If parenting is supposed to be such a wonderful experience, then WHY do people feel the need, at any and every chance, to equate the baby’s arrival with something akin to a trip to the guillotine?
“Enjoy your freedom while you can”
“You’ll never (insert adjective here) once the baby comes”
“Enjoy (sleep/peace and quiet/contenment/breathing) NOW, cause once that baby comes…”
“Say goodbye to your life”.
Now I have in no way assumed that this whole parenting thing is going to be a cakewalk–far from it. I have far too many experiences with friends and relatives babies to know that it’s certainly some hard time you have to put in. I never once assumed that we were going to have the perfect, cooing Gerber baby who never makes a peep, and with whom we could breeze through our old life without any change. Of course not!
I’m at the 10-week point (10 weeks more or less left), so the paranoia is already starting to kick in. So why, I ask you good people, do some people feel the need to compound this paranoia?
Don’t even ask me about the house. We’re doing all we can and I have confidence we’ll get things finished, but living in a construction zone isn’t helping the panicky feelings I’m having. We haven’t even started creating the baby’s room and we’ve bought practically nothing to prepare. My nesting instinct is kicking into overdrive, but I don’t have a nest yet. I have visions of me simply “forgetting” that the baby is arriving and, having not prepared, having to use a bathtub or open drawer as a makeshift crib (well, that’s what the pioneers had to do…er, right??). I also have nightmares that my forays into the first few weeks of motherhood are not unlike that “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy is “practicing” putting a diaper on a baby doll, and holds the doll upside down and diapers his head instead. As long as I’m not cooking a turkey the same time as I’m holding the baby and I accidentally switch the two…OK this is getting morbid, I’ll stop! (plus I’m even more glad to be a vegetarian for that reason! hard to confuse a kid and a carrot).
I’m imagining that everything I’ve read (which is now getting all mushed up and I’m getting all the information confused. Do I wait 3 weeks or 3 months before I do such and such?) will get instantly forgotten and I’ll end up one of those frazzled moms on Nanny 911 because I skipped an important developmental step, and my child is now destined to be The Unibomber instead of Ghandi.
There’s really nothing I can expect anyone to say to me to make it all better. I know, parenting IS hard, and I’m sure parts of it really DO suck at first. But please, just for these last few weeks that I’m in a hormonal hurricane–convince me that it’s not like a death sentence!!!