Everyone told me Mommyhood was going to change my life. I heard all the usuals throughout my pregnancy. Everything from ‘You’ll never sleep again’ to ‘Don’t expect to ever turn the TV on again.’ I am happy to report my daughter of 8.5 months sleeps through the night, and has done so since very early on. I am also happy to report (or maybe I shouldn’t be so happy about this) but I am still a television zombie. Yes, life has changed in a million and one ways. But it is not so foreign to my pre-baby life as everyone tried to prepare me for.
I went into motherhood knowing one thing: I knew nothing! I had no idea what type of child I was going to have, how I was going to respond to my new role, how my household would change. I kept an open mind, and nodded politely while everyone told me exactly how it was going to be. Friends and family alike started every conversation regarding the baby with “Just wait…” and inserted their horror story about sleeping, eating, pooping, and their sex lives.
It was actually a stranger in a bar (yep, picture me almost 10 months preggers sipping root beer at a bar with the hubs) that said the most profound thing I had heard. “Just wait…” Great, I thought, the famous words. I wonder what lovely story this slightly drunk stranger has for me. “Just wait, it will be the greatest thing you ever do.” Finally! Words of encouragement! Someone that knows that yes, it is hard, and yes, things are going to change but at the end of the day it is the greatest joy and love you will ever know.
My challenge to those reading is the next time you are around someone who is pregnant, friend or stranger, and you open your mouth to speak your pearls of wisdom, close your mouth. Just shut it right there. You are not going to say anything to this person they have not already heard. Regroup, then go ahead and open your mouth and pass along the strongest words of encouragement you can give someone. Remember this is not your pregnancy, not your child. You can offer up your own experience, but besides your support that is all you have to give. Never again be guilty of the “Just wait” statements from hell.
Instead, pass along the best drunken statement ever uttered to a mother: Just wait, it will be the greatest thing you ever do.