You have no idea!

Once you’re a parent, it’s hard not to feel a little smug with first time parents-to-be. Or maybe it’s just me? But especially when my son was young, I had this tendency to look at expectant mothers with a smile, thinking, “You have no idea what’s ahead of you”. Before you’ve had a child, you cannot fathom what it’s going to be like, as prepared as you may think you are.

Once you’ve been through it, you feel like you’re part of this select club of people who actually know because they have done it. And so when discussing the upcoming events with parents to be, I tend to think, You have no idea how much labour and delivery are going to hurt. You have no idea how tiring the first months will be. You have no idea how much your child is going to test your limits, your patience and your relationships. You have no idea how much you’re going to love them and to what extremes you’ll be willing to go to protect them or make them feel better. You just have no idea!

The funny thing is, now that I’m pregnant, I have seen that look on the face of young mothers walking around with their children when they cross my path. I still look pretty young and as I walk to and from work alone every day, most people probably think it’s my first pregnancy. And I can see that look on their face: you don’t know what you’re getting into, do you! Well, I do… Or do I?

Neighbours of ours had their second child recently and keep telling us that we have no idea how much harder it is when you have two. Not to mention that my second child could be much harder to deal with than our son; all in all, he was a really good baby.

So I guess my word of advice tonight is this: don’t feel smug. The truth is, I don’t know what life is or will be like for those pregnant women I cross path with on the street. And I don’t know what my life will be like tomorrow. The real truth is, we have no idea what other people go through. Every child, every family, every set of circumstances is different. It’s stupid to judge others when you don’t really know what theirs are like. So you may not be able to avoid feeling smug, but at least learn to hide it!

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