Hey hey! Heather here. Hope you all had a fantastic week. Here’s our topic for this week (how strange that all these statements began with an “H”):
MOTHERHOOD: EXPECTATIONS VS. REALITY
I suppose my expectations began with my first pregnancy. I had visions of being cutesy pregnant, smiling, cooing to my bump and happily awaiting the birth of my son.
Har har har.
I looked and felt like a beached whale. I wanted that boy out and soon. Yesterday would have been great, in fact. I had gestational diabetes, constant heartburn, and a hemorrhoid. Named Herman. Herman the hemorrhoid.
This was to be only my first lesson in motherhood reality (and Preparation H). Hubby and I talked a lot about what sort of parents we wanted to be. His parents were very lenient, while mine were too strict. Ideally, we would meet somewhere in the middle and not make the mistakes our parents made (read “We will not be our parents!”). We would love and respect our kids, and they would love and respect us. We would see parents on our outings and say to ourselves, “No way will OUR kids get away with that!” or “I can’t believe that set her off.”
Yeah. Foreshadowing at its finest.
Thankfully, I had a much more comfortable pregnancy with my daughter. Sure, I still looked and felt like a beached whale, but I was a cute whale this round, by gum (and best of all, no Herman!). My husband and I were more realistic about life post-pregnancy as well, which made it a lot easier to hit the ground running.
What I ultimately discovered was a world both more terrible and more beautiful than I could possibly have imagined. I didn’t know unconditional love until I beheld my wee ones. I didn’t know fear until I had cause to worry about harm coming to them. I had no idea I could get so mad about words fired back at me by an adorable four year-old. I didn’t realize that I would be learning as much from my kids as they would be learning from me.
Parenting brings out the best and worst in me. It tests my patience, challenges my creativity, raises my awareness of all that is around me (and around my children, naturally), causes extreme anxiety, and brings me cause to continue learning about everything. It brings a different perspective to my thoughts and ideas. It challenges my preconceived notions and makes me turn inwards to ponder what I truly believe and what I want to instill in my children. I have never been so tired in my life, nor have I been so inspired or had so much to live for or found so much joy.
I wouldn’t change a thing. They were totally worth it.