OKAY. I have a WORKING THEORY, everyone.
Long have I puzzled over this: WHY OH WHY do I hear so many new parents saying things such as "No one told me it would be this hard" or "No one ever talks about postpartum depression," when during my pre-parenting days I heard ALMOST NOTHING ELSE? Everywhere I turned, people were EAGER to tell me how crazy their children drove them, how little sleep they got, how painful labor was. In fact, if I hadn't had a "populate the earth" gene that switched on in my early twenties, I might have been talked out of the parenthood thing altogether. And yet not just one person but LOTS of people were saying there was some sort of conspiracy of silence.
While I was doing the dishes tonight (Tessie wants me to tell The Story of How We Don't Have a Dishwasher, but I already read you Goodnight Moon so THAT'S IT for tonight), I had a thought. I was very enthusiastic about having children, but many people are not quite so enthusiastic and maybe GIVE IT A MOMENT'S THOUGHT before springing into a state of life so SATURATED with children they can hardly sit down without squishing one. And what does the general public say, when people worry aloud about parenting? "It's different when it's your own!" "Oh, you can't imagine that kind of love until you experience it!" "Children are such a blessing!" "You forget the pain!"
So my working theory is that the general public is contrary and argumentative: if you think you want children, they will try talk you out of it by telling you the bad things; if you think you don't want children, they will try to talk you into it by telling you the good things. Thus, we get some people saying "No one ever told me I'd be so tired and angry and unhappy and that the baby would cry!" and other people saying "EVERYONE says that ALL THE TIME!"
And now that I have a hypothesis, we need to collect some data. These are the two things I need to know from you:
1) Were you enthusiastic and eager about children, or were you reluctant / conflicted / doubtful?
2) Did you hear mostly about how awful / painful / unhappy it would be and how you'd never sleep again, or did you hear mostly about how children were wonderful little miracles?
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...