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Old 02-10-2012, 04:46 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,524
Default Experiential Learning

I think that having a newborn at home is one of those things that many people don't really have the capacity to understand until they have been through it.

As part of my job I spend time talking with and counseling pregnant and post-partum women and their partners. Now, I don't have personal experience in this regard myself either but I have seen many people go through this process. Most new parents seem pretty much overwhelmed (and exhausted). The universal response seems to be - I love my baby but I never knew it would be like this. I ask them if there is anything anyone (meaning me) could have said that would better have prepared them for this experience. Usually it wasn't that noone told them what to expect, it's that they didn't believe it or thought that those were the "horror stories" and wouldn't apply to them. I direct women and their partners to prepared childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes, newborn care classes. I tell them not to make any plans for visitors/travel/etc for the post-partum period until they see what it is like. (I had a woman 6 mos pregnant who was planning to take her baby on a two-week trip half-way across the country at 6 weeks to "meet" her family. Oh God!)

After the baby is born and they are in the state of basically taking care of the baby and not having the energy to take care of anything else I ask them if anyone they can stand to have around (and see them with their hair greasy and laundry piled up) offered to "help" after the baby was born - lots of people did! NOW is the time to call them - not to visit (i.e. cuddle your kid while you play the hostess) but to do the laundry and dishes and man the diaper table while you take a shower and nap. I am constantly amazed by the number of people who are unwilling to "impose" on their friends and family...

Watched a close friend and his wife go through matter what I said they were convinced that THEIR child would be the exception. The husband was convinced that HIS baby would awake conveniently every 4 hours at night for breastfeeding (which his wife would handle) and he would be awake and refreshed so that he could take care of everything during the day so his wife could take a nap in the afternoon - during which time HIS child would be considerate enough to only have wet (not poopy diapers)...and, of course, they would be perfectly happy to have extended family visit and stay with them to "meet the baby." Oh Goddess!

With regards to the OP - very soon the whole poly issue may be a moot point for some time, my wish for you is that your husband mans up when the baby comes (for many men it seems that the transition to "father" doesn't actually happen until they meet their offspring - then their whole world shifts...suddenly dealing with a poopy diaper is the least of their worries).

Sorry for the lengthy post - working at this for 13 years and still trying to figure out how to best help people prepare for this...
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (23+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (4+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
Lotus: "it's complicated"
SLeW: platonic girlfriend + BFF
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.

My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 02-10-2012 at 04:49 AM. Reason: clarity
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