Monday, October 18, 2010

Honesty


I was reading a blog by a pregnant woman who's been getting some extremely honest advice.

Either Canadians are a lot more honest than South Africans or I associate with people who just can't be brutally honest.

I've spoken before about how I felt lied to by such a lot of people who just acted as if everything motherhood was a breeze.

One friend said to me one day, "but honestly, Marcia, did you and (insert name of other mutual friend here) really think having a baby was going to be easy?"

And I said, "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!"

Yes, I was deluded. I felt sure that since I was/ am super organised, a hard worker, energetic, etc. this motherhood thing would be a breeze.

We harboured romantic views of the babies in the cots, sweetly sleeping and not SCREAMING! LOL

There was only one woman who was honest with me, a twin mom at my work.

When I told her I was pregnant with twins, I rubbed my preggy belly and smiled the smile of advertisements and she said, "my husband nearly had a nervous breakdown when they were 8 months"

I laughed and she said, "I'm not even joking".

When I got back to work after my maternity leave, I asked the two mothers who were in the office at the time why they lied and didn't tell me the truth about the craziness, sleep deprivation, etc.

The one said, "but you wouldn't have believed us"

And I'm afraid that is probably true.

Although it would have been nice to at least know that I wasn't going crazy being the only person who was going off her head because of two, really tiny, screaming babies.

These days I am honest with pregnant people but I do tell them that it's normal to not "take to it" immediately and that it's just about survival for the first 3 months or longer (as I experienced).

A colleague of mine said her friends say she's scaring them when she's honest but she said "rather that than be lied to like others have done to me"

So, where do you fall on the honesty spectrum?

Do you just smile and let the new moms figure it out themselves or do you feel that it's kind of your duty to let them know it's not all sunshine and roses?

P.S. As I've said before, I love the babies, just not the newborn stage.

P.P.S. Another colleague of mine (yes, I work with a very fertile bunch) is 36 w pregnant and said she's petrified of the newborn thing as she remembers it so well. This 2nd baby was not planned by them (I believe all babies are planned by God).

12 comments:

  1. I am encouraging but realistic. I take a sort of "futuristic" view - yes, this sucks but it WILL get better. Or "the 2 year old tantrums are crazy hard" but they TELL you thinks and ask for kisses and that is awesome. I TRY to be glass half full in my assvice to other moms. I'm actually visiting a friend with a new baby this week and I hope I can be helpful and also encouraging. We'll see.

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  2. I have to say that I wasn't prepared to have such tiny babies on such rigorous schedules. Everything else I felt rather prepared for-just overwhelmed with two. I like to be brutally honest with people, it's not for the faint of heart thats for sure. I also feel that I have been blessed with very easy going babies, but I'm leary of what that means for the their teenage/young adult years!

    I love your honesty. I love knowing what to expect from my girl thanks to your being two weeks ahead of us!

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  3. Oh I realise full well that its not going to be sunshine and roses, esp with 3. Ive hired a full time nanny, domestic and night nurse so Im hoping that between all of that we will be able to at least breathe. It scares me a little but Ive also always wanted to be a mom so I want to get started on that already. Yes, its going to be hectic but Im hoping more happy-hectic vs sad-hectic of the infertility days.

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  4. Oh I realise full well that its not going to be sunshine and roses, esp with 3. Ive hired a full time nanny, domestic and night nurse so Im hoping that between all of that we will be able to at least breathe. It scares me a little but Ive also always wanted to be a mom so I want to get started on that already. Yes, its going to be hectic but Im hoping more happy-hectic vs sad-hectic of the infertility days.

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  5. Dee, absolutely. I said to someone recently that you've had 6 IVFs (am I right?) and UNTOLD misery so yes, trips will be crazy but it's a crazy a lot of us thought we would never even have (me included).

    You are on the right track with all the help and you'll be fine! I know you are a strong, strong woman and I have confidence in you :)

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  6. I am honest! Thankfully I had some honest people around me and I had no illusions. I also found that once I opened up to my friends from AnteNatal classes they opened up as well and then it was much easier to talk about how difficult it was. I think that nobody wanted to be the first to "complain". But I do always say that it was harder and easier than I expected. The sleeplessness, and the constantness of it all was harder. The managing to hold (I had never held a baby before), change, bath and know what to do was easier. I was very fortunate though and had (have) a really easy baby. She is 8 months today!

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  7. I think my level of honesty depends on how good of a day I'm having and who is asking.

    I will say I totally thought twins would be no big deal- I mean my three oldest were all born in less than three years. I wasn't prepared for how much harder it was.

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  8. I'm honest. Especially with twins. I've done twins and I've done one. And I must say both are hard, but until twins sleep through the night, I found it the worst torture ever! I have a friend that is a twin mom and she told me when I was pregnant that once when her DH was on point with the babies, she just went out into her car and played the radio in the driveway, she was so stressed. Her DH thought she drove somewhere, LOL

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  10. I like Mommy, Esq.'s description of trying to be "glass half full". I was talking to a lady the other day who told me she has 4-month old twin girls. I told her that I remembered how hard those days were, but that it got SO much better than that. Which, of course, she knew since she has older children...but I think it helps to hear it. Knowing that someone else has had just as hard a time (or harder) at some point helps me so much. It's easy to feel like everyone else is handling things much better, so I vote for honesty...but maybe leaving out exactly HOW bad it's going to get for a happy pregnant lady!

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  11. I am honest all the way!!! But you are right, despite how honest you are, the person at the other end of the honesty needs to go through it before it ever hits home! I am a case in point...I heard and read all about how rough the newborn days with twins were from you. But the "twin romance" stuck with me until I brought the girls home from NICU...and it has been a hectic ride ever since!!! Hectic but absolutely SO SO SO worth it!!!

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  12. I think this is such an interesting topic, one I've explored over and over with several of my now-mom friends. Not that I would have been able to really comprehend what people were telling me before my babies were born, but I don't remember anyone seriously saying, "Motherhood is amazing, but it's not all butterflies and roses, all of the time."

    I kind of think it's a vicious cycle, or at least it can be. You don't hear other folks talk about the trials of motherhood, so you think you're alone in feeling a certain way, so you in turn don't talk about the trials you're experiencing.

    I try to be very encouraging with new moms, telling them that those first 3 or 4 months were really tough for me, but that it gets easier once the babes sleep through the night...and it gets so much more FUN once they start to interact. I also try to point out the beautiful little things I miss from those early days, like a tiny baby falling asleep on my chest. Many times I was too exhausted and overwhelmed to appreciate such small joys. I also try to reinforce that it's important for the mom to take a break to take care of herself, as that was one of the hardest things for me to prioritize.

    I will say that this is a big part of what I love about the blog world. I guess because of the anonymity of the internet, it seems like folks will write about their struggles more so than talk about them IRL. I read things and so often think, "Wow, so I'm not alone in that experience!"

    Great post, Marcia!

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