Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shit People Don't Tell You When You're Pregnant

Earlier I posted a video about stupid shit people say to pregnant women. But now I want to talk about shit people DON'T SAY to you when you're pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. It seems that certain topics are taboo when you are a parent. Anything that even hints about problems or difficulties about having a child is not allowed. So here are some of my personal parenting truths, after only six months of being in the trenches:

- You might not be blissfully happy and in love with your child right away. There. I said it. For me, this was not due to anything being implicitly wrong with Rocco. He was, and still is, generally a happy baby. I however, was not happy. Postpartum hormones can be a bitch, and mine were all over the place. To be fair, to some degree I think some of my unhappiness was related to the traumatic ICU experience I went through shortly after Rocco's birth. Some of it also probably had to do with the ridiculous amounts of drama that happened after we came home from the hospital. But the vast majority of my unhappiness was due to hormonal changes I had no control over. In the end, drugs really were the only thing that made it better; thank you makers of Zoloft. I luckily only had to take it for two months and I have been feeling blissfully happy and in love with Rocco ever since. Well, for the most part. Which leads me to:

- Motherhood does not give you the super human power of limitless patience. At some point, you are going to lose your shit. I clearly remember when I personally hit my low point. I was not yet taking my aforementioned happy pills, I was beyond sleep deprived, Rocco was crying for some undetermined reason, and I may or may not have yelled "Just shut up!" at him from across the room. Scott was there to witness this Mother-of-the-Year moment and immediately gave me an unnecessary guilt trip for yelling at our helpless newborn son. I say unnecessary because while Motherhood does not give you limitless patience, it does give you limitless guilt for any parenting transgressions. Rocco if you're reading this (at some point in the future since you obviously cannot read at the age of 6 months), I'm sorry.

- As a parent, you will immediately find yourself comparing your child and your own parenting abilities to everyone else and you will worry that you don't stack up. You might think I am about to say some crap about how all babies will develop on their own time so don't compare them yadda, yadda, yadda. But really? Your kid might actually be slow to do things and other people might actually be better at this parenting thing than you. Luckily, they don't hand out gold medals for cloth diapering or sleeping through the night.

- You will miss your old life, or at least parts of it. You won't necessarily regret having a child (I don't anyways), but it an inescapable fact that life is much easier when you don't have to care for a tiny, helpless human being. Babies are a complete time and money suck. Good thing they are also cute.

- If you have a pet, and love love love your pet, when you have a child you will now only love, maybe even only like, your pet. Pre-Rocco, Scott and I would feel guilty leaving Casey (our cat) for just the weekend, nevermind going on two-week-long international trips. We would talk about him while on vacation, wondering how he was doing. We took the time to email Scott's family (our pet sitters) to see if Casey was doing ok. We brought a photo of him along with us on every trip. A little over the top perhaps, considering we were in Italy, Australia, Egypt, etc and thinking about our cat, but he was our baby! When I was pregnant, Scott and I would have serious talks about how we had to make sure that we still gave Casey affection once the baby came home. We decided that whoever was not holding the baby should be giving attention to Casey to make sure he still felt loved and cared for. For the record, that did not happen. Casey luckily still gets some attention from me while I work from home and Rocco is at daycare, but I'm not nearly as attentive as I used to be. I feel a little guilty, but now I just view him as a cat, as harsh as that sounds.

- You will miss your child when they are sleeping. Yes, I know that sounds insane. When they are finally (finally!) sleeping, all you will want to do some nights is to go into their room and cuddle and play with them. That's how much you will love them - you will honest-to-god miss them while they are sleeping. I bet you don't feel that way about your spouse (no offense Scott)! If you could bottle the pure happiness you get from having a child, you'd be rich. In the meantime, people just have another child ;)

Overall I love being a mother. More specifically, I love being Rocco's mother. I love that little boy more than words can describe. I love seeing how much of an amazing father Scott truly is. Our family now feels more complete. But, having a baby is not all roses and sunshine and I'm not afraid to admit it.


  1. I'm reading this while also recovering from a traumatic birth and dealing with utter exhaustion of life with a 4 day old. I couldn't have said it better myself :-)

  2. This is soo perfect! I could have written this myself, and I will be sharing with my pregnant friends!