March 25, 2011

Motherly Advice

I was given so much advice while I was pregnant that I get morning sickness just thinking about it. Most of it was meant well, although most of it was also unsolicited. There were times where I could have sworn I saw a little twinkle in the eyes of mothers passing on their tales, working up horrific stories of how my life would change with a baby around. According to many of them, my own hopes and dreams would end in the delivery room, carried out by the cleaning woman and never seen again.

Obviously, life goes on for me, and I've learned the difference between some of the stories I heard and the truth. I'd like to share a few with you, if only to encourage you from all the parents out there who may tell you otherwise.

The myth: You cannot understand love until you've had a child.
The reality: Silliness. Everyone is capable of love. It's definitely another kind of love, however, just as loving a spouse is different from loving a parent. I think what people mean by this is you can understand the depth of love your parents had for you, because you can fully realize what they went through every day for several years. It also means there is one more person on this earth who you would give up your life for in a heartbeat.

The myth: You won't mind changing diapers as much when they're your baby's diapers.
The reality: Poop stinks. (You may quote me.) It does not matter if it's my daughter's or a complete stranger's; dirty diapers are gross and I have not enjoyed changing a single one.

The myth: The first baby means going through a long, painful labor. Be very, very afraid.
The reality: Labor is generally longer with the firstborn, but "long" could mean 2 hours or 24 hours- there's no rule that says you will be in labor for days on end. People like to tell you how they survived months of childbirth, but it's usually just an event, not a week-long process. It hurts, and I'd rather not do it every day. But people have several children because the few hours of pain is worth having a beautiful child to add to their family.

The myth: You forget how painful labor was for you.
The reality: Nope. As I said, people go through it again because it's worth it. I cannot lie and say that it was all a blur, however. That's a pretty memorable experience to forget as if it didn't happen.

The myth: You can't say what you would or wouldn't do until you have kids. Don't judge before you are a parent.
The reality: I do not need to be a mother to know what is socially acceptable and what isn't. My opinions on the way I currently raise my daughter and how I plan to raise her in the future have not changed one iota since I first contemplated having children. I previously groaned and rolled my eyes at the mom in Wal-mart who cusses at their baby and screams louder than the child is screaming. I groan and roll my eyes now, too.

The myth: You will become a mom. This cancels out your identity as anything else but a mother.
The reality: I am definitely a mom. I'm also a wife. I'm a woman with a passion for writing and photography. Some days I fill one of those roles more than another, but there is no reason to give up my identity. In fact, giving my daughter a strong woman to admire is a very important goal for me. To lose myself would let her down.

The myth: You think it's bad when you can't sleep during pregnancy, but just wait. You won't sleep for an entire six months once the child is born.
The reality: Okay...that last one is pretty accurate.

(Reprinted from my weekly column for Homefront United Network, published yesterday on their site.)

And all joking aside, I read a jaw-dropping post last night, written a year ago, that I have to share with you (and thanks to Consider the Lilies for first sharing it with me). Read this, and be inspired, filled with hope, and humbled. I know it made me all the more thankful for my sweet Millie.


9 kind comments from you:

Dolli-Mama said...

I LOVE that you have a weekly column! How neat and exciting!

Great post!

charla beth said...

i loooooved this. i don't have kids, but every part of this made me smile. especially "poop stinks." :)

Michelle said...

This cracked me up. I will tell you that as time goes by you do start forgetting about the pain piece. I don't even really remember much of the pain/recovery of Finn's birth almost 4 years ago. At first, I never thought I would forget it, but it does become more dull.

Uncork and Unwined said...

I think this is a great post! So many mothers are overly dramatic on what motherhood is like. It just gets on my nerves. My favorite is the fifth one you listed. Why do people assume I am going to change into a completely different person when I have children? Ridiculous!

Kelly H. said...

Great post! New follower here, hope that you will follow back!

Hanna said...

Hi there! I'm your newest follower. I found you on the blog hop:) Lovely blog! You can find me at

Consider The Lilies said...

great advice :D i liked reading this..poop stinks HAHA. love it. i'm so glad you liked that birth story, it brought me to tears!

Mrs. H said...

I truly don't understand the moms that swear at their baby at walmart.
But this was a funny post with a great look at reality! :) ♥

Gaile said...

ok I have to PARTIALLY disagree about the 'dont judge before you are a parent' thing.....I used to roll my eyes at (and JUDGE) mothers who would bribe their children to get some specific behavior from them.
Guess who is now guilty of that same terrible strategy, at least once a month?
(raising my hand)
It's important to get the truth out there though, so mommies-to-be don't think they are CRAZY when reality doesn't match up to the myths.
Thanks for writing another great one!

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