living the life of dreams6:25:00 PM
Throughout my pregnancy it seemed like everybody felt the need to tell me about all the negative aspects of childbirth and parenthood. I was ceaselessly told to prepare for a whole lot of crying, fatigue, diaper changing and laundry. People told me how awful it was going be to have a baby in the winter, how hard pregnancy is, how much breastfeeding was going to hurt, etc. etc. It felt like people only ever had negative things to say about being a parent and I quickly grew weary of hearing it. We were so excited, beyond excited, to be pregnant. We knew it was going to be hard, we knew we were going to lose sleep, we knew our lives were going to be completely different and we didn't care. We couldn't have been more thrilled at the prospect of bringing a sweet little life into this world. Being met with negativity over and over again didn't dim our excitement but just coupled it with discouragement and frustration. We wanted, more than anything, for people to share in our excitement. Of course, there were plenty of people who did, and we were so so grateful for that. Generally, though, we were met with a lot of negativity presented as warning and preparation (mostly from strangers, oddly enough).
After experiencing this over and over again, I made a goal that whenever I talked to people about having children I would be honest but kind and encouraging. I think there is a lot of maturity in the ability to graciously share joy with others and it is something I really value in my relationships with others. Of course there is a place for discussing sad, difficult, sensitive things but often it needs to be balanced with a whole lot of joy. It is important to not only feel like we can confide in others and share our insecurities with them but to also feel like we can share our joy and excitement. Because, man, there is lots of it. When I hear that someone is going to become a parent I just want to hug them and tell them I wish I could somehow prepare them for all the joy they are going to feel. I want to tell them that they'll feel tired but they won't miss sleeping. That their lives will change forever in the very best possible way. That at the very second that their sweet baby is placed in their arms they won't even be able to comprehend what life was like before that moment. And that every thing they have ever done before having that child will suddenly pale in comparison to the joy and fulfillment of parenthood. I want pregnant women/expectant couples to feel empowered. I want them to know that they are taking on something great and wonderful and powerful. I want them to feel supported and excited and to feel like they have this whole army of experienced parents behind them - encouraging them, loving them, and waiting to help. I want parenthood (and pregnancy, for that matter) to be seen as a joyous thing, not a cumbersome topic. Because lets be honest, there is just nothing better. Parenthood is hard, but oh is it joyful.
also - as I was writing this commercial came on. i thought it was so beautiful and encapsulates parenthood as well as an iphone commercial can :)