The Pendulum of Pregnancy and Parenthood
Oh the blogosphere. Some recent feedback about the blog has left me feeling like I want to explain myself further. Most of the time, I don’t take myself too seriously. I keep things on the lighter side. I try to be open and honest without crossing the line too far. But sometimes, I also feel nostalgic, or like waxing poetic, or being downright rosy. I am by no means a completely rose-colored glasses kind of gal, but there are plenty of days when I feel as the wonderful Anne Shirley explains, “it’s delightful when your imaginations come true.” Sometimes life really is good. And sometimes, it’s poopy. I try to keep a good balance of all emotions. Lest you get the wrong impression of me, let me explain my philosophy on pregnancy and well, parenthood in general.
Pregnancy and parenthood are on a pendulum. One side represents the delightful imaginations; the little hugs, the “I love yous,” the soft and surprising first kicks of a baby in your belly. The other side represents the crapper. It’s the horror stories; the 9 months of barfing, the baby vomit directly in your mouth, the poop smeared on the wall, the 100 pounds of rice spilled in every nook and cranny of your floor, the fun outing ruined by incessant whining and tantrums.
On any given day, in any given hour, parents experience a range of emotions. We swing from grateful, to miserable, to happy, to exhausted, to locking ourselves in the bathroom for a moment of sanity. It’s life. There are inevitable ups and downs. Occasionally, the pendulum feels broken, refusing to swing from one side. And honestly, this usually means it’s stuck in the crapper for longer than should be reasonable.
I have those days. One minute I’m writing love letters to my unborn daughter because I can’t tell her in person yet how much I adore her, and the next minute I’m crying because the pregnant body can be so awkward and uncomfortable and I’m just done being pregnant. Sometimes it just isn’t funny to be the pregnant stereotype that pees 37 times a day.
Just because I write love letters to my daughter doesn’t mean I am immune from reality. There are days where if I have to answer the thousandth inquiry of “why?” or listen to one more whiny “I don’t want to!” I might just implode from annoyance. I too feel that moment of sweet freedom and jubilation when I leave my daughter with my husband and have a few glorious hours to myself.
I experience plenty of parenting fails too. My daughter has hit me in the face, pooped her pants inconveniently in public, and spit her dinner out all over me in protest. She’s refused to go to sleep, she’s peed her bed, she’s done all the stuff that makes parenting grueling and often monotonous.
I live daily on both sides of the pendulum and I believe we all do for the most part. We’re all just regular people doing this crazy difficult, unforgiving, yet wonderful thing called parenthood.
The funny thing about parenthood though is how quickly the pendulum can swing. One minute you’re going ape crazy over the messes and chaos and the next, your kid says something totally hilarious that eases the tension. During a smoothie clean up that covered every inch of the wall, my daughter voluntarily said, “I’m sorry I made a mistake mom.” Melt me. Then, she proceeded to tell me, “My bum says it’s time to go pee-pee.” What else can I do but laugh? That’s sort of the idea Harper. No, it doesn’t make the smoothie clean up any faster, but it does remind me of how quickly the pendulum swings.
This is my pregnancy and these are my memories and I try to keep them as real and me as possible. That reality includes some sweetness, some dreaming. I’ve said it before, complaining makes me uncomfortable, but I’m also guilty as charged.
I try to laugh at myself, this pregnancy, and my daughter as much as possible to stay on the delightful imaginations side of the pendulum. For that, I will not apologize. I try hard to choose to enjoy it. I don’t pretend. I don’t think pregnancy or motherhood is easy, but I do think it’s worth it. And mostly, a pretty awesome gig.
I’m trying to chronicle it all and that means you’ll probably see a few more hormonally driven letters, a few more rants, and hopefully, a few more things that will make you laugh.
Update: I found out about the horrifying tragedy in Connecticut after this blog post was published. It makes any complaints on the pendulum of parenthood negligible. My heart breaks for the families who experienced losses today. I know those parents would give anything to hug their children today. I hugged my daughter tighter today and I am praying fervently for the families suffering because they cannot.