Its amazing how Americans view the milestone of having children. For the lovely grandmother types, they say the right things like…
“A baby! That’s so exciting!”
I was talking to a new mom friend of mine this week about how your relationships to people change after you have kids. You assume your friend will be perfectly comfortable hangin’ on your couch while you whip a boob out to feed your baby, when all of a sudden they have better things to do. In my opinion, I believe the good ones will sit and chat, but I digress. A lot of response to the new baby milestone is that once that baby is fully cooked, your life is over. I held that opinion to some extent and I just had to accept the good with the (lots of) bad. Your young friends say lovely things like:
“So THAT’S what I have to look forward to…(**with a role of the eyes**)” Uh…rude much?
For example, when Eric and I got married and had the audacity to be happy ever since, we heard:
“Oh, they’re still newlyweds” I suppose that explains why I don’t yell at him and we don’t complain about each other to our friends? I’d think that’s a good habit.
One year passed…then two…then three. When is the magical line we cross where we hate each other? We’ve had more than our fair share of financial burden, a cross country move without family, family member’s sudden passing, another big move, and a freakishly messy church explosion that still sends me reeling if I think too hard about it. Those things have cemented our relationship and made it stronger. Then we hear:
“Just wait until you have kids…”
…then what? We hate each other AND our kids? Great. More to look forward to. Its true that children will put an extra special pressure on you and your marriage. But after having Viola and getting through almost the first year, I can safely say that there is way more good than bad in this new family arrangement. And its way more fun and fulfilling than I could have imagined. Weird. And you can still maintain your identity after your baby is born… who knew? 🙂
My favorite comment about our pregnancy was as follows:
“Your life is in black and white right now. When you have kids, its in color.”