This weekend, I had a rare opportunity to get away for a night with the girls. The conversation as it often does shifted to our husbands and our children. One of the ladies in our company did not have any kids. She listened as we told horror stories about botched birth plans, sleepless nights & a variety of other less than pleasant experiences. After sitting silently for a while, she finally chimed in, “The more I listen to people with kids, the more I realize that I don’t want them.”
I realized at this moment, that this is probably the case for any non-parent sitting back & looking in. How many of us only talk about the negative things, whether it be about our work, our husbands or our kids? The good stuff is never nearly as much fun to talk about. I find my friends and I arguing over whose child was the worst infant & who now has the most tantrums & meltdowns. I think mine normally wins. There are many different facets to parenthood, some are good, some are bad & some are just plain nasty.
All of these things began as early as pregnancy. Some people I know loved being pregnant, I however did not. I had every possible pregnancy symptom that there was. If only 5% of pregnant women had it, I fell in that 5%. I had morning sickness, let me correct that, I had all day sickness for 8 out of the 9 months. My toothbrush terrified me to the core because of it.
I had nose bleeds, carpal tunnel, round ligament pain, hemorrhoids, constipation & heartburn so bad that I did not eat in my 3rd trimester. When my ninth month hit, I could hardly wait for my pregnancy to be over. I was eating fresh pineapple & eggplant, massaging the webs between my fingers & tweaking my nipples while simultaneously bouncing on a yoga ball. That baby needed to come out.
When the time finally came, nothing went as planned. During my 24 hour labor I had 4 botched epidurals, endless Pitocin induced contractions & an emergency C-section that was a thing of nightmares.
In the hospital, I struggled as my daughter & I tried to learn together how to nurse & feed. Breastfeeding is not as simple as it seems. I cried for days as tried unsuccessfully to nourish my baby as an unsupportive nurse hollered at me for doing it incorrectly.
Once home, those tears continued as my nipples chafed, the lack of sleep set in, and I flipped through books & websites trying to find ways to get my daughter to stop crying.
Parenthood is a difficult thing. You surrender your independence & your freedom to this little creature. You don’t realize how much you took for granted before. Things like running to the store for milk or going to the bank are no longer a simple process. Sleeping in is a thing of the past, unless you consider 7 am sleeping in. Your immaculately decorated home now looks like Romper Room threw up all over it. Trips to the grocery store alone feel like a day at the spa. You need to schedule time to take a shower. Privacy in the bathroom is non-existent.
You get pissed on, puked on & pooped on. You may even get lucky & have all three done at the same time. Freshly picked boogers will be handed to you on a regular basis. Your lunch menu consists of half-eaten, soggy cheese sandwiches & left over juice with backwash. Breastfeeding, diapers, potty training, tantrums & tears, these are all a part of being a mother or a father. I have been exhausted for the past 2 years, 8 months and 16 days.
Before we made the decision to start a family, these were the things that scared me off from wanting children. My friends never shared the good things with me. If you think that you can handle all of the above, remember that there must be some reason that even after all of this, women are still willing to try for baby #2. Being a parent is tough, but trust me when I say that it is worth it.
Here are some of the things that make it all worthwhile…
The first time you hold your new baby in your arms
The anticipation & excitement of every milestone
Watching & hearing them laugh
Every kiss, even the snotty nosed ones
The first time you hear mama or dada
Seeing them grow & transform
The sweet sound of all the I love yous.
Seeing parts of yourself mirrored through your child
The awe & excitement in their face when they experience something new.
All of the funny things that they say that make you smile or laugh
The pride you feel as you watch them learn new things
Being the one that teaches them those new things
Unconditional love & forgiveness
Hearing them screaming “Mommy!” when you come home from work
Hearing them sing
What are your favorite things about being a mother? Let’s share all the great things too.
I know this feeling so well and will admit that if someone who didn’t have kids heard some of the things that I have gone through here, they would probably say the same as your friend and use my life as a case for major birth control, but still as crazy as things have been I wouldn’t trade my girls in for the world (ok maybe during the insane tantrums like the recent munchkin saga – just kidding!), but still I couldn’t love my two more then I already do. Seriously, they are just a part of my heart and soul 😉
Yes, the great munchkin meltdown 2014. Lol! I have had many an epic meltdown myself. Those days definitely make it hard, but the ones filled with hugs and kisses and laughter make it all worth it.
Motherhood is definitely messier than I expected too! But I just love those bald/fuzzy baby heads. I love the warmth of holding a little one on my lap or chest. And you can’t beat the crazy stories that 3 year olds tell you. … yeah it can’t be that bad…. or I wouldn’t have had 3.
I have to admit that the stories are the best. My daughter is closing in on three and she tells the funniest tales. The cuddles in the snuggles, those can’t be beat.
Survival of the human race depends on our inability to remember how hard it is to have babies. If we really remembered, I mean REALLY, we’d never go for #2. I think we tend to talk about the negatives so much because we need to. Because otherwise we’d just go insane. It’s our therapy. Sometimes for extended periods of time, these tiny little people will push us to limits that are inhuman. I eat all day long. I must take in over 3,000 calories a day. And I don’t gain weight! That’s not normal! But yeah, they are wonderful and magical (little monsters) 🙂
When I told my husband that I was ready to have another one , he thought I was crazy. Having remembered what I went through with the labor and delivery, he couldn’t understand why I would want to do it again. You definitely forget. I often refer to my daughter as a little monster. Being deep in the heart of her terrible twos, there are many days that she terrorizes our home. Lol! The joy outweighs it all. I love that crazy little monster.
There’s nothing quite as wonderful. Really. You never truly understand how much you can love someone until you have a little monster of your own. I am so in love with mine (yes I’m their mother but I feel like I’d love them even if I wasn’t!), even if they drive me insane 85% of the time.
It is a crazy kind of love. It is only 85% for you? Lol
It is like we need to share the suffering with one another to make it seem a bit more like entertainment and humor than actual hardship I think.
Around those without children though I am going to try to reflect on the beauty of it though. The good definitely outweighs the bad. Love your list!!
Good point, Sasha. It is so true. It just makes me laugh because I was that girl listening and going, “Oh hell no!”. Now I am the one scaring off the childless around me. Lol! “I swear to you it’s not so bad. Children really are wonderful.” I am not sure they believe me.
I agree with what Sasha said. I think we talk about the bad, because it helps to hear we aren’t alone. We need to laugh about it so we don’t break down in tears on the spot.
But, despite the messiness and craziness you are right. I wouldn’t trade it for anything and am starting to get excited for a 2nd. (Didn’t think I’d say that already!) My favorite? Feeling so needed. As moms, our hugs and kisses solve the worlds problems in an instant! Those cuddles and kisses couldn’t be more meaningful! Thank you for the post! 🙂
Thank you and you are welcome. It definitely helps to talk to other mommies. It is very hard to explain to someone how something that sounds so horrible, could be so rewarding and wonderful. It is amazing how a kiss can heal every boo boo and ouchy. I love my cuddles and kisses.
Motherhood is way more difficult than I thought it would be. I’m 2 years in and just now feel like I’m accepting and enjoying my new life. It took a long time. I love the rare times when my son actually wants to give me a hug and a kiss or sit on the couch with his head resting on me. He’s never been a cuddler so these rare times are extra special. Also, now having actual conversations with him! So interesting after two years of wondering what he was thinking!
Pamela, I felt the same way. I could not believe how difficult it was. Our daughter’s first year was tough. She was a colicky baby and had a very short attention span, but as she got older and learned to communicate through pointing and sign and finally with words, life got not only easier but fun. It is wonderful when you get to see the personalities forming and coming out. It was great to get to know our daughter. We still have rough moments. Her tantrums have become more frequent as she has began flexing her independence, but when the moments are good, they are so incredibly good.
The good makes everything so worth it. Why do we try to shame our kids by only discussing the negative. We should instead celebrate with other momma’s l the good. My favorites are the “momma watch me” which is usually followed by something she has accomplished and is proud of. I love the “little kisses” and the “big kisses”. There is a difference just ask Olivia 😉
Yes, Mai does the “Mama watch me” all of the time. I love when she shows me something new that she has learned or created. She gets so excited & speaks a mile a minute, telling me every aspect of what she was so proud of. It is amazing. It is strange, I don’t think I ever realized how much we discussed those negative things until I heard our childless friend speak up. Trying to then convince her that it is indeed magical did not have the same effect. “I swear to you, it is amazing being a mommy” She wasn’t buying it. Those kisses do make it all worth it.
Oh no 🙁 sounds like you really went through the mill whilst being pregnant. Every day is a challenge, especially as they get older… more back chat and thinking they are right!! The teenage years are not something I am looking forward to!
Sim @ Simslife.co.uk x
She is already filled with teenage angst. My post today is based on that. Lol! Clothing drama and back talk are already a part of daily life. This all started about a month ago and I have been working on getting it under wraps. Ugh! I did have a rough pregnancy. I would do it again though. Bad pregnancy, drama and back talk aside, when she is good she is oh so good. I love that crazy little munchkin.