Parenting is challenging. And it’s rewarding for sure.
But the Pampers ads and the viral videos of gurgling babies wrapped in their mamas arms aim to make parenting look magical and I’m here to cut through the bull.
There are magical moments in parenting. Yes.
But parenting, in and of itself, is not magical.
It is grueling.
The early months of parenting are sleepless nights and thankless days where your primary job is keeping this new human alive. Umm, no pressure bud but don’t screw this up, either….
And it’s terrifying. And you’re constantly checking to see if the baby’s still breathing. And then the baby’s screaming and you’re desperately trying to calm it back down.
And everyone’s looking at you like “Will you calm that child down? You’re its mother!” And you’re thinking “I’ve known this kid for six weeks!” Cut me some slack, please.
It is challenging.
Remember that YouTube experiment where the guy went for five days or something without sleep and talked about what he learned? And all the moms were like, “Um… that’s amateur hour, dude. Try parenting a newborn?” That is the first challenge of parenting. The rest is the world’s steepest learning curve as you learn how to feed, change, bathe, and keep this little, living fetus alive.
It is all worth it.
In between the burping and the nursing and the sleeping and the stressing, there are magical moments that completely take your breath away. The cuddles, the baby smell, those little yawns that make every new mom giddy.
But it’s all hard. So hard. And just because I don’t find this early stage of parenting blissfully magical doesn’t mean something’s wrong. It doesn’t mean anything except those Pampers commercials are full of it.
Babies are magical. Watching a baby sleep is magical.
Holding a tiny baby in your arms is magical. These are all magical moments in an otherwise very challenging time for new moms.
And I just know someone is going to comment at the end if this. Carol is going to say, “Um, well… I thought all of it was magical. I cherished every moment.”
And to that I say “NO YOU DID NOT CAROL. Did you cherish the blowouts? Were those magical for you Carol? You just blocked the hard stuff out, and that’s fine but don’t shame others because you blocked the hardest parts out.”
And yes, I’m still grateful.
I’m still grateful for my beautiful little baby.
But it’s time to put the Instagram influencers to bed and stop only showing just the magical moments, heavily filtered, and posed AF. There is more to parenting than just magical moments. It’s just the magical moments that sweep us off our feet.