I have to preface this post by saying this is not directed at anyone in particular, but rather the MANY who feel it necessary to rain on our parade by persisting with ‘jokes’ about parenthood.
“Oh you’re having a baby…”; “You don’t know what’s going to hit you haha”, “say goodbye to sleep haha”, “say goodbye to your sex life haha”, “say goodbye to your money haha”, “say goodbye to your freedom haha” and my favourite… “good luck HA HA”. Oh that’s fresh. First time we’ve heard that one.
I’ll have you know, we’re HAPPY. And not one bit deluded. We know what’s coming, and we are EXCITED, for all of it. It wasn’t always the case, I use to be filled with fear, and I can thank a lot of this negative rhetoric for exacerbating those emotions over the years. I have however done a lot of work on myself, and I know now from deep within me that I not only have space and capacity to be a great mother but I also understand fully what I’m ‘getting myself into’.
I’ll thank you (not) for pointing out that babies make noise, or wake in the night, that children get up early, or that a ‘busy’ home leads to a loveless relationship. You know what all of that is, that’s a projection of the stress and tension and dissatisfaction and fatigue… inside of you.
That might have sounded a little heartless, but I understand stress. Like, I now REALLY understand stress – not just on a personal level but on a biological and physiological level. And I get what wits end looks like too, I see it in the faces of many of the people who ‘joke’ to us. What I’ve come to appreciate is that our experience of the world is of our own design, if you’re not happy, you have the power to change that situation.
I decided to make a change when we were negative in our bank account every other week & getting calls from the bank, haemorrhaging money & clocking up credit cards, awaiting a Lands & Environments court case that would determine our future and everything we’d worked toward, when work was too much, when my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, when I was completely overwhelmed, when I was crying in the shower every night. Life was not pretty. I took control at a time when I felt I had none. I found a way to cultivate happiness, escape the fog and create a new environment of ease, and calm, and gratitude.
So moving forward, I’ll ask that collectively parents refrain from telling us ‘what we’re in for’. That’s your experience, and Mitch & I about to have an experience all of our own.
Hubs has been waiting for me to be ‘ready’ for about a decade, and is so adorably excited to be a Dad it breaks my heart to hear him tell me he’s copped more of the same crappy remarks. This kind of parental commentary is not welcome, and I hate to break it to you but it’s just not funny.
In all seriousness though, is it just a default response? Is it another case of people not willing (or able) to engage in meaningful conversation? Or is it a sign of widespread general dissatisfaction with parenthood? In any case, it’s water off a ducks back for us – but socially it’s not a great state of affairs and with depression and anxiety on the exponential rise maybe it’s actually something we need to address.
Finally, I do thank the few who share with us the JOY as their default answer. Those who say congratulations, without the sarcasm. Those that light up inside, to know we’re about to embark on the most amazing ride we’ll ever have. That, is the good shit. Keep radiating the positive, it’s so wonderfully refreshing.