We felt as if their family was what the quintessential American family looked like, that their word was gospel, and every situation should turn out like theirs did each Friday night. I was completely reassured that I would grow up to raise a family that ate dinner together every night, and wholly supported every thing each member did, unselfishly. Ice cream sundaes after every home cooked meal. A father that could work at home instead of trekking into the office. An easy pregnancy and labor, with a few quirky mood swings that were laughed off and tolerated as a joke.
I had to laugh as I recently re-watched an episode of Full House. Becky, with a tiny body and basketball belly, cutely waddles out to Jesse, smiling. "Honey...it's time!" Jesse immediately does the rushing around gathering suitcases act, while Becky looks on smiling. No evidence of contractions or pain. She says that the "indigestion" she's been feeling is now 7 minutes apart.
Why? Why on EARTH doesn't anyone sit us down and tell us the truth? I would rather be prepared for what I'm going to have to do, than be living in ignorant bliss and then shocked the hell out of when I'm finally hit with reality. So, I have compiled a list. Don't be scared, mamas! Reality is not always harsh. Sometimes it can be heartbreakingly beautiful and amazing. Feel free to add your own in the comments!
You will just "know" when it's time to go to the hospital.
You will spend much of your labor at home, timing contractions and moving around to help move things along. You will have time to inform family, load the car, have something light to eat, and drive to the hospital safely (and within the speed limit).
You will bond with your baby as soon as he/she is born.
You're so mentally and physically exhausted after birth that you may not feel that connection right away. That is perfectly NORMAL and OK. You do not know anything about this new little life, except that you love them. It could take days or weeks to really understand how you feel. If it takes more than a month or so, please talk to your partner or your doctor. You may be dealing with post-partum depression.
Your relationship with your partner will/will not change.
Your relationship with everyone will change, one way or another. You may get closer to certain people, and you will certainly drift away from some who are not in the same stage of life. This is also normal, and can be painful. Just know that you are going through a HUGE life change, and the people that want to stick around and support you are the most important people in your life. You WILL find alone time with your partner again, and you will resume a normal life eventually. TRUST me!
Some moms have it all together.
There is not one single mom out there that has it all together or completely under control 100% of the time. Those that say they do are lying or delusional. Children affect your life in so many wonderful and unforeseeable ways. You're going to make mistakes because you're on a steep learning curve. It lessens with every child, but it is still there. You're going to be late. And, you're going to leave the house at least once with spit up or poop on your person. Just sayin'... be prepared. You know what helps? Laughing those moments off. Before you know it, your baby will grow up, and those moments will be gone.
Love you, ladies! What were some of your idealistic expectations that were completely different in reality? Please share, I would love to hear your thoughts!