it gets better thread for parents

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it gets better thread for parents

Postby spacefem » Mon May 2, 9:24 2016

I will never forget posting on facebook about my pregnancy making it hard to sleep, and 90% of the comments were along the line of "well that's how the next 18 years will be ha ha!" when you're going on two hours of sleep and trying to work the next day, that's not as cutesy funny as people think. shocking I know.

then with a newborn, I felt stuck to the house and totally isolated, and the comments once again were basically "kiss your social life good-bye forever!"

Well as time wore on, I realized that these responses were not only totally unhelpful, but they were bullshit! yes, pregnancy has some tough times, newborn babies have tough things about them, but as they grow I truly believe life gets EASIER not harder. Why do we tell new parents that there lives, right this second, will never change? Are we trying to drive them to leave their babies at the fire station?

So I want to start a thread to ask all you parents... what would you say to a new mom, in any phase, to tell her it gets better? What are the great things about having kids at the ages you have them at now?

Now of course I know every age has its *good* moments that you will never get back... so I'm not trying to say newborn babies are terrible. they're adorable. they smell good, they have chunky legs and soft skin and make funny faces. But they can also scream at you for two hours.

so here's my timeline of the good things that happened to me, even with a pretty difficult, high-maintenance newborn:

6-8 weeks old: kid started understanding that nighttime was nighttime. Still woke us up a lot, but she'd nurse and zonk back out, no more all-night baby parties.

10-12 weeks old: started caring about her toys and play gym. We could set her down for 15 minute and she'd be entertained. This was a much bigger deal than you'd think!

6 months old: sitting up in the bathtub meant I could read a book next to the bath while she played for a long time with her water toys. sitting up in a high chair meant we could throw food at her and let her play with it while we had an adult dinner with nobody having to hold the baby.

1-2 years old: Serious toy playing, and a lot less nursing, so I could get a babysitter and go OUT again. At 18 months, I spent a weekend away!

2-3 years old: Talking in sentences so I knew what was wrong with her. Huge!

3-4 years old: We'd go to parties, all the kids would go run to the toy room to play, and I could enjoy adult conversation knowing that she probably wouldn't kill herself. Plays outside in our fenced yard with only the dog for protection.

4 years old: switched to a booster seat and ditched the 5-point seat belt so she could get in the car herself and buckle in. it was also reasonable to expect, on most days, that's she'd find her own shoes and get her own ass dressed.

what else should we add to the timeline? I still don't trust my 6 year old with a gallon of milk to make her own cereal - that's a goal, kid feeding herself. So I'm looking forward to that. What are you looking forward too? What bits of independence have made your parenting easier? What would you tell parents of high-maintenance newborns to make them feel better?
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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby rowan » Mon May 2, 9:57 2016

I'll come back to this but at 7 we are into feeding herself stage, she can get waffles out of the freezer and use the toaster and get her own cup of (water,milk,juice,etc) even out of the tall cupboards without dying.

Every year seems to get better (I imagine the teen years will reverse this statement)
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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby Gnarlbanya » Sun May 8, 23:52 2016

9 months old - is mobile and curious enough to entertain herself for a little bit. She will go from grabbing an object to throwing it away, crawling to something else, banging it on the floor, crawling to something else, putting it in her mouth, crawling back to first object, repeat with variations. So long as she can see me, this can keep her happily occupied for a while.

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby lyra211 » Tue May 10, 14:35 2016

Don't have much to add, as my little guy is 11 weeks old and going through his first sleep regression, but just wanted to say... keep it coming! :-)

Things I've enjoyed about the last few weeks are:
- Can hold head up, and likes to just be held in my lap and look around the room. This is awesome, since he didn't particularly like to be held much at all before he could hold his head up (and he despised all baby-wearing efforts). I would see other moms just chilling with their babies in their laps and wonder what I was doing wrong! Today I went out to lunch with some professor-friends, and two of them took turns holding him, and he just chilled in their laps too, while I ate my lunch. Score!
- Yes, I second the point about being interested in toys. Makes such a difference.

And now the little one is waking up. Time to go cuddle him! Cuddles are great at every age, I think. :-)

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby Sassquatch » Mon May 16, 8:44 2016

I'll take more posts here! I'm almost ready to give birth to my second, and I swear some parts are less scary because I know what's coming, but most of it is more scary because I do. What I do wish I'd really understood the first time is how short all the horrible baby phases are, in the long run, and how little you care about mommy wars BS like formula/breast milk after a very brief time.

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby randomactsofkindness » Tue May 24, 13:30 2016

I'm a second.time mommy, due in 3 weeks with #2.
First off: I love so much when the baby is on the OUTSIDE!! People always told me.I 'd get less sleep. WRONG! I get way more sleep without a somersaulting octopus inside.

Second: Read Babywise, the book. I know there are lots of parenting/feeding theories out there. But honestly, this one is so simple AND it WORKS!! My first baby was sleeping through the night within the first couple months...and never looked back. She also loves nap time (most days), still...and she is almost 3.

Third: Newborns are so portable and easy to care for! They sleep half the day (or more), they require only milk, and they can't run away! What could be easier??

Fourth: My family travels a LOT (at least half the year), being a family band...and by the time my daughter was 3mo old, we were on the road again. Breastfeeding made this so simple! It was the easiest thing to pop up a blanket ever couple hours. No real food costs till she was almost 1y/o. Just diapers and wipes.

Fifth: Teach your child to obey, and your life will be so much easier. "No" is not a negative word, it's a word that gives them boundaries and standards -- which they NEED!! My 2 year old can play by herself nearly all day, with minimal supervision, because she knows what is right and wrong, and always prefers to do what is right. She knows not to rip books, coloring is only done in coloring books, outlets are not for touching, if she makes a mess she needs to clean it up, and some things she just can't do without help.

I guess that's all for now. But it DOES get easier. My 2 year old can also go potty all by herself. Now...we are still working on consistency in timing...heh...
But I say that to say, she really is very capable...and soaks in everything I do, and teach her.

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby rowan » Tue May 24, 15:43 2016

I hope your second is as easy as your first, but I know people whose children were night and day, and what worked for one kid didn't for the other. There's no one solution for all kids.
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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby randomactsofkindness » Thu May 26, 5:03 2016

^ yes, that would be my brother and I...but I think those comments are the reason the thread was started, no? One can always have hope?

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby melsbells » Thu May 26, 16:19 2016

There was a point in time when my kid was still an infant that I feared that I would never be able to ride a bike, use my prefered method of menstruation sanitation, have intercourse, or sit down ever again. I can do all those things! Breastfeeding didn't last forever. I'm no longer concerned about milk leaking everywhere, drenching my shirts. I had convinced myself that sleep deprivation would last indefinitely, but the kid somehow started sleeping through the night, seemingly based on none of the contradictory expert advice we attempted to follow. We can have fun together. I can do chores and ask the toddler to help and the kid actually helps. Of course we're still working on things and there are places I want the kid to be developmentally and they're just not there yet, but now it no longer feels like things will never get there.

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby antfancier » Mon May 30, 21:49 2016

We're just emerging from the newborn phase so this thread is very heartening. So far, the end of what felt like one long cluster feed until 6 weeks and the beginning of four hours of consecutive sleep at night has made a world of difference. Secondly, the maturation of the digestive system was a HUGE deal for us because this boy cried literally every time he passed gas or pooped. Now he only cries 60% of the time. And he learned how to burp so there are less farts in general.

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby rowan » Tue May 31, 15:06 2016

Ooof those are tricky. Glad it's getting better!

Mine has inexplicably suddenly decided to brush her own hair, though I will have to teach her some finer points of brushing long long hair or she'll break it all off (she won't let me cut it). Bonus is it frees up some morning time for myself. Maybe I can even make coffee *before* getting to the office!

This weekend she played with her friend the whole weekend. I mean she was in and out but mostly we just got stuff done around the house and they did their own thing (including making a water slide and running through the sprinkler). It's kind of like she made another jump in responsibility level just this month. 8 is looking like it'll be a pretty awesome year. It seems like she's actually developed her own interests, things that are different from mine or my husband's. She did her first school project where she decided pretty much all of the things and did her own research (with some help from me using the internet but not much).
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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby lyra211 » Sun Jun 12, 18:15 2016

A few more observations at the 3.5-month-old point...

The good: My baby has always hated tummy time. I used to despair that he would ever make any progress on motor skills, because he would scream anytime I flipped him over. A few things made a difference: (1) Frequent, super-short bouts of tummy time -- if he didn't cry, it was a success. (2) Getting creative -- holding his head up while I leaned back with him on my chest counted. Rolling him over 360 degrees on a blanket on the floor or bed counted. Rolling him around on the yoga ball counted. Anything that he could tolerate counted. (3) Developmentally, he finally reached a point when he could be distracted by songs, toys, animal noises, etc. Now I get super-goofy and tell him elaborate stories about stampeding animals chased by hives of bees while he's on his tummy and he enjoys it.

Now he props himself up on his elbows and looks around the room, and today he flipped himself from that position onto his back! It was so cool! He just picked up a leg, swung it around, and presto, he was on his back! He looked so pleased with himself. So, don't despair, parents of fellow tummy-time haters -- it gets better. Hard work pays off, and babies just get bigger and easier to deal with. :-)

The bad: My baby who was sleeping through the night (like, 6-9 hour stretches every night) at two months... stopped. Most nights recently have had a max of one four-hour stretch, and some nights he wakes up every two hours. The last two nights have been a bit better, but where did my good sleeper go? It's been hard to deal with the sleep deprivation knowing how good it used to be, and not knowing how long the crappy sleeping is going to last. I know it'll get better in the long run, but when? Everyone says they remember the sleep deprivation and it doesn't feel so bad in retrospect, but when you're in the trenches, it's awful. I've burst into tears in front of my husband twice in the last week. So... any stories about sleep getting better, or how to deal with the awful sleep when you're exclusively breastfeeding a bottle-hating baby so you can't even get a break while your husband takes a night feeding (not even ONE, EVER)?

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby rowan » Mon Jun 13, 17:16 2016

Sometimes I think they go through a growth spurt or something weird-ass like that and then when it's done it gets better again. But who knows, kids are weird. It will get better again. We seem to be having night terrors again though not as badly as before. Those seem to correlate with growth spurts (for us). They are tailing off again so hopefully...?
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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby curlybae » Thu Jul 28, 19:26 2016

It's true though. You don't get a good night's sleep until they're an adult. Looking back, I don't think my mom slept a wink my baby brother was born lol

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby Carol Palmer » Wed Sep 7, 23:36 2016

At a time when we should have been celebrating, my daughter had often been down through panic,tears and exhaustion(PPD). She was on Citalaparm. The worst part is she had out-of-control anxiety and panic attacks. Dreaded days which we don’t want to remember. On the brighter side we had many friends and relatives lining up with support and guidance. It was one such good neighbour who took the pain in arranging for post partum depression counselors [link deleted - no spam please]. We grandparents took care of the baby all these days. Early motherhood is quite challenging and mothers need to be given training on anxiety and mood disorder. My daughter suffered a lot.

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby Angelica » Sun Sep 11, 5:41 2016

Carol Palmer wrote:At a time when we should have been celebrating, my daughter had often been down through panic,tears and exhaustion(PPD). She was on Citalaparm.

Don't breastfeed, drugs (especially pharmaceuticals) cause brain damage and other negative health effects in young children.

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby Taurwen » Sun Sep 11, 7:19 2016

There are plenty of drugs that are safe to take while breastfeeding, and if the drugs her doctor prescribed aren't I'm sure she was told she shouldn't continue to breastfeed (assuming she was breast feeding to begin with).

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Re: it gets better thread for parents

Postby Angelica » Sun Sep 11, 7:31 2016

Taurwen wrote:There are plenty of drugs that are safe to take while breastfeeding, and if the drugs her doctor prescribed aren't I'm sure she was told she shouldn't continue to breastfeed (assuming she was breast feeding to begin with).

If this is indeed the case (and I'm very skeptical), SSRIs such as citalopram are certainly not among them. Don't assume that her doctor would have warned her; doctors in the United States have 1 job: to sell drugs.


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