wee.... and I'd still never ever go back to life without him.

It's hard, harder than I ever imagined, but so rewarding.

It is also bloody terrifying! I remember going into labour and telling the midwife that I'd changed my mind grin

Trills Sun 10-Feb-13 17:41:30

Mumsnet reaffirms for me that I don't particularly want to have children right now.

("ever" is yet to be decided, but I'm not feeling particularly keen)

That's MN in general, not this particular thread.

TheFallenNinja Sun 10-Feb-13 17:43:45

What does your mum say?

Trills Sun 10-Feb-13 17:47:51

And that sounds mean.

I don't mean to say that it sounds like it was a bad thing in your lives, but that I don't think it would necessarily be a good thing in my life.

cory Sun 10-Feb-13 17:57:35

What I felt and worried about before and during pregnancy turned out to have very reference to motherhood as it was actually like- because I was not the same person. Some of the things I thought would drive me mad (like the lack of privacy or the constant requirement to remember somebody else's needs) didn't really affect me much at all, other things I found more irritating than I had anticipated. But on the whole I coped far better and enjoyed it far more than I had thought- no doubt because it wasn't my pre-pregnancy self that had to cope.

And I never felt it did our marriage any harm; to the contrary, I felt dh and I were getting a bit irritable and middle age pre-children (perhaps we were bored?) and that our marriage actually got stronger through parenting.

ivanapoo Sun 10-Feb-13 18:00:05

I felt exactly the same as you OP. I knew I wanted kids but never felt ready. Luckily I fell pregnant without really TTC as I think I might have got cold feet.

I remember crying at the end of pregnancy, mourning the lifestyle I was losing.

For me no career high, awesome night out or personal achievement comes close to how it feels to see and hold my child that I made with my husband.

It's powerful, frightening and beautiful. It's the first and only thing in my life that's made me feel like I'm truly alive.

harryhausen Sun 10-Feb-13 18:12:12

Well, I'll come in as a mum of a 8 yr old and a 5 yr old.

I got pg with my first when I was 31. It's been bloody hard and bloody wonderful at the same time if that makes sense?

To strip it down to a seemingly meaningless 'Bridget Jones' type of list...

Cons.

Endless tiredness. With newborns it's physical - broken sleep etc. then as they get older, for me it's more mental tiredness. Exhausting.

Less time for yourself and your DH.

Saggy, wrinkly tummy (true this doesn't happen to everyone. Curse my DM's lack of elastic skingrin)

Much anxiety/worry over safety, schooling, development etc.

Pros.

Deep DEEP endless love for another person that's unconditional. So much love, really, nothing you've ever felt before.

More meaningful family time.

Deepened relationship with DH on many levels.

Joy at watching your dcs grow into their own people.

The laughter at hearing them say something funny

My Dd called Tower of London Beef Eaters "Meat Buffers" the other daygrin

There's countless other pros I can't list.

Parenthood is hard, but I would NEVER regret it. I'm so glad we did it. I shudder to think that my dcs may never have made it out of the cosmic waiting room.

harryhausen Sun 10-Feb-13 18:26:45

Oh I just wanted to add, I've kept my career. In fact it's gone from strength to strength. I work from home which in itself has its pros and cons.

2 fingers up to the people who told me I was 'naive' to think I could carry on after I had dcs.

Januarymadness Sun 10-Feb-13 18:44:47

Yes it is worth it. DD makes me happy in ways I never knew I could be. She makes me laugh every day. She makes me weep tears of joy and sadness, pride and worry and everything in between. She is my reason for getting up every day even when things are hard.

All of that said life does change. It may not be better or worse but it will be different.

I will NEVER regret having her. Not for 1 second. I do miss bits of my old life bit that is my problem and completely seperate from her.

Dd is 3 and a half and can be her share of hard work fwiw. Everything worth having is worth fighting for though.

In conclusion. Kids are brilliant. But be sure and be ready.

Loislane78 Mon 11-Feb-13 07:48:41

I'm 34 and have a 6 month old so a relative newbie smile

Great job where I traveled loads, good salary, nice things etc. similar to you. She was a half surprise - but the best!!

I didn't find the first 4 months that hard tbh, the last 2 months have been challenging with sickness and broken sleep etc. but I've had so much fun on maternity leave its great smile Yes it can be knackering and there is some drudgery in the routine of feed/nappy change etc. but to see their little faces and the smiles you get when you're feeding/changing is worth every hour lost in sleep smile

I have a supportive DP and our relationship is better than before in lots of ways. I'll be going back to work 4 days a week probably after taking just short of a year off so intend to continue my career as before. I'm lucky to have only a 10 min commute to work.

Thing is, you'll find many of your friends start having children so your social life will just evolve.

I didn't get a saggy tummy (best not to talk about the size of my arse/thighs though!).

After knowing lots of people who struggled to conceive I feel v grateful for our DD and me being 34 (not ancient I know). We'd like a #2 now and I'm way more conscious of my age than before.

No one can tell you what to do but if I had my time over again I'd have done it a few years ago smile

honeytea Mon 11-Feb-13 08:40:48

I am a new mum, ds is only 2 months old but it is so far so different to what I was expecting. It is so much easier than I anticipated (so far I think I am due some hard times ahead) ds is the most lovely, calm baby, he sleeps for 5 hour stretches (one wake up at night) breastfeeding is easy the birth was fun (probably had lots to do with the gas and air) we still socialise, ds sleeps on a blanket whilst we eat dinner or have drinks with friends.

There have been times when ds has been sick all over the sofa and done poos that go up to his arm pits but it doesn't feel like hard work.

On Saturday night ds woke for a feed at 4.30 am, I was sat in bed with my soft cuddly baby, I heard our neighbors coming home from a night out, I realised that I was so much happier living my life with my little baby than a year ago when I could go out when I want.

I love my dp more deeply now than I did before ds was born. It is so special to see their matching faces chatting to each other and hearing dp tell ds how much he loves him.

smile

pookysarah Mon 11-Feb-13 10:59:57

I'm new at this motherhood game (DS is 5 months old).
From where I stand most of what everyone says about motherhood is true, some of the time! Your experience will depend entirely on you, your circumstances, your partner, your baby...
Nothing really prepared me for pregnancy, childbirth or motherhood. The first 6 weeks, before they smile, is really tough. If I'm completely honest, there were times then that I thought I'd made a massive mistake - that feeling is normal. Then they smile at you! I didn't anticipate how chronic sleep deprivation would affect me, or how much things with DH would change.
I think for some women motherhood initially makes them feel very lost - I had a very strong pre-baby identity, career I loved, independence - and the adjustment takes a long time. Other women find a new exciting sense of purpose very quickly.
My advice, for what it's worth, is to really enjoy the time you have with your partner before baby and get your relationship as strong as possible.
Is is worth it? Absolutely.

Purplecatti Tue 12-Feb-13 13:59:14

I gave birth 3 1/2 months ago. It is exhausting and several times I have windered what have I gotten myself in for? Then you look at this tiny little person you've made and every day amidst the tiredness and tears they do something new that's amazing.
I didn't get the rush of love when baby was first placed in my arms. I was in shock and badly injured. It hit me three weeks later when she looked me full in the face and grinned at me. It was like a lightening bolt hitting me. Here is this little person who is mine but also very much her own that wants and needs me and I am everything to her.
It is tough. It is exhausting. It is bewildering. It is lonely at times. But it is also wonderful.

Purplecatti Tue 12-Feb-13 16:46:53

Oh and I was lucky, got no baby blues at all. My stomach was acceptable after a couple of weeks with no stretch marks. 14 weeks on and i just got an inch until I'm pre-baby size.

purrpurr Tue 12-Feb-13 17:03:22

Ginger, I'm not a mum, only 6 months pregnant, but I had been convinced for long periods of time that I desperately wanted a kid, for about 8 years. The conviction would wane from time to time, but then rear its head again. Finally we decided to TTC. We got pregnant in 2 weeks, there wasn't really much time to enjoy the 'oooh what if' TTC stage - sorry I know it is awful and heartbreaking for those who do struggle, but I was expecting it to take a couple of months - to get pregnant immediately when I still had a stash of very good champagne in my kitchen caused me to laugh hysterically and then sit down quite hard.

Sometimes during the pregnancy the wonderful, tangible excitement has been replaced by gut-wrenching fear. I read too much on Mumsnet for one thing, which generally teaches you that children are, I don't know, on a par with tarantulas. For another, all those people that were so keen for us to get pregnant have gleefully been squashing my enthusiasm with a great deal of bile ever since. Pregnancy, in my case, has sharpened the focus on people in my life. Suddenly I'm being interrogated with a light shone directly in my eyes.

Sorry for all the waffle. I guess I'm just trying to say that pretty much from the off, it can be scary and exciting and even a bit miserable, before the baby arrives. I think those feelings are totally normal. My DH expected me to feel maternal and protective as soon as I'd peed on a stick. I didn't start feeling that until one day, she moved, and my whole focus changed.

I'm 36 and had my first child 15 weeks ago. Really wish I was 5 years younger. But health issues and then a year of ttc meant it happened later than I'd have liked.

Life is different, but better different.

CrackleMauve Tue 12-Feb-13 18:16:23

Yesterday I was feeling poorly and had a lie down on the sofa. My toddler came and dragged a blanket onto me and gave me a kiss. Even when it's really, really hard being a parent, it is wonderful. I never knew I could be so happy.

Downsides: you will never truly be free again

Upsides: you will never have a better reason to be alive.

Margie32 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:51:39

ivanapoo your last line made me cry but in a good way smile.

OP, your child might be easy or really bloody difficult but you'll never regret having him/her IMO. Besides, I think the easy/difficult thing applies more to stages than to individual children. My DS1 wasn't easy up until a year old and from 1-2 he was a dream. Now he's 2 and throwing regular and quite spectacular tantrums which obviously provides a whole new challenge.

I'm writing this with DS2, 8 wks old, on my lap. He's just grinned up at me and that just melts my heart. My DSs are without a doubt the best things that have ever happened to me. I also think they've helped me be a better person - I'm more patient and less lazy than I used to be. My relationship with my own Mum has also improved hugely since having kids of my own.

I had my DSs when I was 32 and 34, and I definitely felt ready. I spent my 20s having plenty of wild and wonderful times and I can honestly say that I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything now. Life doesn't end when you have kids, it just changes.

mummy2benji Wed 13-Feb-13 21:03:26

We are also both professionals - both doctors - loved ski-ing and eating out, started a family aged 30. We now have ds aged 4 and dd 3 months and I can barely remember pre-children! Yes that lifestyle was pleasant but I wouldn't change a thing - children are the best, most rewarding and fun thing you can have in life. I adore being a mum and it has given me a satisfaction and purpose in life that I didn't know I was missing.

morescribbles Wed 13-Feb-13 23:24:32

smile I remember the complete bewilderment when I found myself pregnant with our first. The trick is to keep a sense of humour about it all. We have five now aged 5 to 11 and I childmind five other kids. Children are funny and fascinating and it's wonderful to see your little parcel of personality emerge into whoever and whatever they are going to be and great fun to add a bit of courage here, a bit of craziness there, a touch of artistry, some stubbornness, cheekiness, great air guitar skills, a love of some random old pop group etc. They are what they are but as parents you really have the chance to add lots of splashes of colour to their personalities.

Some days the kids have more fun fighting than playing and as they go through hormonal days they pull all sorts of faces, tempers and sulks but the echoes of the past and our own strops and tempers keep it all in perspective and it really isn't that bad at all. When your children go to toddler groups/schools you soon find lots of fellow parents to talk to and the tougher times are usually understood and shared.

Good luck!

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