Is it the best time of your life? To tell or not to tell…that is the question
Have you ever felt like running up and down the street screaming that it’s not easy being a parent? How about when you see a pregnant woman, do you share your unhappy moments of parenting with her?
This subject came up in a prenatal meeting that I had with a mom to be. I asked her how she felt emotionally through the pregnancy, she said things were going good and that she felt great. The only thing that really bothered her about the pregnancy was that other moms would share their negative experiences about motherhood. For example, “you better get as much sleep as you can because once that baby is here you’ll never sleep again” or “are you sure you want to have a med free birth it’s so painful, I got the epidural right away”. I remember when I was 8 months pregnant Henry and I got invited to a small gathering, one of Henry’s friends and they had a young baby it was my first time meeting them, everything was going great. We were eating and socializing, and Henry’s friends’ wife and her girl friend start talking about childbirth. They ask me if I was planning on having any meds during the labor, I said that I was going to try to do it med free and natural. Both women started saying how painful childbirth was and how there’s way no it could be done without medication and they just kept going on and on about it. I started getting a little aggravated, to say the least, and asked if we could change the subject. But they felt the need to keep going to the point that I got very upset, stood up and yelled to please stop talking about the subject and walked out of the house. I mean come on, I was clearly going to be having a baby very soon and these women could not take a step back to realize that they were being very rude and inconsiderate.
On the other hand, just yesterday I had a check in with a mom that said, “why didn’t any body tell me the motherhood was going to be so shitty, I mean I love my baby girl she’s awesome, but the lack of sleep and the demand is driving me crazy. Why didn’t any one tell me it was going to be this way, everyone says that it’s the best time of your life”. I could totally relate to this mom, I also felt like this a few months after birth. My mom never shared with me how difficult the transition into motherhood can be and neither did my best friend who had a baby 5 years before I did. I’ve always heard the same thing as the mom I’m using in this example, “It’s the best time of your life” or my favorite “It’s totally worth it”, but is it really??? Is it worth your mental health??? Of course the answers to these questions are different for everyone and I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. You feel the way you feel and it’s ok either way. As long as you’re honest with yourself that’s all that matters.
For those that feel the need to share their experiences with others please make sure to be gentle and have consideration for the person you are sharing with. Sometimes you may mean to be informative, but the other person may feel like you’re being an asshole. Also, remember that the person is pregnant!…so proceed with gentleness and consciousness. And for those of you that are pregnant and want to know what parenting is like just ask and tell the person that you want them to be completely honest about it, but brace yourself because you may not get the answer you were expecting.