That dress changes color because of perspectives.
When I was pregnant I had a doomsday perspective. I never was going to sleep again. I never was going to be able to hang out with just me and my friends. My husband and I would cease to have a good relationship for the next 18 years. And I was going to be exhausted. I. Just. Knew. It.
Yesterday at the dentist I was offered a magazine while I waited. I said: "no thanks. I have a five month old so it feels good to sit and do absolutely nothing." Hearing my own words made me take a step back and think about what I was saying.
I've been blessed with a wonderful baby. Why was I joining the ranks of people who complain about motherhood?
I quickly reversed my statement and said: "that's the joke anyway... but I couldn't feel more blessed to have him. He keeps me busy but I don't resent it."
For centuries we have been told how our experience was going to be. Mike and I talked about all the people who told us DAILY that we'd never sleep again once he was born. People told me I'd feel depressed. They told me mike and I would have a hard time connecting. They said the first few months would be the hardest. And you know what? I believed them.
I think back these last 6 months and realize that my perspective of what people told me of parenting seemed to influence how i actually felt about parenting; despite my experience being NOTHING like what the doomsday peppers explained.
There have been many conversations between me and a confused husband where I insist our relationship has changed because it was what I expected to happen. It's what I was TOLD was going to happen. When in reality, with my 20/20 hindsight, I see that our little common bond HAS changed us as a couple. But that change has come in strength.
I sometimes find myself saying: "I was up all night" because up one time a night apparently is the same thing; but I term those phrases because I was told that is what would happen. I was told I'd be up all night so the experience for me has been different and yet I find myself using the same lingo everyone else uses even though I'm SURE each of our experiences differ.
The world has never been more diverse than it is now. There has never been so many different opinions about how households should be run, how equality should be treated and how moms should raise their babies. But if there's an opinion I've gathered all on my own its that there is no right way. Take your convictions, labels and the unsolicited opinions from others, wave a big middle finger and throw them out the window. I've never spent an up all night, had a bad relationship with my husband or missed working like I was told, yet I tell people that I do for some reason. Do I miss talking to adults. Sure. Do mike and I still fight? Better believe it! Does remington occasionally wake up in the night and want mommy and daddy? YES!
I've spent the last six months of my life basing my parenting conversations on the run of the mill scary statements people feel it necessary to tell you when you're expecting your first.
Here is my advice:
If you've had a kid, SHUT UP! The only thing you need to tell new parents is that they have GOT THIS! How much easier could my perspective of parenting been had I just felt like I could do it?! Don't tell people how miserable they're going to be! They take it to heart and then find misery in the magic!
Now, I'm sitting here writing I realize this hasn't all been wonderful. I've suffered serious health complication that MOST moms will never experience. So why talk about it and scare The crap out of them? Sure there are hard things. But your hard things will be different that your neighbors hard things so you shouldn't go into it thinking everything WILL be bad.
My perspective change has turned and I intend to keep it that way.
Despite the fact that I'm working on my doctorate, have taught hundreds of children pre-school, took honors classes in high school, participated in many extra curricular classes, hobbies and events that seemed grandios and pompous because PERSPECTIVE told me they were, it is important for the perspective of society to let moms know, whether they work, stay at home, go to school or a little bit of everything, that THIS is the best and most important thing you could ever do. Don't let anyone dull the sparkle. Don't listen when they speak discouraging. You'll have an experience far different from theirs and if you let them taint your perspective you could see gold and white when it's really blue and black. ;)
Love life. Change your perspective to benefit the health of your mind, body and soul! You never know how great it will be until you let it be that great!
Happy healthy healing; mind body and soul