Before I a stepped into motherhood, I had preset notions about what the entire process would feel like. I remember thinking that pregnancy would be this amazingly easy thing that you’d go through. Yeah, there would be a bit of nausea or even swollen feet, BUT that “pregnancy glow” and feeling of having a complete human being grow inside you would make it all GREAT! Then there’s the notion that after you give birth EVERYTHING is back to what it was before you were pregnant and then life goes on. Oh & of course you now have to deal with a crying little human while changing diapers and wearing their “spit up”. Little did I know that all those magazines and blogs never REALLY tell you the entire truth about parenthood!
First thing is pregnancy. Granted, pregnancy is different for every woman, BUT it’s not as [Glamorous] as the world would hope it to be. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some AMAZING moments, but there are some pretty awful ones too. Like nausea for instance. I remember thinking that the nausea was like in movies where you’d wake up & feel nauseated and then move on after a few minutes. NO WAY! The nausea is 24/7, around the clock! Oh and the occasional headaches, back aches, leg cramps at night, weak bladder, feeling full & boisterously hungry at the same time, heaviness of your belly after the third trimester, irritability, and the list goes on.
Oh & then there’s the delivery, which is another experience in & of itself. Luckily for me, my delivery was relatively fast and not as traumatizing as some of the other stories I’ve heard. Then there’s ACTUAL parenthood, which is where it all really begins. Besides the fact of taking care of another human, there’s SO MANY changes that a woman’s body goes through. Postpartum can be a bit rough for some. Trust me, I know firsthand! Your hair falls out. And Yes, that pregnancy hair is GORGEOUS and full and healthy. BUT after giving birth, it ALL falls out in chunks. Sometimes your hair doesn’t grow for months. It can change in texture (And not necessarily for the best). Then you may literally “drop off an entire body” in weight if you decide to breastfeed solely. Now for some that may sound like a dream come true, BUT for someone like me who basked in the glory of FINALLY gaining 35 pounds during pregnancy and loving the new body, it was pretty saddening to lose ALL the weight so quickly after just a few months due to breastfeeding.
In addition, there are other changes physically that have some women feeling more insecure about their bodies afterwards– for some it’s the “extra” left in the stomach area where your little “love muffin” use to reside, breast size changes, weight gain, dental sensitivity, postpartum depression, vision changes, shoe size differences, Just to name a few. But after it’s all said & done, the most important thing is that little human being in front of you. And oh how precious they are. This is where the road to parenthood TRULY begins.
You’ll go through the sleepless nights and feeling like a “zombie” during the first few weeks. And you’ll have to embrace the PAIN that your body is feeling for about a month or so after delivery. And you’ll have to face the fact that your child may prefer you OR their father at certain different times of their development (which can be frustrating at times). And there WILL be times when your baby will ONLY want you and it may feel like you have a new-found “Velcro” attached to you (where you can’t eat, sleep, or breathe without their presence). And then there will be moments that you feel like crying because you witnessed their first clap or step or “word spoken” or response to your voice, or initiative to crawl out of nowhere; all because they just GROW UP SO DARN FAST! Then you’ll go through one of the hardest phases, which is teaching your little one what & how to eat. Some days or weeks will feel victorious, while other weeks will seem like day 1 all over again. Then there’s the “mini tantrums” and cycles of different personality traits that you’ll encounter (only to have it said that it will only get worse as they get older). Haha! The joys of parenthood! But guess what? Even with ALL it’s challenges, it’s by far the most AMAZING thing you’ll ever experience! The bond & love you gain is indescribable. Hey, they always say that the best things in life aren’t easy. So embrace it. I did! And I love it. Crazy & all! Because to be a Mother is a self-less act; one that requires all of you while not expecting anything back.
So you may face others opposing views on what you should and shouldn’t do, you’ll have moments of frustration, You’ll even have moments of feeling incompetent (because you want to be the best for your child), BUT always remember that despite your challenges as a parent (whether a mother or father or both) You are the best for your child. Follow your own internal GPS. A parent’s instinct is wise! So love what this process has taught you and fall in love with the new woman OR man you’ve become!
God gave this gift to you because He knew that you had what it took to cultivate and grow your little human being into the man or woman that they were created to be. So if you are a parent or plan to be one someday, just know that everyone’s experience during this journey is different. Erase all preconceived notions and let life happen. And if you face bumps long the way, just know that you aren’t alone; There’s always another mama OR papa out there feeling the same way you do.
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body. — Elizabeth Stone