Friday, April 13, 2012

Forgetting is a Necessity

There are so many things about parenthood that are so horrible that no one would ever choose to have children if they remembered them. I love my son more than ANYTHING, but certain things come with the territory that I do not care for one bit. It all starts with the pre-pregnancy wait. The testing every time you get a "weird" feeling. You get so anxious about whether or not it's going to happen this month....oh, not next month......this would be the best time with my work schedule....etc. Then there are all of things you have to give up both when trying to get pregnant, and while carrying your bundle of joy- no wine, lunch meat, mayonnaise, coffee, soft cheeses (my favorite!), etc. But do we remember all of this? Nope. We think of how great it was to find out that our family will be growing and the relief of knowing that it worked.
Once pregnant, it only gets worse. We forget all of the horrible symptoms that go along with the pregnancy and just remember the kicks, the baby showers, decorating the nursery, etc. Labor is where your mind plays the biggest trick on you! I still remember describing what I remember of labor to a friend- Me-"It wasn't so bad. It hurt of course, but I didn't scream at all and I think that I was pretty laid back the whole time." I also remember my husband's response- "Are you kidding! You were so stressed out, you acted like you were dying, and you called me several choice words that we don't want Liam to pick up on. This is still not how I remember it going, but oh well.
The first few weeks are not any better. The baby sleeps randomly, but you can't, he fills his diaper with the grossest black sticky poop ever, you always smell like something that came out of him, you have no knowledge of the outside world-in fact it doesn't seem to exist, and whether c-section or natural child birth, you are sore. But do we recount all of this when talking to mother's-to-be? I didn't.
Once again, a conversation comes to mind- Me reassuring Friend 1 -"Oh, being a parent just comes naturally. You get into a rhythm and it becomes easier than you expected." Friend 2- "What?! That's not what you told me at the time! I saw you three weeks into it and you felt like crap and cried all over me." Oh yeah. I guess I did, didn't I. Once again, your body making sure that you forget just enough to want to go through it all again.
Nursing was also one of these forgetful subjects for me. I nursed exclusively for 14 months, and although I recall complaining to my husband about how hard it was to pump at work, hiding in a corner so my students wouldn't see me, I recently found myself thinking, "Oh, it wasn't that bad." I KNOW that it was that bad, but for the life of me I can't remember enough of the bad to talk myself out of doing it all over again with the next one.
But the specific situation that made me think of a woman's forgetful nature, was the fact that my son has been sleeping in our room for the past 3 weeks. He slept in our room for the first year of his life. My memories of it were that, once we got him on a schedule, there was nothing to it. Wrong! I realized quite quickly that I had "forgotten" a lot about sleeping with my little guy in the same room. He snores, rolls, talks in his sleep, and realized also quite quickly, that mommy and daddy were right there any time he woke up, even just momentarily. Which he took to mean, he should wake us up and get some attention.
I know why our minds play these tricks on us and I have to say, "Well, played! Well, played!"

No comments:

Post a Comment