Discussions with a First-Time Mom

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Baby L and I had a little photo shoot this weekend thanks to my sister and her fancy new camera. We went to the Santa Monica pier to have a combo of carnival-esque photos and beach photos. He’s growing big & strong in there. I can’t believe we have less than 11 weeks until he makes his appearance.

I have noticed a few things over these past 29 weeks:

1. People (strangers, friends, coworkers) will tell you birth stories. Some of them will absolutely terrify you to the point of pleading with baby to chill in there for awhile longer.

2. People will make jokes about how much a baby will change everything leaving a haze of uncomfortable truth behind them with little hope or encouragement.

At first, I did not know how to respond to either of these things. I winced through stories about babies “clawing their way out”. Yep, those were her exact words. I laughed awkwardly at comments by parents with bags under their regret-filled eyes about our lives changing forever. Then, I would go home and feel IT slowly growing inside of me.

Panic.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so unbelievably excited about welcoming a beautiful baby boy into our lives, but as a first-time mom I find myself questioning everything. Are we really ready for this? How do we take care of another human? What if we totally screw up?

Then I realized something really powerful. Those people with all of their advice forgot to add on five little words to the end of their rants – “but it was worth it”.

My husband and I are over the moon about having a son to coach, to raise up right, to go on late-night ice cream runs with, and to love. I am also not naive to the fact that there will be tear-filled nights, months of exhaustion, moments of frustration, days where everything goes wrong, and never-ending weeks. BUT those dark moments will all be outweighed by the joy, laughter, and love that we experience with our baby boy.

So, here is my advice (and plea):

When you’re talking to someone who is pregnant for the first time:

Don’t sugar coat it. Don’t pretend like everything will be easy and great all the time. Be real. BUT be encouraging. Make sure you give the good with the bad. You might have had an awful birth story, but what was it like when you finally got to hold your baby?  I know that having a baby changes everything – what are some things that you love about your new life as a mom/dad?

Most first-time moms are already panic-stricken even if they don’t show it. Don’t add more fuel to that fire. Instead, add some honest encouragement & love. That will go much further.

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