Family / Family-building

Bi-weekly question: Advice to my old self

Thank you to everyone who responded to the last questions.  Since, again, this is a great place to learn from one another, this post’s question is:

If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself (and/or your partner) upon starting your journey to have a child?  Please answer reguardless of whether your journey was via TTC or adoption or other.

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  1. [Providing context… I’m a non-bio mom to a four-year old daughter. My partner carried her, and the plan was for me to carry the second. The plan’s hit a few bumps, including my partner’s ambivalence about having a second child, which she discovered AFTER carrying the first. Awesome.]

    What I would have told myself:

    1) Sure, the idea of having a baby is exciting, but don’t focus solely on the excitement.

    2) Talk extensively with your partner about how parenthood may impact your relationship, your free time, your friendships, and your finances.

    3) Do a gut check… how do you really feel about being a non-bio mom? Pay attention to other non-bio moms’ experiences, and explore whether you might feel jealous, left out, or somehow less of a “real” parent.

    4) If you plan to carry the next child(ren), talk with your partner about that now. Talk about how you’d like to space your kids. Talk about how you plan to pay for the second TTC process. Make sure that you’re equally committed to having two kids.

  2. I would have told myself that it isn’t nursing per se that leads to “bonding,” it’s time. I was non-bio-mom for our first (now two), and my wife nursed our daughter for over a year. I had heard and read so many horror stories about how hard (not) nursing is for a non-bio-mom (the “boppies” essay in the other mother anthology made my blood run cold). It ended up coming as a surprise when my daughter bonded to me rather fiercely while she was still tiny. Knowing how things turned out, it makes me a little sad to remember how afraid I was. On the other hand, maybe that fear is part of what motivated me to put the time into building a strong connection with my daughter. In any case, it might have been nice to know ahead of time.