Nobody warned me how hard motherhood is.
Nobody warned me how tired I’d be.
Nobody warned me how much the baby would cry or that he might have colic.
Nobody warned me breastfeeding would be hard.
Nobody warned me I’d cry so much.
Yes, yes they did.
All the baby books, your OBGYN at all your prenatal appointments, all your qualified friends (and even some unqualified, nonparent friends)—they tried to tell you. In their own way, in the way they had experienced their own motherhood, they tried to describe and explain it, to prepare you for the biggest change of your life. They tried, and maybe you heard them speak but you probably didn’t HEAR them. You didn’t hear their meaning. You didn’t hear their tone, their hints, their lessons they had to learn the hard way. How could you? You literally have no idea what to really expect because having a baby is the biggest unknown there is in life. You “knew” there would be late nights and that you’d be stressed. You “knew” the baby would cry a lot. But there was no way to know how all of that would add up and feel to YOU specifically until it happened. There is no way to retain every piece of information given to you before the baby arrives.
So yes, they tried to tell you the tricks and tips of how to breastfeed, how to take care of yourself along with the baby, how to keep connected to your husband. But the best they could do would never be good enough because you are a different person. Your situation, your personality, and your child–it’s all unique. So, they tried. They DID tell you, they DID warn you. But how could you truly understand until it happened?
To be fair, maybe there were some specific things they didn’t warn you about. Like how your feet might grow during pregnancy and not shrink back, so you’ll toss your favorite red heels that no longer fit. Or how your colicky baby might be soothed if you bounce her under the kitchen light at 2 AM. Maybe they didn’t tell you lip ties were a thing so you struggled to breastfeed for 3 months. Maybe they didn’t tell you your twins would sleep better in the same crib, right next to each other, than on their own.
Because how would they have known you’d need those specific gold nuggets of information? They could not possibly be held accountable for “not warning you” when it is experience that will be your best teacher. It is through your own experiences—your failures and your successes—that you’ll find the most helpful warnings and lessons when it comes to parenting.
But they DID try to warn you about the big stuff—the stuff that would change you as a person. Like how your baby’s giggles could make everything worth it, or how those giggles might actually mean nothing to you while you fight through Postpartum Depression.
They warned you about how much it would hurt to leave her for the first time but how much you’d desperately need that break.
They mentioned how you’d feel like you had known your baby your entire life, even though she was born just two days ago.
They warned you recovery of your body would take time and certain parts may never be the same.
They warned you of as much good and bad as they could think of in an attempt to help you feel prepared. They did their best.
And now that you’re on the other side of the fence, you can finally begin to understand what their warnings actually meant.