Lately I have felt compelled to share some myths of motherhood that I have discovered the truth about since having Little G. This by no means makes me any sort of an expert as I quite clearly have no idea what I am doing, and the things I DO have a clue about only really extend up to month 11! However, there are moments in my days and weeks that make me think aloud how I didn't think it would be this way, and I want to record them so I can laugh at myself some day in the future...like...tomorrow.
Today, I am sharing the following myth:
You give birth to a little baby, not a toddler, so you have time to get used to being a parent
Ok...so who knows if this is a universal myth about motherhood, but it is the line I fed myself over and over again when I was thinking about starting a family, when I got pregnant, while I was pregnant and as I was contemplating birthing my child about this time last year.
I have never been a huge fan of children, not because they aren't awesome and amazing, but rather because I am way too selfish to care for them and I take their moods personally. However, somewhere along the line I convinced myself that the good thing about the design of becoming a parent is that you give birth to a baby...not a tween nor even a toddler, so you have time to get used to it.
In a sense this is totally true...I certainly gave birth to a tiny, helpless baby. And while I never expected it to be roses and candy sprinkles, I felt confident that once I got over the learning-curve of figuring out what to do with a baby, life would be much more predictable and easier to handle.
The problem is, I woke up less than a year later with a mini-toddler. (I say 'mini' because he doesn't actually toddle anywhere...but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is a kid with actual ideas and thoughts and desires; more than the new-baby-standards of feed me, change me, help me sleep.) He already has temper tantrums mixed in with supremely awesome moments of sweet subtle expressions.
I can actually pinpoint the moments in his short life when he transitioned from being a blob with standard baby needs to a slightly-less developed, but still monumentally different, toddler. A child. A little boy. And I have felt supremely unprepared for it; blindsided by the myth that I had plenty of time to get used to the idea.
So, for all you mothers-to-be out there, whether it be imminent or in the distant future, I am here to debunk the myth that you have time to get used to having a baby before they become a toddler. I encourage you to explore your feelings on toddlers while you are preparing yourself for birthing your child and taking care of newborn essentials. Because I promise you, the amount of change your life experiences giving birth to a baby, while immense, is nothing compared to waking up one day to a toddler. Especially when you haven't studied for that portion of the exam.
What about you other mommies out there...what myths have you dispelled?