I heard so much fear mongering about pregnancy before I ever became pregnant. “You’re going to be really anxious.” “You’re going to have insomnia.” “You’ll feel like crap all the time.” I was legitimately frightened about the prospect of it all.
Turns out, none of those comments have been true for my experience. Not even one bit. Now do I feel as energetic and vibrant as I did before pregnancy? Of course not. Certainly not every day. But honestly, it’s like every other transition in life. You adapt.
There’s definitely a difference between friends and family wanting to give advice, and the more generalized fear mongering comments regarding pregnancy and parenthood. I’m not referring to the former. And I like to think the latter are well intentioned, just perhaps not well thought out.
The point is, every one’s experience of parenthood is so inherently unique, that we would be remiss to make any comments as if they were a one size fits all. Besides, fear mongering around parenthood doesn’t end with pregnancy. That’s half the problem. There’s always room for more. “Just wait until your first ER trip.” “Just wait until you have a raging toddler.” “You think this is hard? Try having two.” Etc.
It makes sense that people want to share their experiences. And historically, it’s easier to bond over negative ones. I’m all for the bonding. But we really should be careful with what I call our, “You’ll See” songs.
Rather than share horror stories, why not share lessons? Maybe instead of, “You’ll never sleep again,” we could say something like, “If you’re struggling with lack of sleep when the baby gets here, feel free to reach out to me. I can share some tips that worked really well for us.”
Remember, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7) When faced with the choice to spread a message of either love or fear, let’s choose love. Let’s always choose love.