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First 6 months of DC's - anyone look back and feel bad for not enjoying it?!

(21 Posts)
polar515 Sun 29-May-11 16:21:46

Hi, Just wondering if anyone looks back after the first bit of babydome is over and wonders why they couldn't have just chilled and enjoyed it more?! (so wish I had). I have an 8 month DS and looking back have only been really enjoying being a mum for the last 2 months or so, maybe since he has become more interesting, more of a personality, since I've stopped reading baby books on how to everything 'right' and maybe since I am finally getting more sleep! I look back now and think, why couldn't I love it from the first day and just go with the flow instead of obessing about BF, weaning etc and def always thought I would love every minute before I had a DC. Can anyone relate?

CountBapula Sun 29-May-11 16:41:00

Yes, definitely, though a lot of the lack of enjoyment for me has come from the constant battles to get DS to sleep. He still sleeps very badly so I'm still finding it tough, but as you say, now he's older he's much more of a little person and is a lot more fun.

Goldrill Sun 29-May-11 20:17:32

Not sure. Mine DD has just turned 6 months and the world is so much a nicer place as she gets bigger and stronger and more interactive. I've been a lot more chilled than I expected to be all the way through, but when they first arrive and you don't understand each other and it's all a bit unpredictable, then I think it's just generally not much fun. And then they get bigger and start doing stuff and it's fantastic! Does anyone really love every minute of the first few months?!

SuchProspects Sun 29-May-11 20:46:53

Polar - I definitely enjoy family life more and more as the DCs get older. The first 6 months were challenging and I did not enjoy them much. But I don't feel bad for not enjoying being sleep deprived!

Please don't berate yourself for something that is totally normal and which you can no longer do anything about. Isn't there enough pressure on parents telling them they should have done this or that? Been this way or that way? Felt one thing or another? You got your DC and yourself through a very challenging time. Be proud!

bacon Sun 29-May-11 23:32:47

Very depressing - even though I did find my Gina Ford a Godsend and glad I followed it. Its all talk about pregnancy and none about the first bomb shell to the house, relationship, your mental wellbeing and life change. No wonder depression so bad for many mums - terrible disappointing birth, failure to breast feed, loneliness and weight issues.

Fed up with glossy books stating thats "its all love" - not helped by the perfect celebs! Suddenly you have to grow up and take full responsibilities.

Wish it had been lovely and glamourous...suppose thats life.

PenguinArmy Mon 30-May-11 05:06:57

I felt like I didn't get to just enjoy it at the time. So busy stressing about going to work at 4 months and moving countries, understanding the logistics of carrying on BF and she woke every 2 hours until a year.

At around 10 months I found myself getting broody as I realised that DD was no longer a baby. Then I got pregnant and all feelings of broodiness immediately went away immediately grin.

I will say that around 13 months we had fully entered another wonderful phase that surpasses the baby one (then again they say the best stage is the one they're in). Watching her learn something new is amazing, even with being at work.

allhailtheaubergine Mon 30-May-11 05:15:02

I feel irritated with external sources for putting pressure on me and causing me to feel anxious about everything I did.

My turning point was bouncing my 5 month old dd gently on my knees on the sofa at 10pm one night until she drifted happily off to dribbly sleep - and realising that instead of enjoying every moment of this perfect scene I was worrying that she should be sleeping upstairs alone in her crib. I mentally shook myself, thought sod it all, and have enjoyed my babies and had confidence in my decisions (mostly) ever since.

How sad is that? Feeling guilty for cuddling your baby to sleep??!

polar515 Mon 30-May-11 06:56:36

Bacon, I totally agree. It goes so quickly but feels like the hard bits will last forever at the time and you look back and think, why couldn't I just go with the flow more and have confidence in your own thoughts / approaches? Why was it so hard when so many people do it? At the time, I initially thought 'What have we done?' several times, despite the bond and love for DC. Now we're getting to the time of thinking of trying again and I'm thinking - what a short memory I must have. Then I guess the adjustment is half done now we've got one, so I'm sure another won't be such a shocker! Hopefully anyway...

GreenTeapot Mon 30-May-11 07:14:48

The first 6 months of my DS's life were a test of endurance. I was determined to enjoy DD more. And I definitely have, BUT she's now 8 months, crawling, laughing, shouting, bouncing, cheeky and full of joie de vivre. Now it's all starting to happen and it's fabulous smile

The first 6 months are mostly a slog of unrewarding, unrelenting hard work and misery. I don't feel guilty for feeling that way. Babies are crap, fact.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 30-May-11 07:23:13

nope.
both of mine were colicky, non sleeping little things. i loved them dearly, but you'd have to have been a bit wrong in the head to actually enjoy the relentless screaming. plus i think in parenting we all have different phases that we enjoy, and are better equipped to cope with. i love toddlers, whereas lots of people struggle with the tantrums noisy exuberance.

at 7mo, dd2 is becoming a little easier, and a lot more rewarding, and 4yo dd1 is an utter joy.

mollycuddles Mon 30-May-11 07:32:16

I didn't enjoy the first 6 months and beyond with ds. But I have with my two Dds. Especially dd2 as I never thought I'd be lucky enough to have her. I actually love newborns but becoming a mum first time round was the scariest thing I've ever done.

dontrunwithscissors Mon 30-May-11 12:34:27

Thank you for starting this thread. I feel a bit more 'normal.' I found the first 6 months of DD1 such hard work, not helped by the fact she hardly slept. I was determined to chill and enjoy DD2, but I was hit by terrible PND when she was 6 weeks old that landed me in a mother and baby unit for 6 weeks. She's now 16 months and I'm only just starting to feel back to normal and enjoying her. I feel like that time has been stolen from me, and I could never risk going through that again by having another. sad

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack this thread, but it helps that not enjoying DD1 was something others have felt/.

mistressploppy Mon 30-May-11 13:52:23

God yes, thank you again for starting this thread. I must have had mild PND with DS, looking back, because despite him being a really easy baby I was stressed out and anxious and really didn't enjoy him until about 10mo. He's now 19mo and things are FAB.

Totally agree with the 'go with the flow' thing - but it is hard when your in the middle of it.

I just hope if I have another DC I'll be a little more relaxed smile

polar515 Mon 30-May-11 20:18:32

I think maybe I had mild PND too. I feel like a totally different person now. I didn't speak to anyone about how I felt as my DS was such a 'good' baby and so cute and I'd always wanted children, I've got a year mat leave etc so I felt in reality I should be thinking how lucky I was and loving it. On reflection, I felt like I was a different person looking outside in on myself alot of the time. Maybe that's the tiredness. I really do feel like it was an ordeal and that only now I'm regaining the real me again - even though it's so recent, it feels like a different life.
I know things like BF were my total world at the time in the early days and I struggled to have a conversation about anything else. I wonder what other people - friends / family thought about my behaviour and outlook at this time and if they felt - what's she going on about?
Anyway, I guess it's looking forward not back. Maybe I had a romantic view before DC's that the love aspect would make it totally more do-able than it was and maybe my romantic side is what is still convincing me that other people just feel joy for the first 6 months : )
I do think celebs have alot to answer for (Mylene etc).

EMS23 Tue 31-May-11 11:07:20

Thank you... my feelings have been covered by all the posts on this thread. Also so glad to read I'm "normal". I've been driving myself crazy with guilt recently about how much I disliked the first few months.
My DD is 6 months now and I feel like the fog is clearing but it's been replaced by guilt over my hatred of it all at the time. I wanted to escape my life for those first few months.

carocaro Tue 31-May-11 11:23:23

Yes I do know what you mean, but don't pile on the guilt by feeling bad about the past, there is zero to feel back about, a first baby is so new and you are getting to grips with it all. Is you baby happy and bouncy most of the time? Well then you have done a good job, it's a hard slog at first, they don't sleep, it'a all new etc etc but this does not equal doing a bad job.

Layers of guilt are not necessary, no one is judging you expect yourself, don't be so hard on yourself, give yourself a break. You are doing a good job, it all goes tits up from time to time but so what? I remember whacking DS1 on the back of the head with a bottle of elderflower cordial as I picked it up of the table to put it back in the cupboard, I was swinging past the table without looking and clunk on the back of his head! I was mortified and a trip to a&e later and he was fine.

I have two ds's, 4 and 9, and ds9 is a right pain at the moment (see my thread) and I feel so cross and frustrated, but just have to work through it.

BsshBossh Tue 31-May-11 14:40:45

Oh yes, me. I would continue to be strict about routines, but I certainly would have enjoyed her more. I'm not and never have been "baby person". I enjoy my DD much more now she's an independent toddler. But I look back on her first few months and wish I'd spent alot more time cuddling her and staring at her and observing her as those are months I'll never get back and she was (is) such a joyful, easy child.

However, I don't beat myself up about as her first six months (indeed first 12 months) were indeed a huge readjustment period for me and went by in a fog.

mistressploppy Tue 31-May-11 14:47:14

Yes, Bssh, I'm with you on the routines and the preferring toddlers to babies.

Indeed, it's the culture shock that gets you, isn't it?

BsshBossh Tue 31-May-11 15:18:56

A real shock to the system. I'd never bothered with other peoples' children before I had mine; indeed I'd never even held a newborn before I held mine shock and I was 37 when I had DD! Before that I was used to 100% freedom to travel whenever I wanted, to go out at a moment's notice, to lie in in the morning after a late night, to read the papers all day in peace if I wanted... You get the drift. I think I was shell-shocked for a year after DD was born and my regrets now are that I shouldn't have been so much because truly DD was an easy-peasy baby who slept through for me from 12 weeks and only had 2 weeks of collic!!!!

If I ever had another baby, I'd relax more and enjoy them more. And I know now that as they get older your freedom comes back grin.

Bumperlicioso Tue 31-May-11 19:37:49

Completely agree with you op, it's very hard. But the worst thing I've found is that I haven't felt the same with dd2 at all. Despite being much harder work than dd1 I've enjoyed her much more, but that makes me feel horrifically guilty.

polar515 Tue 31-May-11 21:09:58

I think culture shock sums it up nicely. You never quite get it til you've tried it despite observing friends etc...

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