Let me be completely honest here. Some of you aren’t going to like what I am about to write. Some of you are going to take offense to the statements I make in the following post. So if you’re sensitive and don’t have an open mind then I suggest you stop reading now.
Okay, for those of you whose interested I have piqued let me also assure you that this post isn’t going to speak about what most consider a “normal” or “typical” pregnancy (can we really say that any pregnancy is normal when we all have such different experiences??). If you’ve been reading my blog then by this point you probably understand I’m not even normal.
I have a lot of friends and family who will see this post and they may think that I am ungrateful for all of the advice given to me about pregnancy over the last nine months and that is NOT the case either. I’m NOT upset with anyone but I am trying to be honest and show a side of what parents to be may encounter as my husband and I have.
Now that I have prefaced this blog post, I will begin. This is a message to mothers and fathers out there. I am certain this blog post will not reach the masses but even if I can offer a point of view that changes just one person’s mind then I will feel as if I have succeeded.
From a Mom & Dad to be to anyone who comes across this:
It is no secret that from the time you learn you are pregnant you are given advice and told stories about the good, bad, and the ugly of pregnancy, childbirth, the baby’s first weeks, the baby’s middle weeks, then it continues as the children gets older. All of a sudden your child is 5 and you’re already being told how terrible it will be when they get into junior high. Let me ask you this..WHY?! Why as parents do people find it necessary to shed such a negative light on having children? Okay, I get that parents want to be honest, that they think they are preparing you for what is in store. Do they just not remember what it was like for them when so many people gave them advice on their first child?
I am a well educated individual who understands that bringing a child into this world will not be a picnic. It seems every person we encounter has the SAME advice or tells us a horror story about raising a child. For those parents who remind us how much of a blessing children are, THANK YOU, you’re a dime a dozen.
My husband and I are just beginning this experience as our first child is due well, he was supposed to be here last night but he didn’t make it… must have had plans….. I cannot tell you how many times during my pregnancy I heard the following begin a conversation I was having, when telling someone I was pregnant, “oh just wait,” “you have no idea,” “you’ll find out”.
I realize that I haven’t had what some would consider a “normal” pregnancy. I can’t say enough about being pregnant, here I am at almost 40 weeks and the only pregnancy pitfalls I’ve encountered are heartburn, a very very occasional push on my bladder, and a couple weeks of soreness in the joints around my hoohah (this is my technical term) as things expanded to prepare my body for birth. None of this kept me from enjoying my daily activities and working out. I’ve had a beautiful, amazing and wonderful pregnancy. Hate me? Sorry…… I owe good eating habits, an active lifestyle, and a little bit of luck to the success of my pregnancy.
I was able to keep up with my workouts, I’m still in my pre-pregnancy jeans and I’m still wearing high heels. Am I bragging? No, absolutely not. I’m not the only woman who has had this kind of pregnancy. It just further proves that the pregnancy everyone told me I could “just wait” for still hasn’t reared its ugly head. I know, I know some of you are reading this right now saying, “ugh she’s just bragging, she’s not normal,” or “I hope she’s in labor for hours!” I believe I asked those of you who are judging my words right now to not even start reading this post, remember?
For someone to tell me what pregnancy will be like is completely absurd. Ask yourself this? Are we all made exactly the same? Do we all experience the same issues in our life? If I have a sore throat like you do, will you assume I have strep like you or just a cold with a sore throat? The answer is NO, so what makes you assume that your pregnancy will be like mine or mine like yours? Am I naïve enough to believe that my next pregnancy will be as good as the first? Absolutely not. But, I will deal with that when and if that time comes.
Now that my husband and I are so close to welcoming our little man into the world, the conversations now are about how bad it will be when he does get here. REALLY people?? I mean is this really what we’ve come to? A community of individuals who find it easier to share horror stories than those of happiness. Why is it necessary to “scare” a new parent? Like I stated before I DO understand you think you are helping but so does almost EVERY single other parent who shares advice with us. It…gets….old.
So here is what I am suggesting, STOP it with all of the negativity!! If new parents want your advice, trust me they will ask for it. I have several friends and family members that I have reached out and asked questions to. The next time you encounter a new mom to be don’t tell her to “just wait until she’s so swollen she can’t move” try telling her this, “pregnancy sure can be challenging but do your best to enjoy it”. I assure you, the last thing she wants to hear at 12 weeks when she’s uber excited about becoming pregnant is that she will be so swollen she can’t walk. Talk about suck the air right out of her bubble. The next time you hear a new mom and dad talking about how close they are to delivering their first child don’t tell them to “sleep as much as you can now, you won’t get any when he gets here,” try this, “there’s nothing quite like holding your new baby for the first time.” Like I said earlier we’re not dumb we know that having a new baby isn’t easy. I didn’t plan my pregnancy assuming he would come with a start, pause, and stop button.
All I am asking is that you consider what you’re saying and how you’re saying it to new parents. I realize you all have your own stories and you want to share them but don’t take the fun out of it for someone else. Let them create their own story and I assure you that if they want to hear about yours they will ask you. Let’s try and create a movement of parents who build one another up versus tear one another down with negativity. Being real and honest is great, it’s something I strongly believe in, but as with everything else, there is a time and a place and chances are they’re hearing the same thing from just about everyone else they are talking to. Be different, be the one willing to share a positive experience.
As I tie this little rant up I want to thank those of you who took the time to share your negative stories and advice with us. I understand you were just having a conversation and not really thinking about what you were saying. But maybe I’ve given you a perspective you can think about the next time you are chatting it up with a new mom or dad to be, put yourself in their shoes.
For those of you who’ve shared with us the positive sides of being a new parent and raising a child, thank you. You have absolutely no idea how refreshing it has been to have conversations with you. Yours, just as much as the negative ones, hold just as much honesty.
Maybe upon further reflection parents will realize what I am trying to say. While challenging, parenthood is an absolute blessing from God that not everyone can or will experience and for some it will end all too abruptly. Let’s remember to share the joy and happiness children can bring and leave the truth and honesty for their close friends and family to share with them. Let them enjoy their experience as it will be unlike anyone else’s and be thankful that you yourself have been blessed with your own.
Thanks for reading!
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem–