Good Times Ahead: Focusing on the Positives of Parenting

When we first announced our pregnancy, many people felt the need to tell us “oh, your life will never be the same!” or “hope you don’t like sleeping!” or some other comment that made having a baby look like one of the dumbest decisions we could ever make. We obviously didn’t regret our decision after hearing those comments, but they made us a lot more nervous for what we were getting ourselves into. But then, one day near the end of the pregnancy, we were talking with my sister and brother in law about how things would be once LB got here. My brother in law said “you’ve got a lot of good times ahead.” Since this was coming from someone who has three small children, that struck me. “You mean, parenthood isn’t miserable, like so many people make it out to be? You mean you enjoy your children, despite all of the sacrifices you make for them?”

Since having LB life is in no way, shape, or form the same as it used to be. Our sleep is cut short and we don’t get to do all of the things we used to do when we want to do them. LB’s well-being comes first in every decision we make, rather than our own. This life adjustment has been difficult at times, but absolutely worth it.

Why do we paint the picture of parenthood with such gray colors? Why do we always have to talk about the hard parts? Motherhood is hard. No doubt about that. There have been times I just wanted to go to sleep without worrying about putting a baby to sleep first. There have been times I just want to fall asleep without anticipating the next cry. There have been times when a simple trip to town to run errands has felt like I was packing for a week’s vacation.

But you know what? None of that compares to the joy I feel when he smiles at me. None of that compares to seeing the proud look on his face as he discovers new things. None of that compares to seeing his grandparents beam at him with love all over their faces or hearing the doctor say he looks happy and healthy.

And you know what else? There will be many, many more challenging days ahead, but I’m sure they won’t compare to seeing him take his first steps or play in his first baseball game. Motherhood has proved to be challenging, just like people warned, but it has also proved to be the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done.