Perhaps I should've thought more critically about parenthood before I was expecting, but here we are. When my husband and I married in October 2020, I knew that children were next. But my 'knowing' wasn't the type of deep spiritual knowing that many parents describe when they gush about parenthood. If i'm honest, my knowing was rooted in duty and process. Parenthood was the next item on the checklist of life; the thing you do right after you get married but shortly before you close the door on your identity as you know it.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't a story of doom and gloom. I'm in partnership with an incredible individual, we're fortunate to have all of our basic needs met and then some, we give each other the space to explore our highest consciousness (more on this in a later post), and we're building a life together that feels as good as it looks. But these are all things I looked forward to as I grew into adulthood. Marriage and/or long-term partnership was always on the docket for me if I could help it, but I never gave motherhood much thought. Quite honestly, I could never picture myself as a mother to humans - only to puppies.
Now that i'm here, some musings about parenthood (in no particular order):
- Sacrifice begins the day you find out you're expecting (if you lean in to it). The list of things you can't do while carrying is approximately 12 miles long. Not to sound like the worlds worst parent, but i've made the decision to sacrifice the things that are definitively harmful and keep the things that feel intuitively safe. It's bad enough I can't enjoy an Old Fashioned, i'm NOT giving up manicures. I consider this my early practice for parenting.
- If you're going to do this, you should be really, really thoughtful about it. It shouldn't just be 'the next step' and you shouldn't pick just any ole' body, at any ole' time to do it with. It's true that no one is ever quite ready to be a parent, but there are certainly things you can do to give you and your kid a fighting shot. Heal some of those deep unresolved wounds, create open honest lines of communication with yourself and your coparent, be in a comfortable financial space (to the extent that you can), and secure a village for starters. But most importantly, think deeply about whether or not you actually want to be a parent, separate from expectations, family, friends or what society says you should do.
- Parenthood might kick up some deeply buried 'stuff' for you. As with any new relationship, scary things might come up for you as you're preparing to parent. Body image stuff, thoughts about gender norms, feelings about the way you were parented, trauma you didn't know you had - these are all things that might rear their ugly heads. When these moments come up for me, I could find a quiet corner to rock back and forth and cry, but i'm choosing to confront them as part of the necessary work that'll benefit my kid in the long run.
As we all know, this list isn't exhaustive. Help this new mama out by sharing some of your own parental musings below!`