Dear Friends Who are Pregnant with Their First Child (or Who Just Had Their First),
You and I might not have had a chance to sit and talk about the life altering change you have just gone through, or are about to go through, because I have already gone through it twice and am very busy chasing said “life changers.”
I wanted to take a breather from tackling my three year old and my one year old to tell you that you are about to go on the wildest journey that you will ever go on.
I mean, screw Mr. Toad and whatever he thought constituted a “wild ride.” This one is going to be off the charts. And you know what? I bet everyone and their brother has been telling you that. I used to hate it. There I go, doing something that I hated when I was in your shoes.
You’ve no doubt heard the following so many times that you want to jump out the window:
“It goes by so fast.”
“Enjoy every minute.”
“Your life will never be the same.”
“It’s the hardest job that you’ll ever love.”
And on and on and on. I’m going to stop and say I believe each and every one of those things. But that’s not why I’m writing this letter.
The real reason I’m writing this letter is to tell you that it’s okay.
It’s okay to:
- not like being a parent at first.
- miss your old life.
cry over missing your old life.
- be terrified at the seemingly huge task at hand.
- need to take a walk, several walks, to calm the chatter in your head.
- need help and ask for it.
- think that you might have made a mistake.
- wonder if you’re really going to be a good parent.
- get into arguments with your significant other because you’re exhausted.
- be exhausted.
- love your baby more than anything but feel a little sad that your body isn’t going to look the same again.
- watch trash television simply because you need something mind numbing at the end of the day.
- let dishes pile up.
- let laundry pile up.
- need medication to get through mentally rough moments.
need therapy in tandem with medication to get through mentally rough moments.
- question everything.
- want five minutes during the day that don’t focus on your breasts, the house or your baby.
- wonder if you’ll ever feel like you have the hang of things.
- wish that time would speed up.
- wish that your children were older.
- feel frustration towards your baby.
This list is not meant to scare you, my exhausted friend. This list is meant to be there for you in case, just in case, you should ever experience any of the things on it and wonder, am I the only one to feel this way?
I want you to always remember, no, you’re not the only one to feel this way because I have felt every single thing on that list. So there, you know at least one other person that has been right where you are.
At first, I remember thinking this was the hardest thing I was ever asked to do.
Sometimes I still feel that way. But, I want you to understand, as I have grown to understand, it’s okay.