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Pregnancy is a 10 month emotional rollercoaster. You’re flooded with emotions like happiness, excitement, gratitude, love, nervousness, anticipation and worry. And, we all know that a pregnant woman can be jumping for joy one minute and then balling her eyes out for no reason the next. Thanks, hormones, appreciate it!
Great friends of ours are expecting a baby next week. Listening to them talk about the last couple of weeks of pregnancy took me right back to what that stage was like. I remember it vividly…probably because my house has never been as clean as it was during that nesting stage!
I remember it suddenly hitting me during week 39 that I would have an actual baby in my home in just a few days. Sam and I confirmed our chosen boy and girl names. We wondered which of us our baby would look most like. We wondered what kind of personality our baby would have, and whether the baby would be a settled or unsettled one.
Do you know what we never did though? We never wondered things like “what if we don’t like our child?” or “what if things don’t work out between us and our child in the long run?” Not once did the thought cross our mind that perhaps we would not want our child after meeting them. This might seem like a silly and unnatural thing to say, but I’m saying it because it struck me this week that getting pregnant really is like getting engaged on a blind date.
There are some exceptions of course, but once you’re pregnant, there is no going back. That baby will continue to grow and will enter the world in 10 months, regardless of whether you’re ready or not.
But here’s the thing - you don’t get to choose your child – not their personality, their looks, their interests, their talents, their values…nothing. Despite that, the moment we find out we’re pregnant, most of us are head over heels in love with the tiny life that’s growing inside us. We declare that we’ll do absolutely anything for our child, whenever duty calls for it.
Isn’t it the most amazing thing that we’re able to commit ourselves fully, and unconditionally, to a human being we’ve never met?!
Now think about what it’s like going on a date, whether it’s a blind date or a date with someone we’ve known our whole lives. It’s a totally different process isn’t it? We go into it with predetermined ‘deal breakers’ in our minds. Our level of attraction is largely determined by looks. We let insignificant details cloud our judgement and our commitment. We know that in most circumstances, we can simply walk away from the relationship if the going gets tough. One thing’s for sure though, if anyone we knew ever got engaged on a first date, we’d say “what on earth is wrong with you?!”…and for good reason!
The point is that there’s no love like the love that a parent has for their child. It’s unbreakable. It’s a love that knows no bounds. To me, that’s one of the most beautiful sentiments to walk through this life with.
Getting our children to understand that our love for them is unconditional is another matter completely. It’s a challenge I’m not looking forward to, especially thinking about Henry’s teenage years which he’ll probably spend telling me he hates me… ah the joys!
I'm married to Sam and I'm a mother to Henry.