An interesting article that we spotted – by NEIL KEENE From:The Daily Telegraph, August 20, 2012

SOME rules were made to be broken – just ask any parent.

From no smacking to putting a ban on all lollies and chocolates for the first few years of life, millions of mums- and dads-to-be make parenting promises before their baby is born, only to go back on their word when the reality sets in. The huge amount of advice available on the internet and via self-help books could be to blame, according to experts, with new parents frequently setting unrealistically high standards for themselves based on what they read. Parent Line telephone counselling service manager Tarja Malone said many parents ended up feeling like failures when they realised they weren’t sticking to the rules. “We often get parents who are absolutely frazzled because they’ve gone in with a parenting strategy that’s not working for them or their baby,” Ms Malone said.
“The most important thing is that an attachment happens between a parent and a baby, but sometimes the rules are so strict that the parent can’t connect with their child.
“That’s probably more damaging than bending the rules.”

Tresillian family care assists almost 80,000 families each year in NSW, many of whom have approached parenthood with over-the-top expectations of how they will cope.

“Until you become a parent I think it’s very easy to be idealistic about what you are going to be like and how you’ll perform,” acting nursing director Leanne Daggar said.

“Often the reality doesn’t match the expectation.

“You’ve got to have standards, but you don’t want to be so hard-nosed that there is no give-and-take.”

Sydney mum Licia Curro has two children aged five and three, and is 19 weeks pregnant with her third. The 30-year-old said she went into parenthood “with a set of hard-and-fast rules”, but they didn’t last long.

“It doesn’t always end up the way you want it to and I think the textbooks set unrealistic expectations,” Ms Curro said.

Family psychologist Sally-Anne McCormack has urged parents not to beat themselves up over changing their child’s rulebook.

“When we’re immersed in a situation such as parenting there is a whole other reality and a stack of other factors that need to be taken into account,” she said.

“Research might tell a parent something but the reality is that research doesn’t always factor in emotions, sleep deprivation, other people’s advice and all those things that come into the mix.”

Did you set any expectations before bub arrived? Did you meet them or did you put them to the side?

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  • No, I had no idea what to expect, so I didn’t have any pre conceived ideas on much. I have seen others set limits only to fail


  • I told myself I was going to be relaxed and not beat myself up about little things but hormones a baby and sleep deprivation do funny things to the Lai back plans.


  • No, I didn’t have any exoectstions before bub arrived, I just didn’t know what to expect. Except for the tiredness


  • I think this subject may have been put in the wrong section. I found this in the “Money and Business” section.
    In the money context, we need to anticipate costs vs income on one wage when you leave work to have your baby..
    We need to decide what we really need for our baby and what we won’t need. e.g. a newborn can go straight into a cot. You don’t have to have a bassinet or equivalent. I suggest you get a good quality mattress for your cot. Your baby will spend most of his/her time in it the first few months. It needs to be firm to support your baby’s back, not soft and start sagging in no time. Don’t rush out and buy things too early. Give the grandparents to choose what they will buy for their grandchild. My Mum bought her first grandchild the convertible baby carseat. You may be offered furniture, clothes etc. that have been used by a relative/friend’s child. Some things you only use or a few months, or perhaps 2 years. Don’t be too proud to accept them if they are in good condition and are washable. Make sure what =ever stroller you buy is easy to fold and unfold, not too heavy to lift into your car boot….and will fit without filling it too much. I was given one that was excellent quality, but filled my boot. One other tip, I suggest you don’t buy one with pnumatic tyres. (you blow them up) They are prone to puncture if you go walking where there is prickly lawn at all. You may not take your stroller on the lawn but there could be prickles on the paths from when the lawn has been cut. Unless you can do it yourself getting them repaired becomes very expensive.


  • We never had many rules in our house. And the ones we did have were basic and easy for everyone to follow


  • Really very good knowledge to know! Thanks for sharing this article!


  • its so stupid to set your rules by someone elses. what those books and such say is what worked for that 1 family and those parents from that place.
    and i guarantee it didnt actually work all the time for them either no matter what they claim.


  • Our main thought was that we needed to know what kind of person our child was before we knew what kind of rules would be needed.

    • Probably Guilty of this in the wait to meet our first child.. Very insightful read though! Will reconsider the expectations I place on those first few years that’s for sure :)


  • You try not to show emotion as a younger version of you talks about how they’re going to be the most modern/natural/healthy/in touch/etc/etc/etc Mum….. before their baby is born. Best laid plans of mice and men.


  • We knew we had everything to learn. No real expectations first time round, other than a healthy, happy bub.


  • I ddint have any expectations other than raising a healthy happy baby

    • yep me too. i was so occupied and in awe when i was pregnant


  • I think there were more expectations from others


  • thank you sharing this article good read


  • thanks for sharing was a great read


  • A good read, thanks for sharing


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