The three

I have a number of friends, both in real life and online, who are about to become parents for the first time in the next few months. I also have a group of friends who would very much like to be expecting a baby sometime in the near future. Another group of friends have not decided whether or not they want to embark down the road of parenthood, but have not shut the door. Yet.

I have been inspired to share what little bit of wisdom that I have garnered in order to warn/encourage/discourage these friends in their journey to that odd creature most often referred to as Mommy.

There is no better way to do this (In my very humble opinion) than to go (somewhat) chronologically, using bullet points.

-You decide you want to get pregnant. The though of getting pregnant consumes you. You read all of the literature and cut out caffeine, chocolate, alcohol.

-You may miscarry (as I did), despite doing what you were “supposed” to do. Bollocks.

-You may pregnant again and know that you will do everything possible to keep this baby as healthy as possible. However. Meat and vegetables trigger your gag reflex.

-Nachos for everyone! But mostly, YOU.

-You may achieve a circumference of forty-eight inches. That’s FOUR FEET, people.

-You may have the pleasure of having the nurses cut slits into the hospital underwear because your thighs were TOO FAT TO FIT INTO THEM.

-You may get to see your doctor fly backwards when the suction apparatus was not enough to pry your baby from within you.

-You may have to have an episiotimy, and the use of forceps. When your son finally arrives, his shoulders may be so wide that you have what they coyly call a “fourth-degree tear.” The reality is that you have torn from front to back.

-OUCH

-You may hold this perfect little being in your arms and feel your heart magnify a thousand times and shatter into a million pieces, all at once.

-You may fear the thought of your first bowel movement.

-You may go through the first year of your child’s life reading every book available and phoning every friend with children in the hopes of figuring out what you are “supposed” to be doing.

-You may then realize that you have no idea what you are doing, but your kid is alive and well so…HUZZAH!

-You then think that you should expand your family, since this baby thing is SO EASY.

-Shortly after you become pregnant, the Perfect Baby becomes a Toddler whose main form of communication is SCREAMING with a side dish of SHRIEKING.

-Since he has no idea what you are saying, you tell him that if he had been this way three months ago, YOU WOULD SO NOT BE PREGNANT RIGHT NOW.

-Two years later, when baby number two is in Perfect Baby stage, you get pregnant again.

-Three months later you find yourself saying, “If you were like this three months ago, I WOULD SO NOT BE PREGNANT RIGHT NOW.”

-You realize that you are a slow learner. Or have NO MEMORY WHATSOEVER. Or both.

-You will spend the next few years vacillating between thinking that you have your children figured out and then realizing that YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

-However. There will be an infinite number of moments where you will revel in their awesomeness and realize that having them is the best decision that you and your husband have ever made.

Hands down.

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Comments:

  1. witchypoo July 14, 2009 4:33 am edit

    Keeping them alive is job one. The rest is gravy.

    witchypoo’s last blog post..Mocking my Dead Mother

  2. Crystal July 14, 2009 6:35 am edit

    There is so much there that I agree with. So, so much.

    Crystal’s last blog post..As Much Fun as a Broken Leg

  3. DiWriter July 14, 2009 7:21 am edit

    Thanks for this – I’m currently in the middle of “Shortly after you become pregnant, the Perfect Baby becomes a Toddler whose main form of communication is SCREAMING with a side dish of SHRIEKING.

    -Since he has no idea what you are saying, you tell him that if he had been this way three months ago, YOU WOULD SO NOT BE PREGNANT RIGHT NOW.

    Baby #2 is due in 9 weeks, toddler is a defiant tornado much of the time, and a sweet, sweet angel the rest of the time. Me, I’m a hormone ball waiting to explode.

    (I love your blog, BTW. You have a fantastic way with words and of expressing the ups-and-downs of motherhood.)

    DiWriter’s last blog post..Motherhood is Hard

  4. Amanda July 14, 2009 7:41 am edit

    I enjoyed reading that. I am currently part of the don’t have children, but could someday group. You really could have left out the tearing part – I know about them, just don’t like to read about them. Perfect form of birth control if you ask me. ;)
    Nachos is a food group, isn’t it?!

    Amanda’s last blog post..Next Stop – Atlanta

  5. mpotter July 14, 2009 7:47 am edit

    ha! enjoyed your perspective.

    mpotter’s last blog post..one down…

  6. hillary July 14, 2009 8:42 am edit

    this post is pretty much the best birth control ever
    especially that bit about the tearing front to back

    hillary’s last blog post..Just Beat It Beat It Beat It Beat It No One Wants To Be Defeated – Take 7

  7. Rebecca (Bearca) July 14, 2009 8:44 am edit

    Oh, Angella! You are so right. This is a GREAT post.

    Rebecca (Bearca)’s last blog post..is this thing on?

  8. Kristabella July 14, 2009 8:57 am edit

    The timing of this is so funny! My one friend is going through a rough patch right now because the man she thought she was going to marry doesn’t want kids. He’s very adamant about it. (No, that’s not the funny part. I’m not an asshole.)

    But another friend (who has 2 kids) and I were talking about it and talking about how if it is something she KNOWS she wants, she’s got to let him go, as hard as it is. And my mom friend is all “man, being a mother is interesting. You spend all this time thinking you want this little person around and then that little person starts shitting itself and screaming and not sleeping and you’re like ‘why did we want this again?’”

    But she said what you said – there are so many moments where it makes all the hard things totally WORTH IT!

    Kristabella’s last blog post..The Psychic Didn’t Mention Anything About A Cab Driver

  9. Nadine July 14, 2009 8:57 am edit

    Um, totally. You nailed it. I don’t think I could go for number 3 just based on a lot of those facts. But I love the two I’ve got!

  10. Victoria July 14, 2009 10:31 am edit

    awwwwwwww

    Victoria’s last blog post..Tie-Tie

  11. Danica July 14, 2009 1:45 pm edit

    Good God I’m glad that part of my life is over.
    But Mommyhood now is worth all that.

    Danica’s last blog post..Seeesters

  12. sizzle July 14, 2009 2:33 pm edit

    This is great. I’d still have kids even after reading this. ;-)

    sizzle’s last blog post..My Exception

  13. Hannah July 14, 2009 3:58 pm edit

    This is a great post, Angella!! Loved it :-)

    Hannah’s last blog post..Love vs Romance

  14. Jen July 14, 2009 5:42 pm edit

    Boo yah.

    Jen’s last blog post..7 days {Summer}

  15. Elizabeth July 14, 2009 6:43 pm edit

    Heh. I can’t wait for the arrival of our #3.

    Elizabeth’s last blog post..How huge are you?*

  16. Ashley July 14, 2009 8:03 pm edit

    You never fail to crack me up. Thank I needed it.

    Ashley’s last blog post..Barely breathing

  17. Rhi July 14, 2009 9:50 pm edit

    I shall give Bill your number for an explanation when I tell him that I’ve decided not to bear him any children.

    (kidding, the real reason I’m not going to have kids is because of the little girl I saw screaming at the top of her lungs in the cookie aisle today at Safeway. As I was leaving the store I saw her mother buying her a Frappucino at Starbucks. SERIOUSLY!)

    Rhi’s last blog post..I think I’m on to something!

    1. angella July 15, 2009 8:56 am edit

      Oh, yes. REWARD YOUR CHILD FOR FREAKING OUT. I do the opposite; bribe them in order to prevent the freak out.

  18. Jeremy July 14, 2009 10:05 pm edit

    I’m one of those freaks with the character flaw that lets me admit out loud that I don’t think it’s worth it. I love my kids, and I think I’m even a pretty darn good dad, but I don’t get that huge sense of reward and fulfillment that many parents talk about. Parenting isn’t particularly fun for me, and most times I’d rather be doing something else. I also haven’t forgotten how great our lives were before kids. It was fantastic. Now it is not, or at least most of the time it isn’t.

    So that’s the advice I give to people who aren’t sure they’re ready to have kids, especially ones with great lifestyles involving active social lives and lots of outdoor activities — know exactly what you’re giving up, and be prepared for the possibility that the rewards will not outweigh the difficulty and exhaustion and boredom.

    Not to be all contrarian…but I do wish I had heard these words before.

    Jeremy’s last blog post..Manitoba Trip Wrap-Up

    1. angella July 15, 2009 9:02 am edit

      Jeremy,

      It takes a lot of guts to speak so honestly. Some people lie about their experience because it isn’t what is “expected”, but you’re right. People need to hear what you said. Parenting isn’t for everyone.

      While I loved the time Matthew and I had before the kids came along, I honestly wouldn’t trade them for the world. I know without a doubt that being a Mom is what I was meant to be.

      Thanks for speaking your truth. Awesome.

      1. Jeremy July 16, 2009 10:40 am edit

        Of course I wouldn’t trade my kids either (well duh, not really a possibility anyway), but when someone without kids asks me, I don’t mind telling it straight because they can still choose the future that suits them best, with the best information possible. And for many people, kids *are* that best match.

        I’ve always been a bit jealous of you “made for parenting” folks, because it must be a somewhat easier and more fulfilling ride. I take the responsibility very seriously, but wish it was more fun along the way.

        Jeremy’s last blog post..Manitoba Trip Wrap-Up

  19. The Urban Cowboy July 15, 2009 3:45 am edit

    New here, good post and great blog…perspective is a little different from mine (a guys), as I would have as many as my wife would let me.

    The Urban Cowboy’s last blog post..Cowboy Coffee

  20. Hilda July 15, 2009 7:05 am edit

    we are currently at the thinking that baby #3 is a good idea stage… I’m going to pretend you didn’t remind me that once I’m pregnant I’ll be saying “if he had been this way three months ago, I WOULD SO NOT BE PREGNANT RIGHT NOW.” If course when this happens I will wish I had listened but for now I’ll be blissfully ignorant :)

    Hilda’s last blog post..i’m back!

  21. Elaine July 15, 2009 11:53 am edit

    Right there with you on the “OUCH” part, I had the same scenario. And why DO we do this again? Oh yeah, that last part… : )

    Elaine’s last blog post..WW – Bake On!

  22. Nicole July 15, 2009 4:10 pm edit

    I love that, it’s so true. So true! My firstborn was nine months when I got pregnant with my second, and I read every book in the world about parenting and pregnancy. By the time #2 arrived, I practically forgot how to read. It was all about survival!

    Nicole’s last blog post..If I have to, I can do anything, I am strong, I am invincible

  23. Jennifer W. July 16, 2009 6:42 pm edit

    Love love love it. Perfectly put and on the contrary – makes me TOTALLY PSYCHED FOR #2. I don’t know what that says about me. Well, except for the whole being scared to poop thing, and the ripping front to back thing… I sort of repressed those memories for a reason. Thanks, Angella. Thanks for reminding me that OHMYGOD I am not ready for that again. My current kid rocks the house. For now.

    Jennifer W.’s last blog post..Sheeeee’s in Sheeeee-cago!

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