Friday, July 20, 2007

8 Things No One Tells You About Being a Mom (and how to deal with the ups and downs)

By Paula Spencer

Babies are adorable! There's nothing like the love surge of a full-body hug or the amazed pride you feel when your toddler takes his first steps!

Enough about the bright side. We do moms a disservice if we only gush about the countless truly terrific aspects of raising a child and neglect to mention the, well, harsher realities. It's useful to know that there are not-so-hot sides of the job, if only to take the edge off those inevitable pains of feeling exasperated, unnerved, or just surprised. And it's reassuring to know you're not the only one to admit a downside even exists. This is my list — you'll probably have one, too.

There is no learning curve - Rather, if you graphed it, it would just go up and up. By the time you master colic, it's over. All your smug expertise at changing diapers on an upright toddler becomes obsolete when she graduates to big-kid underwear. Net result: You never feel quite on top of things.

And although the firstborn breaks you in for the next, number two is usually so different in temperament, taste, or developmental pacing that what you learned the first time often doesn't work or apply. My oldest, Henry, would only respond to the loudest of shouts and severest of threats. But when I tried my hard-learned disciplinary tactics on next-in-line Eleanor, the slightest raised voice would make her quiver and tear up.

Silver lining: A good mental workout. I've learned a lot about human behavior that I might not otherwise have — plus a lot about kids' music and books, the art of bandage application, and how to make dinner really fast.
This is a fun, quick read and it’s worth reading the entire article. Many Dad’s (myself included) don’t read all the parenting magazine’s and books that we ought to. Being the husband of a pediatrician, I took even more for granted and assumed that I will pick up what I need to know from my wife. Boy was that the wrong assumption!
We struggle everyday with the same issues Paula mentions in her article. Her Silver Linings are true (at least the ones we have gotten to thus far). One of her 8 things is that you have to Force Yourself to Back Off. It’s hard when we constantly are battling the clock and trying not to be late. When I give my kids that extra time in the morning to tie their own shoes or get dressed by themselves it is worth it (even if we are late) for the satisfaction they get from doing that little task us adults take for granted.
With my kids at the ages of 4 and 6 we encounter new issues every day that weren’t there before. Raising kids is challenging and extremely rewarding at the same time.
………..I can’t wait until they are teenagers!

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