Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lessons learned

So as I venture into 22 weeks of pregnancy, I am finding one lesson has come up again and again. This is not the first time in my life that this lesson has sprung into my life. It is though, the first time I have seen the difference and desperately wanted to be different.

It has to do with being positive, content and thankful in every situation. During pregnancy there is so much excitement but there is also a lot that doesn't feel awesome. A lot of things that you could dwell on and complain about. And then when you begin to think about what life will be like when the baby comes it is easy to think of things to dread, be sarcastic about and even afraid of. I had decided at the beginning of pregnancy that I really wanted to be really positive about the whole thing--I mean I have a miracle of a child GROWING inside of me. How can that be bad? Yes there are hard days, but I wanted the miracle of it all to trump any negative emotions or need to complain.

I haven't been perfect and I have had a lot of bad days of being caught up in how I feel and not about why i feel that way. But what has been the hardest is the massive amount of negative and sarcastic comments from every one who was ever a mom. If they don't have something great to say about pregnancy they definitely have their two cents on being a mom of a new born. Now believe me I get the reality of having a child as much as I can right now. I know it will be hard, sleepless and stressful. But it is a child and I REFUSE to spend my life dwelling on all the bad. And one thing I really want to be is an ENCOURAGEMENT to new moms. I do not want to point out everything that is awful about being a parent.

Here are some of things I have been told about pregnancy and parenting. These have all been told with laughs and sarcasm but I will say that they have not once encouraged me. If these things I am going to list are all that I have to look forward to I never would have gotten pregnant....

You will never eat a hot meal again
You will be exhausted all of the time and never sleep
You will never celebrate a birthday again--its all about the kids from here on out
You won't have any money because kids are so expensive (news flash--we got the "no money" thing down)
By the end of pregnancy you will be huge and miserable
And the list goes on...

So, definitely not encouraging to someone who is so looking forward to one of the most exciting seasons of life. Why do so many moms feel this way? Will I join the crowd after 18 years of parenting? Let try to change. Lets not scare moms when they are already entering into one of the most unknown seasons of their life. There is a fine line between preparing a friend for being a parent and just being negative. How about talking about the joy of feeling your baby moving inside of you for the first time--instead of how hard it is to sleep when the baby is ALWAYS kicking. Or how about the fact that your baby literally was the size of a bean 15 weeks ago and now weighs a pound and it all happened inside of you---instead of how big and disgusting you will feel! I want to be real, and I want to be honest with people but at the same time encouraging and loving.

The bible says to think upon whatever is noble, pure and noteworthy.

I told Mark the other day that if everything that has been said up until this point is completely true than I might as well resign to a tired, hungry, poor and miserable life. And go ahead and change my name from Jenny to "babys mom" because I will no longer have any life or identity outside of that.

I want to love my child and be the best mom I can and with the help of my amazing husband I am sure we will do just that. I am also sure we won't sleep a lot, I will eat some cold meals, and I will become much less self-focused and much more others focused. But I am doing all of this because of the precious life growing inside me NOT because I signed up for a horrible, terrible life of parenting!

*****I write all of this, not to act as though I am better and never do any of the above things. One of the reason this stuff bothers me so much is because I often find myself caught in the trap of only talking about the negative things in life. I want so badly to change and want to encourage others also to be more positive. This is not meant to be condemning but rather slightly comical and me just venting with a problem that my life is plagued with inside and out. Please hear my heart, in just wanting to focus on the miracle of life*****


Mike and Kelly said...

Jenny... so awesome! I really, really appreciated this post. I know that I have been one of those voices, if not to you then definitely to others. And as you said, pregnancy is hard, being a mom is HARD, but who really thinks it is going to be easy anyway, right?! Most of the things you have heard are probably true, but we put so much emphasis on them that we ignore the awesome truth of what we honestly do love about being moms! The truth of it all is, children are such an amazing and awesome blessing from the Lord... to see this person grow from that positive pregnancy test into a person that learns and thinks for themselves is such an incredible thing to be a part of!! I think that as moms we forget far too quickly what an incredible gift children truly are because we are tired, frustrated, etc. You are so right that we need to be more positive as moms for the sake of other moms, but mostly for the sake of our children! They will become what you tell and show them they are... if you treat them as a burden or an inconvenience then they will believe that they are only that.

One very important thing that I have learned in the past few years if you want to stay positive and not get caught up in the hard stuff of the day to day -- take time away, even if it is an hour or an afternoon once a month. Take time to be Jenny, separate from being "baby's mom." (I would go out to eat by myself and read while I ate hot food as slowly as I wanted to!) Taking that time helps you to refocus on how incredibly blessed you are and when you come home, you have a totally different mindset.

Sorry this is so insanely long! I just really appreciate what you said and really needed to hear it. Thank you.

Mike and Kelly said...

also, I am sorry if I ever sent any of those comments your way

Mrs.Thornton said...

Well, I for one, had a great pregnancy, and don't have any negative things to say about it! Enjoy having him on the inside - once he comes out, it's a whole different ball game! Hard, but definitely worth it.

Contact Us