Friday, January 14, 2011

Parenting Taboos

In my recent post about Judah finding is cry and how you calm a crying baby, Jaimie sent me a link to this video that discusses topics that are sort of taboo to talk about and admit about parenting. I'd encourage you to watch the video, but here are the main points:

1. You can't say you didn't fall in love with your baby in the first minute.
2. You can't talk about how lonely having a baby can be.
3. You can't talk about your miscarriage.
4. You can't say your "average happiness" has declined

I wanted to talk about this, because I have been effusive in my baby love over the past months, and if this is just one-sided it can contribute to people wanting and envying life with babies and then being completely thrown off by the difficult part of it all. It's pretty similar to the way people talk about and then are disappointed by marriage. It's a great thing, but realism and honesty is helpful, because it's not a perfect thing and it's not easy.

Thing is, I know a lot of women who have really struggled with pregnancy, a lot of women that have really struggled with fertility or miscarriages, and a lot of women that have really found adjusting to motherhood difficult. All of the points above are really valid. When I was at the new moms group at my church and we went around my small group with prayers and praises, the tears flowed as the moms talked about the things they were struggling with.

The thing is, everyone is different. That first point, about not falling in love with your baby in the first minute? That doesn't apply to me. I was bowled over by a huge wave of emotion the second I saw that squirming and squalling little thing. It was a overwhelming, powerful experience that I haven't recovered from. But you know, on the other hand, it I've struggled with knowing how to respond to my babies cries, and struggled to know how to balance responsibilities with Isaac. This week especially I was exhausted, overwhelmed by the times I took Judah out of the house, and yeah, I felt isolated.

I can't even imagine how multiplied that would be if I was also hormonally imbalanced and struggling with post-partum depression. I can't imagine what it would be like if Judah was colicky and really was inconsolably much of the time, or if he wouldn't eat, or if he was really sick. My experience with entering motherhood has been WONDERFUL, and at the same time new and overwhelming and comparatively easy to what it could have been in many other cases.

So I suppose this post is sort of just to say... just because I talk about how beautiful and wonderful it is doesn't mean that's ALL it is.

1 comment:

Jaimie said...

Yay! I did secretly want to hear your thoughts on that link. I'm glad it's going so good for you. I think I am one of those people that would.... hate motherhood. Okay, not HATE, but you know. I would want it to be over with.