How many times have we sat around with friends, family, or work mates, and discussed how tired we are, how horrific the birth was, how hard it is being a parent, how little our baby or toddler sleeps, the terrible two’s, or the even more terrible three’s (“threenagers”).
I have a lot of friends and family who have recently had babies or are pregnant, and it made me think. On the one hand, I think its important for people to know what to expect, so we can go into it with eyes wide open. But why do we always talk about the bad stuff?
I realised that the bad stuff comes easy. The honest truth is that parenting is hard. Your whole life changes, more so than you can even imagine. I think back to that age old saying that if have a bad customer experience you tell the world, and we often don’t hear about the good. I feel like the same applies here. We tell the world, or at least anyone who will listen, about the difficult things, the bad experiences, the sleep deprivation. It comes easy. It unites us as parents, and helps us feel not alone. But what about the good? If there were no good things, we wouldn’t keep having kids right?
Then it dawned on me. The good things are less tangible. Its a feeling, a heart flutter, a I-would-do-anything-for-this-child moment, a heart-bursting laugh, I-need-you-like-nothing-else cuddles, an indescribable all consuming love for a tiny human that you made, a mind blowing fact that he came from you and your partners DNA, and you literally grew a baby. These feelings are so personal to each parent, and can be so big that it is almost impossible to put into words. This is why we dont talk about the good stuff. Its too hard to express. And to be honest, while we tell new parents-to-be that nothing can prepare them for parenthod, having a baby or the massive change to their life and relationship, its even harder, albeit impossible, to describe the life altering love you will feel for that baby. So we don’t. You have to experience it to believe it.