Quantcast

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

422

That Baby Wants to Break You Up

“The baby is trying to break us up,” my husband announced. “And we have to work together to defeat him.” Once he put it like that, I actually felt better about the whole thing. While I was pregnant, I felt closer to Steve than I ever had before, and that was saying something. Together for 10 years, we'd always been best friends, and we looked forward to what lay ahead with a gratitude that we’d be going through it together. But once the kid was outside of me, that warm anticipation frayed away to raw nerves, irritability, and fear. I had always been so confident in my relationship with my husband, but now it felt like we were struggling just to get along, let alone be in love anymore. Plus, we had a healthy baby and supportive parents nearby; no real problems to speak of. What would happen if we confronted a real challenge? But once Steve put it that way, it made it seem like it was us against the world (or, in this case, a chubby-cheeked 12-pound nugget), and I felt a little better.

Here is what I’ve learned: Having a modern, equal, loving relationship before having a baby does not mean you’ll continue to do so once you have a baby. I can’t fathom how teenagers who barely know each other get through this, nor couples who figure that a baby will somehow solve all their problems (this seems like trying to cure your diabetes via hamburgers). Part cautionary tale, part search for commiseration, here are the ways that I've found that bundle of joy can make you and your partner feel like you’re more in a foxhole than over the moon:

Sleep deprivation will destroy you

Before the baby, Steve and I tried to treat each other the way we ourselves would like to be treated. We said “please” and “thank you” and paid each other compliments and divided up household tasks and did sweet little things for each other like leave cute notes or scratch each other’s backs. And I knew that you don’t sleep after you have a baby. I thought I knew sleep deprivation before I had a baby. I had been to college: I had crammed for exams and stayed up all night on coffee and pop and maybe one or two Adderalls. But it’s just somehow different with the baby. You start to understand how sleep deprivation is used as torture as there is that one hour in the night where you start to think, “I can’t do this. Time has stopped and I am going to die.” And then the sun eventually rises and you have to get through the day with the way you feel. Everyone knows that babies steal your sleep, but it’s impossible to prepare yourself for just how fundamentally this alters your persona and the way you treat yourself, not to mention your partner. All the politesse and civility and kindness that lived before seems as far away as showers and recycling and a full eight hours. 

The baby doesn’t give a shit about you or your accomplishments

This might have been harder on me than on Steve due to simple biology and the practicalities of maternity leave, but all my achievements prior to having the baby — my good grades and good schools and the books I published and the half marathon I ran — all that meant dick when I was home taking care of the baby. For three months my job was to keep him alive and secondarily keep myself alive and perhaps tertiarily (or secondarily, with “myself” being tertiary) keeping the house going. Feeding, soothing, changing, laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, on and on. I lost myself. Steve would come home from work (and we’d have very little to talk about since I hadn’t been out doing much nor keeping up with current events) and I’d resent him for “getting” to leave the house and he’d resent me for “getting” to stay home, and the people that we were before, who worked hard and played hard and enjoyed it all lived on in another dimension.

The baby is stealing all your money

We were having a bad day that, for once, was completely unrelated to the baby. Neither of us had gotten any sleep. There were some in-law issues. A stomach ailment was involved. And then we got a $600 bill for the two nights the baby spent in the hospital due to a never-figured-out fever. Talking about money with your significant other is a drag whether or not you have a child, but tack on hospital bills, daycare expenses, diapers, formula, and everything on top of a mortgage and car payments and you’re stressed, all the time. You cannot afford to have any fun.

Not like you can have fun anymore anyway

Okay, truth be told, there is plenty of inexpensive fun to be had if you are creative and have friends/family nearby who are either willing to come visit or watch your little grub while you go out. But this involves some brainpower, and you won’t have any for awhile. So not only are you forced to be with this person who you suddenly realized is the source of all your troubles by going along with you and letting you acquire a child, you can’t even think of a reason to get out from under the same roof as him/her.

The person you’re with doesn’t know dick about this baby

It feels like every night since the baby came home with us, my husband and I have had this conversation:

“Should I put him to bed?”

“I don’t know ... I guess?”

How irritating is that? At least one of us should know, “Yes, definitely! That is the thing to do!” But unfortunately, neither of us is an expert, which makes everything all the more difficult. Of course, on the flip side, sometimes one of us acts like we do know what we’re doing and the other thinks, “You are so full of shit.”

Sometimes you’re just full of bad feelings and have nowhere to put them but on the other adult in the house (i.e., you need to fight)

The baby was in the hospital for a few days due to a fever, and at the time it was terrifying. Steve and I buddied up and made it work and took turns and eventually got the kid home with a clean bill of health. It wasn’t until we got home that we erupted into one of our biggest fights ever in our relationship, over the topic of the rectal thermometer and whether or not Aquaphor was an acceptable lubricant. We yelled and stomped over an eighth of a teaspoon of jelly being inserted into one of the tiniest buttholes on the planet. And the strange thing was, it felt good. “This is about right,” I thought, as I seethed upstairs and sorted the toys the baby was still too young to play with. I think if you don’t fight, that’s how murder happens. You can’t sleep, you’re broke, you feel lost, and you’re supposed to be aglow and over the moon and cherishing these precious moments, so you just feel bad on top of feeling bad. Where are you going to put that negativity? Why, right on the closest person who can understand your frustration. Whether he lets the baby cry five seconds beyond what you can tolerate or let the food bits sit in the sink strainer or just said something in a weird way to you, it’s the perfect catalyst to lash out, because sometimes you just have too many bad feelings to keep them to yourself even though really there is no one to blame or punish. And then the next day (or hour), you’re the reciprocant.

You are stuck with this person

Steve and I fight and we’re on edge but the big D is not in the picture. There is no way in hell that would make either of our lives more pleasant or easier, so that’s not an option (and on a more positive note, it would make me very sad and I’d miss him). That’s good, I guess. But neither of us either really can pack up and take a nice little vacation to recharge and relax without the other one having a slight aneurism. I can’t even entertain thoughts of light suicide the way I sometimes do (I hope I’m not the only person who does this, who sometimes thinks “Well, I just might as well kill myself” in a darkly joking manner when faced with piling minutiae or ongoing tedium). Because if I killed myself, that would really inconvenience Steve and that asshole would be mad at me forever, so forget it.

I started writing this on a bad day and finished editing it on a much better day, and that’s how it goes (I hope). We eventually found small solutions as the baby slowly became more of a communicator and we slowly figured out what we were doing more and more. Getting out of the house helped while I was on maternity leave, and going back to work was a revelation. We started going back to church, more for the quiet time, the walk and the cheap way to spend an hour than any sort of dogma. For Steve’s birthday I packed up the dog and baby and spent the night at my parents’ so he could have an evening at home to himself.

But still, sometimes I get into a spiral of bad feelings and my dark mood brings tension to the relationship, and then the tension in the relationship makes me feel worse (“What do I have if I don’t have my relationship with my best friend?”). And then I feel worse because I realize that I need to get my head out of my ass and be grateful for all the things that are going right: We are all healthy. My parents live nearby. We are not in debt. We are both employed. So I’m working on the gratitude as Steve and I work on tweaking the relationship to fit the new reality. We make rules like you can’t talk about money woes right before bed or in the morning, and you can’t complain about how little sleep you got first thing in the morning, and let’s try to say what we really mean the first time instead of wasting any time being passive aggressive. We try to talk about our feelings as much as we can so that we don’t forget that’s what we were originally there for. “As long as he destroys both of us, we’re okay,” Steve joked, which means that as long as the baby takes us down the same number of pegs, as long as we can pull each other aside occasionally and say “Boy, this sucks sometimes, huh?” it will somehow be all right.

 

Previously by this author: Inadvertently Mocking the Dead

Claire Zulkey is the author of AN OFF YEAR, and is a television critic and contributor to the Los Angeles Times and AV Club. She lives in Chicago, where she hosts the literary humor reading series Funny Ha-Ha.



422 Comments / Post A Comment

yrouttasight

My uterus just shut down.

maggagie

@yrouttasight uh huh

michel

I feel like I’m constantly looking for interesting things to read about a variety of subjects, but I manage to include your blog among my reads every day because you have compelling entries that I look forward to. Here’s hoping there’s a lot more amazing material coming!how to get a boyfriend review 2013

michel

You are very cool! I dont suppose I have read something similar to this before. So nice to search out somebody with authentic applying for grants this subject. I really appreciate starting this up. Your website is one area that is needed on the net. Totally a helpful project for bringing new things for the web! how to get a boyfriend in 10 days

michel

I just couldn’t go away your website before suggesting that I actually loved the standard info a person supply on your guests? Is going to be again frequently to investigate cross-check new posts. how to get your ex back free advice

michel

Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort. Yes, really. I join told all above. We can communicate on this theme. Here or in PM. bluehost coupons

michel

I would like to convey my admiration for your generosity in support of men and women that have the need for help with this particular concern. Your special dedication to getting the message all over had been wonderfully productive and have all the time made professionals much like me to attain their dreams. Your own invaluable tutorial means a great deal to me and additionally to my office workers. Thank you; from everyone of us. bluehost review

fvision123

@yrouttasight I really got into this article. I found it to be interesting and loaded with unique points of interest. I like to read material that makes me think. Thank you for writing this great content.how to use paypal

mattewmc

:) this was enjoyable, thank you@t

hallucinas

Hello, you just basically wrote an essay about my life right now.

graffin

@hallucinas I was going to go home and check the house for hidden cameras.

Christina Lyon@facebook

@hallucinas Same here!!! The last paragraph really put my last month or so into the right words.

hallucinas

Especially the sleep deprivation. I think people have no idea. And if your baby sleeps through the night, do not tell me or I will punch you through the computer screen with my fist.

BuffyBot

@hallucinas My sisters both have children who slept through the night from an early age - I fell like this is lulling me into a false sense of security and then I'll have a child and it will be hell on earth.

graffin

@hallucinas I would rather hear somebody go off on a racist tirade for hours than hear a new parent tell me about how well their baby sleeps.

Nicole Cliffe

@hallucinas THE SLEEP DEPRIVATION. I had a "good sleeper," and there were nights/days where I imagined charging her under the Geneva Convention.

photoalice

@hallucinas "You just need to let him cry himself to sleep" and then, from my open palm comes the slapping heard 'round the world as if it were that easy.

hallucinas

@photoalice Right. We went down that road out of desperation - "controlled crying". That just made things worse.

formergr

@hallucinas I'm not even a parent and I still wanted to strangle an acquaintance who smugly would go on and on about what a good sleeper her son is, and that it's all because she is so strict with his schedule.

I mean I'm sure that helps, but I know enough desperate, miserable parents who have been extremely strict with the schedule, and they still had a kid who wouldn't sleep through the night, or worse woke up 3 times a night for over a year, etc.

Verity

@Nicole Cliffe I commented recently about my dad's anecdote about one of the many nights he sat holding me while I cried with colic. He had to put me down and walk away because he genuinely thought he might throw me out of the window. Sleep deprivation is the worst.

amitygardens@twitter

@BuffyBot My niece was the same way. They are trying to trick us into procreating, and then we will suffer.

HoliandIvy

@hallucinas
What's early? Ours co-slept until 9 months, but then slept through by 10.
Totally comfortable with this, btw.

Cassie Artes@facebook

@Verity at my baby shower everyone wrote new mom advice to me, I think my favorite was from my husband's aunt, and I don't remember what the beginning said, but I do remember the end being "and it'll be alright, its ok to want to throw the baby out the window as long as you don't act on it". I was very confused, "why would I even consider throwing my precious boy out the window." Than we went through acid reflux with our boy and he hardly slept, and I got it! He's 2 now, and there are day's where I still want to throw him him out the window...but I never would, because he forever owns a part of my heart!

decantate

@hallucinas Okay but maybe this will help. My daughter wanted to sleep straight through the night every night when home from the hospital. But she was too young to physically do that, and lost a lot of weight, so the doctor had me set an alarm to wake HER up every two hours and take her in to be weighed every day.

So instead of waking up to a hungry baby, I woke up to an alarm clock and then had to wake a baby up, which I thought sucked super bad. Maybe imagine this scenario next time someone talks about having a good sleeper?

yash

Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is very cool. I'm impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. : ct scan machine use

Claire Zulkey@twitter

As a postscript, the second after I sent this off I think we experienced maybe our best week to date postpartum. What a screwy thing.

StandardTuber

@Claire Zulkey@twitter The kid is on to you.

Daisy Razor

@Claire Zulkey@twitter They have a 6th sense and can tell when you're getting ready to sell them to the gypsies.

Mila

@Claire Zulkey@twitter Ha! I read this after having probably the worst week ever in my relationship. I am a little further along the parenting path - 5 yr old, 3 yr old. We actually did okay that first year, but oh, surprise second baby, autism diagnosis for first baby (you know they never sleep well when they have autism? I was up for 2 hours last night with the five year old. And I swear the two of them have a plan to kill me, because as soon as one is sleeping well, the other has a bad month). Throw in all the other crazy drama of our lives, and it just feels we are in a constant state of raw nerves. But here is the thing, even after a terrible week like this last one, I calm down, I look over at him, and he is still the person I love most in the world. Just like with babies who keep you up all night - sometimes in the middle of the night, you kind of hate them a bit (or is that just me?), and then in the first light of day, you look at them, and think, oh, right, I love you, that is why I do all this, and all the tortured filled night slips away.

formergr

@Claire Zulkey@twitter My sister always said right when you were at the very end of your rope, and understanding a little too well how some parents are pushed to abuse and other dark thoughts, the kid would hit a new milestone or do something absolutely adorable.

Just as guys you have a thing for telepathically can sense the second you meet someone else or have given up on them(and suddenly pop back up in your life), I think babies can sense when you're about to give up on them.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Daisy Razor
Seriously though, what is the going rate these days? Asking for a friend.

madge

experienced a lot of this at age 13, when my half brother (followed closely by a half sister and another half brother) was born. the crib was in my room until i moved out, the day after graduation.

i will never, ever, ever, ever breed.

P.J. Morse

@madge Me, either. I get asked a lot why I haven't had kids, and I always sort of knew deep down that I couldn't handle the responsibility. Now I should just print out this article and hand it to anyone who says, "Gee, you'd be such a good mom. So, when are you having kids?"

Dear author: THANK YOU!

Jane Marie

@madge oh my god. OH MY GOD.

iknowright

@madge That is so incredibly unfair. I had to reread your comment like 3 times to make sure it says what I can't believe it said.

You probably need to do a crib smash in an abandoned field a la the copy machine smashing in Office Space.

reburkel

@madge This happened to me when my half-sister was born when I was 7. Genetics be damned, I blame my permanent dark undereye circles on this childhood trauma.

JessicaLovejoy

@madge Oh dear god. Let me pull you to my bosom. Weep as freely as you wish.

madge

@beautifulhairpinloves thanks for listening to me whine about my childhood today <3

TARDIStime

@madge Oh gurl, ANY time. I would have had a "here's Johnny" moment within a month if I was you.

granny squares

@madge You deserve sainthood.

D.@twitter

@iknowright My poor fiance went through something comparable. After his mother married when he was six, she had four children in quick succession. He never had to share a room, but he did get shuffled around the house, and spent his early teen years in a small room off the kitchen that didn't have a door, only a dog gate.

meohmy

Yep, this is about right. Gah. I love my kid, and my partner, but gah.

Waterbears

I'm due in 28 days and this just scared the shit out of me :(

Tiktaalik

@KEO I am due in 15 days and DITTO.

MmeLibrarian

@KEO I've got an eight-month-old and here is the only advice I will issue to new parents, because it is the only thing that will be universally useful to everyone - do. not. anticipate. Your experience will be your experience. Just because you know someone who had a terrible labor/great labor/healthy kid/sick kid/screamy kid/relaxed kid/etc., does not mean that it is going to happen to you. More often than not, you will be equal to whatever happens. Everything will be fine.

Also, swaddle the hell out of your baby. For real. They'll love it.

MmeLibrarian

@MmeLibrarian p.s. - With one of these - http://www.miracleblanket.com/

hallelujah

@MmeLibrarian Ha, to prove your point, my kid HATES being swaddled. He loves his arms & needs them by his face.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@KEO I don't mean to scare you. I guess if anything, if do you feel this way, you'll know that you're not alone and that bad times will be followed by good.

StandardTuber

@KEO You'll do great! Everyone has a different experience, so don't feel like this will be you. But chances are you will be exhausted.

We took a birthing class which wasn't really necessary (the information about vaginal vs. Cesarian births was helpful, though). The best part was when the nurse gave us a little questionnaire, asking each couple to fill it out separately, and it covered things like "I expect ______ to do the dishes," or laundry, or grocery shopping, or when the baby cries, etc. You fill it in as either "myself" "you" or "both of us." Then we talked about our answers, and it gave us basic ground rules for how we were going to operate under these new conditions. Like the Geneva Conventions! Just kidding :)

Dorothy McGivney

@Claire Zulkey@twitter OK first off, seriously, seriously adorable baby (had to get that out of the way!). Second off, in the same way I wish I had read this essay before I gave birth (along with one about how breastfeeding could be The Most Difficult Thing You Ever Try And Do) I also wish that at the point you're at you could read an essay from your future self, looking back on this time, marveling over how you made it through, and how much easier it does get for both you and your relationship. For me, the turning point was around 5 months (when our baby started to sleep through the night, thanks to us letting him "cry it out" because he wouldn't go back to sleep any other way). SLEEP. I actually think it all boils down to sleep?

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@MmeLibrarian We just started using this as a way to transition out of the swaddle and so far it has worked well except for the night the baby filled it up with poop http://www.magicsleepsuit.com/

LeafySeaDragon

@KEO swaddling baby + learn to burp the baby! i am convinced 75% of my issues with sleeping.crying with my first child was my inability to burp him properly. he eats - he needs to burp. TRUFAX

StandardTuber

@LeafySeaDragon We went through bottles of Mylicon, whenever the baby would fuss in his sleep. Worked.

LeafySeaDragon

@Mabissa lol i have no idea what that is.

dk
dk

@LeafySeaDragon YES to the burping. I never paid much attention to the burping becuase I figured it would be obvious if he needed to burp (O RLY? And how *exactly* would that be obvious? sheesh). And then he'd been cranky and wouldn't eat as much as I thought he should and what's wrong with the baby?! OH. Burp the baby.

catfoodandhairnets

@dk @LeafySeaDragon I still don't exactly know how to burp the baby. I googled it several times. I tried all the techniques I found but they never really consistently worked. Our baby is occasionally grumpy after eating and it often resolves after she has a massive burp. But I never have much success in making that burp happen. I think she's deformed in the esophagus or something.

LeafySeaDragon

@catfoodandhairnets i was a fan of the "lay belly down across your lap and rub firmly". and when he got bigger and i was not afraid of his head falling off i did that combined with bouncing his butt on my knees/lap while holding him sitting very straight. popped them right out!

RubeksCube

@KEO I'm in my 3rd trimester and I am bookmarking this for future reference...

dk
dk

@catfoodandhairnets My burping style: I hold him against my shoulder with just his head above, so his rib cage is against my shoulder bone. I pat his back with a curved palm, slowly and steadily, about 5 times. Then with my first & second fingertips I rub a little circle right between his shoulder blades a few times. Then back to patting. Switch back and forth, sometimes using the whole palm for the rubbing. That usually works. If not, I hand him to my husband and the little bastard burps IMMEDIATELY.

TARDIStime

@LeafySeaDragon My SIL never, ever burped her baby.
She was kind of really serious about it to the point where she would stop people from burping the baby if they were holding her - her theory was that the baby can teach herself to burp because it's just like breathing; sort of a second-nature thing.

She never really had tummy issues and can now burp very well for herself at 3-and-a-half years old.

Not saying that burping your baby is stupid - obviously it's a Thing because it works for some people.
But also, don't freak out if you can't burp your baby properly - not burping your baby it totally an option that works sometimes (sounds ridiculous that I'm saying this, but it's kind of a thing I'd never thought about before my SIL brought it up).

TARDIStime

@Mabissa Also that Geneva Convention questionnaire for ground rules is genius!

rohan kapur@twitter

@LeafySeaDragon The Kimberley is known for its remoteness, vast distances, geological antiquity, and tidal variations. traveled the Kimberley Coast of Western Australia on the Orion cruise for 10 days. Check this for more information - broome luxury accommodation

smidge

Thank you, thank you, thank you. If I ever have kids I am printing this out and posting it in the nursery.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Well, well, well. Looks like I'll never be having children. Thanks!

crango

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Co-signed! I feel like I should print out a copy of this to carry with me at all times to pull out whenever someone pulls the "but whyyyy!" whenever I mention I don't want kids ever.

P.J. Morse

@crango Ha! I just posted the same thing. Seriously -- anyone who thinks of having kids should read this first. If they think they can handle the sleep deprivation and strife, then they should go for it, but if anyone has second thoughts, they should run out for some condoms ASAP.

crango

@P.J. Morse It always amazed me that after hearing first hand experiences from parents, people still want to have kids! My mom was always upfront about how awful her pregnancies were what a pain I was as a kid, and I saw all the problems she has with my brother. I'll stick to cats, thank you very much!

kickupdust

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Yep! I already knew I wasn't but now I am just going to get that whole uterus thingy taken CLEAN OUT.

Jane Err

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Pretty much!

The Attic Wife

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose For real! I'm pretty sure the potential stress/misery of having kids would absolutely ruin my mental well-being (it's fragile enough as it is). I can count the number of happily married couples with kids I know personally on one hand, the rest of them are miserable most of the time, doesn't matter if the kids are newborns or adults.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@The Attic Wife Largely, I'm just too selfish for kids. I can hardly raise a puppy without looking at it with resentment sometimes. "Ugh, adorable puppy, you're making perform tasks at an inconvenient time."

MilesofMountains

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I had been considering revisiting my no-kids stance, and this was like a bucket of cold water in the face. It might have well have said "YOU. You should not have children ever." Now I just need to bookmark it for the next time I have doubts.

gluecake

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose i sterilized myself two months ago. I can't even handle the way the cat I live with annoys me, a child would have no chance of survival.

hallelujah

Pretty much, except I'm at work & my husband is home with the baby, & MAN am I resentful. It's not our ideal situation & he's looking for work, but in my weaker moments I am so angry that I gestated this kid for 9 months, & now when he's getting cute I have to pay all the bills too.

dk
dk

@hallelujah Well hello there - are you me? I just had a meltdown this weekend wherein I had to admit that I am PISSED I had to go back to work while mr.dk gets to play with the cutest fucking baby in the universe (other than yours, of course) all day long. Goddammit.

New Commenter Name

@hallelujah
I have the same situation you describe and know all too well the feelings that go along with it. My kids are not babies anymore and my husband works a paying job part-time now. The anger and resentment still surfaces in my heart sometimes. I sincerely hope you can find a resolution to your situation. For us it caused months of screaming matches, nearly caused a divorce, contributed to a severe depression in me, and almost cost my job (in the midst of all this upset, doing my best at work was of no interest to me.)

I suppose now I'm in a better mental/emotional place. Post-partum hormones are long gone, sleep deprivation is nothing but a horrible nightmare from the past, kids are not cute little babies anymore (they are 9 and 5 years old). I have a long-view and a perspective you don't have yet - there are many wonderful moments to come for you as your baby grows. The first smile of a baby seems like the most magical thing in the world, but being part of your child's life and watching him grow over the years is even more wonderful than those first few weeks. Children adore their parents and trust me, your baby will not adore you any less if you aren't the one who fixes his snack at 10am on Tuesdays.

So, I have mixed feelings about giving advice to a stranger over the internet, but I felt compelled to speak up considering I've experienced what you describe. Pour all of your love into your little family and do your best with the options and resources you have. Your baby loves you regardless of your personal combination of earning money and changing diapers.

I wish you the best. oh and try to go easy on your husband, too. Trust me I know that's hard. Surely he is feeling out of sorts with the current situation too.

hallelujah

@dk I just read downthread that your chap is 5 months. Mine is 4! We are twinsies it seems.

@Curiouser and curiouser That was a lovely & heartfelt thing to read from a stranger on the internet! You're a gem.

dk
dk

@hallelujah Mine was born Aug.27 - you?

@Curiouser and curiouser THANK YOU. "Children adore their parents and trust me, your baby will not adore you any less if you aren't the one who fixes his snack at 10am on Tuesdays." I need to keep reminding myself of this.

hallelujah

@dk Oct. 1! Worst summer ever to be hugely pregnant.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@hallelujah true to the that. My feet were so swollen people were just talking about their fatness like it was the sun in the sky.

meohmy

@dk Ah! My girl was born September 2. Even though my partner and I both work outside the home, he works evenings and I work days. So, not only do we never ever see each other, he has the baby in the mornings, when she is an absolute fucking delight. I have her in the evenings, when she's an absolute fucking terror. I am so goddamn resentful sometimes. But, now she's becoming less of an angry blob and more of a person who clearly likes me, so that makes it so much easier.

@Curiouser and curiouser thank you. thank you thank you thank you.

StandardTuber

Yeah it sucks, but hopefully there are glimmering moments of love. And when they're in their pupal stages, you kind of go through it like a zombie and get your kicks where you can, like getting ice cream or taking a bubble bath, or taking a walk with the baby.
Our family went through all of this stuff - including nipple vasospasms and day/night reversal - and it took all my effort to not stop every pregnant woman I met and tell her all these awful details. "Oh, you're expecting! How great! You know, I haven't had more than three hours of sleep for the last three nights. And I've got this really weird, undiagnosed pain from nursing that feels like a hot poker is stabbing me under the shoulder blade. Oh, and one night I thought he was having a seizure, but that was just gas..." Seriously, when you're pregnant, stay away from mommies in the throes of newborn-ness. And stay away from the internet, if your a paranoid, nervous pregnant woman. Seriously.

MmeLibrarian

@Mabissa Preach. I would like to put the full weight of my library science degree behind this suggestion. The internet is full of horrors - doubly so if you're a new mom. Get a couple of good books and don't Google a damn thing if you can help it.

StandardTuber

@MmeLibrarian YES! NO GOOGLING during pregnancy. Either seek thy doctor or midwife, or get a book. My favorite was Mayo Clinic's, but others swear by What to Expect.

hallelujah

@Mabissa What to Expect is full of horrors. If you're easily spooked or paranoid (me), it'll make you a mess. If you're a more laid back pregnant type, I could see how it'd be useful.

MmeLibrarian

@Mabissa Mayo Clinic, without a doubt. Someone gave me a copy of What to Expect and I recycled it without even opening it.

StandardTuber

@hallelujah Ha, this is why I avoided that book! Mayo clinic all the way. And I would smack myself for looking stuff up on Web MD, and then calling my partner and crying about things.

Just, no internet. No.

Heyit'sMe

@Mabissa I agree so hard! What to Expect is just so ditzy, it felt like someone very flaky was gushing exclamation points and bad puns at me while I was barfing.

Ophelia

@hallelujah Ditto this. My stepsister gave me her copy of "Great Expectations" (hahaha) which is WAY less "OMG YOU WILL KILL THE BABY" than What to Expect, and more "Eh, try this. This might help you. It's really hard to screw pregnancy up. Try to eat your vegetables."

The Lady of Shalott

@Heyit'sMe I am not pregnant yet nor planning t be for a while, but the image of someone standing behind me gushing puns and exclamation points at me while I vomit my life away, just made me cackle incoherently for like, a full minute.

Apropos of nothing, isn't What To Expect the book that advises pregnant women to monitor every bite they eat to determine whether or not it's "best for baby?" Because holy God I cannot imagine having to deal alternately with vomitfests, incessant cravings, regular hunger, AND going "hmm is this bag of Cheetos going to kill my baby?"

hallelujah

@Ophelia I got a book called Pregnancy Sucks towards the end, & just looking at the cover made me feel better. It was wonderful to see acknowledged in print how fucking awful it can be.

Ophelia

@The Lady of Shalott Yep, that's the one. Those editors better not tell me to think about whether this bite is "best for baby" when the only thing I'm not vomiting back up is saltines and sour patch kids. (thankfully, THAT part seems to be over).

Bittersweet

@The Lady of Shalott I ate nothing but cereal, Saltines, rice cakes and ginger ale for the first 3 months of my pregnancy. (Thanks, morning sickness!) My daughter, now age 10, shows no ill effects except for maybe an inclination for carbs.

OhMarie

My partner and I are planning to have a kid like 1-3 years from now and this just filled me with terror.

Scandyhoovian

@OhMarie This. This right here is me.

TheclaAndTheSeals

@OhMarie Ha, same, and I just pushed our timeline to 3-5 years. Nope, honey, you don't get a say; sorry, love you.

piekin

@OhMarie Ditto. Like, maybe instead of 1-3 years it should be 11-13? Or 101-103?

OhMarie

@piekin Haha, yes. We've always said we'd have kids when we were 30, but that was mostly because we got together when we were 18 and 30 seemed infinitely far away. Now that it's here I sure wish I had another decade of eggs in the ol' ovaries.

lexmarie

@OhMarie GURL, I am right there with you. I thought 30 was a magical, far-away number. My mother-in-law regularly asking my husband when we plan on having kids is also not helping the situation.

MmeLibrarian

I don't recognize a lot of this as my personal experience (not to say it isn't true/real, because I have friends who have struggled in similar ways), but the section on sleep deprivation is absolutely, 100% spot-on. My daughter slept like an angel for the first three months of her life. It all fell apart when she was four months old and it was the stuff of nightmares. She's almost eight and half months now and we've nearly regained the sanity that reigned in the first months, but it has been a battle and a half to get there.

Reginal T. Squirge

"light suicide"

Is that an oxymoron?

sarah girl

@Reginal T. Squirge I'm pretty sure it's the equivalent of "light treason."

Reginal T. Squirge

Maybe it's, like, autoerotic asphyxiation, where you almost get there.

Or maybe it's just making bad emotional decisions every day for 30 years?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Reginal T. Squirge It's like being kind of pregnant.

meetapossum

@Reginal T. Squirge I'm actually reminded of this Weakerthans song where they call it "soft suicide."

"Had one of those days where you want to try heroin, drunk driving, some form of soft suicide"

dracula's ghost

more arsenal for my war against my uterus! Huzzah!

leonstj

Holy shit i am suddenly very very glad that i live with roommates in a stupid apartment with too many speakers & mardi gras beads and too few grownup shoes or real pieces of furniture to be a viable dad candidate.

Megasus

@leon s It could still happen! So what I am saying is, guard your loins carefully people.

Also teenagers who barely know each other rarely get through it together.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Megano!
Did you make up "guard your loins"? If so: AWESOME.

shantasybaby

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll I've always heard "gird your loins" which I think is even better!

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

Oof, and I'm always all like "no, dogs are cute but we can't get a dog because then we'd have to go home and walk it, that's too much responsibility."

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

Also poop, having to use your hands to deal with poop is a major downside of dogs. How do babies stack up against dogs in the poop-handling aspect, does anyone know?

dk
dk

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Dog poop is way easier. You don't have to actually wipe the poop off the dog's butt. However! My kid only poops every week and a half (?!), so there's very little poop to deal with. Also, the kid carries the poop around with him in his diaper, so you're never out in the pouring rain, huddled over a steaming pile of crap that you have to get into a plastic bag while the dog yanks you over sideways after running after a leaf.

aphrabean

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll So much more poop with babies. SO MUCH MORE. (I don't have a baby myself; I've just been a witness.) Eventually, the babies will handle their poop on their own, though, so that's an upside, I guess?

iknowright

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll While I'm no mother, I'd assume you're not allowed to simply cover your hand with a plastic bag and pick up a neat little pile twice a day with a small living human.

(Also don't watch The Switch, because its a terrible movie, or at least I assume it is because of what happens to Jason Bateman's face when changing a dirty diaper in the first 3 minutes of the film. Or do watch it, for research, and then realize there's no theme in entertainment where dogs do this to people.)

anachronistique

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll SO MUCH POOP. Soooooo muuuuuuuuch.

Christopher Volkerts

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Babies are the rulers of poop - dogs are like the third cousin of the duke of lower Estonia in comparison. You know that one time when your dog ate that stuff and it made her poop all gooey and some of it didn't quite get all the way off and stuck right there? Yeah. That. All the time. Plus it gets, all squished up and into the crevices (crevasses ?) and the urine is all there too, and then once you get it all wiped off/up/around there is the white greasy stuff you have to smear all on there to water proof the cute little butt and the powder and such. And then the fold up the reeking poop package and put it in the poop pail. And you can't like ever really cheat and sort of pretend that maybe the poop wasn't so much that you don't have to clean it up, or that well it is the wilds and no one saw the dog do that there so I am just going to whistle and keep on going (I don't know anyone who does that of course and anyone who says otherwise is LYING). And then the babies - well they do this thing where they figure out that I can play with this stuff and smear it here and there and oh it goes in my hair too? and all over my sheets and yay smooshy playdough whee! If only they would just eat it like sometimes your dog does. That would be good. But no. Babies. Grand Doyennes of feces.

Valley Girl

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll As a dog owner, I think kids have more explosive and/or creative applications for poop, but eventually they learn to flush it away themselves. Dogs remain as poop machines for the entirety.

tessamae

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll My friend was changing her baby's diaper over the weekend, and it was a particularly full one and as she pulled it away, the baby smashed her foot down into the diaper full of poo and then kicked her leg, splattering my friend's face with poop. Her mouth WAS open.

So, yeah. Never had one of my dogs so that. :/

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

So, in conclusion:

Yes baby, no dog: poop is worse, but inside

Yes dog, no baby: poop is neater, but goes on forever and requires going outside

Yes baby, yes dog: dog will eat baby poop, problem solved!

No baby, no dog: no poop-handling, only pointed inferences from relatives and constantly wondering whether "gotta go home and walk the dog" really means "want to do something other than hang out with you"

Ophelia

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll I'm just going to keep this and save it for when I lose my mind later this summer while walking the dog and realizing that the baby has a dirty diaper and needs to be changed, stat, and the dog is barking and there are SQUIRRELS!

On the plus side, I got a backpack for the dog, so he can carry the diapers.

BuffyBot

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll I pay someone to pick up my dog's poop from my yard (old pipes - roommates tampons go in the garbage not the toilet - end in my dog's poop - worth the money to not have to think about him ingesting everyone's blood)- my niece's poop got under my thumbnail. Toss up.

Less Lee Moore@facebook

@dk Bahahahaha! Dying over here. My dog sometimes tries to run away from the poop into traffic. The worst.

EpWs

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll shaking with laughter

Inkling

@aphrabean "Eventually, the babies will handle their poop on their own..."
blerrrrgh

TARDIStime

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll re: the dog/responsibility, I can't even keep the herbs on my kitchen windowsill alive.
:S

LeafySeaDragon

sounds about right. except i never went back to work after three months and the resentment stays on both sides. YOU GET TO LEAVE!! YOU GET TO STAY!!! ugh, parenting. *and then of course the seocnd baby comes around and you get to do it all again but this time with a tiny person hanging on you 24/7.

anachronistique

@LeafySeaDragon Seriously, I have no idea how my parents managed this three times.

machinesss

Oh man, after reading last week's toddle games post I was all pro baby, but this just reminded me how awful they are and how terrified I am of getting pregnant. NO NO NO NO

Jane Marie

TL;DR

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Jane Marie Here's the gist: Babies are great! Have one sometime!

Jane Marie

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose no this is fantastic, i just hope my fetus can't read through skin and get any FUNNY IDEAS.

mabellegueule

@Jane Marie whaaaaat? Did I miss this announcement?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Jane Marie Oh, I figured you were being funny. I also was hoping to ease some discomfort by lying to you (which is another reason I shouldn't be responsible for a baby quite yet). Que sera, sera.

Jane Marie

@mabellegueule I'm KNOCKED.

mabellegueule

@Jane Marie
CONGRATULATIONS!!

That is going to be the most glam baby! All the best (from a random internet fan)

meganmaria

@Jane Marie Congratulations!

Inspector Tiger

@Jane Marie Congratulations!!

Daisy Razor

@Jane Marie Just focus on ADORABLE BABY CLOTHES. Seriously, it helps.

TARDIStime

@Daisy Razor it's a whole new world of shopping. It's even better when you buy the clothes and give them to someone else's kid, because you get the fun shopping part without the kid (at least that's how it is for childless, young me).

TARDIStime

@Jane Marie PS: congratulations, Jane!!! You'll be a wonderful mum, with the best-dressed kid on the block.

Jane Marie

@Daisy Razor and adorable topshop maternity clothes for myself :)

Thanks, all!

hallelujah

@Jane Marie & ASOS! I loved ASOS maternity more than Topshop, & I fucking love Topshop.

Kristen

I guess I wish all the people who are saying 'Oh, this is so right, exactly this' would say something about why it is still worth it, if it is. Because I don't think my relationship is worth trading in for an imaginary baby, and this essay contains literally all of my worst fears about possible parenthood shoved together in one place. I honestly feel kind of dizzy.

LeafySeaDragon

@Kristen dude my kids are AWESOME! <3<3<3 no regrets breeding with my SO he's a great dad. and i don't care if that sounds stupid, it was something i always thought about him when we dated. but babies can be tough.

StandardTuber

@Kristen My kid asked me the other day, "Why don't trees have hoods?" I said, what? He said, "Trees have trunks, why don't they have hoods?" That, multiplied by like a million, and including all the great feats of development and your heart bursting out of your chest. Seriously, my child has made my world a better place, I can't imagine not having him with me.

The infant stages and all the other parts where you want to tear out your hair just give you a tougher skin and teach you to take yourself less seriously.

MmeLibrarian

@Kristen Deep breath. Here's why it's worth it - yesterday, my pudgy, happy kid, who has her dad's giant eyes, grabbed my nose, beamed at me, and called me "mama." She also flirts with my friends, adores her dad, eats like a horse, and wears giraffe-print baby thigh-highs. It is some indescribable business.

We're pretty much even for the 23-hour labor.

dk
dk

@Kristen I never imagined what it feels like to love someone in this intense, expansive, unconditional & hyper-protective way. I love my family, I love my husband, and yet - holy fucking shit. This baby I made is just indescribable. He's 5 months old and things are hard right now (I went back to work and I'm fucking exhausted), but then he smiles at me and it really is all worth it. I used to think that kind of statement was bullshit, but it really is. He's love and joy and excitement and thrills and light and happiness and all the rest of it, all in human form. He laughs when I walk into the room. He wriggles across the bed, in his sleep, to smoosh his face into my husband's back when I get up in the morning. He has my husband's eyes, and my face, and when he's crying and I start singing to him (even with my terrible voice), he gets quiet and looks up at me with wide open eyes, totally entranced.

Kristen

@MmeLibrarian @LeafySeaDragon @Mabissa
Thank you guys. I love kids, I really do. And everything they come with seems worth it except the possibility that it might turn your relationship into an exhausted business partnership between two people who barely even like each other anymore. But I mean, obviously it doesn't have to happen like that (some parents are happy!)...it just seems like it happens often enough that it's hard for me to imagine taking that gamble.

Ellie

@Kristen For what it's worth, I'm 25, want to have kids (not like immediately, but starting definitely anytime in between like 2-7 years from now), just read this essay and am totally unfazed. Like, no deterrent whatsoever. You get to have someone(s) related to you to talk to and love and teach things to and express closeness toward for the ENTIRE REST OF YOUR LIFE! What could be more rewarding?

emeegee

@Kristen My kid is 8 months old now and every single day she discovers new things about the world that provoke her to glee. Last night after her bath, during which she splashed and shrieked like a joyfully degranged otter, we set up/knocked down blocks for about an hour so that I could watch her laugh. We followed that with a dance party, then I laid her down and read the New Yorker out loud to her til she fell asleep. This morning she woke up grinning with her scant little tufts of hair sticking up absolutely everywhere. But it's not ONLY worth it for the fun baby stuff.

It's also worth it because your relationship transforms, and you transform, and you both get chances to grow into new, stronger versions of your selves. Before we had a child, we backpacked together and adventured a lot because we liked to see new things, gain different perspectives of ourselves and our roles in the world, and enjoyed testing our abilities to endure difficult terrain. We also fought and struggled sometimes while traveling. Having a baby is a lot like camping.

I have fought with and seethed at my husband over dumb shit and real problems since the baby was born, and I fought with him and seethed at him before she was born, too. Many of the things Claire wrote about made me cringe with familiarity, but oh, lord, when I watch him singing to her, feeding her, and whispering to her as she sleeps on his chest I see every good and wondrous thing about his heart, his humor, and his character magnified hugely. I have had to become more honest about my limitations and my insecurities, and we have both learned to be more considerate and careful to make a point of being kind and gentle to each other.

Having our baby is one of the experiences (like travel, major decisions, and unexpected calamities) that has contributed to the form of the life we're building together. Worth it, just like any other hard/beautiful thing to which you might elect to devote yourself.

dk
dk

@Kristen It helps that we have a weekly date night wherein the baby gets to spend the evening with grandma and we get to go out by ourselves and talk about grownup things (such as beer). You definitely have to work to prioritize your relationship, but I think that makes it stronger and more valued. And yes to emeegee - seeing my husband kiss the baby's tummy and sing to him and worry about whether he's spent too much time in the sun has made me respect and love him on a whole new level.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@Kristen I don't regret it at all, no way. But it's much harder to articulate that beyond that. Maybe it's just easier to define what's bad whereas when the goodness is around you don't want to quantify it, just experience it?

hallelujah

@emeegee Having a baby is just like camping: intense! Oof, sorry.

emeegee

@hallelujah Oh, god, awesome, yes- thank you! I'm taking that and USING it.

thebestjasmine

@Kristen My thing is: there are a lot of things that I've done in my life that were REALLY REALLY hard at first, and still ended up being wonderful. I don't have kids, so I'm not talking toward that, but if I judged my college experience by how miserable and cold and homesick I was my first semester, I would tell everyone not to go to college. It's obviously not the same, but there is a lot that's so hard and terrible at the beginning that's great and worthwhile.

Dirty Hands

@Ellie This. This is how I feel about this piece of writing.

April Peveteaux@twitter

@Kristen I'll say it. I read this and recognized every single painful word. For me having an infant was the most stressful time in my life, and super hard on my marriage. Now I have a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old (yeah, did it TWICE) and it is SO MUCH EASIER. I get a normal amount of sleep and free entertainment via those wacky kids. My husband and I have even left the country without those little guys and it was amazing.
Someone needs to do a "It Gets Better" video for brand new parents. 'Cuz it does. In fact, it gets awesome.

planforamiracle

@Ellie I feel the exact same way as you! I'm also 25 and want kids someday in the near-ish future.
Part of the appeal for me is seeing/deciding what kind of mom I would be, and watching my potential future husband being a dad.
and @emeegee: thank you for articulating this. After reading it I am even more sure of my desire to make a family. also, I love camping, so fingers crossed I'll be a good mama! hahah :)

shantasybaby

@Kristen I guess, from the perspective of someone who knows they don't want kids, what everyone is saying is that you may totally jack your relationships up (or it might survive) but that your knew child is more important to you than that possibility. And I believe that- it seems like parental love is all-consuming and intense. But that kind of love for someone doesn't appeal to me personally, it sounds exhausting. Not just exhausting in the early years but psychologically exhausting for your entire life until you die, hoping you raising a funcitonal human being. So for me that kind of feeling -while very pleasurable for many people- is not worth screwing up my happy family of 2.

Maryaed

The two most wrongheaded things:

1. The people who tell you having a baby is fantastic amazing fun and they can't believe they get to look at the amazing weentsy toes all day, why does anyone say otherwise?

2. The people who tell you that having a baby is fucking awful and like going into the abyss, you will never sleep again or go to a movie, and only they are telling it to you straight.

It totally varies depending on the kind of person you are and the kind of person your spouse is and how the breastfeeding goes and how you choose to handle the experience and what your baggage is about letting other people hold the baby and let you get the fuck out of the house, and there is not a right answer or secret society of babyhaving knowledge.

Don't decide based on someone else's stories about months 1-6, please.

catfoodandhairnets

This is what I expected! But... it hasn't been so bad. And my baby is almost 6 months old now and I never sleep. Seriously. NEVER. There were like 3 nights when i got 4-5 consecutive hours. IN SIX MONTHS. I am much less smart than I used to be. Which does suck. As does the shelling out of vast wads of cash on things that are no fun. Diapers. Formula. Daycare. But on the bright side, we don't have the energy to spend much. So it kind of works out. It helps that I'm married to the most considerate man in the world, which shames me into not taking stuff out on him (a lesson I had to learn long before the kid). Going back to work improved things for me. Our schedules are insane, but I am able to be so much more enthusiastic and patient 2 hours twice a day and on weekends. But yeah "The person you’re with doesn’t know dick about this baby" is so true. Combined with the sleep deprivation we've had a lot of "Could she be hungry?", 'didn't we just feed her?' "meet the press was on, that's like... 3 hours ago! Poor thing is starving" Yeah, we suck. But we're having quite a lot of fun. And the baby is piling on the pounds and learning new tricks and still appears to like us, so it's all good.

catfoodandhairnets

@catfoodandhairnets Apparently sleep deprivation also affects one's eloquence.

TheBelleWitch

@catfoodandhairnets Thanks for this, from a 4.5-months pregnant lady. There's an awful lot of stuff like this on the internet about how babies will ruin you forever, and while I get the need to vent, it's awfully hard to read. It's nice to see someone saying that it's a challenge but there's fun rather than 100% negativity.

Daisy Razor

@TheBelleWitch It's harder to read about than it is to live through, although that might sound weird. When you're in the thick of it there are always little things that help you keep going, like the baby's first laugh or the first time s/he grabs your nose. For me it wasn't the baby that caused the stress so much as it was being isolated at home alone, so I learned to swallow my pride and ask friends and family to come over and keep me company even when I hadn't washed my hair in 5 days. Their company helped immensely too.

dk
dk

@Daisy Razor Yes, the isolation is the killer. My worst, most breakdown-inducing moments, were always at 3-4am when it was dark and the rest of the world was happy and asleep and I was stuck with this tiny human who Just Wouldn't Tell Me What He Wants. Use your words, baby! During maternity leave I made sure to schedule something every day - a date with a friend, a walk, a class, etc. Some reason to get out of the house. Seeing other people helps immensely! Also, find a meetup group in your area for pregnant ladies. I'm not a huge fan of meeting a bunch of strangers, but it really helped so much.

dk
dk

@TheBelleWitch Also, everything catfoodandhairnets said is true. Babies are tough business, but I am eternally grateful we kept this little "special surprise." He's totally fucking incredible, and even though he spent 3-4:30am last night jabbing me in the ribs and grabbing my boob and then making "huh huh HUH HUH HUH!!!!!" noises when I ignored him...when I rolled over to demand that he use his words to tell me what he wants (humans should seriously learn to talk WAY sooner - apparently I have to wait another 5 months or more for him to figure it out?!), he opened his mouth into the hugest smile and looked totally giddy that I was acknowledging him. He then closed his eyes and reached towards me with his little face, he mouth puckered up and opening/closing like a little fish, just trusting that I would take care of him and feed him and love him. Now I'm in the office and am SO FUCKING TIRED but I still can't wait to get home and see him tonight.

catfoodandhairnets

@dk Hah, isn't that awesome! I was trying to ignore the kid the other morning and she whipped out her pacifier and latched onto my elbow and started sucking away like a maniac.

Marquise de Morville

@dk This is what makes me worried. If all goes well, we will have a baby come May, but we will be moving to suburban CT in March. I am such a city person, that this feels like the "middle-of-nowhere" even though it isn't. I will stay at home for the first months or year, and will really try to get out of the house, but can't really drive a car and all relatives are six time zones away.

purefog

@Marquise de Morville Though it's getting a little late, you still have time to take driving lessons. I seriously recommend it. You won't be getting on the subway/taking taxis anymore. The comments about isolation should be daunting.

catfoodandhairnets

@Marquise de Morville Mom's group. For real. I mean, I KNOW. All my relatives are time zones away too, and all my friends work and/or have no kids. The 2 cool/nice women I met at mom's group got me through my maternity leave. Yeah, you have nothing in common with them except you had kids at the same time. So the first few conversations will be excruciating, but once you get through it will be clear that at least some of them are nice people. And then you can make fun of the competitive stepford wives ones together.

Marquise de Morville

@purefog You make a good point. I do have a driver's licence, I just have no experience at all, but started to do some driving practice in our car with my husband. As for taxis, I was mostly a broke grad student, so at least I did not rely on those too much :-)
@catfoodandhairnets I do hope to find a mom's group, the local library seems to have some meet-ups.

dk
dk

@Marquise de Morville: try meetup.com - that's where I found mine.

Daisy Razor

@Marquise de Morville Speaking from experience, getting back to driving in the past year (Baby Razor is 3 and we've been living away from public transportation for 2 years now) has made a huge, gigantic, and other words for "big" difference in how isolated I feel. Even if you're only comfortable driving to the park, the grocery store, and the pharmacy, it'll help your stress level.

Not to mention give you a concrete reason to get in the shower, something that is sometimes hard to find when you have an infant!

Fnolan

@Marquise de Morville It is a huge change to move from the city to CT, but personally I found the burbs to be soooo much friendlier to parents and children. People here dote on kids and its just set up to make your life easier (loads of parking, bigger libraries/schools, pediatricians with same day hours, etc. Oh, and if you want a friend just message me! I've got a 10-month old and we're always looking for other kids (and parents) to play with.

null

I appreciate these dark side of parenting perspectives, but IT'S NOT WORKING FOR ME. I am still 1000% baby crazy. This is partly because I just got out of a five year relationship and have no romantic prospects worth speaking of, but also, the kid I have now is about to become a teenager and it's freaking me out how fast it all went by.

Blondsak

Reading this, I now understand why it was SO HARD to take care of a baby in "The Sims". I must have had 10 kids taken away by Social Services in that game before the baby changed into a child. 13 years later, I am still not qualified for this job.

StandardTuber

@Blondsak "Shabaduchi!"

OhMarie

@Blondsak Once I walled a social worker into a weird closet room with no door because she was about to steal, like, my third baby, but she just teleported out and took the baby anyway. :(

martinipie

@Blondsak I saw this comment without reading the Sims comment above and had a serious moment of WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK and then it devolved into hilarity

Marquise de Morville

@Blondsak The Sims are surprisingly good at modeling this. Low income sim and baby = no rest thanks to crappy furniture/stove/entertainment and never a break. Even if you play with the "aging off" cheat you can't earn enough (and you end up with an eternal newborn). Way better simulation than these baby dolls they make teens carry around as a procreation deterrent.

@OhMarie I once had to wall in the Sims old lady babysitter after she refused to leave the house and kept eating and blocking the TV...

OhMarie

@Marquise de Morville When I got bored with the game, I also drowned a couple of people by inviting them over for a pool party and then deleting the ladder, so maybe I am just some kind of virtual sadist?

itiresias

my boyfriend is on a "i never want kids" kick and sometimes i'm like "i guess we'll break up eventually if that never changes?" and sometimes, like now, i'm like "oh god you're so right"

toastandjam

@itiresias I am going through a similar conversation w/ my boyfriend, although I think his isn't just a kick, it's for real, and maybe I am changing my mind about having kids, and I have no idea, and it's stressful. And, I'm at the age where everyone I know already has kids or is about to have one, so, I gotta get this sorted...

TARDIStime

@toastandjam It's really hard, right?
I'm a Young, so people haven't really bothered me about having babies yet (weddings, though - don't start me), but I've been with Mr TARDIStime now for over 4 years and he's 100% sure about wanting kids and I'm like totally terrified because I don't know if I do (like I said, I'm a Young) and I haven't decided yet.
I really like kids, but I have so many doubts. So. Many.
And we had a talk the other day and he's like "I'd like it if we could do kids by the time I'm 30." That is 5 years from now. I will have only just finished university. I can't see us having all that much money or owning our own home by then. I also can't see myself being ready for babies at 26, when I'll finally be able to work full-steam on a career.

amitygardens@twitter

@TARDIStime It's perfectly normal to be unsure. I love kids, and have always wanted them, but I go through periods of feeling like I would be a terrible parent. Then I talk to my two year old niece, and hear her say my name and I'm gone. That tiny little girl makes my heart burst with joy. I love watching my husband hold her and talk to her. Even though she isn't ours, I feel this sense of pride watching them interact. You still have plenty of time to decide, and the good moments for outweigh the bad.

TARDIStime

@Arielle Clemence@twitter Twinsies! Mr TARDIStime has a toddler niece, too. He'll babysit every now and then and it's usually quite the reality check for him re: the whole "babies are unicorns" thing.
She's a great kid, but she has LOADS of energy and he's always exhausted from her at the end of the day.
He's scheduled to sit in 2 weeks - I'll be sure to bring up the kids subject right afterwards!

whateverlolawants

@TARDIStime and all
Yes... I totally know this feeling. Sometimes I want kids, when I think of how nice my parents were to us as little kids, and how fun childhood could be, and how entertaining kids are, and how I egotistically think I have a lot of great wisdom to pass along. And how my boyfriend, if we end up together a long time, would be a good dad. And how much joy it would be to watch someone grow up and shape their life and encourage them.

Then I think of how I can't even make up my mind on getting a dog, and I am way more crazy over dogs than kids. How I'm so happy that I've recently found a mental balance, and I want to strengthen that by not adding anything onto my plate for a while. How easily I judge myself and get stressed out when someone depends on me. How ambitious I am, and how ADD I am. And how much I like my body AS IS and don't want to go through pregnancy and delivery. And how much money and peace and time I'd have if I never had kids. And how I'm not even sure about the idea of being with someone forever.

It makes me sad, to be honest. I'm 26, so I have many years ahead of me, but not infinite time either. I hope it all makes sense someday before it's too late. Or that I can choose one confidently and decide to be okay with it.

whateverlolawants

And I also feel bad for some of the genes I'd be passing along if I made my own kids, even though there are some good genes too. And I also remember the dark times of my sister's and my childhoods, and the stresses our parents went through, and how I don't really like having much responsibility (that doesn't end when I clock out.)

But also how beautiful the world can be, and how I want to share that with someone new to the world. Arrrgh :( :( :(

Airam Liscano@facebook

OMG. This was amazing to read...and painful. Is like, I've never heard about this...not like this. So open and honest.

I mean, I'm not married, I do not have any kids, but I could actually feel you. Feel you pain. Your troubled heart.

I hope things get better soon.

You definitly need more than love to have a family and make it work. No wonder so many couples break up after having a child.

It's hard work. We all know it, but reading this is like getting hit in the head with a hammer.

JessicaLovejoy

I don't even have a baby slowly eating my life force, and I say "OR I could just kill myself" half seriously so often it might be my catchphrase.

parallel-lines

I'm very much on the fence about having kids, my husband wants them (but I'm getting to the 'shit or get off the pot' point of my reproductive career), part of me just wishes I'm infertile. I already can sense how much having a baby will break me--it will ruin my already messed up body, it'll take away what sad sliver of free time I have, it'll destroy the things I've spent my whole life saving to buy, it will bankrupt our limited finances, and don't get me started on the sleep thing. And it'll probably destroy my marriage--I've had more than a few friends with small children divorce because they thought it'd be easier when the kids are young and won't remember it. It makes me feel immature for saying it, but I will never be able to deal with having a baby. Never in a million years.

Having a baby sound so rough, but having a toddler--now that would kill me.

whateverlolawants

@parallel-lines Part of you wishes you were infertile... I understand. Then there would be less decision-making (at least for some of us.) We could accept fate. At first I was going to say that if you wish you were infertile, you truly don't want kids, but it's not always that simple. In my opinion, anyway.

SarcasticFringehead

But what about a neanderthal baby?

Terri@twitter

This made me laugh and cry, and I read it with my 4.5-month-old sitting on my lap. I want to send it to everyone I know. Thank you.

And for those who don't want kids, don't have them! Seriously! I don't think that makes anyone less of a person. We do not all want the same things. But if you do want children, or are having one, and this terrified you, know that all the bullshit comes with some really really awesome stuff too. Last week was the worst, but my son figured out how to blow raspberries, so it was also the best.

dk
dk

@Terri@twitter YES. Nothing wrong with not wanting kids. Drives me crazy when this huge, life-altering choice is assumed to be everyone's end zone. Some people have babies, some people go to med school, some people jump out of airplanes. I suppose some people do all three, but the point is that we all get to make our own choices and kids are NOT for everyone.

But oh, they are for me! On Sunday my kid (probably a week older than yours) learned how to stick his toes in his mouth. The intense look on his face as he slowly pulls his foot to his wide open mouth, not quite making it most times, is amazing. Such determination!

catfoodandhairnets

@Terri@twitter @dk Yes, this! It's just a way of living that is different from the way of living without kids. Both have pluses and minuses. I never wanted kids until I accidentally got pregnant. And now people are all like, "Weren't we right all along? And aren't you so glad you didn't miss out on this?" And... mostly no. You're not right. It's indescribably different, but not necessarily better. As an older first time parent I know that there's something indescribably fabulous about booking a plane ticket to a remote ountry i've never been with no plans and just one small bag. I won't get to do that maybe ever again. I do love my baby, but my life is now going to be very different than the one I had planned it would be -- and I'm resigned to many of those things rather than enthusiastic about all of them. I'm enjoying the baby more than i thought, but I still hate all the things I thought I would and I KNOW I would've been perfectly happy if I'd never had her. I like to be that voice, because the pro-baby pressure can be pretty intense.

hopscotchontherocks

@catfoodandhairnets Ah, it's so good to hear this perspective! I am 90% sure I don't want to have babies and I feel such weird guilt about it. I actually think I'm 100% sure, but that guilt makes me pretend that I'm still considering it...

catfoodandhairnets

@hopscotchontherocks Aaaand, if you mess up and have an accident at a weird emotional time that means you inexplicably decide to keep it, it will also be ok! :)

hopscotchontherocks

@catfoodandhairnets It is! I'm sure if I happened to fall into having a child, I'd fall in love with the baby and adjust to motherhood just like everyone else does. But not having a baby doesn't make me any less of a person or a woman.

Joanna Vaught@facebook

IT WILL GET BETTER.

But I for sure could have written this exact piece during the first six months of my son's life.

werewolfbarmitzvah

Oh maaaaaaan! See, I've got a baby due to come flying out of me this summer, and I keep seeing all of the messes and lack of sleep as potentially manageable for as long as I at least get to be on maternity leave (side note: thanks a heap, United States, for having such stingy maternity leave policies!). The part that scares me to death is the part where I have to go back to work. Exhaustion is fine, as long as I can be exhausted AT HOME! What I don't like the sound of, is being on two hours of sleep and then having to somehow get cleaned up and properly dressed and show up in a stupid office and stay all alert and professional during boring meetings when all I want is to be at home. At hoooooome. Where my baby and I can put on some Steely Dan and have a mommy-baby dance party until we both fall asleep, and where I can put on a comfy sundress instead of business casual clothes, and where I don't have to pretend to be all wide awake and interested when someone comes up to me and asks if I emailed so-and-so about the whoseywhats or if those invoices came in, etc., when all I can think about is how tired I am. People who telecommute are so, so lucky.

Ophelia

@werewolfbarmitzvah Just out of curiosity, when this summer? I think we're on a similar timeline. Maternity leave lunch?

Also, I'm a telecommuter, but I travel for work frequently (due to the telecommuting), and I'm terrified of the first time I'm going to have to be gone for 3 days...like, how does that even WORK if you're breastfeeding? I'm not sure my schedule is really all that sustainable post-baby, and I hate not being able to come up with a workable plan at this point. (Actually, the not being able to plan for this, beyond a basic, "yes, we have diapers and a pediatrician" level FREAKS me out.)

photoalice

@Ophelia 1. You'll build up a stash of frozen milk by pumping before you go to sleep 2. I plan for relaxation too, it's my own version of a sauna, but don't stay in too long or you'll pass out. By which I mean, I also hated not knowing what would come when my baby did, but figuring it out is less stressful than you think, and you get many, many chances to get it right. You can do it!

werewolfbarmitzvah

@Ophelia Ah, maternity leave lunch actually sounds like a great idea! My official due date is July 9th, though who knows, it could probably happen anytime between July 4th and Bastille Day. Hows about you?

And oh my lordy, thinking about how to handle the childcare situation after work starts back up is giving me such a headache! Everyone says that when it comes to daycare, especially daycare in NYC, the waiting lists are a mile long, and you're supposed to get on one months and months ahead of time (one of my coworkers had a baby almost a year ago, and she says she's STILL on the waiting list for a daycare in her neighborhood!), and at the same time, from everything I'm hearing about daycare, I keep picturing it as some kind of grim Charles Dickens-style orphanage/baby farm, and whenever I think about signing on with a daycare, every cell in my body is like, "Noooooo, not the baby farm! Not the baby faaaaaarm!" And that keeps stopping me from planning beyond the "here's some baby clothes and hey, we should probably think about upgrading to a 2-bedroom apartment" level.

photoalice

@werewolfbarmitzvah Oh hello, sorry to eavesdrop but I am nosy!

I found a spot in an NYC daycare a month before I needed it (oops, left it to the last minute because the thought made me shudder) and I love the daycare and have (ultimately) decided it's great for the baby although the first week was, erm, well, I felt less like that... Baby farming builds strong muscles? I live in a neighborhood that is not Park Slope or the Upper West Side etc. though.

Ophelia

@werewolfbarmitzvah I'm officially due July 3, but I'm hoping it happens on the 4th so I can have fireworks and such. Hah.

The childcare thing is baffling. I have scheduled tours at 3 places, because you have to take a tour to get onto the WAIT LIST. At this point, I'm seriously considering just hiring a grad student part-time off craigslist and hoping it all works out (also because daycare will take about 45% of my income, which is nuts, and do I really want to work this hard for that? Blergh).

amitygardens@twitter

@Ophelia I wish I lived in NYC so I could take care of your adorable babies and live in an amazing city.

Ophelia

@Arielle Clemence@twitter Seriously, if you happen to move here, you just let me know.

withatwist

@werewolfbarmitzvah and @Ophelia
I nannied about 20 hours a week my first year of grad school! It was great. Hire for a decent hourly wage (I did $15/ hour in a major city) and provide snacks/ babysitter's favorite sandwich fixings and you'll have tons of grad school students happy to come supplement their income. I also did a thing with the family where they had a blank calendar and I wrote down all of my appointments (including every class) so there would be less back-and-forth on "Hey, can you come Thursday morning?" They also had a secondary helper who was a college student that would sometimes pick up a half day or would take over for me if I needed to leave sooner than they could get home. That combination worked out really well.

Elleander Morning

@werewolfbarmitzvah
Attempt at reassuring here:
My kiddo is 7 months old and I just went back to work like, three weeks ago. and it is SO much easier than being home. SO MUCH EASIER.
I love my child. But being home with him all day stressed me out in a way that work just...doesn't. It's like this post says - no one knows what the fuck the baby wants. And when you get no sleep, he ALSO got no sleep, and my kid at least is kind of a dick about it.
Going to work - definitely getting a shower, putting on nice clothes, and leaving home to go be with adults - is like going back to being the old me again. And when I get no sleep, I caffeinate and try to hunker down at my desk.
Basically, no matter how poorly you perform at work, no one is ever going to express their displeasure with you by throwing up down your top and then screaming for an hour.
I also feel like I enjoy the full day with my son on the weekends in a way I wasn't able to on maternity leave when he just burned me out.

Not to scare you about maternity leave...

monster_mouse

@werewolfbarmitzvah @Ophelia July 5th due date here. Lotsa July babies up in this thread! I live on the UWS and haven't even gone on the tour of my birthing center, much less signed up for a childcare tour. Am I doomed? I am probably doomed. What online resources is everyone using to find reputable, non-babyfarm childcare?

offbalance

If you all will excuse me, I'm going to go and rip out my unused uterus with a fork. I'm also going to print this out and show it to my husband, who thinks having a baby will be nothing but magic and wants me to stop being so negative about "the idea." I'm not saying we shouldn't have kids, btw. I'm just saying we should be prepared for the fact that they're going to completely ruin our lives.

aphrabean

@offbalance Hahaha oh man I've had this conversation. With a man who has never ever been responsible for a child under the age of 12 for more than an hour or two.

VerityStandingStill

resisting the urge to post this on all of my expecting/new parent friends' facebook pages....

jeffersonia

I have a 4 year old and people are always asking me why I don't have another kid: "you guys are awesome parents," they say; "your kid is an awesome kid," they say. The truth is, while I love my husband and my daughter's the greatest human person in history, I don't know that my relationship with my husband could withstand another kid. And we're totally the people that everybody looks at and says, "they're SOLID." It's like I have PTSD.

MmeLibrarian

@jesslyn :: only child high-five ::

Dirty Hands

@jeffersonia It's good that you all know yourselves, then!

Melusina

There is a Christian book called Your Relationship Can Survive a Newborn, which is a similar account to this and gets pretty dark. I read it 5 years ago out of curiosity when I was bored . . . and I still don't have kids yet.

I ask people in my parents generation about whether infants are out to break you up and destroy your mental health, and they're always like, No, no, it wasn't that bad at all. But then, they want grandkids.

LeafySeaDragon

@Melusina i also think that my generation (i'm 32 had my first baby at 23) expect it to be equal. and it's not equal.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Never listen to parents whose motivation is grandbabies. They are not unbiased sources.

MilesofMountains

@Melusina My mother lies constantly about how hard it was to raise kids. Sorry mom, but I'm not fooled, I was old enough to remember when some of my siblings were babies.

theotherginger

@MilesofMountains hahaha. my mom does not. but she likes kids anyway, even though none of hers slept. ever.

whateverlolawants

@MilesofMountains Interesting. Since I was not quite 2 when my sister was born, and I was excited for her, I have warm and fuzzy memories of her being a baby. No memories of crying in the night or what-have-you. Perhaps if I'd been older, I'd feel differently (even though I'd hopefully still be as close with her.)

MilesofMountains

@whateverlolawants I think age has a lot to do with it. I'm very close with my siblings, but I was 8 when my youngest brother was born, so I have pretty solid memories of his baby and toddler years and he was a brat. My parents were of the belief that since older siblings didn't get a say on whether or not they'd have a new baby, we shouldn't have to deal with things like changing diapers or forced babysitting, I remember how frustrated and tired they were. I can't imagine how much worse it must have been when it was the first baby and they had no idea what they were doing if it was still that hard the fourth time they did it.

frigwiggin

The first two times I read "the big D is not in the picture" I did NOT think it stood for "divorce." I blame...someone around here. You know who you are. All of youse whose mind went to the same place.

Jinxie

@frigwiggin No comment.

fabel

@frigwiggin Same. It took me an embarrassingly long time to finally be like "Oh...OH. She means 'divorce'"

Jane Err

This reminded to me pick up my birth control today.

Cavendish

I'm 23 weeks pregnant (eep!). I started reading this but had to stop. When should I finish it?

parallel-lines

@Cavendish five years from now?

Valley Girl

@Cavendish After your first good uninterrupted night's sleep after the baby is born.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@Cavendish When you're about two months in. Don't worry.

Ophelia

@Cavendish I'm 17wks, and I just read the whole thing. And now I can't take it back :-/

meganmaria

Look, babies are tough. I have a 3 1/2 week old and getting up in the middle of the night to feed and change him and calm him back down to sleep is not how I'd prefer to spend my nights, but he really is pretty great. I was kind of on the fence about having babies when I got pregnant, but the cuddly little bug snuggled on my chest right now is totally worth it. I'll admit that sometimes it's hard to figure out what he wants because he's not exactly great at communicating yet; we're only starting to be able to decipher what his cries mean, but you learn and adapt and if all else fails, pop a binky in that mouth or put them in their crib and go collect yourself. However, babies aren't for everyone and its important to make sure you know what you want before you commit to one.

Also, this, exactly:
"I can’t fathom how teenagers who barely know each other get through this, nor couples who figure that a baby will somehow solve all their problems (this seems like trying to cure your diabetes via hamburgers)."

iceberg

I feel like anything I say here is just going to be the typed equivalent of a bitter laugh, and then I'll feel like an asshole.
I often fantasize about how much easier it would be to just have one baby, or even two (I've triplets). But that doesn't make your experience any easier for you; sleep deprivation is the worst and absolutely shattering and I value beyond words the intensely honest writing about parenting that is to be found on the Pin.

Ophelia

@iceberg Have you ever thought about writing a post? I know your experience has been atypical, but you seem to come from a good place of love and snark.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Ophelia "A good place of love and snark" translates to "you come from a realistic place" to me. And I agree, bee tee dubs.

hallelujah

@iceberg GAHHHH triplets??? I often thank my lucky stars I only have one. I cannot. even. imagine.

EDIT: Carseats!!!!!!! Oh my god, do you go anywhere?? How??

iceberg

@Ophelia @I'm Right on Top of that, Rose - I have! There may be a piece or two coming up.

@hallelujah - 1. Minivan 2. Eventually 3. With a bit of planning! It's easier now they can walk out the front door, down the steps and to the car on their own ;)

EDITED TO ADD: See how my numbered answers make literally no sense. Sleep deprivation in action, my friends.

MarlaRae

hooray hooray this is amazing. I'm expecting twins in April. holy moses.

iceberg

@MarlaRae Congratulations!!! I highly recommend (a) joining a local parents of multiples group, or at leastFacebook group and (b) doing a multiples "preparedness" course - our OB recommended one that was done at our local hospital.

RubeksCube

@MarlaRae Ditto re:congratulations! I am also expecting in April. This was essay wonderful for me. :)

Carrie W.

So I had four kids every other year and they are now almost 11, almost 9, 5, and almost 7. I laughed and laughed at this essay. The first was a devil child who wouldn't sleep. The second was an angel baby that I had to wake up to feed. The 3rd and 4th were in between. I am now physically unable to sleep in past 7:00 am. They are big enough to entertain themselves on a MLK day morning, fix a breakfast snack, watch TV, play on the computer, etc. Why can't I fall back to sleep? Whyyyyy? I guess it is from years of waking up early and never getting more than 6 hours a night.

So my perspective: The hard stuff is just as bad as everyone says. The good stuff is just as great as everyone says. Of course it's worth a few years of diapers and breast pumps and no sleep. The payoff: helping put together awesome Halloween costumes, forcing your son to waltz at cotillion, Disneyland!!, Christmas!!, cheering at a swim meet, learning to put hair in a bun for a dance recital, watching the original Parent Trap movie again, etc., etc.

I had Millie Dog for years and I loved her. I dressed her up for Halloween and gave her a presents for Christmas. She pulled me out of boderline depression. I cried when she died. But it was the same same same. Kids go through stages and learn so much and then (hopefully) graduate and move out and start everything all over again. Next year will be a million times different from this year, and that is awesome.

Nicole Cliffe

I finally acknowledged I am a Working Mother, even if my job is, like, listing masturbation mantras online, and added some weekday morning childcare into the mix, and I feel, like, so many decades younger I am basically the StarChild from "2001: A Space Odyssey." It gets a lot better. So many hugs of empathy, Claire.

photoalice

@Nicole Cliffe Mr. Baby and I had a wildly sleepless night last night thanks to a real shithead of a tooth, and today I almost made out with the daycare lady when I dropped the baby off even if I only use my work-at-home time to read this piece 50 times and nap.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@Nicole Cliffe Thanks girl. We're all W.M.'s in our own way, eh? I just realized I need time away from the baby sometimes in order to be the best mom I can for him (also, we need $$$.)

angelene

@Claire Zulkey@twitter You also need a healthcare system that doesn't CHARGE YOU 600 DOLLARS WHEN YOUR BABY IS RANDOMLY SICK. What the hell.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@angelene And I have GOOD INSURANCE! Can you imagine?

Nicole Cliffe

I had a $5000 co-pay for delivering in my in-network hospital. Even though it was a midwife and no drugs. Like, you charged me $5000 to writhe in agony on a bed for several hours.

Nicole Cliffe

And that's just what my insurance company charged ME. They probably got charged $40K, or something.

whateverlolawants

@Nicole Cliffe Oh lord... ugh...

thebestjasmine

Okay you guys, I have some advice! No, I have no children, it's not that kind of advice. But one of my best friends just had twins, and boy oh boy did she deal with all of this and more, until a wonderful thing happened (well, it didn't start wonderful, she got sick and her husband was awake for 48 hours taking care of all of them): her sister paid for a night nanny a few nights a week.

NIGHT NANNY, YOU GUYS. They are super expensive, so I am not saying that this is a normal thing that normals can pay for, but make your girlfriends/grandparents/parents/friends at work all chip in and get you like two nights a week of a night nanny for a month or so. Instead of cute baby clothes, chip in with your friends to get your girlfriend a night of a night nanny. Seeing my friend the week after she had the night nanny vs. the week before was like seeing her after she'd been to a spa, I'm not kidding, and she only had the nanny there a few times a week.

This is harder if you are breastfeeding for all of their nutrients, because you might not want them to be on the bottle at all if you're not pumping, or your boobs may need the break (my friend had twins and so was half breast milk half formula), but it would still give you the ability to get up, feed, and then go back to bed without the changing/burping/crying thing. NIGHT NANNY. I feel like this is going to be my baby shower present for every new parent forever after this.

iceberg

@thebestjasmine You are an angel from Heaven.

all the bacon and eggs

@thebestjasmine I have heard from several people that a night nanny saved their marriage.

TARDIStime

@thebestjasmine This is genius! Also: mother care nurses.

packedsuitcase

@thebestjasmine I'm remembering this! One of my best friends is pregnant with twins right now and I was wondering what I could do for them - she'll have her mom here for a while, but it might be good to have a bunch of us chip in for this for a break after her mom has to leave. THANK YOU!!!

photoalice

This post could not have come at a better time since Mr. Baby has a tooth or a tiny devil in his mouth that woke him up many, many times last night, and his dad and I chased our tails in a useless, hypothetical argument and then this morning I took our benevolent dictator to daycare but on the way I crouched down to scoop up my dog's poo at which point the furry beast got scared and tried to run off so I tipped right over on the sidewalk but the baby wasn't crushed and I held on to the poop and I cried, and a questionable but kindly old man helped me up and I gathered my huge bags of baby meshuggas and shuffled off to daycare, sniffling and wreathed in self-pity and boogers. But! I have to say. I kind of miss the baby and can't wait to see him and that cute/stupid little tooth at 6:00.

Ophelia

@photoalice Ah, honey, do you want a hug?

dk
dk

@photoalice Yikes. My kid's teeth are coming (the copious amounts of drool are already here) and I am SCARED. I had a crappy night last night too, but mine was just because the baby has taken to jabbing me throughout the night (or grabbing my chin while I'm asleep and then laughing like a maniac). Remind me again why we co-sleep?

photoalice

@Ophelia Yes! (My heart is warmed by this - who knew the internet was good for more than pictures of Michelle Obama's cute bangs?!).

photoalice

@dk Part of the sleep deprivation comes from baby waking confused and pokey about the fact that my back doesn't have boobs, where are the boobs, why has she retracted the boobs??

(The chin grabbing sounds so cute/terrible though)

dk
dk

@photoalice Sometimes he buries his face in between my husband's shoulder blades, and then roots around confused and asleep, before wailing "WHY DOESN'T DADDY HAVE BOOBS TOO?!" (my interpretation)

I wonder the same thing, kid.

dk
dk

@photoalice and yes, the chin grabbing thing is so annoying until I open my eyes and he's staring directly into them, about 4 inches away, and he just looks so thrilled to have gotten my attention. Like I am the best price. I am mush.

Um, WTF Interrobang

This is all so, so true. I didn't know what resentment was until I was exhausted from nursing ALL NIGHT LONG and my husband would complain about only getting six consecutive hours of sleep.

But we were so in love with Kid One that we had Kid Two. And we have since learned that being able to laugh a bit while both toddlers are losing their shit at 1am and share a "WTF is going on with these exhausting, wonderful little turds?!?" look goes a long way toward diffusing anger and building team spirit.

packedsuitcase

I just patted my uterus and thanked my lucky stars for Mirena. And then sent this to Dudefriend even though I'm sure it will give him a big case of The Sadface. He got The Sadface on Saturday when I proposed adoption after getting a big ol' dose of "This is what it's really like to give birth and try to breastfeed when your nipples turn completely to scabs and your boobs feel like ginormous lava rocks" from my friend whose baby is 3 weeks old. Terrifying.

dk
dk

@packedsuitcase Not to try to change your mind, but breastfeeding is not the same for everyone. I love it. It hurt at first, but that didn't last long and it's been super easy ever since. I've seen all different experiences among my friends, but none of them have had the extremely awful cases that I see written about online.

packedsuitcase

@dk Yeah, she seems pretty happy with it now, but apparently the first week was terrible. Honestly, I kind of *want* to have my mind changed. Dudefriend's Sadface was heartbreaking and adorable and made me fall in love with him all over again and he was only talking about wanting them someday. I can't imagine what it'll be if we have babies and I see him playing with them.

dk
dk

@packedsuitcase If you want a changed mind, I can do it! I loved being pregnant! Loved giving birth (yes, you read that correctly)! Love having a kid! Hearts & flowers & stars everywhere! The above article is absolutely true, simultaneously, of course. But OH so worth it (if you actually want it - not at all worth it for people who have no interest). And you're totally right that you can't even imagine what it will be like seeing Dudefriend playing with your baby...it's ridiculous. My husband regularly says "he's just so BEAUTIFUL" after putting the baby down for a nap, and does everything he can to make him laugh because "it's the best sound in the whole world" and good god does it make him even dreamier than he was before.

He texted me at work the other day to complain about being stuck indoors on a rainy day with a cranky baby, and I told him to take the baby out, anywhere - no matter where he goes, the ladies around will be all "oh em geeeeeee a man with a baby!!!! Can I help you?!" Dudes with babies, man.

packedsuitcase

@dk So, apparently the Dudefriend has some magical bad baby news repellant? Because I sent him this article and he said, "But they got through it!" Seriously? That was your take away from this?!?!

Oh, but the idea of seeing him holding a kid that the two of us made? Butterflies.

packedsuitcase

@packedsuitcase Wait, I misremembered. He was even more positive than that: "But it did bring them closer together. :)"

Bad baby news repellant. Seriously.

mooseketeer

@packedsuitcase my husband had the exact same reaction!!! He was like "That article was so uplifting!!"

dk
dk

@packedsuitcase Aw, I like Dudefriend. I showed this article to my husband, and he was all "Do you think it's that bad?! It doesn't seem that bad to me. It's hard, but I'm happy." And this was a man who didn't think he wanted kids initially (he changed his mind before I got pregnant - it wasn't an "oops, I'm knocked up, guess you'll have to deal!" situation. Although, it WAS an "oops, I'm knocked up" situation. Anyway. TMI.)

Tarra@twitter

I really want to focus on how funny your article is, but I'm distracted by how sad I am that yet again, eating and diabetes is used as "funny example" online.

RIP my pancreas.

Ophelia

Hey, so does anyone out there want to talk about the equal partnership vs. biology thing? Because I think I'm going to have a tough time with that, but based on our respective jobs, and the fact that I plan to breastfeed this kid...it looks like I'm going to be the primary caregiver, at least at first, no matter how much my husband wants to participate. What has it been like for everyone? Was the sanity/price tradeoff of daycare worth it?

MmeLibrarian

@Ophelia I was the primary caregiver for my daughter for the first six months of her life, and, honestly, it was mostly pretty great. It was nice to have little to worry about outside of her tiny life. I had days of resentment and boredom, but I made a point of calmly (CALMLY) articulating my problems when they arose and my husband, bless him, made sure to generate some novelty/come home with presents.

At the same time, I would urge you to monitor your sanity and be 100% ready to scuttle any plan that you've made if it's undermining your or your husband's well-being. You can't care for your baby if you don't care for yourself first. For example, early on, my family realized that, for various reasons (both biological and psychological), breastfeeding just was not working for us. Daughter and I switched to formula and I beat myself up for about a week. Then I noticed that I was sleeping more, felt better, and that my baby seemed to be experiencing the same. No matter what the internet or your mother may yell at you, just do you and listen to yourself and your kid. Everything will be fine.

Carrie W.

@Ophelia You can totally do it! I used a breastpump and started building up a supply about two weeks before I went back to work. I pumped twice a day at work. My husband is a suuuuuuper great helper and dad. Daycare is expensive! I just went into "suck it up" mode and started shelling out the dough. I interviewed lots of licensed in-home day care ladies and picked one and it all worked out. I don't think I'd be a great full time stay at home mom. I work for the school district, though, so I get to pretend to be stay at home mom during the summer and then back to the real world the rest of the time.

siniichulok

@Ophelia I have no answers for you, because the same primary caregiver thing is going to happen to me (was unemployed when I became pregnant and got complications that prevented me from working soon after, now look much pregnant-er than I am so nobody will hire me, etc.). But I really want to know....I'm planning on breastfeeding, though I have nothing against formula and know it's not up to me...but what if I'm exhausted from doing the biological thing--in terms of fairness, do I get to prevail upon my sleeping employed husband to grab a bottle, or not? I don't even know....I'm looking forward to seeing other people's answers!

hallucinas

@siniichulok You can definitely throw random bottles into the mix (or once a night) after your breastfeeding is established (~6 weeks in).

LeafySeaDragon

@Ophelia i've been a SAHM for 9 years. i was not planning to be for my second child (my kids are three years apart) but due to some behavioral issues ("wide spectrum of normal" ugh... my kid does NOT have add/autism but really he kind of does blah blah) it turned out that way. i have been able to enjoy every stage of my kids childhood. i was THERE for every step, word, owie, etc. so - i'm the primary caregiver (breastfed twice with no bottles but seriously, there is more to babies than eating. my husband pulled his weight when he was around). my husband leaves at 6am for work and gets home at 6pm from work. sometimes i feel like a damn single parent. i HAVE gone back to work a couple of times - but i had to stop due to issues with the kids/childcare. sometimes i think my kids like their dad more, because he's more "fun". he doesn't yell, we do fun family stuff on the weekends. dad is awesome. the hugest upside is that i can take the credit for they way that they turned out. my kids are AWESOME. i'm biased, but other kids kind of depress me. there's a fundamental difference between handing your kids off to someone else for 10 hours a day and being there all the time. not picking a fight with anyone, that's my personal opinion. sometimes i wish i could work because then we might have more money, that might change my opinion. it's been rocky at times, but the flashes of what my life would be like if i was working was worse. there is such a dissconnect. the only upside i saw was that the house didn't get dirty because no one was ever home! *as a stay at home mom your life revolves around housework. my husband takes out the garbage on garbage day and makes me breakfast on the weekends. other than that - it's on me. i lost my point. i hope some of that was coherent.

catfoodandhairnets

@Ophelia Yes sweet daycare. Don't feel guilty if you choose to go that way. For me, like i said above I am more able to actively engage with and enjoy my baby for the time I'm home because I work. When I was home on maternity leave I was thrusting her in my husband's arms and bolting out the door as soon as he got home more than half the time. Daycare workers are sweet lovely ladies who love children and whose job it is to constantly think of different age appropriate activities! I know she gets more stimulation from being in both environments than if she were just home with me. Plus! Even if you have to give them YOUR WHOLE PAYCHECK you are maintaining a work history and maybe still building somw small amount of retirement savings. The ability to stay financially independent no matter what may happen in my relationship is a huge thing to me. I nurse and pump. All night. That means on weekends he gets up with the baby and lets me sleep. And takes on other crummy tasks as assigned when able :)

dk
dk

@Ophelia The balance is tricky. And sometimes it just doesn't exist. I was home for 3 months, then went back to work (2 months ago). My husband is a student, so he took last semester off and we were both home 24/7 with the baby - he is now taking night classes so he's home during the day, then I take over at night. My mom helps out too. I'm breastfeeding, and pumping at work. It's hard at night - we co-sleep, so I nurse at night. It doesn't make sense for my husband to wake up, get a bottle, warm it, and feed the kid, the whole time while the kid cries impatiently and prefers the boob anyway, and I'm right there, clearly no longer asleep so why don't I just feed him already. So, I get cranky because I work all day and then parent all night, whereas my husband parents all day, and then either goes to class or gets the night off. But because of biology, that's how it worked out. So I just have to tell him that I'm cranky, and then he agrees to take over diaper changing duty in the middle of the night, and then asks me to tell him what I need instead of pouting, and I apologize, and we all move on.

Ophelia

@everyone - thanks!! Just hearing the plurality of stories is really helpful. My husband is a lawyer (with lawyerly hours), and I work from home as a grant writer, so my job is already going to be more flexible...it's so strange to have this Giant Life Event coming, and really not know how I'll feel about it all afterwards? Gah.

dk
dk

@Ophelia Also, one huge thing that really does make the imbalance worth it...there's no one like mom. The other day the baby started crying after I got out of bed. I peeked in, and my husband was laying next to him, shushing, singing, patting, the works. Nothing helped. I went in and laid down on the other side of the baby and without me doing a single thing he smiled at me and stopped crying immediately. This happens every few weeks. Sometimes he just wants his mom, and goddamn if that doesn't make any biological imbalance seem just fine to me.

Joey

Love, love, love this. Thank you for writing so honestly about being a new parent. I have a tween now. In some ways things seem even harder now and I quake at the thought of teenage years. Quake. Truth: I often pick up my little dog and feel so grateful for her silent and abiding sweetness, her cheer, and general dearness. And I am one of the moms out there who is crazy loving being a mom and who loves her child so much I'd die for her just like that if need be, wouldn't even hesitate. So yeah, thanks for your honesty and gosh I wish I could offer to babysit! I thought I was the only one who went to church in desperation: "they'll watch the child for an hour, oh, bliss!"

CatNaut

And this is why I'm childfree. Thank god for my tubal ligation.

GJC
GJC

Whew! I feel so much better knowing I am not the only one who went through that! And my husband was deployed when I gave birth and was gone for the first 5 months, and I worked full time (only took of 7 weeks), and I had no family or friends nearby because we weren't from where we were living. I was MISERABLE! And thank you to everyone, the few "friends" I had, and my family, who made me feel like I was a complete piece of shit for not being elated about being a new parent!

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@GJC Those people are the worst. The suffer from a very irritating form of amnesia. I hope I never do that when I'm older and these days are far behind me.

The Lady of Shalott

@GJC One of my big fears is that my fiance will be deployed and miss births and the first few months of his kid's life. (Or lives.) (We'll see.) I know that my parents and his parents are both totally on board and planning to be as involved as I/we want them to be, but still IT SCARES THE CRAP OUT OF ME.

ThatJenn

Ooof. I have always assumed I'd have a child someday, and now I am set to marry someone who does not want one, and occasionally I think that it would be great if I could convince him, but I love our relationship as it is right now SO MUCH that it's hard to think about, even when I only think about the good parts of having kids. This is a useful reminder to cherish what I have and not push for things when I'm pretty sure it's 99% biological/social imperative rather than an actual desire to do this to my life.

jfruh

My parents broke up when I was about two and a half years old. Recently, one of my best friends and his wife broke up less than a year after they had a baby, and when I told my parents (both of whom know him pretty well) they were not shocked as I anticipated but both basically said "Oh, right after the baby came, yeah, that'll happen." I had to sort of laugh. It's like, all those books they gave me about how divorce isn't a kid's fault were LIES.

angermonkey

@jfruh This article has terrified me into sterility. I am not even kidding. All I can think is that all those comments from parents about "oh! They're miracles! you'd love your own!" are just a sneaky, sneaky way to get me into their misery club with them.

Stephanie Pulley@facebook

Thank you, Thank you! We have also been going through this with a few major exceptions: 1] I (mother) am in grad school working on my PhD 2] He (father) just had to foreclose on a house 3] finances are exceptionally tight (even with student loans) 4] None of our family is local, 10-13 hr drive away. In conversations our relationship/situation is compared to other couples. I point out that our can not be compared to theirs unless they have a 2 yr/old and one of them is also in grad school.

Zoe Stevens@facebook

@Stephanie Pulley@facebook That's not sanctimonious at all. You must be a hoot at parties.

dj pomegranate

@Stephanie Pulley@facebook That sounds...stressful. Especially with the added bonus of foreclosure--oof. Keep your chin up!

clipse

I don't have kids but I still want one (or two!) after this. I heard someone say one time that they don't realize how happy they were until after the fact, so I hope that that happens for you. Even if this seems like your own personal hell right now :)

DoilyMadison

The two resources I shove into the hands of all expecting and new parents over and over until they listen to me are The Wonder Weeks and askmoxie.org's sleep regression posts. Because there are many, many days when your baby becomes SOMEONE ELSE'S DEMON CHILD and there is almost always a weird brain explosion happening. Knowing that you are not alone is a much better feeling than wondering exactly what you did to break the baby and fighting about who broke the baby and no we are never getting intimate again, you disgust me, at 4 AM with soggy nips.

dk
dk

@DoilyMadison I LOVE THE WONDER WEEKS. Every time we get the demon child, without fail, I look at the book and OH WHAT A SURPRISE there's a whole chapter here, describing EXACTLY what is going on. The baby is 21 weeks old now, and the Week 19 chapter was spot fucking on.

DoilyMadison

@dk Seriously, ours is almost two and we're still having what we lovingly refer to as "twat days" that are followed by things like suddenly using possessive tense. I guess what I'm saying is, if my brain was exploding, I would also maybe have disturbed sleep/bite someone.

All I want in life is for those amazing Dutch people to make a Wonder Weeks that covers ages 2-18.

dk
dk

@DoilyMadison Seriously. What am I going to do when the book stops telling me that my kid's world is suddenly upside down, and what games to play with him to make everything fun?

catfoodandhairnets

@dk Do you get the Wonder Weeks emails? Because I was sitting on the couch at 4 am with a wide awake baby one night last week wondering WTF and I checked my email and there was a "It’s time for your baby to make the fifth leap in his mental development!" email. And all of a sudden my whole frame of reference changed -- It was like, oh! Cool! you're not just being an asshole baby!

dk
dk

@catfoodandhairnets I WILL NOW.

An hour ago he sat up on his own. He then promptly face-planted, but oh my god the joy on his tiny face as he sat there, sorta trembling, all by himself! Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaby I am smitten.

Zoe Stevens@facebook

So glad I don't have kids.

CaptainSplashy

I must be in the stratospheres of cluckiness, because I read this, was HORRIFIED, clicked on a link to baby-swaddling and was immediately mollified. Tiny feet! Little cheeks! So snoozy! The thought of my dude being a dad warms the cockles of my ovaries, and I am filled with the warm-but-possibly-delusional belief that we can take on a newborn baby.

That said, this story is being sent to said dude immediately (and stuck on the fridge), so that when the time comes that I want to scratch his eyes out for not knowing how to sterilise a bottle, we will remember that it is okay... This too shall pass.

Nan
Nan

Did anyone else feel like this accurately described their grad school experience?

Spinach Party

Hoooooooooooooooly moly. Reading this this morning was extra terrifying as I entered the THIRTY-SEVENth day of no period. A period which I very very much wanted to come and expected to come around day 29-30.

I am writing this 30 minutes after finally getting it, thank the lord. But also- this was a great piece and I will keep it for future years when I cross my fingers that a test reads positive and not negative. I mean, that baby is pretty damn cute.

rabbitwithfangs

I'm seven months pregnant. Why, why, why did I read this?

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@rabbitwithfangs Just forget about it for now! It may not apply to you at all. And if it does, then you're not alone.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

I get the 'I can't do this. Time has stopped and I'm going to die' feeling over missing buses and having to do more than 2 things at once, so safe to say I'll never be reproducing. What an absolute nightmare it sounds. Yeah babies are cute, but boy you need to be resilient to deal with them.

JBC
JBC

For those of you who do want/are having kids...it's not like this for everyone! Truly, I have 2 kids (4 and almost 2) and the sleep deprivation is really really hard, but man, there is such great stuff involved! I think the thing that helped me was just getting on with my life as much as possible WITH the babies - wherever I went, they came too. If I wanted/needed a shower, they sat in a bouncy chair while I showered. If I wanted to go grab some coffee and sit in a public place, you know, with other humans, they came with me. All. the. time. We went for long walks, to the art museum, to people's houses. On plane trips. From the time they were like 6 weeks old. And the funny thing is, I think taking them everywhere helped them learned how to BE in the world and I think it's one of the reasons I kept a sense of feeling normal. Also, my husband and I started the habit of taking turns going out. One week, I'd go grab a drink with a friend, the next week, he'd go to a concert with a friend. It helped A LOT. Still does! Plus, the expansive love business is legit.

Holaolala

@JBC and also @thebestjasmine and @Claire Zulkey@twitter

I feel like there's definitely some helpful, cultural information that we can grow. Info can be very important, and so can support. Teh babies they cry because they have such big brains, but also such outsized needs. They rely on their peeps for SO MUCH in the beginning.

We rely on each other so very much as a species, on our shared wisdom, knowledge and care. And that's stuff we can really cultivate.

I don't have kids, don't think I will, but I fall in to that category that would LOVE a kid/kids... it's just that I feel committed to a different path for my life. But I so get the joy that makes the difficulty worth it.

That said, I do feel like maybe some of that difficulty could be ameliorated somewhat, and also should be? Like, it's possibly no accident that ClaireZulkey felt better after putting this post out there? Because she could express herself, and probably know that she would be understood, and even embraced for it? Support is so so important. And we can all start to turn on each other when things get tough (I know for the camping/traveling analogy, I've.... not always been my best self in some of those moments. I have turned. on. my. fellow travelers/campers when things went awry. Not proud of it.)

I mean, it not usually a cushy ride the whole way thru life, and we can grow and learn a lot from difficulty, but otoh I feel like parenting has too often been wracked with a kind of drama and trauma that could (and if at all possible should) be minimized.

When I was growing up, my bf had a gay uncle and there were always a lot of supportive gay dudes around game for some "kid time". And now that gay folks are out and procreating (as opposed to doing so while in the closet), but other grown adults are being given the socially accepted option to not procreate, if they choose not to, it seems like we could create a bit more of an inclusiveness alternative so that it's socially acceptable to help your friends' kids grow up (and your friends with kids not go insane). Because I am an awesome aunt even though I am an only child... (but I haven't yet had the opportunity cause no friends with kids).

And for reals, that night-nurse thing should become a baby shower thing. People needs way less "stuff" for the baby (so I've heard) but sanity (and sleep) are good "things" to have...! Better than a new baby bouncer? (I'd take one used and opt for the sleep instead, I can tell you that much in a heartbeat!!)

I can say for dead certain that I wish that my parents were less screwed up by their parents, and had more support and knowledge when they had me, and that goes for the vast majority of the people I know... it's more like the exception that people had awesome parents who weren't totally screwed up and causing unnecessary trauma. I am jealous of those people and know for shure that if I ever did have kids (not tooootally out of the realm of posibility) that's definitely the kind of parent I'd like to be. And, healthy strong supportive adult romantic relationships are the best! But those kinds of relationships with your parents/kids are also the bestest (I would imagine... don't have that kind of relationship with my mom, though I love her of course).

Jessica Hall@facebook

this article is so true! i have a three month old and he NEVER sleeps! im convinced him and his two year old brother take turns tortuing mommy. when i get one to sleep the other wakes up, so after Aaron has sat up all night and goes to sleep his brother wakes up for the day. my hubby is a marine and hes never around so im pretty much on my own all the time. i can see why people shake babies and few times ive been so tired ive had to lay him down in his crib and let him cry so i dont throw him outside lol

LaLoba

I have a lot of experience with sleep deprivation from my life as an insmoniatic light sleeper and from taking care of sick animals. I don't enjoy it! Also, I don't think babies are cute or pleasant to look at. I like kids once they're around four - I really like them around seven and up! I've worked with kids a lot and I feel comfortable around them. But when I see anything that can't walk yet I am not attracted to it, I don't want to touch it, I don't even like the words people use to describe it and my almost unknowing instinct is to refer to "it" as an "it" without even realizing it til this far into a comment! I feel sort of nauseated by the sight of them, the sound of them, thinking about them, hearing people talk about them. I think I feel what other people feel when they look at under one year olds when I look at baby animals or animals that I have a close relationship with. When I look at my sleeping dog I am filled with unpronouncable light and a drugged feeling of uncorkable , billowing goodness at the bounty of the world but when I look at a baby sleeping I kind of want to ralph and that is the crazy goddamned truth

John Johnson

and they crap their pants.
on a regular basis.

granny squares

@John Johnson Should I have children, I plan to live long enough that they have to clean up when *I* crap MY pants.

LeighMcG

When my son was born I called my mom and said "I've ruined my beautiful marriage." I might have also said, "I'm not sure I want to be a mom." It was so hard. He was so hard. I was so tired. Things turned around for us when I read something that said when possible have both parents get up at night with the baby. Though it seems counterproductive (your husband really could be sleeping, he has to go to work, only you can feed the baby) it's actually a great way to help you reconnect, like you're both in this s*^# show together.

http://incaseimgone.com/2011/09/13/letters-to-my-son-image-test-2/

Jane Dough

Wow. What an honest, well written post. I've never had a baby, but while reading this, I could feel what it would be like.

dontannoyme

This is a great post. Really excellent. I've rarely seen anyone attempt to dissect what a baby does to a relationship so carefully. It should be compulsory reading for all couples. Also my advice is this - just put your head down and get through it. Voila. Six years of parenting and that's my nugget of wisdom. Some of it is horribly horribly hard. And the baby stuff can be almost beyond endurance. So the trick is not to think about it - about how hard it is and how bad you feel but just to put your head down and as Winston Churchill said, KBO, keep buggering on.

It does mean turning off a part of you and that's hard. But it doesn't last for ever and then of course there's the joy...

Heike

Really good post, I'm HORRIFIED at the number of my friends who are separating or divorcing since having children, because parenting left no time to maintain the couple.

Best advice ever read in an English book called "The Bad Mother's Handbook"-
When the crying gets too much, put the baby back in the cot, step away, go to the kitchen, make a cup of tea and sit and drink it slowly for 10 minutes. A baby will not harm itself if left to cry for 10 minutes.
When the 10 minutes are up, return to battle.

OlivettiValentine

One of the mantras in our household since Baby Valentine was born is: "the baby almost always survives; the marriage very often doesn't." We tell ourselves this so we don't spend all our energy trying to care for the baby and not leave any for each other. I can't say we always remember it, because the baby screams his demands in a way that the relationship doesn't. But still. I feel like, in many cases, one of the worst things you can do to your kid is to get a divorce, so taking care of the relationship is more important than, say, getting the right kind of organic milk, or what kind of diapers you use, or even breastfeeding.

Joey

@OlivettiValentine You are wicked smart. I think you should write a book, I needed it several years ago. So, time machine, too?

Heike

@OlivettiValentine Mantra of awesomeness. I'm going to pass that one on to every parent of a new-born.

whateverlolawants

@Nicole Cliffe Oh lord... that is awful.

coraincharge

My daughter is two months and this article made me feel so much better today. You know, in the "misery loves company" kind of camaraderie. My MIL always makes me feel like I'm just doing it all wrong and she did it so much better...I kind of want to send this to her...maybe I'd get the added bonus of her not talking to me for a few weeks.

Joey

@coraincharge OMG this needs to be its own article or Ask a... submission! I hate the sound of this MIL and send this if you think it will help, I fear though, that her response would be something like, "well gosh I never heard such a....I never had any problems you just...yadda yadda..." What works with MILs like this? What kinds of things does she say to you/how does she say it? I have a vivid imagination but I could be imagining wrong. Once piece of advice I read once: if someone is saying or asking anything inappropriate, you gaze at them silently and then ask, seriously, "why ON EARTH would you say that/ask me that?" If can stop people in their tracks. Sometimes when people act in annoying ways, we just kind of go along with it or give subtle hints that we don't care for that...but it just goes whoosh over their heads.

coraincharge

@Joey The other day it was suggested to me because I breastfeed our daughter exclusively (no supplementing with formula) that I should keep a food diary because "OBVIOUSLY something I had ate was upsetting her stomach". I also got the "my children slept through the night at one month". Oh, and the "great bottle nipple discussion of Christmas 2012"...at the Christmas party at her house she kept walking around showing everyone how I must have gotten the wrong stage nipples because they were flowing entirely too fast. She showed everyone this by turning over the bottles and letting the milk dump out! Wouldn't have been a big deal if it wasn't something that took me hours to produce and bottle...but that leads into the whole thing where I'm crazy for breastfeeding. Her kids had bottles and they turned out just fine.

Joey

@coraincharge Oh I am enraged just reading this. At first she sounded just awful but then the whole POURING MILK OUT?? That's some crazy effed up sh!t right there. Sending you empathy.

Heike

@coraincharge Her children slept through the night BECAUSE they were formula fed. Formula fed babies are more 'sated', for some reason, possibly some of the bulking-out agents in the powder?
Anyhoo, unfortunately, BF babies don't start to sleep through as soon as formula babes. As far as I know.

markwillson

In order to have conversations that matter, each person needs to feel safe in expressing their feelings. This is the time to let someone share their complete thought, with no interruptions. bracelet shamballa

JP Johnson@twitter

Claire, I know it may not seem like it, but if you can ride it out for the next 2 years, it gets so much better. My wife and I ran that gauntlet, but as our daughter grew into a walking talking human being, we started to find each other again.

Charity Froggenhall

This article made me laugh my ass off, thanks!

Elleander Morning

The truth is, no one ever knows what the fuck the baby wants.

bythebye

@Elleander Morning. Speak it, sister. My second is six months old: the confusion is constant.

Jamie Nay@twitter

As a Canadian, the saddest part of this was the $600 hospital bill. That's crazy - I don't know how you Americans can live with a system like that.

baked bean

I am 90% sure I never want a baby. My cousin/bff has twins right now, and they are adorable and I love them, but I also have no clue what to do with them, suck at entertaining them, and it doesn't really look worth it. Most toddlers are sort of boring, too. I don't really gaffaw over the stupid things they say. I like the elementary-age kids who can be taught more complex things and hold conversation.
So anyway, I always figured if I ever decided to have a kid so I don't live my life lonely, adopting a partially grown one would be cool. They'd have scary sad problems. Plus this breaks my heart:
http://moheartgallery.org/gallery

Jesse Seidel-Iaquilino@facebook

Alright, I've been in situations like this and I have to tell you, I know how you feel. I am so thankful for my husband who is a stay at home dad and my mother who now lives with us. Granted, that makes me a sole breadwinner and I really don't make that much but we make do. My little one used to have his own room and would sleep through the night, lucky me, then Sandy hit. Now, he gets up one or twice a night. He also no longer has his own room as we are all crammed into the only available space we could get, his crib is now 6 inches from our bed. Our survival tactic? Switch nights. I feed on one night, hubby gets the other. Oh, and I have finally figured out that when I can't figure out what the baby wants, give him a bath. Usually it calms him and at the very least if it doesn't, he's clean.

bythebye

It's true: so, so, so much of parenting sucks (sleep deprivation is--this very night, in fact--poised to steal my soul), but--and inexplicably, given I never really liked children and given the fact that my second baby is the WORST--my children are the joy of my life.

It's also true that the pre-child relationship one shares with a partner can never be maintained post-child, but with a stoic attitude, a sense of humor, and a belief in the long view (someday, SOMEDAY, I will sleep again), that relationship will weather the baby years and revel in those moments, fleeting though they may be, of joy.

naturgrl

What a post! You basically plucked the thoughts from the past 22 months out of my head and wrote them down. I AM SOOOOOO GLAD THAT SOMEONE ELSE IS LIVING THIS RIGHT NOW. It sounds like a lot of people are, actually, judging by the comment thread:). I laughed reading this, and sat, mouth gaping, thinking "How'd she do that?? How'd she write this funny column about something I've been panicked about for like a year?"
Thank you for the laugh. Anyone wanna start a support group ?

markwillson

It is what brought you two together in the first place. By building in the time to do things both separately and together, you bring energy into the relationship by having experiences yourself that you can share with your partner. maintenance informatique

imssol

It is the northernmost of the Ionian Islands and it shares its name with the main city of the island, yacht charter Corfu Town sailing

prakash

Ultrasound tech school in usa is best school. so pls join it.
ultrasound schools in usa

rohan kapur@twitter

Yes I am agree with you. Quality of this article is very high and I want to tell you about my experience of host gator.
In all those years, I haven’t encountered any problems with them, that’s why I am addicted to it...
hostgator 1 cent

yash

I M Sure. I Don't Want a Baby. Very Nice your Post Really excellent. cheap minecraft server hosting

mohan

I feel like something I say right here is simply going to be the typed equal of a bitter chuckle, after which I'll feel like an asshole.
I usually fantasize about how much easier it would be to just have one baby, or even two (I've triplets). However that doesn't make your experience any easier for you; sleep deprivation is the worst and completely shattering and my word past phrases the intensely trustworthy writing about parenting that is to be found on the Pin. Thanks a lot your information is so useful for all people.
free minecraft server hosting

yash

Your article has proven useful to me. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content. : medical laboratory technician salary

yash

Your article has proven useful to me. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content. : CHEAP MINECRAFT SERVER HOSTING

yash

You are a very persuasive writer. I can see this in your article. You have a way of writing compelling information that sparks much interest. : CHEAP MINECRAFT SERVER HOSTING

bryan low@twitter

Several buses are available near J Gateway along with shopping centers and restaurants. J Gateway is also near to Jurong Lake Park and The Japanese Garden. Entertainment for your loved ones and friends is therefore at your fingertips with the full condo facilities as well as the amenities near J Gateway.
Thx
J Gateway Site Plan

James Walker

The post is absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration both of which we all need! Also like to admire the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your blog! acupuncture fertility

seferant

Great post. bean bags It’s good to see you to verbalize your heart and your clarity on this important issue can be easily detected. chairs Looking forward to read more. furniture bean bags sofa

Samreen Khan@twitter

A stomach ailment was involved. And then we got a $600 bill for the two nights the baby spent in the hospital due to a never-figured-out fever. click here

Samreen Khan@twitter

That’s good, I guess. But neither of us either really can pack up and take a nice little vacation to recharge and relax without the other one having a slight aneurism. bijoux fantaisie

Samreen Khan@twitter

I really like the shoes, especially high heels, because they are very charming. pirater compte facebook

iamb alan

This is one of the very useful post that entirely different for the post buy facebook fans

James Walker

This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this... load balancing

James Walker

I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way! I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Looking forward to another great posts in this blog condo neuf a vendre saint-sauveur

James Walker

Very interesting way to make web headlines. I have to admit I have never thought about that before. This technique is very interesting and I will definitely try to use it in my work too. It is really awesome that you have shared this information with us robert panhard

James Walker

An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch simply simply because I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this issue here on your weblog. forex

Samreen Khan@twitter

I had been to college: I had crammed for exams and stayed up all night on coffee and pop and maybe one or two Adderalls. But it’s just somehow different with the baby casinos

FREE VPN

Information in your website is all ways very use full. If you are looking for a good VPN solution then check this out.
Free VPN

michel

I feel like I’m constantly looking for interesting things to read about a variety of subjects, but I manage to include your blog among my reads every day because you have compelling entries that I look forward to. Here’s hoping there’s a lot more amazing material coming!
how to get your ex back fast

michel

I feel like I’m constantly looking for interesting things to read about a variety of subjects, but I manage to include your blog among my reads every day because you have compelling entries that I look forward to. Here’s hoping there’s a lot more amazing material coming!how to get your ex back free advice

michel

Pretty component to content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I success you get right of entry to consistently fast. how to get your ex back fast

michel

I simply must tell you that you have written an excellent and unique article that I really enjoyed reading. I’m fascinated by how well you laid out your material and presented your views. Thank you. bluehost reviews

michel

I would like to convey my admiration for your generosity in support of men and women that have the need for help with this particular concern. Your special dedication to getting the message all over had been wonderfully productive and have all the time made professionals much like me to attain their dreams. Your own invaluable tutorial means a great deal to me and additionally to my office workers. Thank you; from everyone of us. www.bluehostcouponcodez.com

michel

Nice post. I find out something tougher on diverse blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to learn content from other writers and rehearse a little from their site. I’d prefer to apply certain while using content on my small blog regardless of whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide link on the internet weblog. Thank you for sharing. hostgator1centcoupon.org

michel

Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and outstanding design and style. amazon discount codes

michel

Hello! I would wish to give a enormous thumbs up to the wonderful information you may have here about this post. I will be returning to your blog site to get more detailed soon. amazon discount code

michel

I’m impressed, I have to admit. Actually rarely can i encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve got hit the nail to the head. Your concept is outstanding; ab muscles an issue that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I will be delighted that we stumbled across this within my seek out something about it. amazon discount codes

michel

Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort. Yes, really. I join told all above. We can communicate on this theme. Here or in PM. amazon discount code

michel

Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort. Yes, really. I join told all above. We can communicate on this theme. Here or in PM. amazon discount code

michel

Thanks a lot for being our mentor on this niche. I enjoyed your current article very much and most of all cherished how you really handled the aspect I considered to be controversial. You are always quite kind to readers much like me and let me in my everyday living. Thank you. hostgatorcoupon-codess.blogspot.com

michel

Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info particularly the last part I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck. bluehostcouponcodes.webs.com

michel

Nice post. I learn something more challenging on distinct blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content off their writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d choose to use some with all the content in my small weblog whether you do not mind. Natually I’ll provide a link on your own internet weblog. Many thanks sharing. fat loss 4 idiots

michel

Thanks for making the honest attempt to speak about this. I believe very robust approximately it and want to read more. If it’s OK, as you gain more in depth wisdom, would you thoughts adding extra articles similar to this one with additional information? It might be extremely useful and useful for me and my friends. fat loss 4 idiots review

iamb alan

The slick motor work for YouTube establish in the Market zone as said above buy youtube views

kaka

Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on a look out for such information Divorce Lawyers Reading

yuanchingec

For vehicle owners, Yuan Ching EC takes less than 30 minutes to drive to the business hub and vibrant Orchard Road shopping district, via Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) or Ayer Rajah Expressway(AYE). Yuan Ching EC

kaka

Then, as they get up and run away, hurl it down the hall after them. It takes literally two pounds of force, you can just nudge it with your foot. Fashion accessories

Abdul Bari Khatri@facebook

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts.unblock youtube

Lious Tessy@facebook

Hello i am Tracy Anderson ,I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how i got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month,But when i meet a friend that introduce me to dr ocarca the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to dr ocarca about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact dr ocarca at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: johnecarcatemple@outlook.com or johnecarcatemple@outlook.com
and get your problems solve like me..

Cramer_cra@twitter

I read the article a couple of times and it still makes no sense at all. It just had no rhyme or reason. I couldn't even tell whether the writer was for or against the candidate.Sheboygan DJ

Cramer_cra@twitter

I actually assume this web site wants far more consideration. I’ll in all probability be once more to learn much more,whey protein side effects mayo clinic

Nayab Atif@facebook

I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month,But when i meet a friend that introduce me to dr ocarca the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to dr ocarca about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.
get the drama method

Nayab Atif@facebook

He ended up moving away from me to pursue a new life. I knew in my heart that he would be the only one to make me happy. I was relieved when I found your site and what you had to offer.
iPad Tasche

Abdul Bari Khatri@facebook

The baby is trying to break us up,” my husband announced. “And we have to work together to defeat him.” Once he put it like that, I actually felt better about the whole thing.boost your bust

linkbuilding

Good post! Thanks for sharing.It's very useful for me. I will bookmark this for my future needed. thanks for a great source. wedding DJ Sheboygan

Cramer_cra@twitter

This one helped me for a thesis which I am writing. Thank you for giving me another point of view on this difficult situation. Now I can easily complete my article. Thanks.This one helped me for a thesis which I am writing. Thank you for giving me another point of view on this difficult situation. Now I can easily complete my article. Thanks

Cramer_cra@twitter

This one helped me for a thesis which I am writing. Thank you for giving me another point of view on this difficult situation. Now I can easily complete my article. Thanks.This one helped me for a thesis which I am writing. Thank you for giving me another point of view on this difficult situation. Now I can easily complete my article. Thankshair remover

linkbuilding

If some one needs to be updated with hottest technologies then he must be pay a quick visit this web page and be up to date everyday. roll over a 401K

Muhammad Asad@facebook

Good article and straight to the point. I don't know if this is actually the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers?Unblock Proxy

psh
psh

If some one needs to be updated with hottest technologies then he must be pay a quick visit this web page and be up to date everyday
pakistan idol

linkbuilding

He ended up moving away from me to pursue a new life. I knew in my heart that he would be the only one to make me happy. dig this

linkbuilding

This is one awesome blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Great wedding DJ Sheboygan

linkbuilding

I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories. "kalorientabelle"

linkbuilding

Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before. click here

linkbuilding

Really impressed! Everything is very open and very clear clarification of issues. It contains truly information. Your website is very beneficial. Thanks for sharing great post to read

linkbuilding

Thanks for making such a cool post feng shui master

linkbuilding

Great diary here... It’s onerous to seek out quality writing like yours currently. Alkalizing Foods

Muhammad Atif@facebook

t makes me sad, to be honest. I'm 26, so I have many years ahead of me, but not infinite time either. I hope it all makes sense someday before it's too late. Or that I can choose one confidently and decide to be okay with it.
bubblegumcasting

Muhammad Atif@facebook

I also was hoping to ease some discomfort by lying to you (which is another reason I shouldn't be responsible for a baby quite yet). Que sera, sera.
bubblegumcasting

Angelina Smith@facebook

I had a huge bust up with my partner and he left me, i was so frustrated and i email Dr. Stanley and he said he could help, I must admit, I was very, very skeptical as didn't really believe he would be back after all he said, but it was just a few days when he phoned and asked to come over to talk, we talked and talked and the silly misunderstanding was all forgiven and we are back together now for good, all thanks to drstanleyspelltemple@hotmail.com, I would highly recommend his services, they do really, really work.

premiersh

, I was very, very skeptical as didn't really believe he would be back after all he said, but it was just a few days when he phoned and asked to come over to talk, we talked and talked and the silly misunderstanding was all forgiven and we are back together now for good
igi game download

John Tang@facebook

Don't all things are right, but I think you're almost alright. Good article and straight to the point. Great to see this thing. Porwin casino

Bradley Speck@facebook

My ex-boy dumped me 6 months ago after I accused him of seeing another woman and insulting him.I want him back in my life but he refused to have any contact with me.He changed his line,block me from sending him email and facebook.I was so confuse and don't know what to do. So I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimonies of how this powerful spell caster help them to get their ex back. So I contact the spell caster whose name is Dr Shiva and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 2days that my ex will return to me, and to my greatest surprise the Second day my ex came knocking at my door and ask me to forgive him.I am so happy that my love is back again. Once again thank you Dr Shiva,you are truly talented and gifted. Email: reunitingexspell2@gmail.com He is the only answer to your problems.He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing his name for the good work he did for me and people are still talking about him on the Internet. REUNITINGEXSPELL@YAHOO.COM

pinky88

But it's much harder to articulate that beyond that. Maybe it's just easier to define what's bad whereas when the goodness is around you don't want to quantify it, just experience it?
what does bubblegum casting do

pinky88

I'm due in 28 days and this just scared the shit out of me :(
what does bubblegum casting do

ghulam

I was always at least one of 5 in my class with that name. I often even had the same surname initial as others sharing my name. It really bothered me, but I knew that even if I picked a top 10 name for my children they are unlikely to have the same issue I did.internet download manager 2014

ghulam

Oh! Breathtaking post. Really this site is awfully cooperative for all concerning this. I got little important helps from here and exceedingly recommended it. Of course I will be on familiar terms with my relatives and relevant competitors concerning this blog and will wait for more. Thanks a lot…
free software

ghulam

Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional Posted on April 4, 2014 at 6:09 am

ghulam

I think one of the big reasons I like, "Classic," names is that even the most popular ones don't have that date stamped quality.|Update My Drivers 9.0

zain

Plants Vs Zombies 2 is a very popular game for PC and got the full version hiding behind a sunflower almost never suggested that the best way plant vs zombies 2 free download full version for pc

Edmon

Would love to incessantly get updated outstanding site! male enhancement reviews

Edmon

A person necessarily assist to make severely posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and up to now? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual put up incredible. Wonderful task! vigrx plus

hbgvgvcgf

Good Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is one of the most effective natural remedies for a variety of diseases: from gastrointestinal pain, indigestion and to combat anxiety. Phytotherapist Eugen Giurgiu states that this species of plant is medicinal mint par excellence containing the most effective active ingredients and curative properties. Metal Gear Solid PS Vita HD Collection
Important active substances such as menthol, a valuable essential oil, antibiotic compounds and minerals have a strong antiseptic and soothing. The infusion of peppermint combat palpitations, anxiety and contribute to reviving the nervous system.

zain

thanks for the article, I liked what you said. so continue with this beautiful work download free action games for pc

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account