Are these photos blurry? I can’t tell because my parental pupils are sleepy and everything looks fuzzy to me. Even my legs. Oh wait, they ARE fuzzy since I haven’t time to shave in weeks.
That’s the thing about parenting—you will be tired and busy and have only fleeting moments to yourself for approximately twenty years. Only then will your life regain a steady direction. But, by that time you’ll be hitting menopause and your new found direction will soon go out the window.
But it’s okay because it’s all worth it. The fatigue, the worry, the self-doubt, the sacrifice, the loss of identity. Wait, where was I going with this? Oh yes, parenting is a trip worth taking.
This trip is fuelled by joy, love and laughter, and caffeine and let us not forget, hormones. Hormones can cause us to feel pretty overwrought at times.
The lack of sleep doesn’t help. The less sleep I get, the more emotional I become. It’s rather comical, according to my husband.
Pregnancy hormones cause us to furiously fluff our nests in preparation of our little ones. They also contribute to us blowing things out of proportion. Like the morning my husband and I were commuting to work together. Half way there I realized I had forgotten my lunch at home. I burst into tears. “What will I eat?” I blubbered. “The baby needs nutrition!! I’m the worst mother already!” I sobbed. My husband exploded into laughter. Very helpful. And regretful, as my sadness quickly turned to vengeance. A word to the wise, men should never laugh at their pregnant partners or they will regret it.
My friend’s husband sure did. When his wife, who was feeling self-conscious about the weight she had gained during her second pregnancy, bent over to pick something up off the kitchen floor, her husband chuckled. He certainly wasn’t laughing moments later when his wife “rage smashed” the row of taco shells he had lined up along the counter for his lunch. She pounded them with her fists until they were mere shards. Those poor taco shells never stood a chance.
Thankfully once baby arrives, those hormones **usually begin to settle. Just in time for the sleep deprivation to kick in.
One night I was up late feeding the baby and watching some silly movie. I started laughing hard. And then for no apparent reason, started crying even harder. I was exhausted and the emotions spilled out all over the place.
I cried because there were stains on my favourite pyjama top.
I cried because stitches were not part of my birth plan.
I cried because breastfeeding was unbelievably hard.
I cried because I felt incredibly grateful.
I cried because I was afraid something would happen to my baby during the night.
I cried because I felt so much love I didn’t know what to do with it.
I cried because…just because.
Those first few months as a new parent are quite a ride.
Now I occasionally cry happy tears when one of my children achieves something amazing, or shed heart hurting tears when they don’t. But for the most part, Kleenex isn’t required on a daily basis.
*That photo of me holding Avery in the hospital makes me howl. I look like I was just clubbed over the head.
**I’m referring to the run of the mill and temporary highs and lows, not to Postpartum Depression which should be discussed with your doctor as soon as possible.