The whole truth and nothing but the truth…

The transition of non-parent to parent is like going from (insert ANY profession) to… I don’t know… Cardiothoracic Surgeon overnight. You feel clueless pretty much ALL THE TIME. Your new workspace is filled with foreign objects that require a ridiculous amount of training to operate (moby wrap, what??). Your identity shifts drastically. Everything you used to believe about yourself (like that you are strong, competent, intelligent, to name a few) is flushed down the toilet. And don’t even get me started about the loss of freedom. You’re on call 24/7. Sleep is for wusses anyway.

This is not to say that parenthood isn’t worth it. You don’t understand true love until you are looking into your baby’s eyes and see that first sparkle of recognition or the toothless grin that lights up the room. Those moments can bring tears to the eyes of even the toughest dude out there.

But that’s not the point right now. My husband tells me I am on a Truth Campaign because ever since becoming a parent I have no problem sharing with anyone who will listen how hard things are at times. Sleepless nights, deafening crying spells and what’s a shower again? Very rarely does anyone tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth about what parenting is actually like.

I feel a bit misled. Yes it is joyous and yes it is oh so good. But I knew it would be all that. People tend to focus on the good stuff only and minimize the hard, crazy and weird details. Like, I had no idea that one day I would need to cut my daughter’s onesie off her because it was just that saturated with poop. Or that months would pass and I would never not feel narcoleptic. (My baby is four months old and I still woke up six times last night – twice to feed, once to burp and change her and three other times for reasons I am too tired to remember right now).

Aforementioned onesie that is no longer with us. RIP.

Aforementioned onesie that is no longer with us. RIP.

I think there are a few things going on. For starters, as time goes on we forget the hard stuff from the beginning stages of parenthood. When, I don’t know. But eventually these high stress moments from the early months fade away and we long to do it all over again.

It also seems though that we don’t admit the hard stuff because it would make us seem like we’re not cutting it in the overseers-of-tiny-humans department. And with the fancy, shiny images on Instagram and Facebook our babies all look perfectly aglow. Mine included. And while I do find her absolutely angelic on most days, some days are completely exhausting. There, I admitted it.

There is also this comparison thing that happens when you become a parent. Social media makes it hard not to believe that everyone else’s baby is perfect and every other parent out there is adjusting fantastically to their new reality as mom or dad. Don’t believe what you see people! Sure, we go out on errands and to Baby Rhyme Time at the library but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t hysterical crying the whole way there and the whole way home!

And then there’s the guilt. Oh the mom guilt. It’s what leads me to question whether I should even post any of this. It’s what also leads me to emphasize again, that my baby is precious in almost every way, almost all the time. We had a rough week recently, that’s all! Really, I love her with every inch of me! Promise! It’s all true… but so is the other stuff. Why should we feel guilty for being real with each other?

Why is this even important? Why start a Truth Campaign? Because when I know others are going through even a small inkling of what I am going through I somehow feel better. Not that I want you to struggle but knowing that you are… even a little… brings me a wee bit of comfort.

Moms, Dads, new parents everywhere… we are in this together. Let’s be real with each other and support one another and celebrate small victories. We are on the adventure of a lifetime right now and it comes with a cost. Every good thing does. So let’s not be ashamed to admit it.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing Angela! As we get ready to make this transition in a few short months, it is eye opening to hear the experience of those going before us. Strange thing is, I feel like I have heard much much more about how difficult the transition is, how little sleep you’ll get, how she’ll cry all the time, how difficult breastfeeding is, etc… I rarely here from new parents anymore about a “little bundle of joy”. So, I think I am a little bit prepared and bracing for a big shock, but I am looking forward to experiencing the sweet parts. I think I may be even more surprised by the sweet parts at this point. Love to you, Jake, and Ainsley! Hang in there friend! You are doing your best and by the grace of God that is enough! Whew, He is enough!

    • acharlescoach says:

      “Shocking” is an understatement. What is a bigger word than shock? :)
      I do want to share some of the joys since it doesn’t sound like you are hearing as many of those… giggles, smiles, the “wow” expression they get on their faces over the smallest little things (a favorite blanket or a water bottle for example), cuddles, squeaky noises that in no way resemble words and yet are the start of language developing, chubby arms and legs and so much more. You are going to love it! Once you get over the initial shock that is. :)

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