During the past six to twelve months of this process I have been on the receiving end of a number of statements about just how hard parenthood is. That it's hard. Really hard. HARD. I've heard it from both moms and dads and the "it's really hard" comments were not followed up with anything positive from those specific parents. I was surprised. (I have also heard many positive happy comments about parenthood, just to be balanced. Special shout out to NoirBettie for this fabulous post about it!)
What I realized this morning is this: If I were pregnant, seven months along, say, full-bellied, slight waddle, sore back, I don't believe I would get those very direct comments said to me. Can you imagine saying to someone in their full ripeness of fertility -- "Having a baby, huh? It's going to be tough, really tough." ?
Even in the adoption conversations I've had more than two people tell me worst case scenarios about adoptions. ("We had friends in the process and the birthmom changed her mind at the last minute, they are devastated.") Again, I realized, if I were seven months pregnant (or any months pregnant) would I get told the horror stories of births or pregnancies that ended up badly? I doubt it.
I get the impression that since I'm not pregnant, it's easy to not attach motherhood/parenthood to me. It's easy to say "wow, parenthood is hard, might want to really think about it." As though we just decided on the spur of the moment to adopt a baby or that since all we've done so far is fill out paperwork, we could easily reconsider and back out of it. Never mind the years we've spent talking and thinking and deciding to have kids in the first place, then to find out we can't make our own.
I know that generally when people say negative things they are projecting their own fears or worries on me. I do know that. Then there are times when I think I'll buy a fake pregnant belly and wear it around to avoid it all to begin with. Oh well. There is a lot to learn about this particular path we are taking to parenthood and am enjoying it all because it is our path.
We are really excited about having kids. We talk about it a lot, laugh about names we might choose (and all the hilarious fake names we threaten each other with). We stand around our tiny house wondering how we are going to rearrange the place to make room for the wee one(s) to come. I keep trying to convince Kurt that twins would be great!
Do I imagine that parenthood is going to be a snap, that I'll get all the sleep I need, have all the free time I want, that my life won't change? Uh no. I'm not blind. But this is something we've decided to do and we are excited and nervous and anxious and stoked beyond belief about it. Yeah, at times it will be hard. But isn't that life? Sometimes life is hard, it sucks, it blows, it is shitty and painful and brutal. And more often, I've found, life is beautiful and amazing and surprising and joyous. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Come on Mr. Stork! We are ready!