I have noticed a trend both in person and on social media lately. It’s one I know I have participated in but that still bothers me from time to time.
Maybe now that I am expecting baby number three I have just heard it more or taken more notice of it…but here it is:
Why do we, as moms, love to scare brand new or expectant parents? I am sure I’ve done it at some point, so I’m not pointing a finger here. I just wonder why is it that after the congratulations we just inundate people with warnings of how their life is over?
It’s those little comments when someone is so ready to have their first baby and they are told “oh just wait” with a sense of warning.
It’s a comment to a mom expecting a second or third that now the work REALLY begins.
It’s that Facebook post I have seen circulating lately about how new parents on average are sleep deprived for the first 6 years. SIX?! I don’t care who you are, that’s scary.
It’s often times joking…but not really.
It’s the explosive diaper photo compilations. The knock down when a mom says they are going to try to not start the baby with a particular habit like a pacifier.
The talks about your body being wrecked. The horror stories. The little laugh that means “you have no idea.”
It’s telling people they’ll never have a social life again, never get dressed up for a date night, never have their bed back.
The social media posts that say “before you have kids look at THIS” and show you some monstrous mess or something gross.
On the surface its just honesty I guess. Your baby isn’t going to come home sleeping and there will be some diaper mishaps. It will be like nothing you’ve ever done before. In fact there are probably very few things that will go as you expect them to.
Most of the new mom warnings are probably well-intentioned …but I have to say as someone who is taking notice of it and receiving quite a few comments about having 3…it is everywhere.
Even now as I am feeling like a veteran and that I should be confident in another, these posts and comments can give me unease!
Why not just let me be blissfully unaware of how hard three kids will be for a while… my dose of reality will hit me just like it hit you.
And why not encourage those who express any interest in bringing children into the world instead of scaring them?
I am not currently suffering from 6 years of sleeplessness (I mean last night my 2 year old did wake up crying because he couldn’t find his stuffed animal….that he was laying on…but that is rare!)
But who knows this time around…
This third baby is most likely going to be completely different than what I know because, let’s face it, all babies are. Still the warnings of just how hard it all really is still creep up and make me wonder how we’ll do it. And I’ve been there, twice!
I am thankfully confident in our choice to have three–but imagine if you were expecting your first or just contemplating even having kids.
All this talk about never getting to shower, wear anything other than sweat pants, or sleep again ever is enough to put it off a few years! (And it’s mostly all exaggeration I promise!)
I do get it. It’s not always glamorous. But surely there are some highlights of parenthood we could be floating around Facebook instead. Because, from the outside looking in, who would sign up for all this?!
I was talking to a friend today who doesn’t have kids and this came up, even before I said I had a blog post ready about this! Among her friends with kids, she really only hears about how hard their lives are. I think this is daunting if you are close to considering starting a family.
The general consensus (and one that I’m not saying I disagree with) is MOTHERHOOD IS HARD.
This is true. But it’s not the only truth.
I am going to make an effort this Lent to talk about and focus on how motherhood is rewarding. I am also giving up sweets….which could potentially be a failure so I am choosing two things, ha!
I know plenty of wonderful moms who get so much joy from their kids and I love reading/hearing about it. I think the world would love to get a bit more of that.
Anyway, this is just me, reminding myself as an expectant mom to put the war stories out of my mind and think of the good. Because we have a new bundle who will bring so much goodness in 6 short months!
This is also me as an existing mom reminding myself that a few words of well-wishing versus warnings go over much better when talking to my friends on the other side.
Our thoughts dictate so much. Think about how it’s hard, and it feels hard. Think about the bright side, and everything starts feeling better. I’m ready for this Lenten season of positive motherhood–my Facebook and Instagram will hopefully be sunnier while I enjoy soaking up the little moments of life with a 2 and 4 year old.