Before I had children I had many idealized notions of what being a parent would be like, what my kids would be like and how I would parent my children. I even had ideas about what the birth of my children would be like. I had the perfect birth plan all ready. Free to labour as I desire, a walking epidural, cut the cord when it stopped pulsating, it was going to be a private event – just us, a nurse and a doctor.
My perfect birth plans went out the window when at 36 weeks my water unexpectedly broke. Labour began almost immediately and 4 hours later I gave birth to my first daughter prematurely – no epidural. Because she was early there was no time to wait for the cord to stop pulsating. The three ring circus of nurses, doctors, pediatricians and respiratory therapists sprang into action to make sure my precious 5 lb baby would survive her first few hours – we even had to ask what we had after they had whisked her away.
Since then many more of my preconceived notions have flown out the window. Parenthood is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
How naive was I?
I thought that labour would start suddenly and be incredibly painful. Instead it started slowly and built up – in hindsight I was in labour all day before my water broke. I was in labour for many hours with #2 before I realized it too. I just thought it was Braxton Hicks contractions.
Was far smaller than I ever imagined. I thought the baby would be closer to 10lbs in size, able to hold her head up, reach for toys. Needless to say I was very mistaken,
I thought that at around 6 months of age, a baby would begin sleeping through the night on their own. I thought that once they started sleeping through this would continue every night, with the exception of maybe a few nights when the baby/toddler/child was sick. (Yeah, you can stop laughing now).
I thought that at 6 months of age, when I began to introduce food to my baby that I could just load a spoon up with a ton of cereal/fruit/veggies and the baby would happily open their mouth and slurp the food down happily. (Snort – how wrong was I? Sierra at 3.5 yrs old STILL doesn’t eat).
I never understood what the big deal was about. I thought that if they peed once on the potty then training was over – they would tell me whenever they needed to go from that moment on.
I thought that as soon as Sierra learned to talk she would be able to use her words to tell me if she was tired, hungry, thirsty, hot cold etc… She’s been able to talk now for 2 yrs and still whines and cries when she needs something instead of just saying, “Mommy can I have a drink?”
I knew that if and when I left my kids for work or a date with my hubby that my kids would cry and be upset. I was well prepared for that. What I didn’t realize was how much separation anxiety *I* would have. How leaving them feels like someone has stuck their hand in my chest and ripped my heart out. How the whole time I’m away it feels like I’m living with my heart outside of my body. How hard it would be to go an evening without kissing the squeaky clean, fresh from a bath heads of my daughter before they go to bed.
I thought that once Sierra learned to dress herself she would just get up, put the clothes that I’ve laid out for her on and get ready for the day. Instead I spend 20 min bargaining and nagging her to get dressed to the point I have to pretend I’m leaving her behind.
Yanno, now that I think about it – I really could spend all day listing my baby and parenthood misconceptions. But I won’t, instead I’ll turn it over to you:
How naive were you? What came as a complete shock to you when you became a parent? What misconceptions did you have?
Thanks for stopping by!
-Janice aka @momontherun
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