One of my biggest pet peeves when I was pregnant for Brady was the amount of “ooh, you’re in for it now” comments we received from couples who were already parents. The most common included: “just wait, you’ll never sleep again,” or “say ‘goodbye’ to having a life,” or “I hope you appreciated having hair, because you’re about to go bald from all the stress.”
I never really did know how to reply…
“Hmmmm, thank you“?
Now granted, there is a grain of truth to be found in those comments. I definitely have never been so exhausted in my entire life. Just the other day, I was taking pictures of myself for this blog and realized that my eyes looked as tired as I felt. Holy puffy eyes, Batman! It looked like I had gotten into a fight with a blowfish… who won the battle and then decided to take up residency in my lower eyelids.
But still, despite how tired I am or how much better I need to be at making time for myself, I never feel the urge to shoot down an expecting mom or dad’s excitement over their soon-to-be-here bundle of joy. I just don’t get that! Because, quite frankly, these soon-to-be mom and dads are scared enough as it is. They know they’re about to undertake the toughest journey of their lives. They know that things are going to change and that sleep isn’t going to come so readily for awhile.
I mean, you just have to walk through a supermarket and listen for the screams, tantrums, and sudden outbursts of tears.
Their kids are usually pretty hysterical too. 😉
These moms and dads need to be reminded that it really will all be okay. Really! They will learn, and grow, and fall in love with a little human who is about to become their entire world. And even though there will be many hard days, there will be so many more moments that are priceless, and precious, and beautiful.
And things will get easier!
The crazy thing is that the comments don’t stop just because you’ve given birth and been a mom for over a year. I definitely hear the “you’re such a new mom” comments a lot these days. And my initial reaction is to try proving that I’m not acting like a new mom (even though I am a new mom). So I struggle with my urge to wipe the shopping carriage with cleansing wipes, or to let Brady eat off the floor, or to wrap him in bubble wrap.
But here’s the thing… I am a new mom. And I’m only acting the same as all those other women did when they were new moms too (maybe with just a bit of extra silliness thrown in for good measure).
They know that a little dirt won’t hurt a baby or that a nursery full of sneezing kiddo’s won’t cause more than the common cold. But as a new mom, you can’t shut off your terror of germs or hard objects or potential hazards (like anything with a hard edge. Or anything that could be ingested. Or – well – anything, really). And although it seems silly to the more experienced, what you know in your head doesn’t go with what you feel in your heart. And your heart wins every time.
This is why I choose to surround myself with women who are honest… but who also encourage and uplift me. Being a mom is hard enough without other women telling you about how much worse it’s all going to get. I’d rather focus on the positive and on how much I love being a mom.
Because I really, really LOVE being a mom. There is nothing more beautiful, and amazing, and incredible! And I’d really rather focus on that, whether it’s for my own life or whether I’m encouraging someone else!
As women, we really do need to learn to be there for each other. Let it start with us!! 🙂
P.S. To all of you new moms, it actually gets easier. 🙂 I promise!!!