Caught up in that all encompassing bliss that is pregnancy; I was brimming with hopes, dreams, and expectations for both my new baby and my new life as a mom. Turns out not all of them were grounded in reality.
Myth: My husband and I would take all those wonderful classes on breathing techniques and pain management. "No epidurals for me." I often stated.
A friend warned, "That's what I said. I was wrong. I totally needed one."
"You'll change your mind.", my sister-in-law predicted. "Nope. I can handle a little pain.", I replied with smug superiority.
Reality: Pre-term labor hit the night before our first class. With each contraction getting stronger I literally begged for an epidural. The on-call doctor thought she could halt the labor and denied me my pain relief. Nine hours later when my doctor took over, his first words were, "Let's get you comfortable. You can have the epidural, now." I tell you, I cried real tears.
Myth: No co-sleeping or rocking baby until he fell asleep. The little dear would be placed in his bed, mobile gently spinning and singing a lullaby as he drifted off to slumber land all on his own. Probably with a smile on his little cherub face.
Reality: The little dear arrived, shouting out, "Sleep? Who needs sleep?!" After several months of negotiation we worked out a deal. We agreed to keep the car moving, even if it meant running all red lights, and he agreed to sleep.
Myth: Becoming parents would not change the relationship my husband and I share. We would schedule weekly date nights. Pursue all of our interests, both separately and together. Keep up with our hobbies. Have long conversations about said hobbies and interests, where the word, "baby" is never uttered aloud.
Reality: Yeah, right. Date nights came few and far between. Our interests and hobbies became trying to snatch an hour or two of shut eye, diapers, teething and a special formula that cost hundreds of dollars a month. And, that's all we ever talked about.
Myth: Although my progeny had yet to make his debut, I was fairly certain he would be a genius. We'd better get his college fund started now. Surely, Harvard and Yale will soon be calling.
Reality: Shortly after the little genius's arrival we started spending all of his college fund on the formula, Nutramigen, which was really just liquid gold. As for continuing education; just the other day he said, "I can't wait til I'm in college. Then, I'll never have to read another book again!" Probably not ivy league material.
Myth: I will read all the books by all the experts, and learn what to do in any given situation. As a result, my life as a mom will be fulfilling, rewarding and an incredible success. My child, in turn, will be intelligent, kind, happy and confident. He will always know he is loved. He will remember his house as a warm, loving place filled with laughter.
Reality: Those experts are all as clueless as I am. None of them ever said what to do when the child has been vanquished to his room, has had every single toy taken away as punishment and still won't listen to a word I say. My child's stubbornness surpasses mine own. And, that's no small feat. His home has, at times, been filled with a crazed lady that has been known to shout things like, "No one in this house say another word to any one!" or, "I'm going to the store and if I'm really lucky I'll get lost on the way back!" And, who cares about all those wonderful virtues? If I can get the kid to quit using his shirt as a napkin I'm declaring it all a success.