Wins, Woes, and the Earliest Weeks
Your stories for the week
Before we begin, I’d like to invite you to participate in a survey to collect information on the sex lives of parents (anonymously!) for an upcoming newsletter. We’re interested in the experiences of any parents — with older and younger kids, birthing and non-birthing, any gender identity or sexual orientation. Thank you for participating!
It’s storytime! Every Tuesday is a chance to hear how you’re really doing amid the ups and downs of parenting, and to connect with one another. I love how this community isn’t afraid to dive in, whether we’re talking about the data or the hard days.
Today we have three great stories, plus a reader question about navigating the earliest weeks of pregnancy. How did you feel at that time?
Please leave a comment for our brave parents, and contribute your own story or question for a future newsletter here. We love to hear from you.
—Pissed Off and Pissed On
The three-day potty training technique: I read about it online and on paper. I looked for readiness. I planned logistics. I even talked it out with my partner. Nowhere in all this prep was it suggested to me that my child, a key participant in this process, might not like it. Might really not like it. Might cry at both successful and unsuccessful attempts to use the potty. Maybe I am the fool here, but it seems that unlike a lot of the big transitions before now, the language around this specific process is incredibly flawed.
(And for the record, we made it through the three days, parental trust and marriage intact. And then dropped the kid off at day care, where they promised they’d “figure something out.” Bless them.)
Hats off to you
—Wearer of Many Hats
Like many parents of young children, we struggle to convince our 4-year-old to keep on his hat/beanie/etc. Recently, however, I found the cure. Almost as soon as he is wearing his hat, he takes it off and hands it to me. Except now I say, “Please put it back on or hold it yourself” and follow up with “I usually store my hat on my head so I don’t have to hold it.” He puts it back on right away, and it stays on until we are home! Parenting win!
—Just So Tired
I am currently 17 weeks pregnant with baby number 2, and my energy levels are in the basement. I assumed that pregnancy when I also have a 2-year-old would be more challenging, but it has caught me off guard how tired I am all the time. I’m feeling really bad that I don’t have the energy to give my daughter the attention she wants, and she is getting way more screen time than I would like. I’m also having to ask my husband to pick up more than his share of the parenting duties, and I’m anxious about getting in experiences with my daughter before her sister arrives, and it all feels overwhelming. Long story short, things are just much harder right now than I anticipated they would be when we first decided to have a second kid.
Now it’s time for this week’s reader question:
I’m almost five weeks pregnant with my first and am finding myself surprised at just how weird this part of the pregnancy process is! I feel like I’m stuck in limbo — it’s so early that you’re not “supposed” to tell people, which on one hand, I understand; I don’t want to tell the world now, in case I have a miscarriage. But on the other, I’m finding myself feeling less joyful than I thought I would be, because this still feels theoretical. (The morning sickness hasn’t hit, so maybe when it does, I’ll be ruing my words.) I just never realized the agony of waiting a month (a month!) to go in for an ultrasound to know if the tiny poppy seed inside me is even ... viable. But I’m also the kind of person who wraps my head around big life things by talking about it with other people, and this doesn’t feel like a situation where I can do that. How do you get through the lonely first trimester?
—Still feeling like Schrödinger’s Uterus
What do you think?