My husband and I came to this realization after having our daughter. Raising a child is not all sunshine and lollipops. It’s not just the beautiful, happy, perfect moments that it looks like from the outside. Social media and people on social media make it seem this way. All we see is happy families and then we think that’s what parenting is. At least, that’s what my husband and I thought. When I was pregnant, we were so excited. We pictured this perfect, beautiful little baby and all the happy, wonderful moments we would share. We didn’t, however, picture all the sleepless nights, the baby screaming in distress, our lives being flipped upside down. We were not prepared.
I remember being so angry in those first months that nobody warned me just how hard it is raising a tiny human. I had no clue what it really meant to be tired. The sleep deprivation of the newborn stage nearly killed me. Did you know that sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture? It is totally torture. It literally messes with your brain and your ability to function properly. And yet we are expected to keep a tiny baby alive and all while our bodies are being tortured. And that’s not all. Some women are recovering from surgery, other women are healing from stitches, and all women are going through crazy bodily and hormonal changes. Some women suffer from postpartum depression and/or anxiety. Some men suffer from postpartum depression and/or anxiety. It is brutal.
It’s a strain on your relationship. Even the strongest couples go through struggles while raising a baby. I thought I had an unbreakable relationship with my husband, but boy did this raising a human thing test what we had. And it did almost break us. We are still trying to pick up the pieces. And we were together almost 12 years before having our daughter.
This tiny, defenseless, incapable human is completely dependent on you for EVERYTHING. It doesn’t even know that its hands are its hands and when these long dangly things hit its face, it will blame you.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s completely worth it, as they say. I just want to put it out there to anyone thinking how I thought. I wish I would have been more prepared. Then maybe it wouldn’t have been so hard. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so overwhelming. Maybe I would have been in a better state of mind and would have been able to handle it better and maybe not have had to go through PPD/A. Who knows? All I can do is try to warn others that it is hard. It is way harder than people make it look. It is wonderful and amazing and your heart will melt at every smile and every accomplishment this tiny human makes, but it’s still so, so hard.
You have been warned.