What do you feel is your biggest need as a parent?
"Sanity! More than money or material things, the need to know when to stand back and let them fall a little. Not to think from the heart and rescue them from the pain of growing. Knowing how to divide one gum ball 3 ways and be fair. Being able to say - I was a kid, I made mistakes and sharing those moments even if it means showing them mom's not perfect. Even now I can be wrong."
"My biggest need as a parent is to be a good role model for my son. Certain behavior's that I have need converting. I don't want my son modeling behavior I'm not proud of."
"Space to make mistakes (do it my way, without good intentional interference from mother's, grandmother's, etc.)."
"I need more free time! We all need peaceful, quiet moments. Time alone with my husband when we're not surrounded by chores."
"Tax breaks as parents choosing not to use day-care, but to raise our own child."
"Gee, that's a tough one....which need is biggest? My biggest need is a chance to break away, even if only for a short time. The only break I get is a couple of hours in the evening when my husband gets home from work. H's been working on weekends a lot too, which makes it just another day to me. Heck, a lot of times I don't even know what day it is. Day turns into night turns into day....I feel as though I've lost touch with reality. My other need is to get my old body back. That involves losing 30 to 40 pounds. The baby usually doesn't sleep long enough for me to get anything done. What's a person to do? Set their alarm for 3 a.m. and do laundry and aerobics then? Yeah, right!"
"Patience. I need to be patient about how slow my life has become. Patience in disciplining my child when she misbehaves. Patient enough to realize sh's just a baby who is trying to learn about the world through exploration and experimentation."
"I would enjoy a support group to discuss child rearing and family problems and concerns."
"Time away from the house with my husband. My daughter is at the age right now that she
screams when we leave her with anyone other
than our daytime baby sitter, so we either don't go out, or go out after she's asleep, which is late."
"The biggest need is peace. The peace of mind knowing that God is in control of our lives and letting his love for us gently guide us. It's very easy to let society's message to rush, rush, rush, rob us of the small precious moments we encounter each day. I need to stay focused on God's love for us."
"Four more hours in each day, longer week-ends, a two-day work week. (I'll take any one of these!)"
"Support! I need to hear that I am a good mom."
"Alone time and it would be nice to have a support group for stay-at-home mom's."
"Less pressure to get everything done now. Also I need to keep my life simple without a lot of demands on my time so that I can put all of my energy toward caring for my baby (where it needs to be now)."
"My biggest need is having more fun time with our children, creating those special memories that I myself cherish from my childhood."
"Being around other people with or without kids. I sometimes feel so isolated."
"Time to relax and to talk with other parents about the joys and sorrows of this new role."
"Eight hands, two heads and more energy than three kids (ages 6, 4 & 4 months). But really, the biggest need is time, 24 hours is not enough."
"Intellectual stimulation and feedback as far as my parenting."
"Sleep!! Ha Ha.... No, I guess my biggest need right now is time alone. I depend a lot on my husband and friends to provide some relief for me. Just to take the baby for a couple hours so I can do something for myself - read a book, cross-stitch, sleep, take a bubble bath, etc."
"Contact with other full-time mom's. I'd like to know others but there are none in my neighborhood. I'd especially like to befriend another full-time mother who is educated (college degreed) and plans to resume her career, later when her child is older."
"Developing a consistent support system to assist and encourage in raising a healthy stable child. As a parent, you need to feel or hear from a husbands, family, friend or peer, that you're doing a good job."
"The biggest need in my life as a parent right now is more adult companionship. I left the Air Force to become a full-time mother of twins. I have become so wrapped up in caring for my twins that I don't make time for myself to meet other mothers. I really feel a need to have adult friends that I can talk to about overwhelming feelings I have a lot of the time."
"To know that I'm not the only parent out there that feels like I'm losing it."
"Understanding my child's likes and dislikes. What do you do when one day she loves vegetables and the next day she can't stand them. Also, dealing with her allergies. She has eczema and dairy sensitivities."
"My biggest need is adult contact. Thankfully I get a lot of that from a new mom's support group. It's important to me to know I have a regular scheduled time to talk to other moms."
"Friendship with other mothers in my neighborhood."
"Encouragement, support and information on parenting."
"Time for ourselves. My husband and I try to get out together a few hours at least once a week. In addition, we take turns working out at an athletic club. It's amazing how everything we engaged in before our son was born has now become a luxury."
"The need to find more `romantic' time and pick up laid aside hobbies or interests."
"Supportive, encouraging people around me who appreciate the effort I put into being a good mother, and who make a point of being positive and sharing my joy in my children. Someone, even a stranger, smiling or remarking about something positive can give me a boost of happy energy for awhile."
"I have my two great kids and a wonderful husband. I honestly don't need anything else."
"Someone to talk to who won't always try to top my story. That is real hard with other new parents because they are experiencing the same thing and old parents know it will pass."
"Support from other parents (and mothers particularly) is most important in my life. I feel a great need to nurture and expand friendships in these areas."
"More help from my spouse, as there is no one else to turn to."
"To always be available when my son needs me."
"Understanding and flexibility from my employer. The choice to have flexible hours or even going part-time without losing my job."
"Dependable in-home child care so I can get an occasional break."
"Time just for me and time for their dad and me to be together, without guilt! Even when we can arrange for a sitter for 4 hours out, my heart aches to go back home and be with the children. It's not really feeling guilty about being away from them, but more being lonely for them."
"More time for relaxation and being together as a family without the pressures of every day life. Weekends are just too short!"
"I need more friends with children. I need to be able to get out alone with my husband. I need more money!"
"Tips and advice from other parents and experts. Also, reassurance that what I'm doing as a parent is the right thing."
"Time with husband and baby as family unit. My spouse and I have opposite days off in order to spend time caring for our child. This lessens time for the baby at a sitter and saves money but it also lessens our time together."
"Finding enough time for myself. having just moved to a new town where I don't know anybody and not ever having enough money for a sitter I tend to forget that I'm a person besides `mommy'. I'd like to tap into a single parent network for exchanging coping strategies and/or baby sitting duties."
"Time. Time to sew, cook, clean, garden, care for the kids, care for may husband and still not go crazy. Forget about time for me. I am lucky to be able to go potty without a child barging in. Forget about a shower alone!"
"About 30 hours a day should do it."
"Support for my beliefs in parenting."
"Reassurance that the world will be a clean and safe place for my children to grow up in."
"To get my time is very important. I thought it was selfish for so long and now I realize it's better for the baby and me."
"Getting her father to take this seriously and stick around."
"I have an excellent child care provider during working hours but do not have access to a sitter near home for my free time. Again the inner conflict of `do I need time for myself' or `would I rather spend my free time with him?'. He wins out every time!"
"I would like to see more parenting classes available in the community - age specific like `What to expect from a two year old'."
"About 30 minutes a day to myself without any interruptions."
"Someone to answer the `stupid' questions of a first time parent."
"A pat on the back. Being a parent subjects one to many comments, `suggestions' and criticisms. My reward comes from satisfying my child but I feel a need to hear from my husband, mother or friend that I am doing a good job."
"A good support system for both breastfeeding and parenting."
"Time for myself. Even as I write this my 2 year old is clinging to my neck."
"More time, more sleep, more money."
"I need info. on the effects of child care on a long term basis. What type is best for my 15 month old - in home, group? What are advantages, disadvantages?"
"To be better organized, I imagine."
"Patience and the ability to find virtue in each moment. We need to creatively rearrange our lives so we can spend the most time with `McBaby' while surviving economically, pursuing favorite pre-baby activities and maintaining the goodwill of our adult friends."
"Encouragement that the world is still a good place to have children."
"I really can't answer that. Needs - I think everyone wants needs, but as for our family, we have everything we want. We are happy, we have our health and each other and we have God on our side."
"More hands and replenishment of the energy and the giving that is expended from parent to child."
"Probably more money. I wish this country would realize the value of teachers and give pay commensurate with their worth. (My husband is a teacher.)"
"A good night's rest."
"Knowing someone who has raised children before to serve as a source of advise."
"Definitely time alone with my wife. We haven't any family that can watch our daughter for free, and we don't usually have the cash to hire a baby sitter. Time alone is a top priority for us. Baby sitting exchange worked great for us when we lived in another city."
"Reassurance that I am on the right track. And sometimes, some TLC for mom. I give so much of myself that sometimes it seems there's nothing left. I need to recharge."
"I need to remind myself that I'm dealing with a 21 month old person and not an adult. Trying to understand what our baby is thinking and going through is very important when we are learning to communicate together."
"Employer tolerance and increased understanding of working mothers by managers. Employers should have specific policies to deal with parents who have sick children."
"Knowing the feelings I'm having are `normal', `natural' or `common'. Just having someone else to say `I know....It'll get better!'. A sense of humor and the ability to look at all these new things less solemnly!"
"To make sure that our marriage retains the spark that we've always had. This isn't particularly difficult, but it is important to us that our marriage stays as healthy as the family is."
"More time! More time! More time!"
"To remember that there is `life after child'!"
"To have information available to me to help understand parenting difficulties and to help guide me through growing stages and development of my child. Also very important is to establish times to spend with my husband, as a couple. We try to go out together often."
"I have helped my family understand that I'm a better parent if I can have time to run each day or a night out, away from their demands."
"More personal time (followed by more adult interaction). More child care is not the answer to more personal time, however. The key is to be a fulfilled person because of your family, not in spite of them."
"Being respected for my choice to be an at-home mom. I get frustrated and sometimes angered by comments like `So, are you getting bored at home yet?', or `When are you going back to work?'. Ugh! People don't understand the joys of being at home with your kids."
"Finding time to complete my education."
"More assistance from my employer. As a parent I may need to take off more time than someone who has no children. The rules can't be the same for everybody always. More part-time, flex-time, employer supported day-care, etc."
"Support from the family. It would be impossible to be the parent I am, without the full unconditional support of my husband and older children."
"Money! It's hard to make time to spend alone with spouse because baby sitters and evenings out cost money. But times alone are really needed to truly get the most out of time spent with children. Also, I miss not being able to focus full attention on people because I've got one eye on my 22 month old."
"Sleep. I think that being a new mother is a good cure for insomnia."
"To know my child loves me and that I'm doing the best I can as a parent."
"An extra set of hands, and 6 more hours in the day so I can have maybe just a little time for myself and my husband."
"I am very lucky. I have a lot of support from my husband and parents. Whenever I have any need it seems they always offer solutions or lend an ear."
"I can't identify a need, but if we could afford it we would have more children and mom would be able to stay home with them all."
"Reassurance that my child will be able to grow up without being a victim of some of society's obstacles - drugs, lack of quality education, damaged environment, racism, violent crime, etc. Sounds kind of gloomy, but without attention to them, they'll never change."
"Trying to teach my daughter to put her self to sleep and back to sleep when she wakes in the night."
"A part time job that pays well and has good benefits so I can be with my child more. I feel very strongly that a child needs one of his parents more than just a couple of hours each night and 2 week-end days."
"I need someone to listen and give me support at times when I feel I'm the only one going through being a new mom."
"I feel like I don't have enough play time with my son. I feed him, change him, bathe him etc., and I have so little time left over for fun time. It seems my husband gets to play with him more."
"The biggest need would be advantages for staying home with your child. There are tax advantages given to people who spend thousands of dollars on day-care and I would like to see that same kind of tax advantage given to people who want to stay home and raise their children. I would also like to see the media encouraging parents to stay home. The media seems to glamourize the dual income family. It's the `In thing' to go back to work and disregards the parents who choose to stay home and raise their children on a single and thus lower income."
"To find a sense of balance so that I can teach my child and open up a world of discovery without pushing too hard, too fast."
"The support, help, love and understanding of my husband."
"I need to understand my 2 year old and try to see if I can get him potty trained before the age of three."
"The need for people (family especially) to understand that I am human and make mistakes, but that I am giving parenthood my all and try not to make hasty decisions. I love advice, but I need to think about it before I take it and use it."
"I need to start getting involved in cleaning up the environment and other polictical problems. I find it very scarey to imagine the kind of world we're leaving our children and I feel these many problems need immediate action before the problematic changes are irreversible."
"After 10 years with a large bank, I was hoping to work out a part-time or job-share arrangement. I started discussing it with my boss 5 months before my baby was born. After months of `yes', `no', but mostly `maybe', they finally said no! For financial and psychological reasons, I wish Corporate America would be more responsive and flexible with family care issues. If they won't, they will continue to lose bright, talented, experienced and competent people like me!"
"A housekeeper! I want an orderly house and yared, but with 2 children and an (at times) child-like husband, it's impossible. My stress level rises with mess and disruption. I know I'd be a better parent with a more orderly environment!"
"Keeping our world safe! We all have got to recycle, recycle, recycle, or there won't be lakes or forests for our children to enjoy. Just by using cloth diapers, we are saving an abundance of garbage. But we all have to make this work."
"To love my spouse more deeply. I read in a newsletter that one of the best things you can do for your child is to love your partner. It's so important."
"More time and more patience. Barring either of those, how about more helpful coping tips from other parents who've been there."
"Time and space of my own and with my spouse. If I have enough then I appreciate my children more and feel more confident and in control as a parent."
"More understanding and help from my husband. he doesn't realize how difficult being with the child all day is. I need a break now and then and don't always get it."
"To find the time to relax, not worry, and to think about my personal needs - not as a wife, nor as a mom - but as an individual."
"To feel as secure about our new life as our son feels toward us."
"Quality child care. We believe that government is going to have to take a step forward and become involved in this major issue. After all, what does society have to offer in comparison to all the great creative minds of their own children?"
"Continuing to network with other parents. This is an excellant publication for that purpose. Please keep up the good work."
"I need to let go of things that really aren't important - clean house, dusted furniture, weeded garden, shaved legs, etc. We need to do more of the things the kids will remember - like swimming, picnics, bike rides, book reading, ice cream cones, etc. The house can wait til the kids are in college."
"Baby sitters and drop-in day-care that will take a child younger than 17 months."
"Friendship with other parents."
"To know that other children act like mine and other moms react like me."
"Understanding! As a parent, I need society to realize that all children are different and come with special needs. One of my children has learning difficulties and is developmentally delayed. Some friends and family just don't get it! The expectations of him are beyond his capabilities."
( What advice would you most like to give about experiencing life with a new baby?"
Send your advice via E-mail to: Editor - BABY EXPERIENCE ADVICE )