ABER... - The Thing About BUTs while pregnant
Hello Stereotypes! The moment you announce your pregnancy the world sees you with different eyes. You may notice some people who start to erase you from the invitation list while other social groups (cough – parents) feel the need to give you an introduction into the list of „How bad it is having kids“. Today is about the later.
Let me give you some examples of the worst clichés probably most other parents-to-be hear as soon as the expectant news are out.
„Try to get as much sleep now as possible.“ „Go on dates with your partner now.“ „Do that special vacation you always wanted to do because traveling with kids is horrific.“ "Meet your friends." "Read a good book." " Enjoy the quiet time:" "Start with XY (insert any hobby/project.)." ...
…I could go on with the list of phrases which all basically have just one intention. Scare you of parenthood. Go get another passport and new identity because the life you knew and you as a person stop exisiting!!! OMG…the above really happened to me. Of course everyone is super happy for you and will congratulate you on the news BUT…the somemparents among them….they cannot wait to start going with the BUTs…Kids are great BUT…The pregnancy is a happy time for every mother BUT… More than once I wanted to SSSHHHHhhhhh... people right then and there. „SHUT UP! I am happy. Period. I never asked for your opinion." At some point I started to thank people politely for their parent-wisdom BUT that I was actually aware of the above and still super happy and looking forward to becoming a parent. People usually got nervous and started reflecting their actions and told me a cute positive episode of their kids.
Sad truth is, only two parent-people didn't react with a BUT episode. Those two I will remember forever for congratulating me with all their hearts, giving me warm hugs and telling me: "You will never regeret this. " and " This is the best thing you'll ever do."
I am sure people don’t intentionally speak negative about their experience as parents. Some may seem to think they are funny while others probably simply unreflectedly repeat what they heard over and over again while they were announcing and may still think this is the way to reply to these happy news.
I don't offer wisdom here - all I offer is a piece of experince and the hopefully some awareness in the matter of BUTs. Remember those very first weeks? Wasn't that the most exciting thing? Scared yet super happy? Sick and tired yet enthousiastic to get ready? Waiting, waiting - yet not patient enough to get an update or telling everyone the happy news? The phase of pure antagonism was probably the best to happen to you up to that day. It was killing you BUT at the same time it made you feel so alive. Being a parent is tough - no doubt about that BUT it is also an ooooh so special experience. Maybe the BUTs are a part of it all which we have to go through to know who we don't want to be as parents and to reflect upon ourselves before we may become a cliché on our own. Maybe it is a test or maybe it is just here to prepare us for our life with the many annoying parent encounters we may have to life with- in the future. Bring it on! I am a mom now. I can handle a few BUTs.
This post is dediacted to all the parents to be out there. You are in for the best trip of your lifes!