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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSecret Squirrel View Post
    I had a terrible time with my oldest. He was really hard work. Partially because he was a a very unsettled baby. Partially because I had a lot of ideas of what having a baby would be like - eg newborns sleep most of the day and wake for a feed and go straight back to sleep again, they actually sleep in a cot, I would have heaps of spare time to study, paint the house, makeover the gardens, write a novel you get the idea. Obviously that all went out the window and the measure of a successful day soon became getting dressed and having eaten breakfast before 12pm.

    I definitely found my other kids easier because I had no expectations. I had the confidence to go with the flow, accept that I would spend some days just sitting and breastfeeding for hours, accept that I would end up cosleeping and carrying a baby around in a sling. Obviously they are aren't for everyone and a luxury I could afford as I was a SAHM for so many years. If I had to go back to work when mine were babies, it would have been necessary to establish some semblance of routine which I would have found very difficult.

    .
    This was exactly my experience!

    Although I went back to work early with all of them - even now I pop into the office twice a week, but i pretty much work for myself (and family business) so I don't have to worry about hours or whatever and I take baby with me. It helps a lot that my DH is at home as well, so he helps a lot, especially once I go back to work and leave bub at home.

    Confidence plays such a big role in subsequent children and how you cope. When you have one baby, even going to the toilet while you're on your own with the baby seems like a stressful and impossible task, but by the time you've had your 3rd, everything just seems way less significant. Not to mention, baby loves watching the older siblings fawn over him, so he has other people around to entertain him. It's just overall a lot less pressure.

    That's very interesting about your oldest still being the most difficult - I didn't consider that everything is still new, but now that you mention it, it seems obvious. My oldest son is such a little ball of anxiety most days and it's hard for me to cope with his emotional outburst, so I can imagine it's so much harder for him. While the younger ones have the benefit of seeing DS1 go through everything and learn from his mistakes in a way.. it's hard being "the first".

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  3. #52
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    I just thought of another reason I prefer older kids as opposed to babies and toddlers (and even ages 3-5 to an extent). I seem to have less tolerance/patience for the fact that littlies have trouble expressing themselves so they're prone to just bursting out crying or chucking a little tanty over seemingly tiny things. I know that sounds bad, but I like the fact that my DS (10yo) just doesn't do this. He is able to just talk to me and tell me what's up. Whereas my DD (5yo) will all of a sudden cry for apparently no reason. Occasionally it's legitimately something worthy of tears, but sometimes it's literally over something completely trivial. I find that extremely frustrating and I look forward to her growing out of this phase.

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  5. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by witherwings View Post
    I just read through all the comments above and I found it a little bit sad.. I think so many mums are way too hard on themselves. To those that really struggled or hated the baby stage, big hugs. It's bloody hard. I don't know who is responsible for spreading the misconception that babies are easy and it's always amazing and fun. It's not. And whether you have an "easy baby" or a "difficult baby", so many other factors are going to influence how you cope and how you feel. Some people are just lucky, they have no expectations, are flexible with what life throws at them, don't suffer from anxiety and happen to have a perfectly healthy always happy baby who sleeps through the night and whose poos smell like unicorns.. just don't feel guilty if that isn't you. And for gods sake don't compare yourself to other mums!

    Just want to add, DS1 was the hardest baby, maybe because it was all so new, or maybe because it's just him and his temperament. He's now 5.5 yrs old and out of all 3 boys (the others are 5 months and 3.5 yrs), he is the hardest work.
    i do feel a bit sad/annoyed at myself for not enjoying it more. but then there's my personality coming out again. always beating myself up for not doing something perfectly. i think with number 2, i'm going to approach it differently. most likely i'll have a scheduled cs, so will know exactly what i'm up for in terms of pain, recovery time, etc. i think the emergency cs i had with ds threw me off and being such a control freak, it really bothered me feeling so helpless and in pain after coming home. i wanted to keep moving and doing stuff, instead i was limited to moving around slowly etc. i think also it's easy to get so focused on the logistical prep (getting the baby's room ready etc) that it's easy to overlook or forget about the mental/psychological prep. looking back i'm someone who's pretty anxious and moody so i think having better mental support in place will help me tremendously. even just seeing a psych once a week before and after the birth to just discuss how i'm feeling and feel like i've got someone outside the house to bounce ideas off. finally i'm going to just try and let sh!t go and be chilled out. that's hard for me as a messy house creates anxiety in me and feels chaotic, so i tend to struggle just letting mess go as it affects my mental space. but yeah, hopefully the experience with ds has taught me a few things!!

  6. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by turquoisecoast View Post
    i do feel a bit sad/annoyed at myself for not enjoying it more. but then there's my personality coming out again. always beating myself up for not doing something perfectly. i think with number 2, i'm going to approach it differently. most likely i'll have a scheduled cs, so will know exactly what i'm up for in terms of pain, recovery time, etc. i think the emergency cs i had with ds threw me off and being such a control freak, it really bothered me feeling so helpless and in pain after coming home. i wanted to keep moving and doing stuff, instead i was limited to moving around slowly etc. i think also it's easy to get so focused on the logistical prep (getting the baby's room ready etc) that it's easy to overlook or forget about the mental/psychological prep. looking back i'm someone who's pretty anxious and moody so i think having better mental support in place will help me tremendously. even just seeing a psych once a week before and after the birth to just discuss how i'm feeling and feel like i've got someone outside the house to bounce ideas off. finally i'm going to just try and let sh!t go and be chilled out. that's hard for me as a messy house creates anxiety in me and feels chaotic, so i tend to struggle just letting mess go as it affects my mental space. but yeah, hopefully the experience with ds has taught me a few things!!
    You have the advantage the second time around of having been through it all before. Don't underestimate how empowering that is.

    It sounds like you have a really good game plan maybe throw in a weekly cleaner in the mix to take the pressure off

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  8. #55
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    It was a big time of uncertainty and change in my life so I don't feel like I enjoyed it as much as I could have.

  9. #56
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    Although it's a little hazy, I did enjoy the baby stage with both of my kids. I found that once they could walk/talk and started to have their own opinions and talk back I struggled more. I still find my 4 year old very stressful at times (though at other times he's delightful). I loved that often as a baby a cuddle was enough to make their world right again.

  10. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoopuf View Post
    I think I'm enjoying the baby stage more than I anticipated I would. Everyone told me these horror stories of 'no sleep whatsoever for 6 weeks straight', and 'baby will scream for hours and hours for no reason at all', and 'you won't have any time to shower or clean or cook'. I think because of these horror stories I had envisioned a war zone.

    In reality, we've had a couple of days where I've struggled to leave the couch because she's been pretty demanding, but even on these days I've been able to shower and do a basic clean of the house. I think I'm getting more sleep now than I was when I was pregnant, because I'm lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps in 2-3 (and recently a few 4!) hour blocks at night. I can see how it might be different if you have a baby who is fussy at night.

    In all seriousness, I think the fact I had the lowest possible expectations for what it would be like is the reason I am actually (mostly) enjoying it

    I do treasure the little bit of 'alone time' I get though!
    @Shoopuf I am exactly the same. I often wonder whether expectations play quite a big part in how you feel about it, especially with a newborn.

    Obviously there are babies that are just really difficult. What some people are having to deal with would send me running screaming down the street. I've known people who's babies will only sleep on them for months and months on end, babies who are still waking many times in the night at a year old, cry constantly all day etc.
    But the stories I'd heard about no sleep etc...well, those people didn't clarify at the time what they meant. The same people told me recently that it was hell for them because they could only sleep for 3-4 hour blocks for the first 3 months and I was like "Well, yeah, but overall you got 7 hours sleep at night right?" because I thought that was fantastic, it was so much better than I'd expected (or ever got when I was pregnant!). They told me they wanted their 9 hours in a row back and I thought "Who the hell gets 9 hours sleep in a row even without a baby?!" If I ever slept a whole night through without waking myself I'd think I was on a different planet when I woke in the morning They also said it was a nightmare because their baby only slept 40 mins at a time in the day - that's exactly what mine does and I think it's fine, I just do what I've got to do in those mini nap times.

    I think I'm the luckiest person alive with the way my baby is, but maybe my incredibly low expectations played a part in how I feel

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  12. #58
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    I was too far in the depths of PND to enjoy it last time. There were definitely enjoyable moments and even days, but I was so deep in the fog, that I feel like I can't actually answer the question accurately. I do deeply regret not seeking help earlier. I'm not sure I'll ever really forgive myself for it, because I was not the mother I wanted to be, and feel like we both missed out because I didn't keep trying to get help after the first GP told me I'd be ok and it was normal. I am trying really hard to enjoy it this time - I'm already getting treatment for PND/PNA, and I have jumped straight on getting help for DD because she is so miserable and in pain - and I've been lucky enough to have great doctors this time. I am struggling with the anxiety and the crying, but I'm making a conscious effort to take note of the positives every day. I'm trying very hard to not wish it away to the next phase in the hopes that it will be better.

    I am actually really enjoying DS at the moment. He's just beautiful. His speech has improved immensely, and I love chatting with him. He's started to really enjoy singing and doing actions to nursery rhymes. He's so quick to learn something new, and I am constantly amazed by how much he knows. Yes the tantrums are testing. Yes his refusal to sleep is frustrating and actually makes me really anxious. Yes the food refusal also makes me anxious and frustrated. But he is just so amazing.

  13. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    I just thought of another reason I prefer older kids as opposed to babies and toddlers (and even ages 3-5 to an extent). I seem to have less tolerance/patience for the fact that littlies have trouble expressing themselves so they're prone to just bursting out crying or chucking a little tanty over seemingly tiny things. I know that sounds bad, but I like the fact that my DS (10yo) just doesn't do this. He is able to just talk to me and tell me what's up. Whereas my DD (5yo) will all of a sudden cry for apparently no reason. Occasionally it's legitimately something worthy of tears, but sometimes it's literally over something completely trivial. I find that extremely frustrating and I look forward to her growing out of this phase.
    THIS! I can't stand this either. I just don't deal well with it and I can't see it ending any time soon. It's why I'm stopping at 2 kids. DS will be 3 in September and the thought of ever having to go back and deal with it all for another 6 years added to the already 5 years..... I'm getting sweaty palms just thinking about it.

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  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillDweller View Post
    @Shoopuf I am exactly the same. I often wonder whether expectations play quite a big part in how you feel about it, especially with a newborn.

    Obviously there are babies that are just really difficult. What some people are having to deal with would send me running screaming down the street. I've known people who's babies will only sleep on them for months and months on end, babies who are still waking many times in the night at a year old, cry constantly all day etc.
    But the stories I'd heard about no sleep etc...well, those people didn't clarify at the time what they meant. The same people told me recently that it was hell for them because they could only sleep for 3-4 hour blocks for the first 3 months and I was like "Well, yeah, but overall you got 7 hours sleep at night right?" because I thought that was fantastic, it was so much better than I'd expected (or ever got when I was pregnant!). They told me they wanted their 9 hours in a row back and I thought "Who the hell gets 9 hours sleep in a row even without a baby?!" If I ever slept a whole night through without waking myself I'd think I was on a different planet when I woke in the morning They also said it was a nightmare because their baby only slept 40 mins at a time in the day - that's exactly what mine does and I think it's fine, I just do what I've got to do in those mini nap times.

    I think I'm the luckiest person alive with the way my baby is, but maybe my incredibly low expectations played a part in how I feel
    I could have written this!! I've had exactly the same experience with a person who complained their child "never slept" saying to me recently that the hardest thing ever was having to wake up every three hours overnight for the first few weeks. My baby only sleeps for a three hour block once or twice in a 24 hour period, and I'm ecstatic with that!

    I definitely think expectations play a role in how people experience all things in their lives. Of course there are other factors too, but I'm kind of glad I set the expectation bar so very very low that there was literally no room for disappointment


 

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