When you’re pregnant, experienced parents warn you:
“You’re never going to sleep again.”
“Enjoy leaving the house now, because once that baby is born, it’ll take you three times as long!”
“Your house is going to be a mess.”
“You’re going to be a mess.”
Here’s what they should say:
“There will be days when all you do is laugh at your child’s unbelievable cuteness.”
“Every morning will be better than Christmas. When you see your baby, you can’t help but smile.”
“You’ll feel deeper love than ever before.”
“You’ll play again, and you’ll realize all the fun you’ve been missing since childhood.”
Being a parent is hard. It’s exhausting, no doubt about that. Some days, you look forward to bedtime and it can be downright grueling when you’re feeling sick. But I want to know why we’re so quick to tell new moms about the tough stuff. The good stuff is so much better and it’s what we remember.
When I look back on the last two years, I know I was exhausted at times, frustrated at others, but the details that remain are his first smile, his first steps, (I will never forget how he took three steps and collapsed into my arms in sweet giggles,) and how much I absolutely adore holding him. In fact, after he went swimming with his dad, he climbed up into my lap for some snuggles and towel time. It was the best part of my day.
That’s what we need to tell new moms. How much fun they’re going to have, how much they will fall in love with their babies, how much fuller their lives will become.
Those veteran parents were right. In the beginning, I was exhausted. I have to get ready to leave fifteen minutes before I actually want to walk out the door. Sometimes my house is a mess. Sometimes I wear yoga pants.
But years from now, I won’t remember those details. I’ll remember snuggling with my baby, talking to him, and how much fun I have every day. I could’ve lived without the warnings. I wish someone had told me the good stuff about parenthood.
What do you remember most about becoming a parent? The good, the bad, or the ugly?