Childrearing

9 Lies I Told Myself Before Becoming A Parent

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Before having children, I had certain ideas about the type of parent I would be. I would be the super mom who would ace every test motherhood presented me with, and would still meet the girls for happy hour.  After living with a newborn who is now a rambunctious toddler I chuckle at my old self. Motherhood has challenged me and pushed me to the brink in ways I could have never imagined. Here are some of the silly lies I told myself.

 

1. I will deliver my son naturally.

we-can-do-it

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After 29 hours of  back labor, which included high blood pressure, labor that failed to progress, a doctor that never showed up, and a hospital that was only supportive of natural births on paper, I had a c-section. I firmly support every woman’s right to plan their delivery but in my experience, when it comes to labor and delivery there’s many things that will be out of your control. The labor is only the beginning of that loss of control. Which frankly is hard for many of us who are used to micro-managing everything around us.

 

2.  I will breastfeed for a year.

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After the c-section I never wanted occurred, I had tons of breastfeeding issues. I saw lactation consultants and fed my son out of cup to prevent “nipple confusion.” I cried when the pediatrician asked me to supplement with formula because my son had lost too much birth weight. Ultimately, I had to keep my sanity and I fell very, very short of my one year goal. My son is healthy and thriving. I still feel guilty when I hear someone talk about how they are producing SO much milk.

 

3. My partner and I can handle this all by ourselves.

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“We will nap when he naps, watch him sleep peacefully and marvel at the amazing person we created.” This last part did actually happen but it was only for the few moments of lucidity we had when we weren’t feeling exhausted. I had never been around a newborn, I had no idea what the first few weeks home with a baby would be like. At the hospital the “kangaroo care” I had been so delighted to have meant that there were no breaks for us. After my long labor, we were both exhausted. I wanted to bond with the baby and that completely backfired. We were exhausted!  I finally started to understand that caring for a newborn is not meant to be done only by the mother and father and that there is a reason why our ancestors lived in villages and raised babies as a group.

 

4.  We will never argue in front of the baby.

angry-buffy

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I remember the first time we argued in front of the baby; It was somewhere in the midst of my breastfeeding woes, exhaustion and my layoff. I’m sure it was about something that we would have never imagined ourselves arguing about before the baby completely altered the dynamic of our relationship. The love is as profound as it always was and in many ways our love has deepened but the day-to-day is completely different.

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