Our daughter has had it rough. As parents we were thrown into the deep-end and struggled big time. The countless number of books (Mum read not me), NCT classes and advice of wonderful parents never covered the spectrum but offered bite-sized advice for acute issues that when accumulated and became too much.
Across previous blogs you might get the feeling of just how much this weighs on my mind. The one biggest downfall for parenting MKI was expectation.
The expectation that all would be fantastic. The problems we’ve long buried in our relationship would miraculously heal, our daughter would be a breeze (through knowledge from having younger siblings and countless cousins), we would never be like our parents (as fantastically they’ve raised us we would do it better). Expectation was high and for each expectation came the hammer blow and our daughter felt the impact.
So now we’re two months in to our second attempt how are we doing? I would say better however armed with earlier experience I am still susceptible to expectation. This time however the expectation is that what was a struggle last time will be the same struggle this time. This has of course landed me in hot water a number of occasions where intentions to forward prevent the worst case in-turn relit old fires instead of dampening the ground.
So far nothing has been the same and that is wonderful. We bask in the glory of MKII not being a two-month old colic ridden baby who can’t be settled to one that eats like an elephant and smiles as he poops and sleeps (barring any growth spurt, trapped wind). However this is also frightening as our past experience with our daughter and mental scars of all we would change have not been required.
What have we done markedly differently in our expectations from MKI?
- He cry’s – we instantly try one of three things feed, nappy, carry and rock
- He doesn’t conform to any routine – who cares so long as he’s not crying we’re happy
- He wakes up being put down and doesn’t fall asleep on his own – as above who cares he can sleep on one of us
- Hell as Mum and Dad we’ve even openly discussed parenting him (although as Dad I hold back far more and escape to the office to not step on Mum toes).
Our daughter will never know but all of the above are at logger heads with parenting MKI. She was put through
- Numerous feeding tactics – probably suffered with hunger at times (differing volumes/techniques)
- Crying out method to train her sleep and ability to “self-soothe”
- When carried reminded ourselves not for too long
In our defence it wasn’t the intention to torture ourselves or bring misery to our bonnie daughter. It was trial and error in an attempt to fix each accumulating acute issue.
Our change in parenting style will no doubt unearth a heap of terrors between the the children. We’re certainly liable for them to compare our love for each of them in the decades to come. Our daughter at four already calling out the attention he gets (I wonder just how much she remembers). The vying for attention and daring to be naughty is on levels never seen before. As such our expectation at the start of each day is she’ll be on the naughty list by 11am.
Somehow in the coming months we will need to make
- Eating fun – but keep within a respectable time as it takes MKI and hour on a good day
- Do not shout liberally or make idle threats – as this is now being used against us
- Accept sleep regression happens and you just gotta lose the sleep man
So whilst Parenting MKII is going well and highly advised. Parenting MKI is continuing to add expectations of her and us, that we certainly go on to prevent in MKII.
It’s a slippery slope trying to parent equally and fairly and right now we’re “Eddie the Eagling” down it…
How do you wonderful parents manage to raise two humans independent from first-time experience and fairly?
P.S. I have digitally detoxed starting with deleting my Instagram account, which was by far the largest attention taker and mood breaker in my life. I do feel a lot better for it but am suffering with severe withdrawal from not sharing an image to the world and seeing the likes roll in.