Thursday, October 8, 2015

I understand why you're scared to have a baby


A while back, I wrote about the weirdest diaper changing experience I've ever had. Later I wrote another article on Arrow and her favorite baby toys. That post was written on her favorite toys, which are unfortunately the ones that could possibly kill her.

Parenthood is funny to me. I find it funny because it's often crazy, and babies do crazy things. I love to write about those wacky moments and share them with the world, because I'm pretty darn sure someone else can relate. At the very least, it gives a wee bit of preparation for those who are not yet parents ;)

Never will be my intention is to not knock down parenthood in my stories. In fact, my goal has always been the opposite. I had hoped to convey in my writing that even despite the continual "keeping it real" moments, it's pretty great being a parent. 


I worry I might have missed the mark on that. This worry of mine originates from a comment I received the other day from someone who, after talking about some of these posts, said, 
"And these are the reasons that I will never have children. I mean that as respectfully as possible, but no thanks."
Well friends, that made me feel bad. As a parent, the last thing I would want to do is discourage others from having a family of their own. Clearly, this person had already decided previously they didn't want to have a family. I don't think my posts made that huge of a difference. But I worry if I had incindentally added a "tally mark" on their list of reasons why not to have kids, without conveying all the good stuff that comes along with motherhood.

I can understand a bit when someone doesn't want to have children, because I was somewhat like that in the before-children days. My situation was I liked kids enough that I thought I should have one or two, but I was terrified of everything about it. Having survived it, and still surviving it, (and enjoying it, some days) I thought I would share some of my fears back in the BC days, and my feelings now. Hopefully, we can erase those negative tally marks.





Just a few weeks ago, my own baby was caught stuffing her messy diaper in her face. My baby! Was eating poop! It was disgusting. Before I had a baby, I was so grossed at the prospect of changing diapers, wiping runny noses, and drooling. The drooling, especially, made me shudder. 

So how did I overcome that? Well, fact is, I honestly just got used to it. Everyone does. And you probably get used to it fast. I did at least. In the newborn stages, you're in a bit of a survivor mode, so you'll do just about anything so you can get back to sleep. So if it means wiping a little bum that blasted a diaper, then so be it. That pillow is screaming your name.


If it's any comfort, babies are pretty tiny. Which means their first messes are tiny. I almost think it's nature's way of apologizing for making you feel like you've been thrust under a bus when you go home with a new baby. It's a slow exposure to getting used to changing those diapers.

Now that we've established that babies do gross things, let me tell you this as well.  Babies also do really cool things. Watching them work that little brain of theirs is fascinating. I love to watch my little one figure out how to put her toy balls into a cup, and then pull them out. I can tell that she's learning about space and dimensions. Then there's the bigger exciting moments, like watching her learn to crawl or to grab a toy when it's extended to her. 

Now of course, sometimes I wish she couldn't do either of those things because now she won't stay where I lay her, and she has an insatiable desire to grab at my earrings. :)


Nothing can make me so instantly moody as when my little human whines or screams for no apparent reason. As of when this post was written, my baby was just about a year old. Babies are totally capable of showing a bit of sass at this age. Her tantrums are very small right now, although more frequent lately. And I, being the impatient human I am, get annoyed that she has a fit whenever I take away something that she can't have. I'm especially annoyed when it's something like a bar of soap, or nails, or coins. Because you really just can't eat that, my child.

I've figured out though, that despite their smallness, these little people are bursting with a lot of emotions. They clearly haven't had much practice in learning to control them. That's where you come in, and try to help them the best you can. If you're like me, you'll realize that you also have to learn to control your emotions. Because it's slightly ridiculous to be mad at a baby for being mad. Just slightly. :)

It's hard even as a parent to not be emotionally drained by random kids you see in public throwing a tantrum. You might not feel a lot of love for that kid. (Although you should be extra kind to their mom or dad, because they're the ones who have to handle it.) That's okay to not feel that love. You don't know that child personally. I assure you it's completely different when you have your own kid to manage. From experience I've learned  The screaming might dive craziness into me, but my love runs deeper. Forgiveness eventually comes into my heart, and she usually does something to make me smile. Babies have little ways to make you feel better. Those little ways might be giving you a small rock they found, or rubbing their face in your chest because they missed you so much. 


Even writing this out, I can feel the heartstrings being pulled. I feel tenderly towards this fear, and towards those who feel this fear as well, because achieving dreams is something special to me. 

My baby came approximately 9.5 months after I was married. It hadn't been in our plans to have a baby so fast. There was school and our careers to figure out first, and I personally wanted to finish school before we started our family. When I found out we were expecting a baby, I didn't know what to do with my future.

I had a lot of dreams and plans, and I didn't want to let them go. This was perhaps one of the hardest parts of pregnancy for me. I was so confused and sad. I asked myself, the husband, and God why I had bothered dreaming just to let them go.

I didn't realize then that I didn't have to let my dreams die. 

What mostly changed about my dreams was the timing. When I thought I would have graduated college took me about 2 semesters longer to do it. When I thought I wouldn't take a humanitarian trip (by myself) in summer 2014, we moved as a family to a foreign country for the entire summer of 2015 instead. Your dreams don't have to die, my friend. They might go on hold for a little while, but they don't have to permanently go away. The timing might even be better than what you originally planned, too.

Let's be clear here: I'm not saying is that you should have kids as fast we did. I'm also not saying waiting is a bad or wrong idea, either.

What I am saying is to not ignore the signs when you realize that you and your spouse are coming close to being ready. Realize that you'll never be fully ready for a baby, just as you're never fully prepared for any major change. I think you'll start to realize when it's the right time for a family.

Finally, I want to add that dreams change. If you're young still, your dreams will very likely change a lot in the next 10, 20, and 30 years, whether or not you have children. When the children come along, you start to develop some different dreams. This time though, it's not always about you. It's sort of refreshing.




We're not finished with building our family. Often I tell my husband Taylor that I wish there was a way for us to have babies with our genetics, without pregnancy being a part of it. I do not like being pregnant. Can I just say that again? I, Chaun, do not like being pregnant one bit.

Sometimes I am short-sighted. Short-sighted for me means I'm thinking about the inconvenience of bearing another baby. It has nothing to do with other more valid and serious issues like health or finances. When I am in this mood, I worry excessively about pregnancy. I worry that I won't be so "lucky" next time to have a normal recovery. I worry about C-sections and scars. I worry about water pooches that hang off my belly. I worry that something more drastic might happen during the birth, like a high school teacher of mine whose hip broke during labor.

Life has a knack for pointing out to me when I'm not seeing the bigger picture. When those worries come around, they teach me that I am having moments of weakness. I realize I don't have a lot of faith in the future, and that I could be discounting another human's life. That's something that should be taken a lot more seriously than if I have a leftover pooch on my tummy.


This is a fear that I still am overcoming. I did find hope in myself though, when I found out I was pregnant a while ago. I was surprised that 1. I was pregnant again, and 2. I was actually excited about it! The pregnancy did end in a saddening miscarriage, which is a bundle of emotions on its own, one of those feelings was relief. I was relieved to know that I can be happy and excited to bring another baby into the family.

Of course, there are limits for each person on how many children they should have. The mental health, physical health, and desires of the woman take a priority whether or not she can have another one. That should basically go unsaid, but I'll include it here to keep all the bases covered.

--

There are many more fears and factors to consider when you start to think about having children. The intent of this post was to help bring some hope and ease for someone who may have similar fears as I did. I hope my message is clear, and I hope it helped.

Please share any more hopeful insights or fears that you may have. I love to read any experiences you may want to share.


With love,
Chaun



This is the fourth post of Parent Week on my blog. Click here for yesterday's post




1 comment:

  1. As a parenting blogger, I feel you! I like to laugh at the messes and the half-hilarious half-disgusting things that happen when you have kids as much as the next person.. I think you can do that and still be positive about having kids. It's just real life, and I think you do a great job.

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