Unexpected challenges of parenthood
I got the memo on being tired. A heads up on these would've been nice.
- •Not telling them to be careful while they challenge themselves on the playground or climbing a treeMy neurotic gut says "JESUS! BE CAREFUL!" My desire to make them independent, strong & confident moves my lips in faux support: "great job, look at how high you are!"
- •Getting out of the house to do ANYTHING when they're still taking two naps a day.A birthday party at 3pm?! Not gonna happen bc I've chosen a solid block of sleep at night over being a part of the outside world.
- •HAVING TO BE SYMPATHETIC AFTER THEY'VE INJURED THEMSELVES....WHILE DOING SOMETHING THAT YOU JUST 👏EXPLICITLY👏 WARNED THEM ABOUT DOING. It is a Herculean task to muster the appropriate level of concern instead of screaming "I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!!"
- •Understanding & accepting their personality quirks.They are little people. They are not carbon copies of you. They will have unique personalities. There will be aspects of those personalities that you don't like. Realizing that made me feel like THE WORST MOM EVER.
- •EVERY CLICHÉ ABOUT PARENTHOOD IS TRUE (both the sweet stuff and the shit)Embrace the cliché
- •Reading the same book 5 times in a row!!!I don't know why this one fucked me up so bad, but it did
- •IMPORTANT ONE AS A MOTHER OF DAUGHTERS:
- •NOT CARING WHAT THEY WEARI used to dress her anyway I wanted to convey the image of us I wanted. As a baby it worked fine, but once she started having opinions and wanting to dress herself it took a few months before I got it through my thick head to let her.
- •Anxiety over their well beingI'd daymare about every worst case scenario or tragedy that could befall them. Motherhood shifted something in my brain and every story about a kid getting hurt or dying opens the floodgates of fear. But if & when something bad happens, the anxiety doesn't help or stop it.
- •Knowing when to push and when to quitSoccer, art class, fear of bunnies at the petting zoo, dinner table standoff, sleeping in your bed, drinking the bath water .... I could go on
- •THE GUILTAbout EVERYTHING. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding, staying home or working, maintaining relationships, daycare, television, what your feeding them.. ON AND ON! The guilt you will feel as a parent sometimes is overwhelming. Nowadays I just try to relax and breathe and remember that I'm doing the best I can with what I have. And nobody loves my kid more than me.Suggested by @shanaz
- •You have to carefully pay attention in order to figure out if they're actually interested in something or if they're engaging with it just to please youThis so ties into what you said about paying attention to their independent personalities! The target age for this behavior is probably 4-8. Kids still love spending time with parents then & may feign interest in a parent's chosen activities or entertainment because they're happy to see a parent be stoked. It can become all to easy to push your pop culture or your old childhood memories on your kidsSuggested by @dreadpiratemama
- •Knowing when to bite your tongue and let them go their own way even if you know they're struggling when they're adults and when they really want you to step in and help or advise but are too afraid/proud/ashamed to ask.I am finding this so much in the journey to my daughter's wedding. She WANTS to do it on her own, she feels strongly that she SHOULD do it on her own, but she's so overwhelmed by the planning, and I struggle with the best way to support her without making her feel like she's incapable or that I'm trying to take over.Suggested by @brookbabbles
- •Seeing yourself in their personalities and not getting paranoid they will make the same mistakes as you.Or equally not trying to stop them from living thier own lifeSuggested by @Waddy
- •Food.It will feel like the only thing to look forward to, the only thing you have control over, but no time to do properly so you'll end up eating cold and/or terrible food all the time.Suggested by @BWN_7