I’ve learned that most mothers do not exactly recall what they did about anything in particular besides that they gave birth, unless it was particularly traumatic or if they only have one or two children. That was actually extremely surprising, and I don’t mean that as an insult, because we go through an immense transformation, emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally as we are literally sharing our bodies with another forming human. It is exhausting, but it is not as exhausting as when the kid actually gets here. Therefore, I understand why many women do not remember everything in such detail from that time in their lives. It also goes by ridiculously fast. In retrospect, I gave birth for the first time in August of 2020 and my overall pregnancy, labor and delivery were great. Nor did I or my son have any complications.
Also, I honestly DO NOT know how single parents do it. My hat is forever off to them because it really does take a village and THEN some. They need to give out awards and some type of other-worldly compensation on Mother’s Day, to say the VERY least. As a first-time parent, who is sharing duties with my partner, it’s chaos. Even when it is not overwhelming, its chaos with sprinkles. Pandemic aside, preferred parenting techniques are updated every year and it can be exhausting to keep up with what’s outdated and what’s new. The best thing any parent can do, is do it YOUR OWN way.
I’ve noticed that both sides of the family inevitably give unwarranted advice about what they’ve done, didn’t do or how the child(ren) favor their side opposed to the other (rolls eyes). Most times you just want people to mind their own business and understand that their opinions or ideas are not welcome in the format they are being presented. Also, there is something that is called a Couvade (Sympathetic) Pregnancy, where the father essentially experiences pains and gains weight in conjunction with the pregnancy. I experienced it for myself with my fiancé and while it was funny to watch it was equally annoying when we came home from the hospital and he was complaining about pain. Now, he did have to sleep on a crappy pull out in the hospital, but giving birth does not compare, right?
Breastfeeding is another beast, as not one person (literally no one) tells it like it is. It is hard. It does not just happen naturally like blinking your eyes. It can break your spirit having a new baby you’re trying to feed, especially if you are not willing to use formula from the jump. There is also something called “exclusively pumping” (which is still breastfeeding), which I opted for after the first month for my son because of my issue with direct-to-breast feeding. It is also immensely frustrating that there are men on this earth that feel as though women feeding their children in public somehow translates sexually and makes them uncomfortable.
Here are a few things that I’m going to keep it all the way honest about that TRULY matter (that I didn’t get a heads up about) before having a kid:
This is a subject that I can go down an unprovoked rabbit hole on, but even if I knew what is contained in these few paragraphs before I gave birth, I would have been way more prepared for what was to come. From the bottom of my heart, I hope this helps some of you new parents out there in a real way.