Nobody tells you the truth about kids, until, well, you let them know you are about to have a baby. Suddenly, the truth spills out of people like a faucet. The funny thing about it all is that parents will wait to tell you the horror stories until a few months into the pregnancy. They will tell you to do everything you want to do before the baby arrives. They will then contradict themselves by telling you to enjoy the ability to literally do nothing. They will look you in the eye and basically say, “Be afraid, be very afraid!” They will do all of this and end with, “But kids are great and I can’t imagine my life without them”. Of course hearing this is a total mind-f_ _k because you are literally standing there thinking, ‘but you just basically said it’s horrible? You’ve told me you can’t sleep at all. Your kids make you hate your husband/wife. You said your life sucks because you can’t do anything or really go anywhere. You are telling me all of this and a lot more, but yet I am supposed to hang on to your feeble attempt to say it’s all worth it?’ I appreciate the brutal honesty, but damn!
It’s not like Rachel and I have this distorted view of children. We don’t expect the baby to come and suddenly everything will be right with the world. We are slightly aware of the daunting task ahead. We know that sleep will be hard to come by, especially in the beginning with a newborn. However, we keep hearing things like, “Well, enjoy your sleep now because you won’t get it again” and “You won’t sleep for the next 10 years of your life.” The lack of sleep thing isn’t even the worst of what we have been hearing. We started to hear about how Rachel and I would probably hate each other for a while and that life would really get difficult. We were told our patience would be tested daily, not only with the baby, but each other as well. We started hearing less about the joys of parenthood and more about the myriad obstacles we were about to encounter. What happened to parents telling us having kids is wonderful? Did they suddenly disappear the second Rachel became pregnant?
We know that babies aren’t always fun. We have been made completely aware of the projectile vomiting, lack of sleeping, anger inducing, patience testing, poo-poo changing experience we are about to encounter. Yes, we are scared. Somehow, though, all of it will be worth it and we will not be able to imagine our lives without kids, at least that’s what we keep hearing. I am still having trouble understanding the whole, “It’s all worth it” part of having kids. I know it’s because we don’t have a baby yet and right now we are still, in a way, dumb to all of it. We don’t really know what to expect, because nothing can really prepare us. We’ve heard so many stories, but we have yet to experience them for ourselves. I know we will soon, but for now I prefer to think of my baby sleeping quietly in Rachel’s belly with a smile.
I know that sometimes our baby will make us hate each other, or at least get short with each other. I know the baby will test our patience. I know we won’t sleep much at all, which makes us both worried (we are sleepers). I know that our life, in many ways, will be much more difficult when the baby arrives. I just hope that when we are actually in the thick of it we can say it’s all worth it, and that we can’t imagine our lives without our child. Honestly, I really hope we finally understand what that actually means.