Have you ever noticed the phenomenon that occurs between people who are embarking on something new and exciting and the people who have already traversed that road?
It usually goes something like this. First comes the acknowledgement of your announcement or status change, followed quickly by a pop-up shower on your otherwise sunny parade.
“Yay, you graduated! [pause] Time to get ready for the real world…..”
“Congrats on your engagement! [pause] But just wait…..what you consider “cute” quirks now will soon drive you nuts!”
And then upon learning baby news:
“I heard you’re expecting! [pause] Being a mom is going to be the hardest, most exhausting thing you’ve ever done.”
"It's a girl? [pause] Get ready - girls are drama queens! Oh and be prepared to be broke for the rest of your life."
"It's a boy? [pause] Just wait for all the potty jokes and exhaustion of chasing them around."
I’m not saying all of these statements are necessarily false, but what is interesting (and disheartening) is the instinctive need to sucker punch you with a reality check in the midst of celebratory news. It might be in the name of "honesty" or "keeping it real" but actually it’s an unfortunate combination of bad timing and the element of unsolicited opinion. And we all know how readily negative comments will plant themselves into our hearts and minds.
Certainly there is a time and a place for a behind the scenes perspective, but maybe the middle of your parade isn’t the ideal time for a rainshower.
Impending motherhood, especially, seems to invite these type of responses that focus more on the negatives than the positives - sure to leave any expecting mom with more doubts and fears in place of joy and expectation.
Years ago when expecting my first child, I was equally bombarded with Excited Ellens and Debbie Downers; and some were one in the same.
But one day while getting my hair done, my stylist (who was a mom herself) said to me simply, “You’re going to love motherhood.” Joy radiated through her response and I knew she was being genuine.
Her reaction immediately lessened the tension in my shoulders and caused a smile to spread across my face.
I realized at that moment how deficient I was in hearing affirming responses. Very few had validated the good I would discover in my next season and left it at that. It was always followed up with “just you wait…..”
But she told me I was going to love it. Full stop.
It didn't erase any of my own hesitations, or place rose-colored glasses on my face about what the day to day life of a mom would be; but it did give me hope and anchored me back to what I knew to be true deep down.
I’ll never forget that moment.
And now looking back, I can say her words have proven true. Of course, every moment of being a mom isn't enjoyable, that's not realistic and that’s not what she was implying. But motherhood as a whole? I love it. I really do.
And now, I try my best to do that for other people - to simply cheer on the sidelines of their parade - no matter what season they are marching forward into.
And so, expecting mama, today I’m saying it to you. In case you're wondering, or doubting, or getting lost in the weeds of fear - don't.
You’re going to love it.
Here at Wyatt's Maternity, helping you feel confident in your motherhood and breastfeeding journey is our favorite thing! We have numerous resources available to you to ease this transition. Take a minute to look around while you're here, and reach out if we can help in any way. Thanks for reading!