I think there a couple of things women need to stop doing in regards to pregnancy and parenting.
One, stop using ridiculous hyperbole in regards to labour and birth. It’s not like ‘someone putting two hands up your bottom and pulling out your intestines.’ It’s not like ‘pushing a watermelon through a pinhole’. It’s not worse than getting hit in the head with a chair.
Be realistic. Yes, it will hurt. Of course it will hurt. But comparing it to horrible things like the aforementioned isn’t helpful or accurate. Labour pain is good pain. It means things are right, and you get something awesome at the end.
There are no reasonable it-feels-likes, because I can’t think of anything in life that is at all like expelling a small human from your womb via a narrow orifice. And you can’t equate the pain level to something else, because everyone has different pain thresholds. That’s why some people need epidurals and some can go without.
So, enough of that. Expect that it will hurt. Expect that you’ll get a baby at the end.
Two, oh my gosh. Where do I start.
I’ve touched on this before… People seem to think they’re doing expectant parents a favour by describing ‘what parenting is really like’. I’m seeing it a lot lately – big, sweeping generalisations about the ‘truth’ of parenthood, from ‘it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do’ to ‘it’s so easy what’s the big deal?’
I think it’s great that people have the opportunity to, you know, tell their side of things, but really, that’s all it’s ever going to be. There will never be one Big Truth.
So I really don’t like seeing people writing articles and blogs and comments that include phrases like, “you will” “you won’t” “it is” “it isn’t” and/or pass thinly-veiled judgement on anyone who might feel or say differently.
A good example is a post I recently read by someone who just had to ‘put the truth out there’ on the realities of parenting a newborn…
“…when you start to wonder why you even did all this in the first place… welp, that’s the majority of the time, k? More often than not you’re exhausted and at your wits end. That’s just the truth. Plain and simple.”
Well, it’s not. It’s not the truth. It’s your truth. I mean, let’s ignore the use of ‘welp’ and ‘k’, because although it was just a blog post, it got a lot of responses, which means this whole thing is just being perpetuated.
It’s like everyone is under the impression that no one has any idea at all what being a parent is actually like, or that what they do know is wrong. Like there’s some Universal Parenthood Law that dictates how everyone will feel about it and cope with it. Like everyone is, for some reason, hiding The Truth.
I’d really like this trend to stop. Sharing personal experience is fine. Using personal experience to make blanket statements about parenthood is not.