"You'll never be ready, so get ready!" and other unsolicited parenting advice
We're probably no more than 26 days out from having a child and it's amazing how much I vacillate between counting down the days to thinking I'm going to die. I've never been that great with roommates, and now we're about to get one that might try to bite my boob off, throw most of my glass/other treasures on the ground and then become a teenager. I'm a little overwhelmed.
There's really not much more that Ben and I can do to "get ready" besides embrace the reality that we'll never actually be ready. The only parenting advice that's struck a cord with me lately is "you truly have no idea what you're in for." In other words: "You can't get ready, so get ready!" It's all pretty confusing.
One thing is for certain: there's a lot of advice coming our way. Just like when we got married, the advice is coming from everywhere and from people who've had all different types of experiences with the same milestone. In one day, Ben and I encountered a couple on vacation that told us there was no such thing as a "vacation" with a newborn and another couple who'd never been so blissfully happy as they were while on vacation with their newborn. When it comes to advice, I know this for sure: our experience is likely going to be most akin to whichever beliefs we subscribe to. (And from what I can tell, I'm going to need a serious pair of earplugs if I want to get through this without getting so scared I start needing my own diapers.)
If you're easily bothered by unsolicited advice, try pregnancy. I was stopped by our mailman today who, in a rather quick conversation managed to squeeze in that 1. the 300 diapers I've amassed would only last me about a week and 2. I will never work again. NEVER. Nope. Forget all my plans. Forget my ambitions. No more of that nonsense, now.
Yes: no sooner than it took me to simply step outside my home was I met with "Hello. Your life is over."
"Well ... have a nice day!" I squeaked out as I walked away.
In the same week, someone else stopped me, looked me dead in the eyes and said "this is one of the most important things you'll ever do. It's going to be amazing." Yes. I thought to myself. i like that. I'll keep that one.
As close-by as it seems some of the naysayers and Negative Nancy's are, the encouragers are still just around the corner. The ones cheering you on, the ones who are excited for you, the ones who will either tell you it's going to be okay or show up at your front door with whatever you need to fix what's broken, those are the people I'm clinging to these days.
Because when one person is yelling "BE AFRAID" and another basking in your upcoming joy, they might both have a point. Yet still, whichever person I choose to believe will be right.