I recently came across a blog post titled “They Should’ve Warned Me” by Jenny Studenroth Gerson. I wish I could have read this article when I was an expectant Mom. In my prior columns I have expressed, and shared some of my personal joys, and plenty of my struggles. From endless nights, coping with post partum depression, trying to discover how to breastfeed and balancing a relationship, motherhood all while being a woman at the same time. I have shared the magic of watching your newborn change right before your eyes and the joy and pride that is felt. I have also shared some of the advice that was given to me. In “ They Should’ve Warned Me” Jenny also discusses the same wisdom that every expectant mom hears. I would like to take a moment, and write this segment of “Mom Talk” on that wisdom and piggy back off Jenny’s article.
When I was expecting, I had friends, family and even read magazines all saying “Enjoy your relationship now”, “You will never sleep again”, “Say goodbye to your clean house, and nice furniture”, “Say goodbye to your body” and more. I remember what was meant to be warm guidance and kind words, made me feel terrified, intimidated and somewhat sad if I am being honest. Of course I expected change in our life style, our schedule and home. But I was excited for all changes to come, I was thrilled to on my way to becoming a Mother. I spent my pregnancy embracing my moments with my fiancé before we became three. I also enjoyed being selfish with my time, doing such things like sleeping in, painting my nails whenever I wanted, I even spent some days playing videos for endless hours. I understood that life was about to change forever, and I could not wait. But it didn’t change the impact of what was said to me.
I believe in being honest. Being a parent is far from easy, and everything that was said to me has been true in someway, but its not forever. Not every tear I had was a happy tear, but they were not sad tears either. Not everyday was sunshine and rainbows. Some days I felt like a zombie, I missed my fiancé and we live in the same house. For a week straight I was literally pooped on! In the very beginning it is far from easy. But why do we scare new expectant Moms with “life ending” comments? I wish more people came up to me and told me that it would be possible to love someone this much, that my fiancé would become my hero just by reliving my anxiety when our baby is crying and that I would love him more everyday. I wish more people told me that it is possible for time to stop, it happens when you hold your baby. I wish someone told me how strong I would become. That no matter how hard some days are, they are still beautiful moments.
I recommend every expectant Mom to take the ‘un-solicited advice’ very lightly. Life is just beginning. It is a wonderful adventure being a new parent.
“Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that what I said and did to him could have an influence not only on him but on all whom he met, not only for a day or a month or a year, but for all eternity —a very challenging and exciting thought for a mother.” —Rose Kennedy