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!!!!

Jayne266 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:28:34

Am hoping no one will say that they regret it, yes it's hard I am only in the first year of it all and I am tired and haven't cut my hair since before he was born and sometimes eat terribly. But my DS is nearly 7 months and when he wakes me up at 4.30am! And I look over to him he smiles and giggles and you find the strength.

I know it's going to get harder for me as some people have said. But I wouldn't change a thing he's lovely and hard work but I wouldn't change a thing.

Another thing to mention is it gets hard with your DP and you really discover much more about them (hopefully good) but try to communicate and be honest with each other.

NatzCNLS Sat 09-Feb-13 21:32:51

You will never really know until you do it. You can hear a hundred different stories, but your children will be unique, and your experiences will always be slightly different!

I have 3 DD's, Im 32 and gave up my career (which I hated so wasn't a big issue for me) to have our family. There are tears, tantrums, days that are over as quickly as they began, but every day is worth it - even the ones that you curse at all day and thank god that they are over! There are also lots of fantastic days and milestones that affect you like you could never imagine until that day happens, like the first smile, the babbling conversations of nonesense with your toddler, the potty training success and (I try to say this without crying) the first day at school!

I have loved having my children, they drive me insane some days, but they are fantastic little people and I loev them dearly, more than I thought I could. My house is never completely tidy, there is always washing to do, the toys have taken over the house, but I've mastered meal times, I have 3 children who sleep through the night, I am chef, referee, housekeeper, nurse, maid, teacher, friend and drill sargeant. I wouldn't change my life or my children for anything x

RubyrooUK Sat 09-Feb-13 21:37:40

I have a two year old. The one thing I can say is I never regret his existence. Never.

Yes, parenting is a pain in the arse at times. Unless you're a saint, sometimes it will get you down. DS was/is a terrible sleeper, is incredibly stubborn and wilful and he can be very whiny. I wouldn't say I find him easy.

But when he says that he loves me and comes to me for a cuddle, I feel like the most important person in the world.

In essence, I would say I am the same person I was before having DS in terms of personality and so on, just with this amazing bonus life project that obsesses me.

(Still tired though. grin)

BusyTiredAndLoveIt Sat 09-Feb-13 21:40:32

Your life completely changes with a child. And if you wrote the changes on paper then it would probably put you off having dc.

But let me tell you, I could write lists and lists of bad things, worries, sleepless nights, tiredness, housework, relationship going through stress, money worries, worries about school, health, diet, teeth, clothes, what to dress them in, if they're warm enough...........I could honestly go on.

But I would never, ever choose to be with no dc now I have 3. Ever.

I have a love for them I never knew existed. They are the most beautiful, perfect things to grace this earth (obvs in my opinion wink)

Motherhood changes your perspective on life in general. And you realise that really, there's not really much that's very important at all.

Misty9 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:42:08

I think it's good to go into it with your eyes open, well done. I was 30 when we had ds (now 17mo) and had just finished a gruelling three year training course and gotten married. Ds was a little earlier than planned (!) and it's fair to say I have struggled to adjust - not helped by awful breast feeding issues for the first 3 months of his life. I went from one all consuming occupation to another!

I confess I have regretted having a child (not ds in particular) on occasion (and I don't think this should be as taboo as it seems to be) and yearned after the life I was looking forward to leading after my training. BUT, we've just spent all day in hospital with ds after being rushed in with breathing difficulties and I would have done anything to take his fear and pain away and love him with all my heart.

Worth it? Difficult to quantify IMO, but he brings a lot of joy and pleasure to our lives and its been amazing seeing my dh transform into the most amazing father imaginable. Our relationship has strengthened I believe, and their relationship is fantastic.

Crying, yes, lots (from all concerned!), tired? Yes, but he now sleeps through and the early days seem a lifetime ago (prob why we're ttc again!). I see pregnant women and can now see why I was told so often to 'make the most of it' when pregnant myself! But, in reality that means little until you have your bundle of joy so I'd say, if you feel you've travelled as much as you want and enjoyed your lives together, then go for it - and experience the ride of your life!

Excuse the rambling...I'm a tad knackered after today. Good luck

Zappo Sat 09-Feb-13 21:44:53

It is hard. One not so much but two is in my experience very challenging (as you get all the noise and fighting).

My first baby was very difficult but amazingly I coped with almost everything she threw at me. I didn't have an amazing career or fantastic social life so I didn't really miss anything. I could cope with being woken up several times a night and still go into work the next day. I didn't lose my cool for 3 years.

Then the second one arrived and I found it all very stressful but I'd built this huge bond with my first baby and having a sibling was so hard for her.

Some days I really think I'm going mad. I wouldn't be without either of them though.

I don't regret having a child, I sometimes regret having two but I think it's getting better and I don't regret them as individuals.

In all honesty it is a very different life and quite a rollercoaster (the highs are amazing, the lows are terrible). Expect to lose a lot of your freedom in the first 5 years but when they start school, you'll get a bit more back again.

BusyTiredAndLoveIt Sat 09-Feb-13 21:45:33

How's baby Misty? Hope he's getting better quickly.

Signet2012 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:49:28

I'm only 5 months in so not very experienced. I had similar concerns to you.

It's completely worth it and I'm surprised to say that now Nothing matters except her. Literally. It's bizarre but all my other worries don't even register on my radar.

I've gone from actively pursuing a career and moving up and up to stepping down from my role to two levels below my current level. I just do not want the responsibility and extra work, I would sooner be skint but have time to do what I want with dd.

I used to work 70 hours a week and was permanently on call and was ready for another promotion.

Since having dd I just thought screw it

She is really my proudest achievement and I can't wait to spend her childhood with her.

JumpHerWho Sat 09-Feb-13 22:00:37

It's utterly amazing. I had a fab career, fab social life and all sorts of interests before DS but nothing compares.

Have you heard the cheesy saying that being a parent is like having a little piece of your heart walking around? That is 100% true. I look at DS (just starting to toddle) and I live him so much my heart could break. Yes it's hard work, but most proper, real, important stuff in this life is. Life has taken on another dimension, it feels like. It's like life 2.0 - before kids was fun and stuff, but this is waaay better! And yes it challenges your relationship, so does backpacking together, moving in together and other big stuff - but if your relationship is a good un then it will become so so much closer as you battle through the newborn fog and discover the new dimension of each other as a parent.

< wine >
< it may be a Saturday night but DS is snoring upstairs and DH is watching shit tv next to me, we're still us, with a little bonus human we made lying upstairs >

< more wine >

You know the love you have for your partner, how you don't think you'll lie anyone else that much? Wait til you meet your kids smile

RFLmum Sat 09-Feb-13 22:02:10

Is your work hard? I'm guessing as a 30 yr old professional it probably is. Make it twice as hard but 100 times more brilliant. That's what it's like. Enjoy!

Zappo Sat 09-Feb-13 22:03:44

Actually that's the other thing they never tell you- you'll love your child more than any man

JumpHerWho Sat 09-Feb-13 22:07:38

I worked in entertainment <obscure> and at the end of an event I'd come home, crash on the sofa and savour a glass of wine with a huge sense of achievement. Literally everyday is like that now smile that feeling I got of having worked hard, the adrenaline and the passion - that's every day with DS! Just go for it OP x

Gingerandcocoa Sat 09-Feb-13 22:40:05

You've all actually made me cry. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, I feel a lot better!!!!

I guess it's just really scary, but then that's just what all the big things in life are like - going to uni, getting 1st job, getting married. I'm quite excited about it now!!! (and still a bit scared smile)

Thank you! xxx

Hassled Sat 09-Feb-13 22:44:26

I do feel for you - it's bloody terrifying and the truth is you're never going to feel ready. You can never logic your way into it, IYSWIM. The first year is a blur, but you get through it because you feel a love you didn't know you had in you. And no, I have never ever regretted having any of mine - all four are wonderful individuals.

Chandon Sat 09-Feb-13 22:48:51

It is scary, in case of doubt, I would say don't.

Only go for it if you really really want a child.

There has to be a desire overriding common sense ;)

Foggles Sat 09-Feb-13 22:56:46

I had DS1 at 30 years of age and DS2 a couple of years later.

The day I went into the maternity ward I thought "Oh, my god, what have I done! I'm not ready".

Yes, it's knackering at times and you will hear more of that on Mumsnet because parents will post when they need support.

But I have never regretted one single moment. They are grown up now (20 & 18) and my heart swells with love for them every day - as much as it did when they were babies.

And I am the least soppy person you would ever care to meet!!! grin

AmelieRose Sat 09-Feb-13 22:59:54

This is such a lovely thread smile

LilQueenie Sat 09-Feb-13 23:09:34

oh god how I struggled to maintain my fertility then to actually conceive via ivf. When she was born I couldnt bond with her or be in the same room. I had terrible anxiety being alone with her. She is so worth it. It is hard and she is an 'easy baby' Life will only throw at you what you can handle. And its supposed to be challenging. I also wouldnt leave it too late to decide as you never really know if you will have problems conceiving or not. With regards to career, you get 4/5 years with them until they start education. Its rather a short time really. can your career be put on hold for that length of time? I wish you all the best whatever you decide.

PoppyWearer Sat 09-Feb-13 23:11:36

I sat most of this evening reading MN on my phone as I cradled 18mo DC2 in my arms. He has a cough/cold and keeps waking up, then crawled into my arms in bed for a cuddle.

On the one hand, I was desperate to be back downstairs with DH drinking wine, chatting and watching crappy TV, or even having a soak in the bath (rare). I've got my period and I'm knackered, my body aches from childbirth (still) and my shoulders from pushing the pushchair.

On the other hand....it was the most beautiful cuddle in the whole world. My boy needed me, and I was here. He is now sleeping peacefully please let it be for a couple of hours this time.

Motherhood, it is the best of times, it is the worst of times.

PoppyWearer Sat 09-Feb-13 23:15:46

You really will love your child more than any man.

Yes, you will.

That cheetah who chases the lions away from her cubs? That's you. It's primal, and it's an amazing feeling.

Tolly81 Sun 10-Feb-13 00:16:38

I'm a professional in my early 30s and I've just gone back to work part-time after having my dd (now 9 months). She is a pretty easy baby - jolly, good natured, fed well, sleeps ok (sometimes better than others but not badly at any rate), no major health issues but even so parenting is hard work. And knowing that some babies are "easier" than others is no comfort if you don't happen to get an easy one! Even then she still gets colds/has teeth coming through when she's miserable quite a lot, cries and sleeps badly. But she is absolutely 100% the love of my life. I love dh but I literally adore my baby. I don't mind being back at work - it is a hard and stressful job, but I like having people ask my advice, bring involved in a difficult case etc., but when I'm at work I miss her so much I cannot believe. I look at pictures of her on my phone when I eat my lunch. On my way home I literally cannot wait to see her again and when she sees me her face lights up and she holds her arms out. It is amazing to think that I am the centre of this beautiful baby's world. I think having a baby as a professional gives an amazing sense of perspective - you don't sweat the small stuff so much. It also stops you being self-centered. However I absolutely knew I wanted to have children whereas it doesn't sound like you are as sure, and I imagine the hard stuff would be even harder if you weren't fairly certain that parenthood was something you wanted to do. I'm sure you wouldn't regret it though.

QTPie Sun 10-Feb-13 01:07:51

To a lesser or greater extent, parenting is what you make of it: you can have a child and have a lot of control over what you do or don't do (whether you keep working, how much of your social life you keep up etc). But, unless ou are quite seriously rich, you will notice a lot of changes.

DS is 3 (we are trying for DC2 - IVF starts this month) and I am finding this age really quite challenging (he is a late speaker, but accelerating now and getting incredibly demanding and independent...). I am finding this harder than the previous 3 years. There are lots and lots of boundary pushing (and DS comes up with 500 shades of each boundary push hmm ) and quite a lot of disagreements... sad. I think it will improve in time...

I have:
- never returned to work.
- always have a very tidy and clean house (well after DS is in bed)
- work out 4/5 times a week.
- still do long haul holidays (just returned from almost 3 weeks away in LA and Colorado - DS spent an hour a day, for 10 days, learning to ski)
- our social life is rather sad. Partly because of lack of enthusiasm to do much by the time we get to the evening, partly because of personal lack of babysitters (no capable family who live locally)
- DH and I have a very good relationship, but would be better if we had more opportunity to go out together without DS.

I would always say that life is richer for DS (and I would like another one!), but it does tend to take over most of my life (well pretty much all of it for the first 10/12 months...).

Only you can decide if/when you are ready, but don't leave it too late. I always said "babies before 30". Started trying at 34, DS was born just before my 36th birthday. Started TTC DC2 when I was just 38, realised that it wasn't going to happen naturally and DS's starting IVF/ICSI at just 39. I am beginning to feel old! Pregnancy, birth and running around after very active little boys is a young person's job...

QT

Thingiebob Sun 10-Feb-13 10:10:38

I don't regret having my daughter.

Being a parent is amazing, but with amazing comes the downside. I know some women get very miserable at how their life has changed and the lack of freedom. I look at my daughter and I think 'why on earth would I prefer clubbing all hours to her?' They are totally worth it.

Gingerandcocoa Sun 10-Feb-13 14:02:14

I appreciate all of your answers!

It's funny because I never even considered not having children, and never understood people who didn't want any! Now that the time is approaching, I think I am just getting cold feet, and do now understand people who are childless by choice! But I have not changed my mind, I really can't wait to have a baby, but find it terrifying........

I really enjoy my job, but my career is not my life.... so I think I would be more than happy to go part time afterwards smile!!

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!

zcos Wed 13-Feb-13 23:51:43

my dd is 10 weeks ... and its not a walk in the park (see other posts) but the bad moments are no worse than other bad times ... being home with my baby not half as stressful as my job used to be ... and I find myself crying with happiness at least once a day! I didn't have the lack of sleep or need to plan everything in advance but I also didn't have these overwhelming highs! I have fallen hard for my dd and every day has several high points...who needs a tidy house when you can have that.
other things that I would throw in the mix is that I started trying at 30 and half as did wait a bit and then took a year to conceive that isn't long but was v stressful in the end so bare that in mind if you do start trying you may not get pregnant that quickly.
As your obviously having doubts about being a mum straight away why not wait 6 months have some fab holidays and revisit it again... I found when I did that before we were trying I appreciated the things I knew I couldn't do when I had a baby... but also started to envy families with young children I saw too I got to want it more and more! grin

Emmaw9 Mon 18-Feb-13 20:44:31

Best job in the world!!
I'm 29 and was putting off children until we had more money, been on this holiday etc...
Then I got pregnant, we were in the middle of buying a house, I'd just started a brilliant secondment opportunity at work and we still hadn't visited all these places we wanted!
Now I have an 11 week old baby and none of these things I worried about then are important to me now!! Yes it was hard moving (it took that long I was 33 weeks when we finally got in) and working in a tough environment but I can honestly say this was the perfect time. we were financially comfortable.
Like my mum said, you can put it off and before you know it you might be too old.
Oh, and my baby is an angel!! Pleasant, happy and sleeping 6-8 hours a night since 8 weeks old.
It definetly is the best thing ever!!

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Feb-13 20:53:41

I got <accidentally> pregnant with DS at 24 and was terrified!

Now he's 5 and a half and is my very heart. He drives me crazy sometimes, and I had awful pnd, and it forced DH and I to make a lot of decisions about housing, work, etc. But I never, ever regret him. smile

DD is due in May and I'm sure we'll feel the same about her.

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Feb-13 20:54:40

Also your life changes in every way, true, but you don't have to stop being you.

dikkertjedap Mon 18-Feb-13 21:04:21

Your life changes totally. The first few years, you social life may be almost non-existent. You will have very little time for yourself.

Titchyboomboom Mon 18-Feb-13 21:05:35

Best thing I ever did, no regrets, tired but beyond happy!

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Feb-13 21:08:00

I guess it depends. It cut down on nights out, but I was out having brunch with friends when DS was 5 days old (he stayed home with DH.) I still went out to movies, restaurants, and had sleepovers with friends and wine almost as often as I ever did. Still do.

okthen Mon 18-Feb-13 21:45:44

Love all these posts. Important to add, I think, that motherhood is not 'one size fits all'. You can make it work in a way that feels right for you.
Your old life needn't be over- UNLESS you want it to be/let it be (and you may surprise yourself...)

Some people I know actively want to maintain social life, travel, career, exercise etc. They make it work with good childcare, both parents sharing the load, working bloody hard, and bottle feeding! One woman I know went on hols abroad (without baby) when her baby was really young.

Another couple I know are fabulous creative types who work from home with the baby roaming around, and take her off round the country on their work trips.

Me? I have realised that, especially during the baby phase (dc2 now 15 weeks old) I prefer my world to shrink. I don't want to go out socialising, I want to stay in and have lovely times with my little family. I enjoy breastfeeding and don't mind that it is tying. I am really tired but I downsize my life accordingly so I don't get (too) frazzled. Having said that, I look forward to when dc2 is older and I can enjoy the odd weekend away (am fantasising about health spas atm!). My career has suffered as I wanted to go part time and didn't want to do the crazy hours that success in my field entails- but I COULD have stayed full time and carried on moving up the ladder- I know plenty of mums who have.

It's important to own your choices though. The greatest source of angst for me has been feeling that I could/should be doing things a certain way- but all the kids I know are happy, loved and well-balanced even though their mums/parents take completely different approaches as above.

Have never, ever regretted it. In fact just minutes after dc2 was born I informed dp that I am SO not done yet. If money/space/age were no object, I'd just keep on popping them out!

muminneedofsleep Mon 18-Feb-13 21:55:32

I only started really living my life after having my children... Nothing compares to the joy and love they give you. Although having said that there will always be days you wish you were on a deserted island and would sell your jimmy choos for just five mins peace! But hey it's hard but rewarding, there will be laughter out weighing tears, hugs taking precedence over sleep and I never knew you could love/despair all in the same minute but you can and you will...kids aren't easy but nothing really good ever is. Good luck

LadyKinbote Mon 18-Feb-13 21:58:29

For me, the newborn stage is a bloody nightmare but each subsequent phase is better than the last. Once they're toilet trained you start to get your life back and all the things that were impossible with a newborn are suddenly possible again. (Some people have easy newborns though and say the opposite!)
I have oh-my-god-there's-poo-on-my-hand moments and I-cant-believe-these-beautiful-children-are-mine moments. No question that my DC have improved my life tremendously though.
Just one thing worth remembering - pregnancy can take a lot of trying! So don't leave it too long, just in case.

Cubtrouble Tue 19-Feb-13 00:48:07

I'm in my thirties also. For me having my baby was the best thing I've ever done. I waited. We travelled a lot and ticked many things from our buckle list I suppose. We have a nice house and reasonable income. But nothing, nothing compares to how it feels when that baby is born and you hold them for the first time. Nothing.

People can tell you on here how good it is etc, but you will never truly know until you do it for yourself. I'm not saying its easy, but the real good stuff is never easy but it is so so so worth it. Our son is 10 months old, I love him more than I could ever imagine is it possible to love someone, he is a good baby, he sleeps well but even if he didn't I would feel the same, he smiles at you and you could just melt away with happiness. Being a parent is amazing and you won't know unless you try.

Good luck!!

Cubtrouble Tue 19-Feb-13 00:52:06

And one more thing, start saving now!!!! Lol you can never have enough money!! Money and muslins, all you need xx

recall Tue 19-Feb-13 01:03:46

Forget about "trying to get your life back"

That one has gone, this is your life now so get stuck in and enjoy it.

If you can't get out of it.....get into it grin

recall Tue 19-Feb-13 01:10:41

cubtrouble I agree, and the best thing is, it gets better and better.

Diamond7 Tue 19-Feb-13 08:17:41

I'm 31 and sounds similar to you. We have a 7week old and so far loving it!!! Just amazing.

We co sleep (following safety guidelines) so getting a good amount of sleep.

I use a sling/wrap (ring and moby) so can still clean my teeth, tidy up, clean whilst baby sleeps.

Greatest adventure yet so far. And we can still go to the pub!

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