I'm not sure if I'd really thought about what it would be like being a parent. I remember being all gooey eyed when feeding our new nephew a bottle of milk and that was it. Must have been some maternal instinct - I was pregnant within a month. But it wasn't all easy or what I thought it would be after that.
Once I'd had Anthony I was surprised by lots of things. I wasn't prepared for tar like poos or weigh-in centres. I hadn't really expected to raise a child or children with special educational needs either and that's been both a wonderful and challenging experience. I wondered, what have other parents experienced that was not expected? So I asked some fellow bloggers, how would they finished the sentence "Parenting my kids isn't what I expected because..."
Josie from Business for Mums says:
"Parenting my kids wasn't what I expected because I didn't bond with my baby for a long time (6 months) and all the sacrifices you make as a new parent (sleep, me time, freedom, social life) seem much worse when you don't have the 'being in love with your new baby feeling' to make up for it."
Becci from To Aufinity and Beyond says:
"Parenting wasn't what I expected as I never imagined I would have the strength to raise 3 very strong willed children (all boys! and one of whom with additional needs) when I'm not naturally a firm or assertive person myself."
Chelsea from In the City Today, says:
"Parenting my kid wasn't what I expected as I was dreaming of play dates and baby groups instead I was a recluse from anxiety struggling to find 'baby friends"
Miriam from Faith Mummy says:
"I never realised how alone and vulnerable I would feel at times. Or that kids didn't sleep."
Becka from Educating Roversi says:
"Parenting my kids isn't what I expected because it changed the relationship with my own mum. Suddenly what I say goes when it comes to my son and she sometimes struggles with it if I'm not making the same decision she is."
Lauren from My Square Peg Life says:
"Because I expected parenting to be boring and mundane (I was not a baby person pre having my own,) it is most certainly not. Everyday has a new challenge or a moment to be proud of. Autism has shaken our family but it only makes our lives more colourful! "
Jo from First Time Valley Mum says:
"I wanted to what would be considered a 'fun' parent. Autism has changed what I was planning on doing, but has given me many more opportunities to make fun and he's taught me so much more."
Lisa from Hollybobbs says:
"Parenting my kids wasn't what I expected as I developed chronic fatigue and can no longer do all the things I thought I would do as a mum"
Kelly from The Best version of Kelly agreed:
"It's horrible not having the energy to do all you dreamed of with them. I'm just glad I had them before I got it or I may never have had them and that would have been so sad."
I can relate to so much of the above, my kids don't sleep, I felt lonely and like the odd one out at playgroups and only recently realised that I probably wasn't the only one feeling this way. I loved finishing with Kelly's point though.
I once posted about 'hoping I would still have my children' because I think it's possible in the future that some kids with additional needs may never get the chance to be born. For all the challenges parenting my kids has brought - I still wouldn't trade it for the world (or even all the sleep in it).
Have you found anything in parenting unexpected?