Baby Misconceptions

question mark 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?

Labour:
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.

The Baby:
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,

Sleeping:
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).

Eating:
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).

Potty training:
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.

Talking:
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?”

Separation Anxiety:
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. 

Getting dressed:
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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15 thoughts on “Baby Misconceptions

  1. I don’t remember having very many misconceptions but my years of babysitting and nursing prepared me for what to expect of babies. I thought that you and your brother would have walked a lot sooner and that you would talk a lot sooner but other than that, you and your brother were pretty normal.

  2. Wow, Janice, this is a great post!
    I learned that one can never fully understand what being a parent means without being a parent. In my opinion, all the birthing classes, advice, and words of wisdom from ones own parents can never completely prepare a person for it, especially if one gets a bit of colic mixed in (or the baby comes a bit early as in your case). Yes, I never knew what it could feel like at 2am in the morning with a screaming 2 month old baby to be a completely hopeless new dad… until I lived it.
    That said, I think being a parent is the most awesome thing in the world, which one also can’t understand until one is. Just my opinion. ~ Steve, aka the the-colic-is-over-so-let’s-celebrate trade show guru

    trade show gurus last blog post..Balance

  3. Very interesting post; thank you for sharing your experiences.
    With twins, we really did not know what to expect! We just wanted to go as close to a full term as possible and hope that they will be healthy. We were lucky and everything ended up just fine.
    In the last 2 1/2 years since their birth, every day has been lived with spontaneity, sharing the joy of their laughter and frustration of having to deal with their ever increasing independence, moodiness and occasional fits and tantrums! Oh the joys of parenthood :)
    Having said that, what has surprised me a little is the difference between the personalities of my son and daughter. They are so different, yet so similar in so many ways. Each day, we have to flex ourselves to respond to them in a different way while still trying to maintain some sort of consistency in our parenting approach. It is a lot of fun, but very demanding at the same time.

    TwinToddlersDads last blog post..Looking For A Multivitamin Supplement For Your Toddler?

  4. Two things: how much a pita it would be at first caring for a circumcision of a newborn and secondly breastfeeding wasn’t easy and ended for us before 5 months.

    valeries last blog post..live reboot

  5. My mom had six childre, all of us extraordinarily independent and strong-willed. She took the time to potty train me (#1) and my sister (#2), but she had had it after that. #4 through #6 potty trained themselves. By the time he was a little over a year old, #6 realized that everyone was always busy so he learned to change his diaper by himself. That was a sight to see and a hilarious story to tell!

    Jessicas last blog post..Something To Run For

  6. I waited to post to this one that way hopefully you will be the only one to read it. You think you were naive … you aint heard nothin yet. I knew absolutey nothing about babies. The first diaper I ever changed was getting to scrap some of the road tar off Kevin behind when he was only hours old. I know it wasn’t really road tar … it stuck much better. The first baby I ever held was my niece … she is now 17. Keep in mind I am 40. I remember tryingto dress Kevin when he was just days and weeks old. I think putting panty hose on a rooster woulda been much much easier … dang he could squirm. You didn’t hold a candle to me when it came to how to handle a baby … I knew nothing at all!!!! Still learning day by day!

  7. I’m laughing. Yep, I was similar. The only thing I was more wrong about? How cool a Mom I was going to be so my kid’s TEEN years would be a piece of cake. Oy. Wait. Just wait..

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