The Thing I Miss Most About Life Before Kids

posted by Andrea | 01/30/2014

snoozing with Nora

I’m just going to make a VERY broad assumption and guess that anyone who’s ever had kids has something (maybe a small thing) that they miss about their life before kids.

Not that any of us wish we didn’t have kids. I’m guessing most of us would say that overall, our life is better, happier, and more “full” with kids.

But… never-the-less, there is usually something we miss about our pre-baby, pre-kid days.

Right?

And I know what you might be thinking right now — that I miss a full night of sleep.

Well, you’re right, I DO miss my sleep (I figured it out and it’s been almost 700 nights of sleeplessness since Nora was born!)

However, a full night of sleep is not what I miss MOST about life before kids.ย 

Yes I miss the sleep

I miss that extraย time with Dave

I miss free time to myself

I miss thinking my own thoughts for more than 10 seconds at a time

I miss pursuing hobbies that are simply enjoyable for me

I miss eating food when it’s still hot

I miss having a clean house basically all the time

I miss doing whatever I want whenever I want, without planning ahead and finding a babysitter

I miss leaving the house with just my wallet and phone

I miss going to the bathroom without a little person checking up on me to make sure I’m still wearing underwear ๐Ÿ™‚

But believe it or not, the thing I miss the MOST about my life before kids is…

PREDICTABILITY!

I’ve actually gotten much better at this over the last two years (out of sheer necessity), but I can’t tell you how frustrating it is for me to live such an unpredictable lifestyle.

As many of you probably already know… I have just a teeny tiny bit of a Type A personality.ย And by “teeny tiny bit” I mean: “I’m extremely, majorly Type A!”

I make lists. I like order. I crave structure. I NEED predictability.

When I say I’ll be somewhere at 8:00, I’ll be there by 7:59 — no questions, asked!

I start getting antsy and twitchy when I don’t have a list or a schedule; and although I’m getting better at hiding it now, I can get down-right angry when big changes happen without proper warning.

I don’t necessarily think any of that is a bad thing, but it definitely doesn’t offer me much help when it comes to raising children — specifically my Nora ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh yes, she is sweet as pie and cute as a button… but she’s also been quite a challenge for me (and Dave) — not only the sleeping and the eating, but also the fact that her life is totally unscheduled and we hardly ever know what’s going to happen next.

I realize that all children are somewhat unpredictable — but seriously, Nora is just the worst! I sometimes think how much fun God must have watching me try to parent this completely unpredictable child in my overly Type-A world.

I can’t tell you how hard I’ve tried to create some sort of structure for Nora’s life, but no matter what I try, I get nowhere.

After 26 months, we’re FINALLY to the point where we eat breakfast and lunch at basically the same time every day — which means I can actually schedule morning activities, appointments, and errands around those times to prevent hunger melt-downs.

This might sounds like a super simple thing — but with all the eating/feeding issues we’ve dealt with, it’s actually ย a HUGE accomplishment for us.

There are a few things we’ve made progress on when it comes to creating some type of routine and schedule for our days — but for the most part, there is still NO way of knowing what our day will be like until we’re living it.

There’s no telling if Nora will take a nap or not, when she’ll end up going to bed, how many times she’ll wake up at night, how long she’ll stay awake in the middle of the night, when (or why) she’ll have a complete meltdown in the middle of a public place, or when she will simply freak out over something extremely small that I might not even realize.

Much of this is due to her sensory issues (loud noises, strong smells, a strange person looking at her for too long can all push her over the edge in a matter of seconds), but it’s still so frustrating for me as a parent to try plan even the simplest of days only to have everything blow up in my face, show up late, or cancel an appointment because of Nora.

It’s crazy how much anxiety it causes me on a daily basis — even something as simple as scheduling a dentist appointment, a play date, or a time for the plumber to come out becomes a challenge.

When might Nora be sleeping? When will she be the most relaxed and not get freaked out by a stranger in our house? When will she be most rested and willing to play with other kids?

Yes, sometimes I over-think these small decisions, but as a natural “planner” it’s hard for me NOT to over-think everything after 2+ years of being THAT mom with the screaming kid, or THAT mom who always shows up late, or THAT mom who always has to leave early (usually with a screaming kid), or even THAT mom who can’t ever socialize with the other moms because her kid is so scared of the other kids that they both end up siting BY the other kids to “watch from a distance”.

I know it will get better (it’s already better now that she can talk) but it’s still SO frustrating for me.

I want to be able to schedule something more than 1 day in advance and not have the plans blow up in my face.

I want to be able to say “you can count on me” and not have to back out at the last minute.

I want to be on time (or even early) for anything again.

I want to be able to leave the house without worrying how Nora will handle a strange place.

I want to be able to plan out my day and actually have that plan work out!

Simple requests if you ask me — but not probable.

And although we’re making slow progress, I fully realize that in less than 5 weeks, the new baby will throw me another curve ball and we’ll be starting over again with a new baby and a new “schedule” to work around.

Have I mentioned thatย motherhood sometimes makes me feel like a failure?

YIKES!

As I try to gain a little parenting perspective, look on the bright side, and not feel too stressed out about the lack of predictability in my life; I frequently tell myself that since Nora still doesn’t have any set schedule, she might be able to “go with the flow” a bit more when the new baby comes.

Her day won’t be ruined if she doesn’t get a nap (she’ll probably be thrilled!). If we go to a strange place, I can have her focus on “helping baby brother” to distract her from potential “scary people”.

She already told me that she can be my ‘special helper’ and ‘take care of baby brother’ — so sweet, I know. And I’m fairly confident that as long as we stay home or in a familiar place most of the time (which we try to do anyway) she will be extremely entertained by the baby — and might actually be somewhat helpful to me!

I can hope… right!ย 

Or maybe not ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, life will go on, I will survive, I will continue to learn how to “go with the flow” a little more each day, and I will be the best mom I can be to BOTH my kiddos.

I do NOT wish to go back to my life before kids — but every now and then, I do wish I could have a little more predictability to my days.

Maybe in another 20 years when the kids are moved out ๐Ÿ™‚

What do YOU miss most about life before kids?

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59 comments

  1. Sallie

    02/03/2014

    My daughter was high need although not to the same degree as yours. She also strongly dislikes loud noises and commotion.

    It truly does get easier. Caroline is almost seven and a half and life is SO MUCH easier. When she could hold a conversation it became much easier. When she became a bit more independent it became easier. I would say right around age five we started feeling like we got some of our life back. Each year we have felt that way even more. It really does get easier. I remember feeling at times like my life was over and I would never get to do anything I wanted to do again.

    I don’t know what your plans are for schooling, but I’m guessing Nora would really benefit from homeschooling and probably a relaxed homeschooling approach. If she has sensory issues she’s going to find a traditional classroom really challenging. I say this as a former elementary teacher and current homeschool mom. My daughter would not thrive in a traditional classroom and I’m guessing Nora might struggle as well based on what you’ve written here. Feel free to stop by my learning site linked in my name. I write about our relaxed approach to homeschooling. ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Sallie,
    At this point, there’s basically no way I would ever be interested in homeschooling Nora — just because I know I personally could NOT handle it ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, Dave’s a teacher so he’s pretty “pro school”.
    It will be 2.5 years yet before we even need to think about school and a lot can change in that time. We’re pretty confident that she’ll thrive in a school setting once she get’s used to it — but we’ll just wait and see when that time comes!

    So glad to know it gets easier though!!

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  2. Nevele

    02/02/2014

    I miss alone time.

    I used to take my bike to a local trail and ride alone. Back then, I rarely saw another person. I could just be alone with my thoughts. I enjoyed that so much. It got me out of the house. It was good exercise.

    *sigh*

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  3. Christi

    02/02/2014

    The picture of the baby doll with stickers all over it made me laugh out loud. What a hoot! You obviously have a sense of humor, which helps get through those unpredictable moments. I can’t think of what I miss before I had kids, but I can tell you what I miss now that they’ve grown up: having them around.

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  4. Marisa A

    01/31/2014

    Yesterday Ruth Soukup from livingwellspendingless.com posted this from her blog that she had written a few years ago: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2011/01/11/my-life-lesson/
    Sounds like a very similar situation as to what you are going through. Thank you for sharing your heart!!

    [Reply]

  5. Brittany

    01/31/2014

    I’m not yet a mother. But I will admit that I miss the predictability I had before I married my farmer/volunteer firefighter. The weather dictates our time together. I can plan a date for Friday night, but If the weather’s good, he may need to be outside working. He gets fire calls in the middle of the night, or while we’re eating a nice meal. All that said, I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. But I am definitely getting stretched beyond my regimented self…

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  6. Christy

    01/31/2014

    I COULD HAVE WRITTEN THIS.

    [Reply]

  7. Amy

    01/31/2014

    Andrea,
    Hang in there.
    Yesterday, I had a colicky baby who NEVER slept but cried 24 hours a day. I was THAT mom you speak of. We couldn’t even go to church, a store, anywhere. I think she had sensory issues that were never diagnosed, I just kept thinking it was my fault somehow. Today, I have 5 children and the colicky baby is a thriving 18-year-old off to her first year of college. It is really true what they say: “The days are long but the years are short.” I have had MANY meltdowns over those hard days. But it does go all too fast. When you’re in the trenches you can’t imagine getting out, but my youngest is 4 and I wish every day that I had another baby or three and I was back down in the trenches.
    You’re doing great, keep doing what you’re doing and
    God bless you.

    [Reply]

  8. Colleen

    01/31/2014

    Our first (a daughter) was quite an anxious handful, but when our second (a son) came along he sparked a special “something” in her. Although she still held onto many of her old habits–no need for sleep, picky eater, reluctance to play/join with others, etc–there was a sort of calm that came over her. I guess there’s no other way to say it than she “lightened up”. I wish that for you and Nora as you welcome her new baby brother.

    [Reply]

  9. Monica Good

    01/31/2014

    I wish the replies had the “Like” feature.

    You ladies are all awesome. I enjoyed reading all the comments!!!!

    [Reply]

  10. Marisa

    01/30/2014

    Thanks for this–I needed it today. I’m a first time mom of a 7 month old and I’m running out of the new-baby motivation which somehow made the sleepless nights and crying days easier when he was younger. Now it’s just old and exhausting and I feel I ought to have mastered it by now.

    I miss headache medicine. I gets lots of headaches and occasional migraines, but I haven’t taken my medicine since I got pregnant with him. In that respect, I look forward to his being weaned.

    [Reply]

    Janelle Reply:

    Occasionally, I get a migraine and if I take two extra strength Tylenol + 1 cup of regular coffee, that seems to do the trick and take it away. My doctors said to give that a try. Chiropractic adjustments also have helped. It is not a daily thing, but once in a while. Praying that those headaches will subside!

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  11. Rebecca

    01/30/2014

    Isn’t it interesting how different everyone’s parenting experiences are? My son is about a month younger than Nora and it kills me because there are times he wants nothing to do with me, to the point of crying sometimes when I come in the house or enter the room. He really prefers daddy over me and it kills me cause I love him so much but he just seems to rather I not be around sometimes. And you have the opposite issue of Nora wanting you all the time. Parentingโ€ฆnot for the weak at heart!

    [Reply]

    Marisa M. Reply:

    Rebecca — I am going through what you’re going through and I just wanted to reach out and tell you I understand. I don’t know how to get through this but I know I must. Just sending you a big hug of understanding.

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  12. Tara

    01/30/2014

    Oh yes oh yes. I don’t think it matters what type of personality a mom has and what challenges her child has…children are our most sanctifying tasks on earth. I have found in my time as a wife and mother that God is using these beautifully difficult people to humble me and bring forth strengths that are not my own.

    It is when I have poured out myself and come to the end of my rope that God has become very real to me and His strength has been made perfect in my weakness. I can honestly say that since having children, I have learned to interact so differently with God. I often find myself laughing over His sense of humor and I understand a little more clearly the depth of HIs love for me as HIs child and creation.

    There are so many promises in the Bible about the work God is doing in us, about what we can do through the power of Christ in us, about how trials bring us perseverance and maturity to bring us to completion. God has promised us every thing we need and that He will work every situation for our good when we are called according to His purpose. I have learned in the most difficult times of mothering that when I lean into those promises and into His resources, I am not only encouraged, but I get a little preview of the victory He is bringing to me in HIs time. I know I’m preaching to the choir on all of this, but it is very fresh in my mind and heart right now.

    Only a month ago my 16 month old son was in the PICU at a nationally renowned children’s hospital. It was a time of great introspection about what I had once found so very difficult. You know what’s more difficult to handle than an unpredictable life with challenging children? A child on a ventilator with a mama who is helpless to put breath into his lungs.

    At those critical life and death moments, you begin to see so intensely how much life is a gift. The beauty in anything that encompasses breathing and even the opportunity to communicate at all with our children is something we take for granted. Even the very difficult days and behavioral issues etc. become beautiful and sacred.

    Praise God we are home and my son is out of danger for now. But the honest truth is, we live in an unpredictable world and I’m finally coming to grips with a lot of things I’ve never been able to let go. A messier house, a more predictable life, well I miss them, but I’m finally able to find deep contentment in the sound of my children arguing and tantruming. Because that fight inside of them is a tangible sign of life. Real, good, vibrant life. And if they are alive and in our care, God isn’t done doing His miraculous work in their lives or in our lives as parents.

    Carry on mama. All of this is forming you into an amazing warrior for God’s glory. Everything you gain and lose in the process is all part of His master plan to shape you into the woman He created you to be. I’ll hang in there with you on those difficult days and trust that everything I lose and gain is also for my good and for His glory. Blessings over you!

    [Reply]

    Joanna Reply:

    That was such a powerful and beautiful response!

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    Nicole Reply:

    Your words are true and opening to the mind.
    Thankyou

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    Jan Reply:

    Andrea..re-read the 2nd paragraph of Tara’s response..spot on..You know Jess,well after 27 yrs. we still are challenged, will never be empty nesters…but that’s ok..God has a different plan for us…He has changed us..I too always wanted everything perfect but leaning and talking daily to God was the only way,He allows events in our life to fit His plan..Embrace that,don’t worry about what people think..they are not walking in your shoes! Enjoy those babies,it goes by fast!

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  13. Katy

    01/30/2014

    I can only say from my experience, God/the universe/whatever you believe gives you what you need, not necessarily what you want. You and A your personality needed this child to shake you up. She is a gorgeous fantastic creature but yes, she has her own personality & will change you in ways you never expected. Having a similar experience with my oldest (“spirited child”) who turned out to have special needs, I encourage you to keep talking/writing and keep a healthy relationship with your sweet husband, take time for yourself and remember it is all going to turn out just fine. It may not be the motherhood experience you envisioned but
    It is a gift which will open your heart and deepen your love, compassion and understanding of others. You will be tired, that will not change… but you will be thankful for this gift in the form of a beautifully complex little child.

    [Reply]

  14. Kim

    01/30/2014

    You have had a super challenging baby first time around. I hope that it is ok that I am still praying for an easier second baby.
    You are gonna love the “empty nest.” But, I won’t tell you how good it is. Yet, I wouldn’t have missed being a mama to our two girls for all the tea in China! They have enriched our lives and given it great meaning!

    [Reply]

  15. Michaela

    01/30/2014

    I have six children, being a mom made me a better person as well and also made me more of a planer. But I would say the two biggest things I miss pre-kids is going to the grocery store and not feeling like I’m a momma duck with all her ducklings following behind her, and not having to repeat myself a million times a day.

    [Reply]

  16. Kaelsma

    01/30/2014

    Have you ever thought that maybe God gave you a child like Nora just so you WOULD have to ease up on your desire to control every aspect of your life? And that maybe, by the time your children are out of the house, you will be a completely different – more laid back – more flexible person – completely at ease with “winging it”?

    [Reply]

  17. Sabrina

    01/30/2014

    I was very much like you approximately 23 years ago when i had my first sweet baby. I, too, had some trouble adjusting to the lack of control babies bring to our lives. You seem to be doing a tremendous job “adjusting” thus far, and I imagine you will continue to do so. I just wanted to share a funny thought. We planned to have 2 or 3 children but thanks to “Divine Intervention” wound up with 5! I homeschooled them for awhile before finances drove me back to work as an RN. Needless to say, I am 180 degrees more flexible than I was 23 years ago. I learned that the “Divine Intervention” gave me 5 individual personalities that shaped ME at least as much as I shaped them. I’ve come to believe we are matched together to shape our character and personalities. Take heart and continue to enjoy your ride. You seem to be headed in with your eyes as open as they can be.

    [Reply]

  18. Allison

    01/30/2014

    It does get better because it gets to be more routine. i dont mean you’ll be on time for things again. i mean you’ll get used to the lateness & everything else. I have almost 12 yo twins and while i love them so much they just suck the life out of me! lol They fight constantly. over anything. anything. But life wouldnt be so interesting wo them. And, since i was an older mom when i had them, i think they keep me young as well. When they were babies and toddlers everytime we went out it took us 1 hour to actually get out the door. Are they dressed? Do they have clean diapers? Do we have bottles to take with us? And and ice pack to keep the bottles cool? Are there diapers in the diaper bad? And wipes? And bibs? Should we take extra clothes for them? oh yeah we have to get dressed and go to the bathroom too. Then out the door. whew.

    [Reply]

  19. Traci

    01/30/2014

    I love your blog and ready about your life and challenges in child-rearing. My own son has ADHD and I can remember praying that God would heal him from what I believed was an ‘affliction’. Finally God spoke to my heart and told me that He had placed this in him for a purpose & one day I would understand. He told me that it is my purpose to love and nurture this beautiful spirit so that when the time was right the Lord would use this gift. I was humbled and blessed and have never stopped being amazed by my son. Sometimes perspective is best viewed from many angles. Your daughter is adorable and such a blessing. Thank you for sharing.

    [Reply]

  20. Melissa

    01/30/2014

    My husband and I do not have any kids, so I can’t say what I miss. Most of our friends have children though and I’m sure you’re correct that it’s normal to miss something about the pre-baby days. The picture of Nora’s doll covered in stickers is hilarious. thank you for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  21. Christina

    01/30/2014

    I think you hit the nail on the head when referring to God and how He created Nora. We all need to grow and learn daily… Adapt, improvise, and overcome. I was like you as well, extremely type A, before my now 22 year old. It gets better in some facets and overwhelming in others, depending on their age even. But I learned so much about myself and my own areas I needed to grow, and the children brought me to a better place, a better me!

    Children change you and I would like to believe that even through the trials, they each bless me and I do them. We have learned so much from each other and continue to learn every day. My life is ten million times different and nothing I even dreamed of. I wasn’t even sure I wanted children and five girls later, I know that God put each of them into my life to teach me and bless me. Sometimes the trials in our lives ARE blessings in disguise! We just can’t see it through the exhaustion, the unpredictablity, the challenges, and the letting go of who we ‘were.’

    It will get better! You do a fantastic job of focusing on the glass half full! One day you will look back on these years and laugh…. remember as a Mom, the days are long, but the years are short!!!

    Best wishes Andrea, with the newest member and all the life changes knocking at your door!

    [Reply]

  22. Heidi

    01/30/2014

    My hubby and I joke that that we don’t remember what we did before kids, so I guess that is good ๐Ÿ˜€

    Joking aside, you are doing great with a high needs child and your honesty with yourself will keep you sane. By being true to yourself you are a better mommy to your kids, so good job with that. So many times we mommies try to put on a happy face and ignore the problems, but taking a moment to just say, “wow this is overwhelming and I hope I don’t suck at this!” kind of gives us permission to just be frustrated and work through it. I think we get to the other side of a situation easier without pent up resentment or self-loathing if we are honest with ourselves.

    So excited to meet your next one ๐Ÿ˜€

    [Reply]

  23. susie

    01/30/2014

    Just this morning I told my husband I want a week on the beach with no kids and no cleaning! Not sure if I miss the sunshine or am tired of cleaning and dealing with kids!

    [Reply]

  24. Heart and Haven

    01/30/2014

    Hahaha, this post make me chuckle this morning (especially the pic of the baby doll with stickers all over it) :-). And I can’t believe how much Nora looks like you! As you both continue to learn from each other (you learning to be okay with more spontaneity, and her learning to thrive with a bit more schedule)…I’m sure things will even out better for the both of you.

    As I have 4 kids ages 22 mo. to almost 20 years, it’s hard to remember the time before kids ๐Ÿ˜‰

    [Reply]

  25. Carrie

    01/30/2014

    Hang in there, it will get better!

    I am one of the few people who really does not miss her life before kids. I feel like being a mom is my calling. I have five kids. I am more confident. I am able to talk to more people. I have made more friends, as I have other moms I can relate to. I’ve enjoyed being a part of my boys’ schools by volunteering and PTO work. I had a wonderful babysitter and now consider her and her family part of my family.

    I used to be very Type A. Five boys have cured that. I used to worry about things. Not anymore. I am happier and more content. Not much bothers me. I can go with the flow.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — I can’t really imagine feeling how you feel, but I AM happy that you are honest and can admit that you prefer life now versus before kids. I think a lot of times, moms fall into a rut of complaining when we’re around other moms (b/c they can actually sympathize!) so it’s refreshing to hear someone talk as you do — even if I’m a bit jealous ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Reply]

    Kim Reply:

    I think it takes time to realize being a Mom is a job and doing it well is work and embracing it like that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s still hard but I’m learning not to complain about it because I’m taking care of little people that have their own ideas. Before you know a 2 year old turns into a 6 year old.

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  26. Barbara

    01/30/2014

    Love, love, love your honesty. You tell it like it is; so refreshing. When my girls were little, I totally missed the sleep. Now they are 21 and 17 and sleep is no longer an issue. They sleep more than me. Regarding predictability, I think you will need to wait more than 20 years for that. I always thought as the kids got older life would be easier for a Mom with a full-time (and then some!) career. It doesn’t get easier; the problems just change, they are bigger and much more complex. (boys/men in their lives, depression, daughter getting mugged on her college campus, car accidents, etc.). Hang in there and maybe set your sites on 30 years instead of 20, 25 if you are lucky! Best of luck with the new baby!

    [Reply]

  27. Susan

    01/30/2014

    As a mother of 3 and a parent educator (and a Type A’er), I feel for you. But as mom with my oldest baby about to go off to college and the other 2 babies old enough to be mostly self-sufficient, I’m a tiny bit looking forward to being in charge of my life again. But mostly I’m dreading it. What used to be peace and organized (before kids) will now feel empty and lonely and boring (after kids). I remember how exhausting having little ones was, but I also remember how fun and exciting and cuddly it was. Now the peace and organization that my house will have much too soon when all the kids are gone, looks…. not as attractive.

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  28. Shelly

    01/30/2014

    Thanks for sharing that. I can absolutely relate to it, as can most parents, I’m sure. Having three kids makes me frantic most of the time. I’ve been THAT mom more times than I can count. My middle child has a few issues with meltdowns, not to the same extent. He is, I’ve been told, textbook ADHD. I’ve become adept at guessing what will trigger bad behavior and meltdowns. He is 5.5 years old and it is getting better. I do miss my clean house and quiet. I like quiet and hate a lot of noise.

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  29. Lynn

    01/30/2014

    Thank you for speaking so honestly! There are so many times I needed to vent to friends or extended family, but didn’t because it would be seen either as weakness, incompetence, or insensitivity. My almost six-year-old son has borderline Aspergers and only started sleeping well about a year ago. Then baby sister was born and we have started all over again. He likes things very structured and has meltdowns if things aren’t perfectly done his way. Having baby sis has helped him loosen up a bit. All in all, a much smoother transition than we anticipated. Hoping things go well for you!

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  30. Jane

    01/30/2014

    Andrea, I can understand your feelings. I know your personality type very well. I live with them! And I am that way to a certain extent. I have been feeling out of sorts this month just because my kids have had so many snow days and it seems to have turned my routine on its head. I can’t imagine the struggles you face daily when craving order. I suppose you can consider that you are living Exposure in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

    If I can offer a silver lining – you will be well-prepared for the teen years! Seriously. My baby years did have order – with nap times and bed times. Somewhere around junior high to high school, that got turned upside down. Suddenly, schedules were harder to maintain, kids were coming and going, all kinds of teens were at my house, my kids stayed up later so that my husband and I could no longer enjoy a Friday night video together. Truly, I felt it was a step-change in my life and it was very difficult for me to accept. But, as so often we parents must do, we forge ahead. I learned to accept the new “non-routine” of my life and even to enjoy it.

    Going with the flow, enjoying the moment….hard things for planners, I know.

    [Reply]

  31. Amy

    01/30/2014

    I understand how you feel. When you have little ones (or one!) in my case, life does revolve around them. I’m not saying you aren’t enjoying your time with Nora and soon to be baby #2, but time does fly. My “little one” just turned 11 yesterday and so many times I find myself thinking how I wish I could have some of those early years back, chaos and all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly enjoying this age too; my daughter and I have so much in common with each other and have an amazing time together and I know that will continue as she gets older. It is just astonishing how fast the last 11 years went! What’s even crazier to think about is she will be eligible for a drivers permit in just 4 years!!!! That I just can’t even wrap my head around. Before all of us with kiddos know it, they will be out of the nest, and we are all (well maybe most of us!)going to wish we had back those chaotic times with our babies. Instead of thinking about the things we miss about our own lives as adults we can focus on cherishing the time we have with our kids while they are young. They do grow up eventually and we will have “our time” once again.

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  32. Crystal H

    01/30/2014

    Andrea,

    I have a 7 year old son with sensory issues as well. We did therapy for a few years so his issues are about as good as they are going to get. We dealt with the feeding, sleeping (we had to turn to melatonin eventually per a doctor’s instruction), and the meltdowns from EVERYTHING (too much light, strangers, the way something felt, and so on). I can tell you that some things got better with therapy but a lot of things we have just learned to prevent or avoid and it has made life MUCH easier. We do have a routine now and a lot more PREDICTABILITY! It is NOT an easy road but I can assure you that it will get better especially as Nora gets older and can tell you more about what is bothering her. Just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone. In my opinion it has made me a better person to have a son with sensory issues. I have a completely different outlook when I see a child crying and having a tantrum, or a child that is much older with a bottle or pacifier…….Things aren’t always what they seem and you never know what that child and family are going through.

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  33. Katie

    01/30/2014

    It is nice when they learn to communicate. It’s also nice when you can reason with them. My oldest was, and still is, a challenge. Not to the same degree as Mora, but a challenge nonetheless.

    The ONE thing I miss from before is the sheer pleasure of sitting down and reading a grown up book. By myself. During the day. Is that too much to ask? If I were to try that today I would have 3 little people bringing me books and fighting over who gets to sit in my lap. Some days that alone makes me want to shriek.

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  34. Monica Good

    01/30/2014

    I hear you and can so identify.

    My twins were awesome sleepers and eaters. That saved my sanity, or what little I had.
    The unpredictable impulsive behaviors, which for us turned out to be learning issues/ADD were very difficult for me as well.
    I envy you for having an outlet, like your blog to at the very least “to vent” I didn’t have that. In fact, although to me, it seems to me just yesterday, but it was almost 25 years ago, mom’s didn’t speak of such things. Losing your mind simply wasn’t spoken aloud.
    I was a typical type A with the cleanest baseboards anywhere. I wound up being a tyrant in my own home. These are my biggest regrets in life. What my children received from it was mom was incredibly unhappy. I missed my reading time, my working alone, my silence.
    Embrace the unpredictable. In that time you’ll see life in the moment. You’ll see sheer enjoyment in your children.
    Twenty-five years later we run our business from our home. Things are still unpredictable. The changes are numerous and I believe God given. Just when I thought life would calm down with two-thirds of the children grown and gone I had my mom become very ill, then her death. Now, I care for my dad as he lives in his own home, as well as caring for my mother in law who has Alzheimer’s ( kind of like dealing wti

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    Monica Good Reply:

    ( sorry my computer is possessed)

    continuing….she is kind of like dealing with a toddler)

    You don’t realize what could be happening now to prepare you for later in life.
    I know that God has prepared me for this journey. He prepared me well.

    I just wish that I had slowed down.
    Embraced spontaneity.

    Keep smiling Andrea. Enjoy. Trust me, I still have baseboards that need scrubbing.

    Hugs for you, girlfriend!!!!

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  35. Kim

    01/30/2014

    I am right there with you! I was always the one 5 mins early for everything, now I am the one 5 mins late (and not without grumblings about it on my part!). I am super Type A as well and it’s really hard for me not to have certain things planned out. My son is going to be 4 in April and I have had to give up the idea that everything has to be done my way…in the end, it only frustrates me and it’s not healthy for any of us! Here’s to hoping that we can (and I know we will) survive the next couple of decades!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  36. Stephanie

    01/30/2014

    I am the opposite of you. :). Having kids forced me to be more organized, make lists, plan things better, etc. It made me grow up if you will. My husband and I ask each other sometimes what we did with our time before kids. We definitely have gotten busier, not only with them but in other areas of our life.
    God isn’t laughing at you, each day He is giving you the grace you need and teaching complete reliance on Him for the strength to make it through the day. No matter how “needy” a child someone has, children bring us to our knees in prayer asking God for the grace we need.
    They also teach us about ourselves. How long suffering and patient our God is with us and our shortcomings and our failings. We are like little children who constantly frustrate him yet he still loves us and graciously looks upon us.

    People always say we will miss this stage. I am sure it is true, but I am also thankful it is only for a time. Although I don’t look forward to the stage where I am waiting at home for them to come home past curfew…..

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    Edie Reply:

    Wonderful perspective!

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  37. Courtney

    01/30/2014

    My brother is 2 years younger than me. I was never one to leave my mom including going to Sunday school with teachers I knew. However once I had my little brother to go with me and for me to “take care of” I would go anywhere and do anything as long as the two of us were together and the two of us have an awesome relationship still 20 yrs later. (And sometimes I still make him come with me if I have to experience a new place!) ๐Ÿ™‚ Will be praying for you and your family!

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  38. MomofTwoPreciousGirls

    01/30/2014

    I empathize and wish I could say it gets better. My six yo was in my bed last night (and for the first time in the 4 yo’s life she woke up twice from puking… she is a pro sleeper)!

    I miss sleep and I have not been able to eat a meal in one sitting since my oldest was born!

    What I miss the most is going to concerts with my husband (my bank acct doesn’t miss it). We used to attend several a month and now I really can’t remember the last time we went to one! It doesn’t help that we now live in the south and all that comes around is Country, Christian or Pop (all the genres we can’t stand)!

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  39. Paulette Smith

    01/30/2014

    Oh my word. I identify with you so much. No, I didn’t have a child with the intensity of Nora’s issues, but I had one who was somewhat similar. My children (4 daughters) are all grown and gone now and my life is predictable and my house is clean. But, oh the years of frustration because of my own personality. I also am a type A, cannot stand being late, clutter around the house causes anxiety, love my lists, etc., etc. My children will tell you that I am fond of saying, “children will ‘beat’ the selfishness out of you.” I am forever changed by my daughters…in a good way. However, I LOVE the neat home and predictability of my days now. Your comment about God laughing….well, I laughed out loud! Thank you for your transparency. It helps so many.
    And by the way, I am always stunned when I see Nora’s pictures. She is your CLONE!!

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  40. Laurel

    01/30/2014

    I feel for you. Do kids that have those issues usually outgrow them? Do the professionals say that these meltdowns should stop once she enters school or is that unpredictable too? I know there have been kids in my kids’ classes that have had tantrums even in upper grades and fortunately the other kids are really good with them. I hope she outgrows it and I also hope your second child doesn’t suffer from it. I also feel really bad for her. It’s got to be hard. I don’t blame you for wanting some predictability as even those who aren’t type A would be bonkers. It’s so hard to see that side of Nora from the cute photos you post. We would never suspect except from your descriptions. I hope you find some inner peace because we are all rooting for you.

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