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To ask was parenting like you thought it would be?

92 replies

PriestessModwena · 10/07/2019 07:16

I follow various parenting social media accounts, it's sad to see Mothers/Parents who look dejected, as their child/ren have played on their last nerve or things haven't gone as expected, deviating from the dreamlike parent routine is a failure of sorts.

I think we as parents should be more aware/accepting that parenting isn't always a dream, with times when baby/toddler/child or teenager does not act like the angelic little cherub you expected.

Different stages of child development have their own quirks as it were. (Even into adulthood!)

I'm sure this gets discussed, I think from time to time it's good to have a reminder that parenting is seldom how you expected. Some expectations you have/had about parenting, totally go out of the window.

I had fertility treatment for DC, I had all these great ideas on what I'd do, how I'd never do x/y/z, in the end CBeebies as mind numbing as it is, can buy you time to make yourself / your home look half presentable. You can buy all the children's books published, if DC hates reading you can't force them. Car journeys over certain times can be made easier with DVD's / electronic devices.

The best advice I had whilst pregnant / parenting, was you can buy all the parenting books in the world, watch all the videos of airbrushed perfect parents, read all the blogs, just remember your DC are unique, it would be a bit dull if one size fit all. Especially with babies & toddlers, they're not programmed with whatever latest expert is saying to achieve perfect parenting.

You have to do what's right for your DC & yourselves.

Is there anything you would pass on to those who are entering the world of parenting at all? Or for the parent who is really struggling?

OP posts:
Giraffeinabox · 10/07/2019 07:26

Dont read books. The baby hasnt read the book. They just set unrealistic expectations. And its okay to moan. Which the start of this post seems to read as it isnt. Sometimes its hard and its okay to say "fuck this today" and look forward to bedtime so you can have a drink.

PriestessModwena · 10/07/2019 07:29

Totally agree @Giraffeinabox Smile

Sorry for waffling.

OP posts:
GoFiguire · 10/07/2019 07:33

I’d say don’t read the Daily Mail.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 10/07/2019 07:40

Parenting is generally what I expected it to be, but then I'm very realistic.
One thing I didn't expect though, is just how funny my daughter can be! She's hilarious.

Pineapplefish · 10/07/2019 07:43

I think part of the problem is that parents-to-be don't always want to hear it. I have a friend who is very very honest to any pregnant friend about the tricky bits. But the pregnant friends tend to find it rather 'negative' and ask why she can't just be happy and excited for them!

MamaFlintstone · 10/07/2019 07:48

Just before I went on maternity leave I had a meeting with a woman I don’t really know, and when she was leaving she said “good luck, and remember it’s ok if you don’t love them straight away”. I thought it was an odd thing to say but I’m glad she said it because I feel like all we hear about is mums who talk about an instant rush of love as soon as their baby is born, and I didn’t have that. It was a good few weeks before I stopped feeling like I was just looking after her before her “real” parents came to pick her up. My husband was bemused when I asked him if he loved her yet. My experience isn’t unusual at all, but it’s never heard over all the “rush of love” comments.

I think I expected parenthood to be hard, it’s probably been harder but also more enjoyable. Highs are higher and lows are lower.

growlingbear · 10/07/2019 07:57

Best advice is: only you know your DC, so you are the best one to know what they need. Ignore advice from anyone who hasn't been in your situation (if you have twins or a sick child etc shut your ears to advice from mothers of single babies/healthy weaners etc.)

Parenthood has been as great as I dreamed it would be. We had a very rocky start with sick children, PND and complete indifference from family but it has cemented us, has brought DH and I very close together and we have a very strong and happy bond. The DC say all their friends comment on it. They are amazed we don't fight and it's because the early years were so hard that ever since it has felt like a party in comparison.

Other good advice: don't feel guilty if you don't enjoy a phase of parenting. I was no good with babies. They bored me. I didn't really enjoy parenting until they could talk and do their own thing. If you hate toddlerhood or adolescence, that's OK. They won't be in that stage forever. Just muddle through, do your best and try to have fun together a few times a week, even if it's just laughing at the dog or making their favourite dinner.

TheDarkPassenger · 10/07/2019 07:59

I struggle with the lack of gratitude. I’ve never done so much for anyone else that has been met with utter disgust 😂

MyOpinionIsValid · 10/07/2019 07:59


I thought it would all be smocked tops and building sandcastles with cute little blue eyed blond children. Like fuck was it Grin

WhoKnewBeefStew · 10/07/2019 08:00

I expected it to be hard, but the word 'relentless' is how I'd describe it. That and the fact it'll be 'relentless' for at least 18 years can be soul destroying when you're going through a bad patch.

Advertising gets me. Especially the 'outdoors' type. A happy family riding pushbikes, all smiling in the dappled sunshine, under the trees. When in reality, I'm blowing out my arse because I'm so unfit, one of the dcs has fallen off, so crying, the other one is sulking because they want to be in front and my dh is pratting about trying to pull wheelies. Grin that to me is typical parenting.

Bunnica15 · 10/07/2019 08:05

Well I was an absolutely Perfect mother... until I actually became one 😏

fleshmarketclose · 10/07/2019 08:10

I didn't expect to find a lot of it completely tedious tbh. I discovered I am not somebody who finds small children entertaining and I am far more rigid than I ever realised. Now mine are adults I enjoy them far more tbh especially when they don't live with me Wink

Badwifey · 10/07/2019 08:15

No absolutely not what I thought at all.

I had a really rough time of it from about 10 months til 3.5/4. I never thought the lack of sleep would make me want to die.
I never thought that even though I love my dd that there would be days that are so mind numbingly boring.
I never expected to feel so fiercely protective of someone. That I would literally throw myself under a bus if it meant she'd be ok.

This one is hard to explain but before dd I thought max love I could have for someone was the love I felt for my husband. Jesus was I wrong.... They are like 2 different loves. One I know could end at any point and one I know will last for eternity.

GPatz · 10/07/2019 08:20

Ha! No.

Dear God, the lack of sleep.

However, I've learnt that my husband and I make a wicked team, even if we pass like bleary ships in the night.

I've also learnt that we are glutton for punishment after having two under two.

Luxembourgmama · 10/07/2019 08:21

Way more fun and easier and more rewarding.

hammeringinmyhead · 10/07/2019 08:21

I thought I would hate this bit (mine is 8 months) with the monotony of mat leave but it's been a lot more fun than I expected; he's my little buddy. I'm dreading having a toddler though. They are so unreasonable!

Sleep deprivation has been worse than I expected. I was sleeping through at 6 weeks so I assumed they got better at sleepong longer stretches but with 4 month regression, teething and summer nights we're up 3 times a night and he has slept through once in his whole life!

Luxembourgmama · 10/07/2019 08:21

My kid is 3 though it was boring before she could talk.

lazylinguist · 10/07/2019 08:22

Yes actually, it is pretty much how I expected. I'm struggling to think of any particular aspect that's really surprised me tbh. Mine are 11 and 14. I didn't find any stage boring or terrible. I'm no perfect parent, but my dc are fairly easy and good company.

Sleepyblueocean · 10/07/2019 08:30

No it is not as I expected because my child is profoundly disabled and in many ways will be like a young child for the rest of their life.
My advice to anyone who finds themselves in the same situation is to find friends with similar children, know and enforce you and your child's rights and try to ignore ignorant people.

Rarfy · 10/07/2019 08:31

I keep thinking it has come as a shock to me but when I really think about it I always knew I wouldnt like the early days much or being on maternity leave and I was right.

I absolutely love dd, worship the ground she rolls on at the moment Grin she is pure perfection and I have gone through a lot to get her. Small babies don't do much though and she had trouble feeding which caused me a lot of worry and stress. I also had a horrendous recovery from csection which I didn't heal from until 17wks post partum. The early weeks are a blur. Things got easier at 12wks like everyone says they will. When she started smiling, doing things and showing a bit more personality I really started enjoying it a lot more.

The sleepless nights were tough but I coped quite well with them however I knew I would I've always been able to survive on not much sleep. I did have days feeling like the sleepless nights would never end though and that feeling wasn't good. She started sleeping through about five months which is great. Feel a bit more like me again.

Probably the thing I've found the hardest is managing everything. I thought my house would never be so clean whilst on maternity leave, it's a shit hole. I never have time to do anything. The days feel so long but there are still not enough hours in them. We have a dog too in an open plan house with nowhere to put him away so I am always negotiating the two which I find very very difficult.

CherryPavlova · 10/07/2019 08:32

I think it was pretty much as intended but what I didn’t count on was the degree and intensity of love and how that would endure into their adulthood. We’d had teenagers we fostered before we had babies and huge amounts of experience with hundreds of children of all ages, so the practicalities were never a surprise.

Doublevodka · 10/07/2019 08:32

Mine are 14 and 11 now. They are very different and if I'm completely honest, parenting my 14 year old has been and still is a hard slog. Some of these posts have really made me laugh out loud, particularly, picturing a lovely bike ride together and it turning out nothing like that and doing everything for someone and being met with utter disgust. I really relate to those. Thank you. I needed a laugh.

Bumply · 10/07/2019 08:36

Well I wasn't expecting to be a single mum for the last 15 years, and I don't recognise myself in those "my mum was a single mum and a hero" type comments.

FuriousVexation · 10/07/2019 08:37

Honestly in terms of every day looking after, it's been a piece of piss.

School however has been a whole other thing. Teaching parents to stand their ground in the face of intransigence would be a good start.

"My son is being horribly bullied at playtime to the point he's literally suicidal, what can we do?"
"Oh well, if the bullies get bad tell him to come back inside and he can stay in the classroom for break."

MustardScreams · 10/07/2019 08:37

The first 18 months were harder than I could ever imagine. I was very against sleep training or being away from dd for any length of time, much to both our detriment.

Since I’ve chilled out and realised 5 minutes of crying isn’t going to cause irreversible brain damage Hmm it’s been much easier. I actively enjoy dd’s company now. Before I loved her, but it was stressful and hard and I didn’t wtf I was doing. She’s 2.5 and makes me laugh all the time.

I wish I’d known it wasn’t always going to be fraught with panic and anxiety. I still worry of course, but it’s a reasonable worry now.

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