If you have ever been pregnant you will know that everyone – and I mean EVERYONE, even those who haven’t been pregnant themselves – gives you unsolicited advice. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing! Usually when people give you advice on something like that, it’s because they care about you and they really believe they are telling you something you need to know. Unfortunately, even if these advice-givers are speaking from personal experience, quite often the advice doesn’t work for you because everyone is different!
BE SURE YOU’RE READY FOR CHILDREN BECAUSE YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE DRASTICALLY. I think this is the one we both heard most often. Right from the beginning we argued this point. First of all, for the last 2 years we’ve been so strapped for cash that we haven’t really been able to do anything… other than maybe have dinner out once in a long while. This meant that we stayed home a lot… cooked our own meals a lot… and did a lot of video games and TV. We always figured our lives wouldn’t change much since we already didn’t go out, didn’t drink or party much, etc. And so far that’s held true… we do the same stuff we did before, only with Zane involved… and we LOVE it.
SLEEP WHILE YOU CAN BECAUSE THERE WILL BE NO SLEEP AFTER THE BABY IS BORN. This we heard from EVERYONE, and it was (at least for me) totally bogus advice! First of all… while I was pregnant, I couldn’t sleep the entire last trimester! I was too big, too uncomfortable, and too sore to sleep. There were nights I didn’t sleep more than an hour or two, and would lie awake crying out of sheer frustration that I couldn’t rest. After the baby was out… well I slept like a baby! I have decided that phrase doesn’t mean you sleep for a long time. Sleeping like a baby means you sleep deeply, and WELL… and you can sleep oblivious to the noise around you. This is how I slept after Zane was born. Yes, I had to wake up and feed him every few hours… but he ate less often than I needed bathroom breaks, so my schedule really wasn’t disrupted all that much. I have had MORE sleep since having him than I EVER got while pregnant.
GET LOTS OF SLEEP NOW AND SAVE IT UP FOR AFTER THE BABY IS BORN. How does this advice even make sense? Is there a secret sleep bank where you can open an account and deposit your extra sleep? And then you make withdrawals to top yourself up when you don’t get enough sleep? If this bank exists, please tell me… so I can take the wonderful sleeps I’m getting now and bank them for the next time I’m pregnant, huge and uncomfortable. If there is no such bank, then what is the point of wasting time getting sleep you don’t need? If you can’t use it later, then isn’t there a more productive/entertaining way to spend that time?
MAKE SURE YOU CAN AFFORD TO RAISE A CHILD BEFORE YOU HAVE ONE. First of all, why are you telling me this? I am already pregnant. Whether I can afford a child or not, one is coming. This means your “sage” advice is kind of pointless, or at least poorly timed. Yes, we were worried about how we would afford having a child. Mainly because I am off work. But if anything, having a child is saving us money! We eat out MUCH less often, and we don’t order out as often either. And somehow, we are living on less money than we were before, even though it seemed back then like we were barely scraping by! My theory is that the last two years, we have been learning just how little we can live on and still make ends meet. Our income has dropped three times and each time we’ve managed to stay in our home and keep the bills (usually) paid. Yes, we have to stay home and cook a lot. No we don’t get to go out. Yes we have to have renters. And yes, we would like those things to change! But the point is, we CAN live on very little if we need to. And we still have a pretty good, happy life.
DISCLAIMER: I realize there’s a good chance I’m totally jinxing myself by writing this post. I have this wonderful, easy baby that sleeps through the night every night and is fairly good during the day unless something is actually wrong. He is healthy, eats well, I have no issues with milk supply, we beat thrush into the ground with our collective heel, and everything is (usually) more or less perfect. We keep the bills paid, eat well, and can afford the things Zane needs. By admitting this to the world, I may very well be opening myself up to Murphy’s Law… and all of this easy wonderfulness could change overnight. But let’s just assume for now that won’t happen! Ignorance is bliss right?