This is pregnant me. I read every parenting book, went to tons of classes, and felt completely confident and prepared to be a mom. I silently criticized parents on the street telling myself I would raise my kid better and thought I was completely ready for motherhood. I was a pregnant know it all. This is I just had a baby and have no idea what I am doing, am totally exhausted, insecure about everything I do, haven’t showered since before my baby was born, why isn’t everything as easy as it sounded in the parenting books?, and tell me why again I took a birthing/newborn care class from a woman who had never had a baby? ME.
That’s a mouthful I know but it’s the only way I can describe myself in this picture. I am passed out in bed next to a wide awake Princess A. She was way smaller than I imagined and it totally freaked me out.
The point is no matter how many books you read or classes you take nothing can really prepare you for motherhood. Now that I am a mom I never judge parents with screaming children because usually Princess A was the one throwing the temper tantrum earlier that day. Princess A is now a toddler and I haven’t even bought “What to Expect in the Toddler Years” because I already know the only thing I can expect is the unexpected.
That’s why when The Husband and I went to the dentist for a cleaning I said nothing to the pregnant know it all nurse because I was once in her shoes. See usually one of us watches Princess A while the other one is getting their teeth cleaned. There was a scheduling error and they had us getting our teeth cleaned at the same time. The pregnant nurse suggested that the receptionist watch Princess A. I knew this wouldn’t work because Princess A doesn’t like strangers but I decided to go along with it. Of course, Princess A flipped out.
Next the nurse suggested we put Princess A in her car seat so she could watch me get my teeth cleaned. I knew this wouldn’t work because Princess A was antsy from the car ride and I don’t know maybe she would freak out watching her mom get her teeth cleaned. Sure enough the second the dentist started cleaning my teeth she started bawling and screaming “Mommy”. Then the pregnant nurse made some balloons and started dancing in front of her. This made matters much worse and the dentist decided he would change his schedule so that I could watch Princess A while The Husband got his cleaning done and I would get mine done after wards.
When I was watching a calm Princess A in the waiting room I wondered why I had even bothered trying to make something work that I knew would not work? I think the reason why is because I was once the pregnant know it all who thought a one year old could sit silently in her car seat while watching her mom get her teeth cleaned or that a kid would have no problem being watched by a complete stranger. Toddlers are so easy right? I think I had some sympathy for the nurse and didn’t want to burst her bubble. I am sure she went home that day thinking, “Wow, that kid was tough. My baby will be different.”
Since I was so unprepared for labor, delivery, and basically everything mom and baby related I always wonder if I should be brutally honest when a pregnant women tells me her plans for her perfect labor and easy transition into motherhood OR should I just smile and nod. I mean no matter what I say she is going to think I am wrong and really there is nothing anyone can say or write that can prepare a new mom. But then again I wish some one could have told me about the hair loss, bloating, exhaustion, crying, ect. ect. ect. But then again again could I really ever explain it? Is it something you just have to experience?
So I have no answers. What do you think? Should you be completely honest to a pregnant first time mom who asks you questions or should you let them live carefree until the bomb drops?