January 28, 2013 by heathernwelch
So, if you have ever been a soon-to-be new parent, you might have noticed the amount of advice that may come your way. My hubby and I were super discouraged by many people when pregnant with Ben. This post is in response to what a very sweet nurse said to me at my last well check up with Jack. When the nurse asked how Jack is sleeping and I commented that he still wakes up some of the the time to eat during the night and how my first son never did that after two months old, she responded: “so you were spoiled by the first one.” But that isn’t the truth. We worked hard so that Ben would sleep through the night so early. By letting him cry and getting him set on a schedule, we provided the environment so that he could sleep well from a young age. Now, yes, all children are different. We have put in some effort with Jack, but we aren’t near as strict as we were with Ben. My point is that most people do not mean to cause despair, but often that is what happens.
Ok, so back to new parent advice. While I was hugely pregnant with my first, people were constantly asking me how I was feeling. So, I would tell them the usual. “I’m not sleeping well; I’m pretty tired.” And many of the response were: “well, get used to it. Once that baby comes, you won’t sleep ever again.” How discouraging of a response! What about just saying, “oh hang in there, these little babies are so worth it.” Why do we naturally go toward the negative? I know that it is something that I personally struggle with. If you ask me how my day is, I am more likely to tell you the negative things that have happened instead of the good things. It is something that I am working on.
Eric and I were often discouraged when announcing the exciting news of our firstborn. Many people said, “well, you’ll never sleep again.” I have been making a super effort in encouraging pregnant women and their hubbies because I think it is so important. Yes, when you have kids, you sleep less. But what about the awesome things that you receive. Children are a blessing. Are we so selfish to consider sleep more important than these little blessings?
So, next time you are congratulating a couple on their pregnancy, just think before you warn them about not sleeping. The last thing a nauseous, exhausted, bloated woman needs to hear is how she is never going to sleep again. Give her a break and send some encouragement her way.