Becoming A Parent
By Jennifer O'Shea
Growing up, you look forward to going to college, getting married and having a family of your own. Everyone makes it look and sound so glamorous when you are young. These are things that everyone wants to have happen and if they don’t happen in that exact order, people talk.
I became a mom before I had gotten married. My boyfriend and I had no idea what we were doing! But we knew what we wanted, so we went forward. Knowing this very “tradition” of going to college, getting married, then having a baby, I knew it was totally off. I was essentially going backwards! How had this gone so wrong? This is what I wondered for the entire 9 months of my life before my daughter was born. In the first couple of months of being pregnant, it took some getting used to. I could tell some of my friends were drifting away, I was relying more on my own family members to be around than my friends, which had been a total switch from the years prior. You never know how many friends you really have until something in your life changes drastically and then you see who sticks around.
Was this the right choice? Am I going to be a good parent? Will being a mom be hard? When do we get married? Are we even going to like each other enough to be parents? All questions that went through my mind in those nine long, excruciating months. No one ever tells you how long pregnancy really is! Nine months is like an entire lifetime. So, you do the motions – get the registry, have a baby shower, pick out a name, decorate the room, and wait. You do a lot of waiting.
Those questions still linger in the back of your mind: Was this the right choice? Am I going to be a good parent? Will being a mom be hard? When do we get married? Are we even going to like each other enough to be parents? I think I was more hoping that someone would just tell me the answer to those questions, even though I knew time was the only answer to every single one of them.
A little less than 9 months and we go to the doctor to find out the baby has to come out that day. That day? I wasn’t ready! Even though I have been preparing for the past 9 months, I am still not ready. But is anyone ever ready to change their lives to include something that they will need to take care of for the rest of their lives? No. You are never ready.
The baby comes by C-Section, also something I had not been ready for, and the nurses hand this newborn screaming baby to me as if I knew what to do with it! But as a mom, you just kind of do what you think is right and you make due. This is a lifelong lesson that being a new mom, these are things that you just learn over time. It takes a while to adjust your entire life to fit this one tiny human being, but it’s the best change that the turn in life could have ever taken. The things that you will experience and learn are just astounding and you could never picture your life again without that tiny little human.
At that moment, you know the answers to those questions: Was this the right choice? Am I going to be a good parent? Will being a mom be hard? When do we get married? Are we even going to like each other enough to be parents? The answer is yes.
Find out more about our staff writer Jennifer O'Shea here