I am feeling a little precocious today so I wrote a (somewhat sarcastic) top 10 about some common parenting myths (with a few added bonus ones). Please feel free to add your own in the comments section since there really are so many to talk about.
1. We need to have a lot of money before starting a family. Kids are as expensive as you make them. While I don’t think that you should go having children when you can’t afford to support yourself, if you make a decent living you can make it work. No child ever died because they had to share a bedroom with their sibling, or was emotionally scarred because they couldn’t take both swimming and gymnastic lessons.
2. Getting pregnant is easy. I am sure it is for some people. And because of those people you think that having unprotected sex one will get you knocked up. Not so. Even for a young healthy couple it may not happen right away, so get your expectations right from the beginning and save yourself some disappointment.
3. Having a baby will bring us closer together. Hopefully it will, but that doesn’t mean it will be pretty. In will involve tired arguments about nothing and being driven to your wit’s end by stupid habits like how he always trying to shove one more diaper in the diaper genie instead of changing it. It can be a rocky road so wear your seatbelt.
4. I have to give up my cat because I am pregnant. You are joking right? Yes, you probably shouldn’t change the kitty litter, so just wear a mask or get someone else to do it. You actually just as much of a chance of getting toxoplasmosis while pregnant from digging in the garden, but I have never heard of a pregnant women giving up gardening. And yes, you can have pets and kids, it just takes a bit of effort on your part. You wouldn’t give up your child because you are getting a dog, why should it be the other way around?
5. My body will bounce back after pregnancy. Odds are it probably will, especially if you are mindful about diet and exercise. But don’t expect to walk out of the hospital wearing your pre-pregnancy jeans, because after giving birth you still look pregnant! And as for your boobs, whether you breastfeed or not they will probably be just a bit saggier. For more dramatic results get pregnant when you are older or carry more than one baby at a time.
6. Breastfeeding is natural. Sure, it is. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a skill that both you and your baby must learn, and it certainly doesn’t mean that doesn’t hurt like hell (because it does, at least at the beginning).
7. Babies only wake up during the night for the first few months. NOT! Yes, there are some babies who sleep soundly when only six weeks old (apparently I was one of them), but more likely it’s gonna be a while. All three of my kids did not sleep completely through the night until they were 10 months to a year old. And even then, kids always wake up early so say goodbye to sleeping in (unless you lovely partner gets up so you can get some extra shut-eye, love you babe).
8. All babies are the same. You probably don’t consciously think this, but as soon as you think about having another baby in terms of your first, you are making that assumption. Just because you had a tough pregnancy the first time doesn’t mean you will again, or just because your first baby was a great eater doesn’t mean your second won’t be fussy.
9. Having my second child will be easier/ harder. That’s right. Both are correct. I found having the second (and third) a lot easier in most ways, but also more difficult because you do have another child to care for (although depending on their age they may be a big help). You really just have to take it one day at a time.
10. We need all that baby stuff. Yes, there are things I thank heavens for like my double stroller and my diaper genie, but a lot of it is overpriced crap that retailers want you to think you need so they can get your money. It’s not about the amount of money you spend on your kids; it’s the amount of time you spend on them that counts.
11. Schedules and routines make things easier. Well, they do and they don’t. I have seen parents who get all into a tizzy when things don’t go according to plan, and that definitely isn’t helping anyone. Be flexible. If your partner is sick and you have to put all the kids to bed yourself, why not just skip bath time for a day or two, or give them their baths in the afternoon while other siblings are napping?
12. Eventually things will return to normal. No they won’t. Because that version of “normal” is gone. History. This IS your new normal, so get used to it…better yet, embrace it, enjoy it, because you won’t believe how fast it goes by.
13. I don’t like coffee. Oh, you will!
Thanks for reading! Can’t wait to hear what you think.