I’ve kept my mouth shut for a while (22 weeks to be exact) because I didn’t want to offend anyone or hurt anyones feelings. I know most of the people who talk to me about being pregnant, going into labor, or being a parent have good intentions and want to help. Or at least I always thought they meant well, which is why I always bit my tongue and just listened. But I am tired of being polite and smiling each time someone makes that same statement that drives me crazy. Vaughan tells me to be nice that everyone means well, and to just smile and say thank you. And that is great advice. But advice I can no longer stand by.
I actually LOVE everyone’s advice and experiences that are shared with me when it is in the form of a conversation that actually starts with ‘this is what I went through’ or some form of. People, parenting styles, and experiences are so drastically different so everyone is going to approach each experience in their own way. And the more I can learn from others and what worked for them, the more tools I have going into this unknown world. So if you have shared your stories with me then I thank you and keep them coming. The personal stories and situations is not what drives me crazy!
The words that make me crazy more than anything is, “Oh you just wait.” Or any form of it. From the day I announced my pregnancy I started hearing, “Oh you just wait” from so many people. Sometimes these words are in the form of, “You just don’t know yet,” or “Spoken like a first time parent,” or my personal favorite, “You may think that way now…” At first, I shrugged those words off. Each pregnancy and new child is so different so each experience is going to be very different. But it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s like people want you to know all your expectations, planning, and good fortune is going to go out the window because it did for them.
How about this. How about you just share your experiences with me and don’t try to take away from mine… That’s what I feel like saying each time I hear those fingernail on the chalkboard words that make me cringe. This is how it’s been going…
Them: How has your pregnancy been?
Me: Great! I’ve experienced some fatigue but no nausea or sickness of any sort. I still workout and feel good.
Them: Oh you just wait.
Grrrrrr. Well guess what. I’m approaching my third trimester and still no nausea. Maybe because I take care of myself, have been taking supplements and eating especially well for the last 2 years planning for this pregnancy. I study nutrition and understand how it affects my hormones and what is specifically needed nutritionally during this time and haven’t used my pregnancy to consume everything in sight!
Them: Have you been sleeping well?
Me: It’s been spotty from time to time but I do make an effort to get in naps when I can.
Them: Oh just wait, you’ll NEVER sleep again!
Ahhhhhh. Vaughan and I were on our hospital tour with about 10 pregnant women when we walked by a delivery room and a father yelled out to us, “Get your sleep now, you’ll never sleep again!” I seriously had an Ally McBeal moment where one of those hormonal pregnant women leapt across the hall and clawed his eyes out. I wanted to say, “really? I’m only doing this so I can stay home with my kid, sleep in, and watch soap operas every day.” Seriously? You think we don’t know that having a kid changes so much in your life, including sleep? And I’m sorry sir that you NEVER sleep. I plan on doing the best I can to get my baby on a sleeping schedule (and before you say it, for those of you who have struggled to do so, I know it can be done even though you may still be at the demands of your kid, not everyone is like you and plenty of parents have had success getting their newborn on a sleeping schedule), and using the resources we have, aka grandparents.
OR my personal favorite
Them: You enjoy spending time with your husband?
Me: Of course I do! He’s my best friend and we try to do as much together as we can.
Them: Well, just say goodbye (another form of ‘oh you just wait’) cause this kid is going to take ALL of your time.
Pffff. I’m so glad that so many people have walked in my exact shoes and understand Vaughan and I’s relationship so they can tell me exactly what is going to happen to us when Bassil arrives. Do things go as planned? Seldom. But you can always prepare and know yourself to anticipate as much as possible. Vaughan and I have had so many conversations about how things are going to change once this kiddo gets here and we are prepared to cope with whatever is thrown our way.
What prompted this post was actually the responses I received to an article I posted on Facebook – How Parenting is Killing The American Marriage. This is a really well written article talking about how parenting has changed, so that in America we are looked down on if we don’t put our children before anyone or anything else. Author Eyelet Waldman stated that she loves her husband more than her 4 children and this love has a positive impact on her children by giving them a sense of security in their parents relationship. She has been shunned and condemned for this statement.
I reflected on her statement and when I posted this article I stated how I chose Vaughan to be my husband and in my life and how Bassil is a bonus. Immediately I started receiving.. you got it… “Oh you just wait” comments. And this was the final straw of me holding my tongue. So here is my response to that statement.
So many people have children to fix their marriage. And many more to fill a void in their life. And of course.. these are not the only reasons, there are a million other wonderful reasons to have kids. Vaughan and I had been trying to conceive for about a year and a half before we got pregnant. Not once during this time did it become stressful. We already decided that if it didn’t happen naturally then it wasn’t meant to be. We were just as ok with having children as not. We have had many conversations about us and how much we mean to each other. We realize that a child would enhance our lives but not fill a void because there is no void to be filled and not take away from the love we have for each other.
A child to us is a bonus in our life. An enhancement and more love to have around. We know that by giving each other top priority and continuing to love each other as much as we do, we will be providing valuable lessons for Bassil, so that he will chose a partner that gives him as much as we give each other. He will know how to create a safe, nurturing environment for someone where he can live his truth and be the best person that he can be. He will know how to share love openly with no fear and will have a spouse that will meet him on the same path and provide him with what he needs to live to his potential. We will teach him this through the example we will provide as his parents and each others partner. And we can’t teach him this lesson if we don’t make each other a priority. Bassil will come into our lives like a whirlwind. Our activities, and habits, and environment will change. We will be prepared and totally unprepared. We will laugh and cry and there will probably be a time or two that I will want to set him free (like I did with Andi so many times when she was a pup – and yes I just compared my kid to a puppy) but Vaughan will help me through those moments. And we will grow and learn together and discover more about ourselves than we thought possible. But the one gift and lesson that we know we can give him, more than any other is an example of how to love someone without fear, without expectation, and with total devotion, appreciation, and support. Because that’s what Vaughan and I have for each other. And once he grows, and leaves home, what will be left is what we started with… Vaughan and I and a promise to do the best we can for each other.
We have seen children leave home and suddenly the parents realize they barely even know each other. Vaughan and I consciously decided to travel down this path together in a partnership, so that when that day comes and Bassil spreads his wings, we will be stronger and closer because of the experience. So when I posted that article and said, “I chose Vaughan and Bassil is a bonus,” maybe you’ll better understand what I mean. Yes, our hearts will swell. Yes, I’m sure we will love him more than we could imagine right now. But until you have been in my shoes and look at my husband through my eyes with the adoration and overwhelming love I have for him.. Please don’t say, “Oh you just wait.”