April 15, 2008

Engaged to Be Parentsed

I had such a productive morning! I made three (3) batches of baby food ("carrot bean corn pea," "broccoli plus half a bag of corn we're never going to finish," and "raspberry blackberry prune applesauce"), and I wiped Elizabeth's nose one (1) zillion times. ...Hm. Well, it FELT like a productive morning.

I'd like to devote today's post to NAGGING.

My brother and my sister-in-law..... Wait. Let me give you their names so I don't have to keep referring to them that way, and so you're not thinking "Well, is this the woman married to her brother, or is this a sister of Paul's?" but without me having to clarify by saying "my brother's wife," which, I don't know, sounds a little funny. It reminds me of when my mother-in-law addresses my mail Mrs. Paul Thistle, like it's to ANYONE married to Paul, it doesn't really matter who it is.

AS I WAS SAYING, Erik and Anna are..."engaged to have a baby." That is, they have decided to have one, but have not yet..."planted the tulip bulb," if you follow me. There is still time to back away and actually plant actual tulips instead, and there are days I would fully support that decision and even chip in for the bulbs.

But here is what I am hoping we can discuss, since Erik and Anna read my blog, and since Erik has stopped answering my pleading, nagging, whining emails. Can we discuss how you felt before having children, and how you feel about those feelings now? Like, if you were scared before, but now think, "OH! If I'd known it was like this, I wouldn't have been so nervous!" Or if you thought you didn't really like children, but now you think "OMG I AM SO IN LUV W/THIS BABY!!1!"

(If you were confident before, but now think, "Actually, I should have gone with the tulips," keep your pie-hole CLOSED. We are looking for NAGGING, not for UNBIASED SCIENTIFIC DATA COLLECTION.)

And can we also tell them to HURRY THE HECK UP and make Swistle an aunt? What are they WAITING for? Spring is HERE!


Erica said...

I'm a total convert to parenthood. I thought I only wanted one baby, and then thought maybe I didn't even want ONE... now that I have one, I want MORE. I love parenthood. I never knew something so infused with small person's bodily fluids could be so rewarding. It really is the best decision we've ever made.

Shelly said...

Oh my god, I'm your first comment! The pressure! Well, I really did not like children at all before I had them. But my children are the absolute lights of my life now. It really *is* all different when they're yours. You're there for everything - all the messes, yes, but all the sweet stuff. The smiles, the laughs, the cuddles, the "mama"'s and "dada"'s are for *you*.

Saly said...

Before being pregnant the first time, i remember just felling like "MUST! HAVE! BABY! RIGHT! NOW!!" Like my biological clock was ticking and I was only like, 24. I never got scared until the day I was induced, at which point I had a hardcore nervous breakdown.


It was so so so so worth it, so much so that I did it again, and again. It really is second nature.

Misty said...

I guess I can't speak for everyone, but I can surely speak for myself. Yes, parenting changes your life. I personally think it made me a better person. Here is this little bit of the future that I have to take care of. The responsibility is steadying, really.

My Honey thought he only wanted one child, but now he wants a whole row of tulips. It changes you. And it is a good change.

alienbea said...

I always knew I wanted children, but once I actually got pregnant, I completely flipped. Nine months of thinking I SHOULD'VE GONE WITH THE TULIPS.

But now I've got two children, and they are seriously the best thing that have ever happened to me. And I want more. A garden's worth.

(Even though this morning the three year old decided to "help" me with the laundry and spilled blue super-ultra-concentrated detergent all over the cream carpeted hall. *siiiiiigh*)

Beth Fish said...

I was desperate to get pregnant and when it took a year to happen I thought I was going to just die from disappointment. And then as soon as that second line turned pink I thought, oh dear, this was the biggest mistake of my life. Which it wasn't, best thing I've ever done, but boy howdy I did not want a baby for a while there. I was horrified by the second positive pregnancy test too, but now of course am blissfully happy every single minute of every single day.

Kristin.... said...

I was hesitant to have kids at first. I wasn't sure I'd be a good mom (and some days I'm still not sure), that I'd be able to handle childbirth, that I'd be able to deal with being a PARENT. Now I am the proud mama of 4 which includes a set of twins (who should be napping right now and aren't, grr), I've had 3 totally different pregnancies and 3 totally different births and I don't think I'd change anything. Well, of course, drugs at the 2nd and 3rd births would have been great, but oh well, such is life.

Elizabeth said...

I was very very very very very nervous to plant the tulips.

It's very hard to explain. But now I feel like I look at my son and I think "Oh! If I had known it was going to be YOU, I wouldn't have worried.
Thank goodness you're here."

Alice said...

i have no experience / kids / input except NAG NAG NAG you should TOTALLY "plant some bulbs" because i spent all weekend with a baby and OMG THE BABY FEET, YOU NEED ONE OF YOUR OWN.

The Frog said...

I know the Marines coined the phrase: "The toughest job you'll ever love," but I feel that way about parenthood - It's tough, sometimes harder than I imagined, but more wonderful too - it's pretty much the best job ever.

Tessie said...

Well, I was seriously (SERIOUSLY) ambivalent at best about parenting before I got pregnant, during my entire pregnancy, and in fact until my daughter was about a month old.

I thought that I wouldn't like it, that it would change me and beat me down and make me a huge hateful stressball. (UM! ISSUES! Also: NICE MOOD!)

It didn't, though. I'm still the same person I was before, I just have different things going on and more responsibility. It changed certain DETAILS of my life, but not my essential nature.

Also, I wasn't taking into account the fact that kids are silly and weird and funny, and those are all things I enjoy in life.

Overall, I am the poster child for that "it's BETTER than I thought" group.

But still, I support your right to be nervous and/or MENTAL over becoming a parent. I know I wanted to DECK everyone who gave me the "shiny, happy" treatment before I had kids.

Tessie said...

OH! I should have said what Elizabeth said!

"If I would have known it was YOU, I wouldn't have worried"

So perfect and so true.

Not so much helpful BEFORE the fact, but still: awesome.

-R- said...

I feel like I could handle being the parent of a KID, but I have no idea how to be the parent of a BABY. (I should note here that we are talking about some day in the future.) It makes me very worried, so I am enjoying all the positive comments.

moo said...

I was DETERMINED to be pregnant by the time I was 30. I FINALLY convinced my husband that we would just "practice" and see what happened. We got pregnant right away and as soon as the news sunk it, we looked at each other and thought (and said) "OMG WHAT HAVE WE DONE."

My mom always said ... there's always going to be an excuse why you SHOULDN'T get pregnant. But, once that baby comes, you make it work.

And it's so, so worth it I can't even express to y'all how worth it it is.

Constance 12 said...

I only barely like kids, so it was a bit intimidating to be trying for one of our own. The year long effort of planting was so full of disappointment and being anxious for 2 week stretches at a time and I never thought it'd be over. As everyone else has already said, it IS different when it's your kid and though it will totally change your life completely, it isn't a bad thing, just different. Much more difficult but much, much bigger rewards. Most of the time. :)

Stacie said...

I thought I only wanted one, then I had twins and now I would have more more more if only it didn't involve having to stick giant needles in my ass. Children are the BEST THINGS EVER and, really, I wasn't a big baby fan before.

Daycare Girl said...

I'm one of those glowing mommies that some people find annoying- I knew I was just made to be one, loved being pregnant, and have totally loved being a mom every day. Even when it sucks.

My husband was far more ambivalent- it took him six years to be okay with us getting pregnant, and then when we found out our first was a girl, he was nervous. He has no sisters and was convinced he wouldn't know what to do with a girl. Then when we found out our second one was a boy, he was just as nervous. He didn't have that great of a relationship with his dad and was afraid he would mess up a boy, plus now he was used to girls and thought another one would be easier.

And he's a great dad to both of them and it all turned out fine.

Plant the tulips! Plant them now!

jen said...

I don't actually remember. I don't even remember yesterday. What day is it? What am I supposed to be talking about?

I just knew I wanted to be pregnant, one day a switch just flipped. There was no fear, no turning back, no ambivalence about the first WHATSOEVER, I swear. It just was, like everything I expected I guess. When she was born people all commented on how relaxed we were as first time parents. Uhh hello, she is smaller than us, we could totally take her in a fight...

The second, I felt like maybe I'd ruined the "three" dynamic, sometimes I look at pictures wistfully of that time. Not in regret, more like "should have enjoyed it more, chump."

The third, I just wheeze and giggle with glee.

And now I can't remember what the hell I did to fill my time before children, or what I'd want to be doing, and I really don't want to be doing anything else, as much as I bitch about it some days. And someday the stay-at-home-with-preschoolers jig will be up and what will I do? auugh.

drowninginlaundry said...

I love being a Mom, the snot poop and tears are all worth it. I knew I always wanted kids and that I would love them; but I had NO IDEA that I would love my son so much that my heart hurts to think of him and his sweetness brings me to tears. I would say that I had to grow into those feelings a bit. I was smitten with him when he was born but I got more and more gaga for him each and every day!

Anonymous said...

You know I think is really cool about parenthood? That parental bias means that YOU made the cutest thing on the entire face of the planet! When else do you have a chance in life to create the most beautiful, the most perfect, the most adorable thing in the world? You can paint beautiful pictures, or plant lovely healthy tulips, but somebody else in the world probably does it just a little bit better.

But, to a parent, there is NOTHING out there that is better or cuter or more amazing than your own child. It's insanely awesome to have created that.

My family member who shall go unnamed had huge reserves of bitterness and resentment inside of him/her, which I can remember being a part of him/her all the way from childhood. But, he/she is a changed person as a parent. Happy, content, smiley. It just made his/her whole life better. And it was like that for me too.

So, I say, MAKE SWISTLE AN AUNT! Babies are so wonderful.

stephanie said...

Are you SURE they aren't already trying to plant? We are, but are giving our families (who are naggy about the tulips) the We're Not Sure Company Line because, well, it could take awhile.

We're at month 5 now of trying and if I had to deal w/ "Are you pregnant?" every time, I'd kill myself because we're TRYING as HARD as we can. Sigh.

Also, this post makes me even more impatient. I absolutely LOVE "Oh! If I had known it was going to be YOU, I wouldn't have worried.
Thank goodness you're here."

SO incredibly sweet. Cannot WAIT.

Anonymous said...

I totally love Elizabeth's comment. My sentiments exactly.

Pixie said...

I was so never ever no way in hell ever going to have any kids. I liked other peoples kids as long as they weren't bratty and I could hand them back to their parents. Then I got married and and my husband wanted children more than anything and I just knew he would be such an awesome father it would make up for how ever much I sucked at being a mom. Everyone always told me "It's different when they're your own" and I never beleived them but, it's so true. I can't even begin to imagine my life before my girl or how I could have thought it in any way complete with out her in it.
It's so different when they are your own and you will be so amazed at the absolute love you will have for them, it's overwhelming and that's when they are having a bad day.
Don't plant the tulips, make the baby, it will change you forever in such amazing and wonderful ways.

Amy Q said...

I love the baby/kid part, and hate the pregnancy/labour part, but the baby is totally worth it in the end, its just 9 months of suckiness (for me anyways) to get there. Because of that the decision to plant the bulb is always the hardest for me, but then once I am pregnant I just deal, because I have to and then it just gets better. (After labour) I don't know that I am the personality who would ever look forward to the getting pregnant part and I tend to put it off, so the best thing for me to do is just get prego without too much analyzing it or I never would. Even though the payoff is AMAZING, it is easy to forget that in the pre-baby phase. Maybe that makes sense, probably it doesn't. Short version - just make Swistle an aunt already!

MaryB said...

Plant the Tulips without delay!

You will enjoy the waiting for the tulips, and the tulips more if you just ignore about 85-95% of all the unsolicited advice people will give you on how to plant them, how to fertilize them. How and when or if to water them. How to arrange them,, and what kind of vase to put them in.

People can be such know-it-all Debbie Downers about tulips. But, my experience tells me that people that are like that are like that about everything.

I relate the most to Tessie's comment amoutn discovering that I was still me. Just me with more responsibilities and different stuff going on. Also, I would go further to say that I am now a BETTER me!!

Jeninacide said...

I have always wanted kids SOOO BADDDDD but was in no way preparing my life for kids in any way. THEN! I got pregnant! WHOOPS! Then our entire life changed and we went from having carefree adult lives to never sleeping and making GOOGA BOO noises at our baby ALL THE DANG TIME. What I mean to say though, is that neither one of us ever looks back. We are so much happier and more fulfilled and healthier and just BETTER PEOPLE now that we have our son. Plus: chubby baby thighs! NOM NOM!

Jill said...

We don't have kids yet, but we want several so we've been, er hoe-ing our row so to speak, for nearly a year and still no babies.
So my advice is if you know you want to have them at some point, why not start with the cultivating now because it could end up taking a whole lot longer than you think.
Get on it! (Um, literally? Ahem. Is this a family blog?)

desperate housewife said...

Here's the thing that scared me about having kids: that you can't ESCAPE them if you suddenly change your mind. The only context I had for children was babysitting, and after a few hours of that, no matter how cute the kids, I was always counting the minutes until I was free to leave and do my own thing. I thought parenting was basically extended babysitting, and that I would be clock-watching all day long for the next twenty years, give or take.
And um, sometimes I AM clock watching? Until nap time or bedtime or daddy-comes-home time? But mostly it's a totally different thing. It really IS different when it's your own. The difference is that they're part of YOU. There's an old (I think Hebrew) saying about someone never being other to you, and that's the way I feel about my kids, even at their most frustrating. They have never been "other" to me, so how could I wish to be separated from something that is a part of me?

Mimi said...

I got pregnant by sorta-accident the first time, so I never had to make the decision that I wanted to start trying for a baby NOW. I can imagine that it would be very hard deciding the right time for your life to change drastically. There is always something else to wait for... more money, a bigger house, MORE MONEY, etc. etc. but the truth is that is you're waiting for conditions to be perfect before having a baby, you'll be waiting forever. And you'll miss out on something so special.

Mairzy said...

Our first baby came ahead of our schedule, so I wasn't thrilled. But as others have said, Once you get to know that fabulous little person, you understand why you did it. I still look at my twenty-month-old (our third) and think, "You are so amazing! How did you come from ME?"

I'm not the type who loves the job of mommying. But I am fascinated by the three little people in my care.

skiplovey said...

It took a couple of years before I felt ready to take on the parenting thing. I just felt like we weren't ready yet, finances and maturity and whatnot.

Now I realize you're never really ready and you should just go ahead and get all that kid stuff started while you still have a bit of energy.

For me it was quite a change in lifestyle for awhile but now things are settling in pretty nicely and I wish we'd have done this sooner.

So tell them to start planting, they sure as heck aren't getting any younger.

mn said...

hmmm. when they took that seven pounder fluff of black hair to a corner after my c-section, i looked and all i could think was:
No one has THAT model. Hewas special made for "us." No one else has a baby that looks like HIM.
And there are days, without me crying here, when i look at my son and daughter and think, what in the world did i do to deserve this gift?
They make me laugh, cry, sometimes at the same time.
If at all, avoid taking too too long bc i was 32 when I had my first. And wish i had more energy.
So exercise and stay fit, you'll need it - husband and wife. it's fun.
Avoid if possible, having one child. they grow up selfish, then they have trouble dealing with sharing etc. in spousal relationships. plus, the kid needs an uncle and aunt or something from both sides. I cannot tell you how upsetting it is to think there is no one on my husband's side to spoil my kids. :)
and my husband would have liked one too, let's hope they would have gotten along. some siblings, even if just two, are not even on speaking terms as adults, which makes me sad. which is why i teach my son and daughter to take care of each other. we don't choose our parents, children or our siblings. We just have to get along.
i knew i loved kids. and i wish i could have more. baby feet, arms, you name it, i love it.
and they love baby oil massages. oh, how i wish i could go back to that. but each age has its beauty. my six yr old son, actually makes me laugh. he's a comedian. Good luck and God speed...you know what I mean, ha.

Erin said...

I thought I would LOVE it. Then I didn't. But then, after that, I DID. Like, way waaaay more than I had ever imagined. I can't BELIEVE I did not have children at one point. Where did I find meaning? Where did I find purpose? I can't remember. I love my children. I love being a parent.

Go forth and procreate. You won't regret it.

Meegan said...

Who knew that I didn't know what JOY was before parenthood? I thought I did! I really thought I felt JOY a lot. But parenthood JOY is bigger, deeper, higher and larger than any JOY I could possibly imagine, pre-tulip, if you will. It's good enough that I have a sleeping 19 month old upstairs and I'm 21 weeks pregnant again.

Kelsey said...

We are sort of in fresh baby hell over here. . . you know, not sleeping and projectile pooping, etc. I am realizing I forgot how hard it was when my first was this little. And yet. . . I have not regretted having another baby (or my first) for one single second.

Opus #6 said...

Yep, DO IT. You KNOW you WANT to. ;-)

Kristi said...

First, Swistle Thistle - you are a comic genious.

I was 32 w/my first and 34 w/my second and was very ready and "prepared" to have children. I read everything under the sun and wanted to be perfect. I got knocked on my butt and IT WAS SO HARD - at first. I had to go through the metamorphosis of becoming a WHOLE DIFFERENT PERSON and that was rough. My son literally made me the person I now am, and my daughter taught me how to smile through the rough stuff. He is my heart and she is my joy - and without them I would have neither. So like others have said, it's the best thing to ever happen to me.

Jenni said...

Life begins at parenthood.

LoriD said...

My husband always thought he didn't like kids and therefore was not ready to be a father. Turns out, he just doesn't like other peoples' kids and he's a great father. Now he wishes we had started having kids sooner.

Nowheymama said...

Yes, any experience you have with other people's children is just not the same as your experiences with your own. I mean that in a *good* way.

Also, I want to be an aunt, too! Pretty please? Anyone listening?

ZestyJenny said...

I say, as long as they are open to the idea, they should get started. You never know how long it's going to take.

Not that I know what that's like...

Melissa H said...

I'm looking at the first comments and totally agree. I'm not real big on kids (in general) but my own is just fantastic. Really! I made hubby wait through 5 years of marriage while he wanted kids (and I didn't). We finally just went for it and I have NO regrets AT ALL. It's a huge commitment (duh) but really, truly wonderful. I promise.

Fine For Now said...

My husband and I are debating over this same issue right now: to plant or not to plant.

Everyone has made me want kids EVEN MORE than I do now. We are definitely starting in a year from now, but the debate is to start this summer instead of next.

I think they should go for it now! Like, ASAP. (okay, maybe not at work.)

Jen said...

YES - plant the tulips.

we knew that we wanted to be moms for a long time and after 6 years of trying, i thought i had imagined motherhood in every way possible. i dreamed about it, i longed for baby fingers and toes, i studied for pregnancy like it was an exam - i was soooo prepared for whatever that little pudge could dish out.

and then my heart exploded.

she's more of me and more of a surprise than i ever imagined. she makes me a better person and her arrival has snapped my priorities into razor-sharp focus. i have never EVER been able to trust my intuition before she came along and i actually LIKE myself for the first time since i was conscious of having a self-opinion.

i remember looking in the mirror when i was pregnant and thinking that i didn't look like someone's mom - how would she take me seriously? but it happens - she looks at me and knows i'm her mama, no question about it. that mama-baby bond that everyone hallmark-izes is the real deal, dude. it's a big ocean of realness that you can't possibly imagine even if you try really really really hard. even if you love your dog a ridiculous amount like i do.

the kid breaks my heart every day and i can't wait for more.

do it.

Anonymous said...

Chiming in for my husband (even though he does not know it). I always knew I wanted a baby right now yesterday hurry up already. He on the other hand was decidedly in the wishy washy camp. "Can we afford it, its a lot of responsibility, yadda yadda yadda." Now that we have our daughter he is head over heels in love. He moons around spouting things like "I wouldn't trade it for the world" and "I never in a million years knew I would love her this much!" Definitely they won't regret it.

Eleanor Q. said...

I so wanted to have a baby and every day I wasn't pregnant, I thought about how much I wanted a family. As soon as I became pregnant, it was 9 months of worry that I wouldn't be a good parent, that we'd made an awful decision, and woe, whatever will we do. But the babe is here and we're not awful parents! It so amazing not just to have a family but to share the incredible experience with your spouse and grow closer with them through it. Go for the Tulips!

1hot&tiredmama said...

I was never a fan of other people's kids either.

Having children (I have 4) makes me so like other kids because I understand the love I have for those beautiful babies of mine. It makes you appreciate all children because you are aware of how unique and wonderful your own children are!

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Late to comment but I've been thinking about this all yesterday and I just have to comment. I think it I didn't get pregnant *slightly* by accident, I maybe never would have.(I went off the pill after 12 years to "normalize" my hormones for an eventual attempt at pregnancy and then got lazy with the other, more annoying forms of birth control because I was under the impression that it would hard for us and we would have to TRY for awhile before it would happen. Um, NOT REALLY.)

We were in endless discussions about when would be the "right" time to have a baby and there really was no RIGHT time and the time that we did have Zoe was a stressful time but there's sort of always stress around having a baby and now that she's here I can't believe that she almost wasn't here or almost wasn't HER. And I can't wait to have another (except we are, kinda waiting for another month or three before trying. You know, until it's the RIGHT TIME.)

Katherine said...

I almost can't read anymore because I have the thoughts "If Cameron and I had bebes, how cute would they be? How cute???"

And then I remember that I am only 23, and genetically engaged to be parentsed with the fraternal twins curse/blessing.

And then I just need to remember, "How soon would I be insane and broke on ~50K/year with twins?"

I need some kind of atomic snooze on the baby clock, because seriously, "How cute?" is sometimes too loud.