View Full Version : When did you start feeling like a "real parent"?
12-20-2006, 02:05 PM
I thought this was interesting...
I was asking a new-mom friend some general baby-related questions (her DD is 2 months old) the other day. She kind of laughed and said, "I don't know if I'm the one to be giving you advice. It still shocks me that I'm actually someone's mom, ya know? Like, I keep waiting for her real parents to show up and thank me for baby-sitting."
So I was wondering, how soon after DC's birth did you start to feel like a "real parent"? Like, when did you really feel comfortable handling him/her? When did you feel confident enough to start giving advice to other parents?
I'm just wondering, because even though I'm so excited about this baby, the idea of actually being someone's parent is so foreign to me. I wonder how long it will really take to sink in...
12-20-2006, 02:11 PM
i think i've said the very same thing your friend did...i don't know if can pinpoint the time, but i do remember not getting the "permanence" of it for a long time...my guess is sometime around 4 mos. was when i really started to understand that she was ours forever. i distinctly remember that feeling of waiting for her real parents to show up so it's funny your friend described it that way as well. i felt like i was just playing house for awhile. it's a really difficult concept to wrap your brain around, so it does take awhile to sink in, IMO....
12-20-2006, 02:56 PM
For me, it was a two-parter: I started to feel like DS really started to belong to me around 5mo or so. He got very sick with an intestinal thing and he ended up having explosive diareha all over me and I stood there with poop all over me saying, "It's OK, It's Ok" to HIM! I really felt like that was a MOM thing to do. The second part, coming to grips with the fact that motherhood was my new career (quit work to be a SAHM) and finding some contentment and happiness with it, took 4 years. I only this year feel like I really have it together and found peace with the job.
12-20-2006, 03:35 PM
Not sure when I felt like a real parent. I do know that it took a full year before I got used to the idea and fully adjusted to my new life as a SAHM.
12-20-2006, 03:57 PM
When I started picking my daughter's boogers without even thinking about it.
12-20-2006, 04:14 PM
Don't forget "spit cleaning" faces... I knew that is when I was a Mom!!!
The Review Mommy
12-20-2006, 04:37 PM
I have to say *WITHOUT A DOUBT* I was a mother when I was pregnant and eating for her, and caring for my body in a way I had never before. It was "out-of-this-world" spiritual and she was always on my mind. I was not living, eating, and sleeping for me I was doing it for her-nuff said! ;)
12-20-2006, 04:52 PM
When I realized that whenever DH & I were out with son in public, I would subconsciously walk on the side closest to oncoming traffic, so if there was a crazy driver, he would hit me first and give DS a chance of escaping.
This is big for me because I've always been completely terrified of death, so the change from that to willing to throw myself under a bus for my kid is pretty drastic.
12-20-2006, 04:57 PM
Immediately. My momma bear instinct to protect and stand up for my baby came on quickly within hours while we were still in the hospital. :)
When DS peed on me in a hotel room when I was changing his diaper in the middle of the night and my biggest concern was whether the wet shirt would keep me from sleeping again.
12-20-2006, 06:28 PM
Ds is 4.5yo and it is still surreal to think that I have a child sometimes. :)
I always felt like his mom though in the sense that I never looked for his real parents to show up. But, the connection ("bonding") really was an on going thing and not immediate.
Baths, diapering and nails took a bit (few weeks) for me to get comfy with b/c dh did all that stuff from the get go...my job was breastfeeding and taking care of myself. When he went back to work I had to play catch up on some of that stuff but I felt pretty good with it by week 4.
I am a "know it all" so I would spout advice pretty early on. I did a lot more reading than any of my friends so I was honestly giving some info they had never heard before. That always surprised the heck out of me. I assumed everyone spent their days reading bf'ing, baby care, sleep and basic baby books!
12-20-2006, 06:52 PM
i don't think i have a specific time but for me i think it was when i was able to offer advice to others. and feel confident about what i was talking about. i still to this day think, wow i am a mom. i love every second of it and i love to share stories about ds.
I felt comfortable handling my son after about 6 weeks, and felt like a "real parent" after about 3-4 months, when I felt more closely bonded to my child. As for giving out advice....I realized that the best advice is not to give any at all, but to be supportive of other parents in their journey as parents themselves. That was when DS was about a year old. Just because someone does something that I wouldn't/didn't isn't a reason for me to offer advice/information or judgment about it.
12-20-2006, 09:04 PM
>I am a "know it all" so I would spout advice pretty early on.
>I did a lot more reading than any of my friends so I was
>honestly giving some info they had never heard before. That
>always surprised the heck out of me. I assumed everyone spent
>their days reading bf'ing, baby care, sleep and basic baby
Describes me to a T!
12-20-2006, 10:01 PM
I think there are different stages of parenthood. For me, with a newborn, it was a protective feeling I had never had before. After a few months I had fallen in love. The "twinge" you get everytime you hear a baby cry - is a physical feeling. The first time they call you "mama," - whoooweee. Then, they step up onto the school bus and you you feel like your heart and soul have sprouted legs...
12-20-2006, 10:03 PM
The fire alarm went off at the hospital some 8 hrs after I delivered and DH had gone home to get some clothes for himself. I picked up DD and hobbled over to the door, planning to hand her to someone begging them to take her to safety and not to worry about me - I would manage as best I could!!
Thankfully, the first person I saw told me right away that it was a drill!
12-20-2006, 10:25 PM
I started to grasp the responsibility I had for DD when she was about a month old. It took us that long to get breastfeeding worked out and it was hard when I was pumping and DH was feeding her from a bottle...I felt like anyone could take care of her. By the time we had the kinks worked out I knew that I really was her mother. I found it to be a really powerful, empowering feeling to realize that I was solely responsible for growing her.
12-21-2006, 01:46 AM
When they actually let us drive away from the hospital with such a tiny helpless creature. We got home, sat the baby carrier on the ground and literally both said "OMG, we're parents! What do we do now?"
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Are you kidding?:) My dd is 2 years old and I'm 35 weeks pregnant and I still have surreal moments when I realize wow! i'm someones "mommy":)
I think its an ongoing process feeling like a real parent....but there are definitely some moments when it hits you more than others.
12-21-2006, 02:10 AM
I felt comfortable handling DS from the beginning, but actually *feeling* like a mom is a totally different story. He is now 8mo and I still look at him at times and cant believe I'm his mama. I have wanted children for as long as I can remember, so it is just surreal to think it is actually happening.
I would often say what your friend said in the beginning, it felt like I was just baby sitting b/c that is all I had ever done w/ babies. But he always felt like mine and we bonded really well right after birth.
But like Beth said, I read a TON of books and research while pregnant so I felt confident in my parenting methods and comfortable sharing advice (when asked) w/ others.
12-21-2006, 12:43 PM
I remember feeling like an unpaid babysitter and the parents hadn't even left me some junkfood!
12-21-2006, 07:59 PM
"She kind of laughed and said, "I don't know if I'm the one to be giving you advice. It still shocks me that I'm actually someone's mom, ya know? Like, I keep waiting for her real parents to show up and thank me for baby-sitting.""
I have totally felt this way. I think I feel differently depending how I speak. When I say 'my baby' I feel less official than when I say 'my daughter'. That always gives me echoes in my head (My daughter? Oh, you mean I'm her mother? Oh, right!) LOL
I think it really hit me when I started attending doctors' appts on my own.
Even now, I have moments where I do a double take. This morning we went to the ENT, & as I was walking out the door, I glanced in the mirror. My thoughts were: I'm packing up & taking my DD to the ENT & I am responsible for her. But I'm so young, I'm practically a kid myself!! (I'm 23)
Not that I feel any regret whatsoever, just disbelief at times.
Lately DD has started being incredible clingy & asks for Mommy in the sweetest voice. When I realise that it's me she wants, & no one
else in the world will do, I get teary eyed. Even when I just want to be left alone- I still find it amazing that she just wants me. No my mom, not DH- just her Mommy, which is me believe it or not.
I'm actually getting choked up writing this, so thanks for the thread.
12-21-2006, 08:12 PM
I still don't feel like a grown up yet, but now that Alek says "mom!" I feel more like one.
12-21-2006, 11:15 PM
I felt comfortable w/ dd after she was out of the nicu,all the tubes gone and at home safe and sound. I felt like a mom when she finally after 3 weeks of pumping nursed and we fell asleep together. More so after dh went back to work-I spent days at home w/ her in our pajamas. I felt like a mom w/ ds immediatly. I think maybe it registers sooner with the second one. since the feelings already established. I know w/ ds i was much more vocal in the hospital. I'm almost afraid of what it'll be like if we have a third.
I've never been comfortable giving advice to anyone outside my moms group. I figure i never know the exact circumstances. I really don't even give advice to family members unless they ask-and people rarely do. Funny actually now that i think about it,but i guess we're just a private bunch.
But I think what really made me feel like a mom was when i nursed dd through rsv when she was 3 months old. I think the first time they really get sick and you're mommy is when it truly takes effect.
When you get in a jam you can always eat something,blow something up or throw penguins.
12-22-2006, 02:32 AM
It is an ongoing thing but for me it hit when my water broke at work and then again when I saw him right after the unplanned emergency c-section, wrapped up and knew his name immediately. :)
As for giving advice, my advice all comes with a warning that there are few definitive answers and that I am hardly the expert, lol.
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