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What surprised you most about becoming a parent?

(87 Posts)
Keztrel Tue 18-Jun-13 14:45:46

Or did your expectations turn out to be pretty accurate?

BackforGood Tue 18-Jun-13 14:47:29

I was gobsmacked how much time this little chap took up. I think I had an idea of a new baby being asleep for much of the time, and me having hours each day to swan around doing as I pleased grin

Keztrel Tue 18-Jun-13 14:50:54

Hmm, I thought newborns slept most of the time too...right I'll cross that off my list of things to expect grin

HarumScarum Tue 18-Jun-13 15:04:14

I was astonished by how much head space DD took up even when she was asleep/didn't need me for anything in particular. Honestly, I couldn't have believed it. Also astonished by how difficult it was to put her down (both because she didn't want to be put down and I didn't want to let go of her).

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Tue 18-Jun-13 15:37:26

The amazing amount of stuff there is to learn about parenting.
How little sleep you can still function with.
But number 1 is the love. I would gladly lose life or limb to keep my kids safe. My heart feels like its being squeezed when they smile. They are light up my world. I thought I would love them but the intensity is phenomenal.

Arcticwaffle Tue 18-Jun-13 15:41:11

One of the biggest shocks was the tides of clutter. Before having children we visited friends with 2 small children, and the bathrooum was covered in plastic toys etc, and I wasn't particularly judging (!) but I thought, "Why don't they just pick the toys up?"

I hadn't realised that they had probably picked them up about 50 billion times that week already.

SillyBlueHat Tue 18-Jun-13 15:47:49

How bloody exhausting it is, even when they do sleep

KFFOREVER Tue 18-Jun-13 16:00:50

What surprised me most when my newborn wanted feeding every hour or so. I so underestimated how exhauasting it was and no, newborns dont sleep for hours on end. Also i had to say goodbye to my immaculatey tidy flat and hello to baby paraphenalia in every room.

Franke Tue 18-Jun-13 16:03:57

The relentlessness. Even 10+ years on.

LineRunner Tue 18-Jun-13 16:04:14

Yeah, definitely love (bigger), clutter (more), disappearing time (where the fuck did the week go...), and noise (aaaagh).

And lack of sleep.

Thumbwitch Tue 18-Jun-13 16:06:07

That I couldn't put him down if it made him sad. And didn't want to, in fact.
That I had far more patience than I could ever have imagined with this tiny little scrap. (None for DH though. ;) )
That I had to feed him for 2h at a time because he had tonguetie and fed really slowly
That breastfeeding can really fucking hurt if they get the latch wrong/have tonguetie

DS1 didn't do much sleeping during the day either - I used to get really riled with DH coming home and whinging that nothing had been done, after all, don't babies sleep most of the time? Not mine, no! Two half hour naps in the day if I was lucky.

I was all set to be a stern rigid parent - and ended up being an almost-attachment parent (not quite).

AngryFeet Tue 18-Jun-13 16:07:54

How all consuming it is.

How much I love them.


gwenniebee Tue 18-Jun-13 16:10:42

The love. Oh my word. I thought I knew what love was, but it's all consuming. I missed her when she was asleep!

The headspace she took up when she was brand new. That it's impossible to concentrate on anything if you can hear your baby crying.

That breastfeeding does not come naturally to everyone, but it's damned well worth persevering with.

That your day won't always go to plan, but it's not usually the end of the world.

Thurlow Tue 18-Jun-13 16:13:24

That sometimes you really do just know what to do. I brought loads of books, I still read parenting guides and ask for advice, but sometimes you just have a gut instinct and it is right.

That many babies don't know how to sleep and you have to teach the. Poor DD must have been hallucinating from the lack of sleep in her first week at home!

How much they can make you laugh, even doing the silliest thing. And how much they can make you cry, even doing the silliest thing.

And yes, the love. It's a cliche but it really is overwhelming sometimes. I realise that never in my life had I been truly scared or fearful of anything; now the thought of something happening to DD makes my heart stop.

And how quickly comfortable you become with another person's bodily discharges grin

MissPlumBroughtALadder Tue 18-Jun-13 16:17:02

I never knew what fear was until I became a mother.

CPtart Tue 18-Jun-13 16:19:25

That babies actually fight sleep. I presumed they just lay down and nodded wrong I was!

Keztrel Tue 18-Jun-13 16:22:08

Ah, having to teach babies how to sleep - that's a new one on me but makes sense! Thanks for all your thoughts smile

plonko Tue 18-Jun-13 16:26:25

God yes the sleep. I never believed my mum when she said I didn't sleep til I was 2, and now she is my absolute hero.

Babies are not born knowing how to eat or sleep.

That you will find a new love for your OH when you see him become a father.

That you will become invisible. Babies and pregnant women are attention magnets and the transition from doted on pregnant lady to 'just get on with it, you're a mum' is quite startling.

Oh and just how it can take for perineal stitches to heal <shudder>

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 18-Jun-13 16:26:53

Having the FEAR all the time. sad

AnythingNotEverything Tue 18-Jun-13 16:33:28

How strong I am. I had no idea, but soon found I would fight anyone or anything to make sure my child was ok. This links to patience, as mentioned by pp - I still don't understand how we consistently get up in the middle of the night to deal with a LO. Again.

The biggest thing I think is the little bubble of family. That idea that nothing and no one else matters, and the trust that only your little family get an opinion on your little family. That brought me peace I didn't know I was missing.

TheSurgeonsMate Tue 18-Jun-13 16:34:32

I thought it was all going to be an unbelievable amount of bother, and I couldn't understand how people have the energy and patience for it.

In fact, I keep things quite simple, I don't find my own daughter a bother shock, and luckily I received a bundle of extra patience in the post-natal ward as I slept which has come in quite useful.

BaldricksTurnip Tue 18-Jun-13 16:39:26

The sheer all consuming no minutes left in the day absolute knackering epicness. And the mess. And the love smile

stowsettler Tue 18-Jun-13 16:46:05

How boring she was in the first few weeks. How incredible and amazing she is now (16 weeks)

Keztrel Tue 18-Jun-13 17:17:07



Nicolaeus Tue 18-Jun-13 17:17:25

Agree with the patience. And not being able to leave DS to cry.

Good job it's both points as he still isn't sleeping through the night at 21 months grin

I also didn't anticipate how much my heart would melt at little things. DH agrees. Only last night he got us both grinning like loons when he pointed at a banana and said "nana" (he's not talking yet except for "no")

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