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How realistic were you're parenting 'expectations'?(12 Posts)
I'm not sure if that's the right word!
Me and OH have 6 weeks until my due date with our first, a little boy! We both love outdoors and being healthy, i'm veggie and he's agreed to raise DS the same which is great He plays playstation/xbox a bit (he's 21, still age appropriate i suppose!) but we both said we wouldn't want the baby having a console until he's at least 9 or 10, because we want him to be sporty like us (thinking v. far ahead!). We also thought that we'd try and not allow too much tv when he's very young. Oh and we've also invested in re-usable nappies!
All we seem to have is people scoffing when we tell them these things (little tv, no ps3, no meat and washable nappies!) Was just wondering what all you who have done it already actually ended up doing? Is it worth trying to defend my ways or in two years am i going to be serving up ravioli and watching peppa pig :D Is there anything you swore you would/wouldn't do when you were pregnant and ended up doing anyway?
Those goals don't sound that unrealistic to me. My 3 dc are all veggie (we aren't totally but they are), they were all in washable nappies, and they don't have a games console yet (oldest is 11).
But it's sometimes hard to tell what you might find harder than expected, we have given up on some of our expectations, I thought we'd be backpacking the world with our toddlers in tow, and actually with 3 in 4 years it really didn't seem worth the effort. And I bought a new squash racquet when pregnant with dd1, that's barely been used. And I didn't keep up the sailing or windsurfing, which I was doing quite a lot before dd1, it got too hassly with the babysitting/wind/motivation etc.
I reckon you're better to say it in terms of "we're going to try X and see how it goes" when (if!) you tell people these things, as the chances are you'll have to compromise on some if you are too specific, and they'll remind you about it for many years to come.
But your plans don't sound hugely unrealistic - if you don't eat meat, then preparing meat-free meals for a child is just as easy, though you'll find it trickier when he goes off to parties etc without you. Same if you don't watch much tv yourselves. I think the unrealistic people are the ones who are going to change their entire way of life to raise their children "well" and they soon find out its tricky.
We were going to use washable nappies, but DS hated being wet, so that didn't work out. But I don't think we made too many predictions about how we'd raise him, just took life as it came!
I tihnk your expectations all sound quite realistic and very sensible. Don't beat yourself up though if some of your ideas go out of the window when your baby comes along.
Very realistic. We are all vegetarian (kids are 15, 13, 9). No TV until eldest was 12, no games console, mixture of nappy types. None of it has been an issue at all. No one even watches the TV much except for football and DVD's. They play with playstations and Wiis at friends' houses, but have never wanted one as far as I know. They are very adamant about being vegetarian, more so than we are, actually.
People just like what they are used to. If you have lots of great food and exciting things to do, they won't want meat and screens.
As far as the TV goes, we found it easier limiting viewing before we got Sky!!! Also, the kids are out more in the warmer weather & in in the cooler weather! I think it`s swings & roundabouts!! Depends on the weather & depends on kids mood!! Also as they get older they tend to get their own idea`s, so we have to compromise on that aswell! We still try to give them a balenced lifestyle though, in all aspects. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don`t!! lol I try not to sress too much though about it, as long as kids are healthy & growing up with a good outlook/attitude on life we must be doing most things right. Right?????!!!!
thanks think you're right about telling nosy people what we're going to 'try' and do, rather than being reminded of our failures!
also glad there's lots of happily veggie kids!
All very realistic and reasonable.
My goals were realistic too (although I like steak and throw out all nappies!). 3 children later, I discipline as I always imagined I would and it works for us, and I insist on a balanced diet, plenty of exercise and lots of family time with very limited TV.
Totally reasonable - we haven't allowed our (now) 10 year old any sort of games consoles at all although he did save up and buy a PS2 (2nd hand) with his own pocket money recently. Although if your DH has a playstation it will be a bit difficult to tell your DS that they are not 'appropriate' .
I suggest you don't tell friends and families your intentions, people always want to give their own opinions when really it is none of their business.
As the mother of a vegetarian, ex-real nappy wearing DS, I think your expectations seem perfectly reasonable! He is currently watching Toy Story though... His TV time is limited though, he only has about 30 mins a day.
DP is very much into his Xbox but as yet DS has never played Xbox (he's 3.5).
However, when I was pregnant, I swore that no child of mine would ever have a dummy, and I planned to breastfeed. I managed 4 weeks without the dummy and only breastfed for 10 weeks. Some aspects of parenting were just a lot harder than others.
I think it's a good idea to think about how you want to bring your kids up and to plan accordingly but accept that not everything goes to plan...
I agree with those that say that your expectations aren't unreasonable, but don't cast them in stone as until you have your child, you don't know what curve balls will be thrown your way.
I learned a very long time ago from listening to others bleat on about their perfect children not to talk about my expectations and ways of bringing up my DC to others. At best, you'll get a wan smile, at worst, whisperings and cold shoulders at the school gate. If you believe in it and do it, great. Don't shove it down others' throats though - people inevitably will find it smug and self congratulatory. You never know the full story of other people's parenting and what struggles they face, so its rarely a good idea to share your ideals of parenting.
I don't think your expectations are at all unreasonable, but it could be that other people don't really want to hear about them. I remember a friend at toddler group who talked a lot about all her plans for the perfect upbringing of her ds. It wasn't that her ideas were wrong or impossible in themselves; I just didn't need to hear about them.
What is useful to remember is that you can control the house rules- no television in the house or no meat, but you cannot control the kind of person your ds grows into: he may still loathe sports and gags at vegetables. And you can still stick to your guns. You can take a horse to water and all that.
I have invested a lot of energy in making my children nature lovers: they really really hate it. But at least they had the chance; if I hadn't tried they wouldn't have.
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