Does anyone remember what it is like to “want” a baby?
You think of it all the time. You pee on sticks, even if they are not the ones you get from a pharmacy.
You become consumed with “wanting a baby” but you never seem to think of “wanting a baby” in the same space as “wanting to be a parent.”
For me, I think that they were two separate things, and I forgot/misplaced a piece of information that wanting a baby also meant/actually meant/really meant becoming a parent.
“Wanting a baby” is doe eyed, soft lighting and all quite marvelous. You think of that warm milky smell, that sticky chubby hand reaching out to curl itself around your finger. Wanting a baby is magic and filled with promise and giddiness, and the warm cuddles of an infant against your breast. And purchasing baby books by the kilogram and buying every soft lighting baby magazine that you can get your soon swelling hands on to.
For some reason being a parent is just not as glamorous. When I say “just not as glamorous” I actually mean like a case of thrush without access to the one administration of fanny cream!
I can honestly say when I was thinking of having a baby, I was thinking of pink and blue fluffy blankets. Which compactum to purchase, whether I should buy one of those super stylish baby sling numbers or just wing it and use my arms to clutch the baby to my breast.
Maybe it is only me, but I did not think about how much work “being a parent” was going to be when I was planning my “wanting a baby”.
I just thought about sleepless nights and me crying alone in the bathroom at 2am because I was so damn tired. Wanting a baby and having a baby never translated into how challenging/difficult/labour of love with very little reward in the short-term being a parent is.
I know when”wanting a baby” becomes “having a baby” – that seems fairly simple. But when having a baby becomes “being a parent” is less clear.
Even with Baby number 3, I was still thinking about the new baby smell and how lovely a pink onesie was going to look and was not thinking about me yelling in the passage about brushing teeth and going the hell to sleep already!
“Wanting a baby” has a huge amount of very very small print in the section marked “being a parent” and can I suggest that if you are thinking about expelling a child from your loins (or via any other route), you give that section a bit of a read through and some thought. Sober thought!
Trust me it will make the “What to Expect when you are Expecting” look like light reading for amateurs.
Notice there isn’t a “What to Expect … when you are Parenting” …. actually now that I think of that, I could probably hammer away at the first few chapters without breaking in to too much of a sweat.