Reason Number One Of Why I Shouldn't Be Invited To Baby Showers
When I was pregnant with O, the one thing that people told me over and over again was "You're going to love parenthood. It is so much fun." Amidst all the declarations of fun, however, one woman looked at me and simply said "Parenthood is hard. It's a lot of work." And as she told me this, all I could think was "man, she's kind of a downer."
But when the baby finally arrived my feelings about this statement changed completely. Rather than feeling that she was overly negative and really should have kept her comment to herself, what I felt was thankful. I appreciated her honesty and I appreciated her willingness to speak up when it flew in the face of what everyone else was telling me. Because I'll tell you this, for me at least, there were very few things "fun" about those first couple of weeks. Lack of sleep? So not fun. Breastfeeding problems? Also no fun. Arguments with your husband at two in the morning? Definitely not fun.
And so when I found myself at a baby shower this past weekend and I repeatedly heard the women around me telling the mother-to-be how much fun it was to have a baby and that she was just going to love every minute of it, I saw myself cringing in the corner and thinking about how a small dose of honesty is not a bad thing. I appreciated someone telling me that it's normal not to feel joy every second. It doesn't mean that you're less of a mom and it doesn't mean that you love your child any less. It just means that sometimes the best things in life are hard...and require work...and exhaust you at times. These things are not mutually exclusive and I wish new mothers (and fathers) were told this more often.
But amidst all my wishing that people were more honest, I have to say that I stayed silent. When someone commented "Yeah, I don't understand why people feel compelled to say such negative things to pregnant women" and everyone agreed, I didn't say anything. Instead I began to wonder whether I was just bitter and overly negative. To be honest, I'm still wondering if I am...