Also, it should go without saying that a million different factors mean that timing is completely personal. So there shouldn’t be any pressure to work to a generic timetable, least of all any pressure from yourself. Just go with the flow innit.
Late to the party here…
The TV and I had spoken about wanting kids at some undefined point in the future (this was years ago). However, we then got told by a doctor that we probably couldn’t have kids, and that if we wanted to try, then we’d better get on with it. This bought to the fore a mutual desire to have kids (we investigated adoption alongside this).
We conceived straight away, and went on to have a second. They’re 10 and 7 now.
They drive me absolutely crazy. Not a day goes by where, if I had hair, I’d want to tear it out.
And yet, somehow, they are still the greatest thing to have ever happened to me. The infuriation is always offset by laughter, stupidity and, above all, affection.
Oh jeez that’s so our problem. We still haven’t grown out of the “bed before midnight is for saddos” mentality and it’s frankly a nightmare! Our youngest now sleeps fine until about 1, then they’re on and off wailing until 3, then properly wakes up “so so hungry” and one of us stays with them until about 5, then we’re all up at 7…
That said, it means the nights we do get an uninterrupted 6 hours feel like we’ve been given a dose of Captain America super serum :’)
Wor Lass had made it very clear that she wanted children after we married. I feel like it was definitely something of that conversation with her ovaries that @UnicornPorn’s described.
I thought I’d get a few more nice holidays and trips to the theatre out of my thirties but her priority was a child. I made my reasons for waiting really clear and she remained firm on what she wanted. I genuinely think it was a choice between parenthood and divorce.
I describe myself as a reluctant parent. I enjoy it more than I expected but I genuinely thought I’d absolutely hate my life at this point. I’m trying my best.
People continuely tell me how rewarding it is but I don’t see much of that. I’m worse at my job than I was, I feel more selfish about my time and I don’t think I’m any better than a satisfactory father.
Nobody ever wants to hear that side of it.
Thanks for your honesty.
Not saying that the other responses aren’t honest but I imagine this ^^ was a bit more difficult to share.
I don’t think any parent thinks that they are anything more than satisfactory (and that’s on a good day!) A lot of what you write chimes with me- it’s certainly not a 24-7 joy-fest, and there aspects of baby rearing that I find completely tedious. Worst of all was going to “mummy groups” which seemed to contain uber competitive people who were FOR SURE faking some.kind of family utopia. I remember saying at one of these groups “don’t any of you feel like your brain is just rotting while you just exist to keep this thing, which is essentially a needy shouty potato, alive?” Which went down a bomb. However it is definitely getting better/ more rewarding as time goes on. For a long time it felt like a kind of hazy dystopian dream.
Damn, we could have used someone like you in our Stepford wives (and husbands) NCT group.
I know quite a few couples who’ve split up because the woman wanted a child but the man didn’t, where they’d felt the biological clock ticking. I’d be lying if that wasn’t a factor in my marriage breaking down, because I wasn’t ready for kids at that stage in my life.
And there’s plenty of times I’ve cursed Jimbo for his early starts, and for curtailing my social life. He’s meant I’ve had to compromise a lot, but being in a relationship you make a lot of compromises, and I’ve made compromises for my job too, so I see compromise as part of life these days. And for all my moans Jimbo is great value, and if you can’t live vicariously through your offspring what is the point of it all?
Wor Lass’s baby mates have calmed down a lot since the early days. Even she didn’t like them that much in their competitive period.
I missed NCT classes because in the months preceding our child’s arrival I was doing a career-defining transaction and could never get away from the office for a 6pm class. For that I am thankful (although I know lots of folk who have made good friends from their NCT group.) When i was finally off on mat leave and able to go along to these things, I obviously hadn’t got the memo which says you’re not ever allowed to say “fuck this is dreary, eh?”
I now have some nice friends who are parents of children in my son’s nursery class and who are normal and pretty frank about how hard it can be. I don’t know many folk who genuinely sail through it yet lots pretend to!
My daughter is incredible and I love being a dad and watching her grow up and I think I’m happy and fulfilled in a deep and meaningful way I would never be otherwise… but I do also daydream about an alternative life where we’d waited a few more years and were going on exotic trips to Japan and South America and eating at nice restaurants every week.
To sum up: parenthood is a land of contrasts.
We just did. I could give you a longer answer, but that’s the up and down of it.
yeah people say NCT is important for making a network of parents in similar situations to you, but we ditched all the NCT pricks and made friends through playgroup/nursery etc. A bit less pressured and once you’ve settled into things a bit and have developed a bit of parenting confidence then you’ll find it easier to recognise likeminded people. Some of our NCT class were absolutely horrendous.
I think everyone needs some kind of network though. NCT is a good way to start that but I’ve heard of so many people not make the friends they were hoping for. We were lucky though - my other half had two NCT mums around while I was out on Friday night, and I’m going to see Low with one of the dads in a few weeks.
It’s not really something I’ve experienced in our group. The dads were all lovely, but totally different to the normal type of people I’d want to hang out with. As such, the dad side of the group hasn’t really gotten going.
But it’s been totally invaluable to my partner who knows nobody in Winchester. Between NCT catch ups and the baby clubs/groups, she’s made some really good friends and it’s made her mat leave much more tolerable.
Yeah definitely I completely agree. NCT was helpful, but our group wasn’t great and playgroups and nursery was where we established our network
It’s definitely been supplemented by neighbours and other people from nursery and playgroup and the park, but the core of the mums is the NCT set.
The dad situation trickier - as well as the whole thing about men not being so open to talking/making new friends if they don’t want them (in my experience) a lot of the dads in our circle were freelance or musicians who work unusual hours, and as such a lot of them had Friday afternoon bonding sessions that I missed out on. So I haven’t made any really close new friends as a result of parenthood.
Most of her baby friends came from a baby cafe support thing the health visitor advised she go to - probably the only useful thing she did.