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To dislike the term 'PFB'

(92 Posts)
MontyYouTerribleCunt Tue 08-Dec-15 09:28:02

So I think I might BU about this as I see it so frequently on MN that I think I must be misreading something to find it a bit annoying.

For the record I have 1 DC. There is a distinct possibility I will only ever have 1 DC. It is probably why I am a bit touchy about the term 'PFB'. It is usually used ime to describe someone who has only 1 DC who is perceived to be precious about them (kind of as it says on the tin - precious first born). Why bring up how many DCs someone has? If they are being precious they are being precious. It's a little unfair imo to say that is because they only have 1 DC.

Similarly I hate the "wait till you have 2" type comments I sometimes get in RL as if I couldn't possibly understand parenting till I've had another DC. I also don't get the pride some people take in maybe being a little bit slacker with some things with their subsequent DCs. Not so much on here (though occasionally), but more in RL I hear comments like "oh with George our first born we put up stair gates and fed him fruit, with Tabetha we just let her sleep in the kennel and eat KFC for breakfast" (massive exaggeration but you know what I mean). Fine, if that's the case I don't care how you raise your DCs (unless you're actually being cruel or something). I understand it must be a very different ball game with more than 1 DC and I'm sure everyone has to do things in order to adjust and cope, but I really hate the insinuation that I only parent the way I parent because I have 1. I don't think that's true actually (though I may never have another so may never find out), and I don't think I'm precious. I know plenty of parents who are more or less the same with all their DCs and always have been.

AIBU? Quite possibly.

DonkeyOaty Tue 08-Dec-15 09:31:43

I am PFB about all of mine blush

It is quite dismissive but <pins PFB badge on OP> don't care. Hah.

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr Tue 08-Dec-15 09:32:31

Would you rather "Overprotective Bonkers Parent" ?

ClancyMoped Tue 08-Dec-15 09:34:20

I see what you are getting at and how the precious seems a bit confused but I think it's often used in a completely ok way. It's simply a means of describing a first child.

WorraLiberty Tue 08-Dec-15 09:40:07

I think you've got the meaning wrong (or maybe I have?)

I have 3 kids and I often laugh at how precious we were about our first born.

Whereas we were much more relaxed with the other two because by that time we'd learned that...

A) There's no such thing as a text book baby

B) The world won't change to accommodate your matter how much we expected it to.

BarbarianMum Tue 08-Dec-15 09:40:14

Honestly, I think YABU a bit.

IMO PFB is nothing to do with the number of children you have but more to do with that state of mind that comes with being a new parent when everything has to be "perfect" - it tends to wear off as your child gets older. It is true that with second/third children you tend to sweat the small stuff less mostly cause you're so tired to notice.

Having more than one child does change the way you parent as the dynamic changes and what works for one child doesn't work for another (sounds obvious but it really threw me). I don't think having more than one child makes you a better parent necessarily but parenting different types of children -if not actually making you better, tends to make you more humble and accepting of different strategies. I have certainly never heard any mothers of 4 children claim to have the answer to sleeping through/tantrums/fussy eating etc as I have with parents of one or two 'easy' children.

TheWordOfBagheera Tue 08-Dec-15 09:40:42

When I first joined MN I thought it meant 'precious fecking baby' (no idea why) so didn't realise it only applied to first borns grin.

But I think YABU and YANBU. It's not a nice thing to say to someone, and can certainly be used as an insult which is horrible (looking at you MIL!), but I think there's a grain of truth in there too. By my second I was able to look back on my first and think there were things I could have just relaxed about and made my own life easier. Nothing to do with the preciousness of the baby though (they're all equally precious), so maybe 'anxious first-time parent syndrome' (AFTPS) would describe it better.

As for parenting the way you do because you only have one - does that have to be a bad thing? Everybody's parenting is dictated somewhat by circumstances and changes as their family changes, be that children getting older or more children coming on the scene.

OTheHugeManatee Tue 08-Dec-15 09:42:54

I think you're being a tiny bit precious tbh (wink)

It's a fairly well-recognised phenomenon. Should people not be allowed to describe it in case they hurt your feelings?

TaliZorah Tue 08-Dec-15 09:43:17

I don't like it because I am not very PFB in general and don't like the assumption I'm neurotic because I have one child

diddl Tue 08-Dec-15 09:45:30

I suppose I always read it as them being precious to me, not that I was precious about them iyswim.

Does that make sense?

AbeSaidYes Tue 08-Dec-15 09:46:31

what TaliZorah said.

There's a tendency on MN to dismiss any concerns someone might have about their child if they are only parenting one.

molyholy Tue 08-Dec-15 09:47:44

Precious Fecking Baby grin

We have one dd who is 6 and I am extremely precious about her, much to the amusement of my family. But I don't care. We wont be having another and she is the most precious thing in the world to us. Even though I know I am ott sometimes, I can't help it.

Devilishpyjamas Tue 08-Dec-15 09:48:10

PFB is a state of mind/style of parenting. People with more than one child can be over precious about any of them, and people with one can be not precious at all.

It marks an extreme that often (not always) comes with your first child. So for a family example - when ds1 was about 5 months old, my aunt (who has had 4 children) looked after him for a long day so we could go to a wedding. My husband has never lived down the fact that he told her not to cross the road with ds1 (in case they were knocked over you see). THAT's the definition of PFB.

Pyjamaramadrama Tue 08-Dec-15 09:48:16

Funnily enough because I've had a big gap, I'm actually more protective of my second than I was my first.

JoeyJoeJoeJuniorShabadoo Tue 08-Dec-15 09:48:29

I never saw it as people having a second child being superior in any way but more that people are more likely to be precious with their first born because they don't have the experience/confidence to see that babies are much sturdier than they appear.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Tue 08-Dec-15 09:53:05

I spotted it in myself, for the 1st 6 months really. I had no idea what i was doing so was doing it by the book, really strictly. my book was gina ford meets the baby whisperer and expected everyone to fit around my baby.

that is PFB

R0nJ0n Tue 08-Dec-15 09:53:27

I only have one, although I don't think I've ever been excessively PFB (by nature I'd say I'm a relaxed parent, some may call it slack). However I do think there are things I do which if I had younger children to attend to I wouldn't.

For instance I like DD to be clean and smart when she goes out the door, for school that means uniform with no mud, paint or dried food stains on, shoes polished and hair neatly brushed and put up. If I had a baby and a toddler to contend with in the mornings I suspect I'd just be happy if she got to school in uniform and on time.

I also spend a lot of time with her doing semi educational activities, like playing big fish puzzle games together on the iPad, doing science experiments, teaching her new songs or making stop frame animations. We both enjoy these activities, but they're time consuming and entirely devoted to her passions. I honestly don't think it would be possible to parent the way I do if I had other children, or at least other children close in age.

WorraLiberty Tue 08-Dec-15 09:55:50

I only had one for 7.5 years and I didn't think I was PFB at all.

Until the other two came along and then I could totally see it fblush

Jw35 Tue 08-Dec-15 09:56:16

Yanbu. First babies or only babies don't make parents more precious it's a load of rubbish!

People have their own ways of bringing up children, those who were precious with their first will be equally precious with their 2nd (I know I am).

Sometimes when parents are experiencing the ups and downs of babies and children for the first time they may be more wary of things they later realise isn't that bad. It doesn't really mean their first child is precious, just they worry more without that knowledge and experience.

A laid back parent will be laid back with first, second and third babies. It's just how they're wired.

Postchildrenpregranny Tue 08-Dec-15 09:56:55

Think barbarian has nailed it .I've always thought its a very gentle 'taking the piss' .I don't know anyone who was so anxious/overprotective /determined to get it right etc with subsequent children .And an only child will inevitably be the focus of all your worries/theories . It sort of gets diluted and you realise after number one that a lot of what you thought important actually isn't .Maybe some people realise it the first time round,but I and most of parents of pfbs I encountered didnt .
Of course all one's children are equally precious ,in terms of being valued ,loved

Jw35 Tue 08-Dec-15 09:57:00

Funnily enough because I've had a big gap, I'm actually more protective of my second than I was my first.

Me too! (11 years)

tuilamum Tue 08-Dec-15 09:57:10

I actually get concerned that I'm not PFB enough the only thing that could be considered "PFB" is that I'm not comfortable with anyone babysitting yet (DD 4mo) because I find it difficult enough to work out what she wants let alone someone who's only seen her a few times... and i don't want to be responsible for someone having a nervous breakdown

Buttercup27 Tue 08-Dec-15 09:58:53

overprotective bonkers parent fgrin brilliant!

MontyYouTerribleCunt Tue 08-Dec-15 09:59:00

Thanks for responses. I agree some people are 'PFB' about all their children / none / just their first / just their second / whatever. I don't see why (but appreciate I am being a bit I and yes precious), we need to bring up the number of DCs someone has at all as I have seen some threads where poster's concerns are dismissed somewhat because they have 1 DC.

Interested to read responses so thanks.

Devora Tue 08-Dec-15 10:00:09

I think it's used to describe that state of OMG-the-world-must-revolve-around-my-darling-one-there-are-wolves-howling-at-the-door that many of us go through when we are first parents. I know I did.

But I would never apply it to someone because they only had one child. I think it's a temporal thing that we all get over - so parents of three have gone through it as much as parents of one, but we're usually all over it by the time our kids are at nursery. Some people never get over it. Some people are PFB with all their children, for ever. Some people never do it.

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