Overall my pregnancy was relatively easy. I experienced morning sickness up until 16 weeks, and experienced the normal pregnancies aches and pains. Giving birth I thought was pretty easy too. I did have an epidural which naturally most certainly helped. I don’t want to sit here and be one of those moms who boast about how easy everything was but I’m saying that it wasn’t what everyone said it was ‘supposed’ to be like. I thought the entire experience was amazing from the moment my water broke to when I delivered my son. I felt like I was in control of the situation. I had educated myself and prepared myself through research and from asking my friends. One thing I’m here to tell you is that you shouldn’t believe everything your friends, family, doctors or Google have to tell you about pregnancy and child birth. I won’t sit here and tell you I wasn’t slightly scared or apprehensive about giving birth, but what I can say is that I shouldn’t have believed everything I was told.
One thing that I wish I would have asked more of is how to be a parent. Now, I’m not shallow and I realize this isn’t a question to necessarily ask others since every individual and situation is different. I don’t think anyone could prepare you for becoming a parent.Parenting is hard. For those moms and dads out there claiming that it is easy, the sleep deprivation and stress has most certainly gotten the best of them. Parenting is hard. There is no question that becoming a parent has been one of the most challenging duties yet in my young adult life. No one can adequately prepare you for smelly, icky diapers, or extreme sleep deprivation, the voluntary giving up of all things you like to do, the sicknesses that will plague your child time and time again (thanks daycare) which then will strike you down the next day. There will be messes everywhere and daily! There is no denying that the house will ever be clean again. Your child will pull on the dog’s ears, try to eat the remote, throw food on the floor, cry, splash water everywhere and pretty much cause your perfectly routine life to turn upside down.
That was one of the hardest things I had to accept. I was so used to my routine every night of coming home after a workout, preparing dinner, showering, reading, writing and finally going to bed that when that routine was suddenly upheavaled, I didn’t know what to do. I was upset (naturally) and it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to be selfish and make my evenings all about me. And I was ok with that. I just needed help getting there. I’d be lying if I told you that I adjusted quickly and easily to my new routine and parenting role. It took days, weeks and still even now (nearly a year later), I’m still adjusting. That’s the funny thing about parenting. We are always learning, adjusting and changing our routine. We are so excited when we think we have the new routine down, then BAM it changes.
Parenting is hard. It’ll never be an easy thing. No one is born a naturally great parent. As parents we will make mistakes. Our child will get hurt while on our watch, and as parents we will butt heads with others who try to offer up parenting advice including each others as spouses. And let me tell you something, that is OK. Let me say that again. It is OK not to be a natural and make mistakes. In my honest opinion, those that make mistakes are the ones who learn from them and grow from them, so never ever be afraid to fail. It’s all a learning experience. As each day that passes by, I realize that I’m becoming a better parent. I’m not where I want to be by any means, but I will never sit here and tell you that parenting is easy. It most certainly is not. What I will say is that, the sleep deprivation, smelly icky diapers, messes and everything else so commonly linked to little feet is worth it. It is all worth it. Hands down.
I have been a parent for a while now (even longer if you count my pregnancy—which I do), and I will say that becoming a parent has most certainly tested my strength and patience, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade becoming a parent for anything. Pregnancy and giving birth weren’t that hard for me, but for others it may be very challenging and difficult, but I assure you that NOTHING is as hard as parenting. There will be choices and decisions that will have to be made in the future, that I still may not know how to 100% make, but I know that with each day and life experience, I’m one step closer to being the parent I am striving to be. Cherish the times and memories you make now because before you know it your child will be ONE or EIGHTEEN. It’ll go by in a flash, and I assure you that you don’t want to miss a thing!