Why do some people feel the need to tell pregnant women how little sleep they're going to get once the baby arrives? Or how my husband and I are never going to go out to another movie again for the rest of our lives? Or how parenthood is going to be so much work that this is our last chance EVER to go on a trip or do anything remotely fun before we face our inevitable doom? I've heard it one too many times. I KNOW being a mom is going to be a lot of work and I've signed up for that, but I'm fairly sure that it's also going to be pretty darn wonderful and beyond worth it, otherwise nobody would still be doing this.
So I don't need to dwell on the "disaster" that awaits me after labor. Instead, I prefer to focus on the absolutely lovely things that thoughtful people have told me about parenthood. Here are a few comments that have made me really happy:
- Oh, I've loved every stage so far! The newborn stage, the baby stage, the toddler stage. I never want any stage to end, but it all just keeps getting better. THIS is when life gets REALLY good. --Said by my brother's wife, who simply adores her twin boys.
- Children make your life so much more meaningful. And do not believe everything that people tell you. You do not lose your life -- it just becomes fuller. There are no terrible twos -- they are just more curious and exploratory. Not even the teen years are as horrific as they tell you -- particularly if you have an open and honest relationship with them...and don't worry about what is to come, just enjoy every moment when it does, treasure every step. It is so rewarding! All that to say -- you are about to embark on the most wonderful experience that will give you joy (and a little pain periodically) for a long time to come. My most sincere congratulations! --Written via e-mail by a work colleague when she found out I was expecting.
- It's going by so fast -- I don't want my kids to grow up! --Said by my work friend who is in no hurry to get her kids off to college.
- They joy of raising children totally eclipses any negatives! And there is nothing boring about taking care of babies or kids in my opinion. I was fascinated by everything you two did. I could watch you all day long -- that was where I wanted to be. I remember having people over, and while they were all talking, I couldn't believe that their eyes weren't glued on what you were doing too. It was so much more interesting to me than anything else we were talking about. --Said by my loving (and biased) mom.
- Don't worry about all there is to get done before she arrives. Once you have that baby, none of it will matter. --Written by a good friend via e-mail who was helping me relax about baby prep, and put things in perspective.
- When I got home, he was still up, and I heard, "Mommy?" from his bedroom. You'll know how those moments feel soon. I got to say goodnight to my cutie AND have dinner with the girls. It was perfect. --Said by my friend who cut short her evening with us girls to get home to her son and husband.
- We played in the park the other day, rolled in the grass, and looked up at the sky. It was GREAT. You really do get to be a kid again and experience it all over. --Said by my friend who had a lovely afternoon with her toddler son.
- Get ready for the BEST thing ever in your life...it's about to happen honey! --Written via e-mail by a new-mom friend.
THESE are the types of things I want to hear, and the emotion behind these joyful comments is one of the reasons I decided to get pregnant in the first place. So when people with downer comments feel the need to rain on my optimism and tell me to sleep now because I never will again, I'll just think to myself that if that's all they feel compelled to say about parenthood, that's a shame for them. Instead of worrying about upcoming obstacles I can't do anything about yet, I plan to look forward to all the wonderful things that await.