What surprised you most about becoming a parent?(87 Posts)
Or did your expectations turn out to be pretty accurate?
That the nursery that you spent ages agonising over what colour to paint, what 'matching set' to go for, that you had looking 'just perfect' ready for baby, that you sat in patiently waiting for baby to arrive admiring how good a job you did decorating it. .
Never ever looks the same again the minute you bring baby home! People just don't take into account your matching pastel coloured theme when buying you bright red, blue and green teddies, pictures, ornaments etc etc
I'm only 10 weeks in, but right now:
How interesting he is. I always found tiny babies dull, turns out I wasn't looking properly.
How much time I'd spend stuck on the sofa or awake at 3am breastfeeding or with baby sleeping on me and that this is wonderful because I can finally read all those books I'd never gotten round to.
That I'm less anxious than I used to be. It's going to be fine. I'm an ok mother and he's an ace baby.
How quickly I got sick of hearing the word "mummy". A million times a day, often in stereo. Drove me demented when they were little.
Guilt about everything.
I thought that DD would be a 'blank canvas'... but no....she was born with her own personality and stubborn... just like her dad!
its a good job i love them both!
she had her own ideas of everything... even before she could talk i knew she'd be trouble! and she is the best kind of trouble ever!
How annoying it is when mum/dad/MIL/relatives keep saying stuff like "are you sure she won't sleep in that Moses basket?" after you've told them forty times she won't sleep in the Moses basket, even to the point if coming into rooms to find (previously asleep) DD howling in said basket with parent/relative standing over it saying "she really doesn't seem to like that Moses basket, does she" (AAAAARRGHHHHHH)
How much my (previously perfectionist) housekeeping standards would slip - I'd never expected to be patting at the latest wee/milk/sick wet patch on my bed at 4am and deciding just to put a towel down over it and sleep on top. (I'd never expected several good mattress protectors to be quite as essential as they are....)
I didn't expect to have, in the first few weeks, terrifying intrusive visions (like flashbacks) of DD getting hurt in some way - I'd be feeding/minding my own business/eating/whatever and suddenly experience a terrifying vision of DD falling or being dropped and her skull smashing or similar. Now I know that this is TOTALLY NORMAL and every mum I've spoken about this to has had the same thing - it must be some kind of evolutionary adaptation to make you protect the baby - but if you're already sleep-deprived and feel out of control it's very scary.
How much I would like spending my time saying silly things out loud like "tummy to mummy, nose to nipple" at the start of every feed, or "where's that burp? THERE'S that burp!"
How much my relationship with my mum would suddenly improve.
How much I would enjoy singing all the songs to DD that my mum sang to me.
How much cake I could eat (have never had a sweet tooth in my life until I was pregnant - I have got monstrously fat just eating cake and chocolate since the birth...)
How difficult the first couple of months are - OR how quickly you bounce back as soon as you get a bit more sleep and readjust. In the first few weeks I genuinely thought my entire selfhood/life/mental peace had vanished forever - now a few months on I feel pretty much back to the old me (though substantially fatter.....)
How weird-looking newborns are, but how quickly they transform into the most adorable baby you've ever seen.
Oh yes, chubbychipmonk, I used to be an 8 hours a night kind of girl and 12+ on weekends, but since getting pregnant just four hours straight sleep is a real treat and feels so wonderful!
That you just get used to being tired. . .ALL.THE.TIME!
That I really am a crashing great softy.
We had her cot set up in her room, swing in the lounge. We brought her home, and I realised I didn't want her more than two inches from me.
She slept in her baby bath on two dining chairs, right next to the bed for weeks until we had the money for a Moses basket.
At two, she's still cosleeping. I don't see this changing.
How much I hurt when she hurts.
How intensely frustrating it all is.
Oh, god, Eldritch, I remember when DD was only a few weeks old and was too hungry to sleep, too tired to eat. Absolutely nightmarish. I remember DP turning to me and saying, "yeah, I think I've changed my mind, can we send her back?"
That small children don't simply sleep when they are tired, or eat when they are hungry, but often have to be coaxed into doing it.
And heaven help you when they are too hungry to sleep and too tired to eat.
Actually DH and I now know the solution to that one 99% of the time-Weetabix.
I had to leave one of mine in SCBU for several weeks, and go home without him.
Never realised how dreadful that is.
Still remember that awful time.
It was like trying to be in two places at once.
That I would have time for a new hobby but only if that hobby is laundry.
The absence of tactile contact with dh. We used to hug and cuddle and hand hold a lot. We hardly ever do now as one of us is usually holding ds. I really miss that contact with dh.
I was surprised by how much other people suddenly felt that my business was theirs.
I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing my mother and father in law took to being kind and happy grandparents.
I was surprised at just how much I want for my little man and how I hold my breath when he tries new things, and how I wish for him to be the best at everything, because, in my mind at least, of course he is!
I was surprised at how much a child galvanised my relationship with my husband.
I'm not that surprised by the loo thing because I remember sitting on the floor of the bathroom when I was about 3 asking my mum what her sanitary towels were!
Give it a few months, CY! DS2 is starting to cause me to lose it slightly as well - mostly when he chooses to spit food everywhere instead of swallowing, or when he bites me when feeding - and I'm not being as calm and serene as I was with DS1 about it! Probably because I'm already on a higher level of irritation as a start point...
Sorry, I do realise that probably wasn't very helpful!
I would say it WILL get easier when your DD is a little bit older and not into the feeding every 2* hours day and night thing. xx
*or more, that could just have been me of course.
Definitely the fear. Anne Lamott once said of having her son "you may have the greatest joy you ever dreamed of, but you will never again draw an untroubled breath." I'm not much of a worrier but in the back of my mind is always the thought that something could happen to the DC. I know who I am as a person would not survive it.
How much I would cry! I have a lullabye station on Pandora and I have to fast forward Baby Mine (from Dumbo) every time it comes on or I will cry and cry.
How hard it is with two! DS is almost 6 and DD is three weeks and dear God it's a challenge. I'm hoping it'll get a bit easier when DD is out of the very very tiny stage.
How physically I love them. My heart actually aches sometimes. I didn't grow up in a touchy feely family at all, but I can't seem to ever stop hugging and kissing them.
But also the frustration, the absolute red mist that descends sometimes. I actually just put "Choosing Peace" on my kitchen chalk board as it's been my mantra since DD was born. I have to keep it my head not to go utterly fishwife on DS sometimes. I am shocked at how angry they can make me! (Well, pretty much not "they" yet, DD's too little to cause much ruckus. )
Oh yes, the "baby blues" - hit me at Day 4/5 - I just cried and cried. No idea why at the time but then a friend told me she was exactly the same - it was the hormones, the "baby blues" (NOT to be confused with PND).
The HORMONES. Just when I think I am emotionally approaching normal again, a new batch comes in (DD is 17 weeks and bf so I'm not back to normal periods etc yet). I remember reading a description on here of the 'day 3' hormones where one MNer said she cried because her DP made her tea in the wrong mug. That could have been me
How fast she grows out of nappies/clothes/Moses basket
How much laundry there is to do!
Why do none of you lock the loo door?
my baby and my toddler cannot be left alone together for even a minute for safety reasons....thus one or the other always has to come with me to the loo. I miss having a good private pee that is for sure.
*How all consuming it is.
How much I love them.*
^^This perfectly summed up by Angry Feet
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