Great post about the 10 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman. And I realize how really blessed I am to not have some of these experiences. Or at least to understand them better.
I have had people say "enjoy it... while you can." Enjoy sleeping. Enjoy napping. Enjoy eating out. Enjoy going out. Enjoy crafting/reading/sewing. Because soooon. The APOCALYPSE is coming! DUN DUN DUN!
It's a baby. It's a person. Not a life sentence. A life sentence that you choose as a commitment. It's a blessing. It's hard... and hardly worth not having.
Do people really think before they say things? No I suppose not. I suppose I don't either. I always mean best.
You want things to be easy for people. You say things like "enjoy it now" because you know life can get rough. Pregnancy can be rough. Babies can cry. Babies get sick. You can't go out of the house when you want to anymore. And yes that's hard. People tell you.. because they worry that you'll go through all of that. And they worry for you.
Nothing easy is worth having. No one ever drowned in their own sweat. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Take the road less traveled.
Ok that last one doesn't apply. People have kids alllllll the time. But maybe the hard work some parents put forth is what is less traveled. And that is just sad.
I will give my love, my heart, my brain, my body, my time, my temporary career, my money, my blood, my sweat, my tears. I will sacrifice. I will sacrifice knowing full well that more than half the time I'll be taken for granted and undervalued.
Why would I do all this?
Why does any parent?
In our culture we overvalue the years:wisdom ratio. It is quite possible to be a wise young person. To know the secret for living. The reason to be who you are and do what you do every day. A young person that thinks above the level of survival, self subsistence, and the satisfaction of the self, in spite of the peer and social pressure to do otherwise. It is possible to be a young adult that imagines a world where service, sacrifice, and detachment from the material world in favor for the benefit of others is worthy and soul healing. Well. There aren't classes for all this garbage I'm spewing. And it's not a requirement for job applications so who would dedicate the time. You know. Make money, free enterprise, capitalism... blah blah blah.
I renounce my self and my ego in favor for a greater good. For my marriage. I change to fit my husband better and fulfill his happiness above my own.
And I will sacrifice my own happiness for someone I've never even met.
How irrational. How undeniably dumb. Who would do such a stupid thing? What if this person is unreliable? What if this person isn't guaranteed to love me? What if this person sucks money from my pockets before it's made and ruins every clean surface and chore I just finished completing? What if this person hits me and is mean to me? What if this person scares me and is reckless and dangerous?
Why would I lay my heart, soul, and my very life down on the line for such heart ache? Certainly not because it is easy. And not because I'm getting paid millions.
Am I qualified for this? Am I qualified for the development/edification/moral learning/religious exploration/sexual education of a stranger? What possible qualifications do I have? I do have a B.A. in History. Kris has a B.S. in Computer Science. Between the two of us though?
Yeah. Parenting is a paradox. It is an oxymoron. It's a blessing and a burden. We overvalue the need for qualifications and undervalue the instincts we are all born with and choose to listen to (or not).
To all those well-wishers, frankly, I don't want it to be easy. Easy is lame and boring and cowardly and overrated. Hard is unavoidable and undeniably more rewarding and long lasting. People hardly ever wish that for you. In fact they say things like "I'd never wish that upon anyone." Sweet huh? Yeah. Doesn't make sense to me either. Paved with good intentions. :D
I'm ready for that BABY APOCALYPSE! DUN DUN DUN! Because as I know and everyone should know, an apocalypse is nothing to be scared of. It is something to be greeted with with gusto and a smile and an open heart.
Apocalypse means to reveal from behind the curtain, the vale. The vale of mystery. The mystery that is life. And what is behind that vale is a beautiful secret, not the end. It is a revelation of truth and divinity and all things magical. It isn't an empty end. One that has no new beginning.
The big revelation, the apocalypse. It's something to be joyful in the face of. A secret told and a story heard. It's meeting God and proving with all your life's actions your salt. IF you fear that you won't measure up, the end is scary. I meet each day and every action I commit to with the knowledge that my full heart is behind it and that yes, I am serving a higher purpose in my life by living with moral integrity and sacrificing where I can and should. Because at that end, I'll be free.
Hard times are burdens worth being blessed with. :D