By the time your baby is born, you know what is coming:
Everyone has an opinion.
No one can keep it to themselves. Everything from what you eat to what you wear. And once your baby arrives, it is worse! It is still what you eat and what you wear, but it is also how fast you lose the baby weight, are you breastfeeding, how is sleep going, is your house clean, and what are you doing all day!?! Then there are the questions about the baby; how are you parenting them, how are you feeding them, are they warm enough.
ARE THEY WEARING SOCKS?
But there is one piece of parenting advice that hurts every single parent, no matter what.
They are only young for a little while, enjoy every second!
Come on, let’s be real. Talk about setting parents up for failure! Enjoy every second? How is that possible? Sleep deprivation is used as torture in certain situations, and we tell new parents they should be loving it. What a ridiculous sentiment.
And spit up! Who honestly loves soured milk thrown up all over them? And you never end up with time to shower or change after it happens, so the smell follows you around all day. No one enjoys smelling like the science experiment yogurt container at the back of the fridge.
The reality is that yes, your children are only young for a short period. Some day, down the line, you will look back with the rose-coloured glasses of nostalgia and think, “it wasn’t so bad”. You will be right. With the passage of time, those grocery store meltdowns, the diaper blow outs, the long nights of sleeplessness with a fussy baby…they will seem a lot easier than they were in the moment. And that is the way they should be.
Picture used under CC licensing.
But in the moment, it is hard.
It is okay to not enjoy every moment. You don’t have to love it all. Not loving every second does not mean that you do not love your child. Nor does it mean you are not a phenomenal parent.
It’s okay if parenting sucks. It’s okay if you don’t love it all the time. You are allowed to be surprised that parenthood isn’t what you thought it would be. And you absolutely have permission to resent all the “helpful” advice.
If your struggle is more than just temporary, you should seek help. If you just need a bit more sleep, get in touch with us. Our overnight doulas can help. If you are just frustrated today, because some days suck, reach out, we can commiserate!