Pregnancy and Parenting is Hard AF - And That's Ok
You're pregnant and the whole world is swooning around you.
"Omg you must be SO excited!"
"We're so happy for you - you must be thrilled"
"I LOVED being pregnant - enjoy every minute of it"
... but what if you, like, kind of hate being pregnant? Maybe you are constantly sick, exhausted, aching. Maybe this baby wasn't planned and you aren't sure how they will fit into your life circumstances right now. What if you are just having a straight up hard time wrapping your head around the fact that you are LITERALLY GROWING ANOTHER HUMAN INSIDE YOU?
... and then, what if the baby arrives and you still aren't
madly in love??
over the moon??
IN A CONSTANT STATE OF BLISS??
Then what? How do you verbalize that maybe this isn't everything you thought it might be? How can you tell someone that you love your baby, but that you don't necessarily like parenting.
We live in a world of instagram/tiktok/pinterest where pregnancy, labor, birth and parenting is a beautiful, glossy, gorgeous, blissful, "omg can you even believe it?!?!" experience ALL THE DAMN TIME. Our parents tsk tsk us and tell us to "enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast". And when we don't actually feel that way, when we aren't actually enjoying every minute, then there must be something seriously wrong with us, right?
Please know, sweet momma, sweet dad, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Pregnancy, birth, postpartum and parenting is HARD AF. There is nothing harder than loving some little squishy squashy aquatic being/human so much that your heart feels like it will literally rip itself apart, while simultaneously feeling uncertain, unwell, overwhelmed, exhausted, monotonous, touched out/cried out/talked out, and miserable.
It's ok to love your baby and not want to be pregnant.
It's ok to love your baby and silently (or not so silently) curse your partner as you're throwing up for the 6th time that morning
It's ok to love your baby but not want to deal with actually getting them out of you.
It's ok to love your baby but cry while you feed them because you are exhausted and lonely.
It's ok. It's ok. It's ok.
I would love to tell you that it gets easier. But that would only invalidate what you are feeling RIGHT NOW. And right now is all that matters. Because you are in it.
Breathe deep. Shut off the social media. Try not to compare. Let go of phrases that start with "I should...". Call someone you trust and be vulnerable with where you are in that moment. Know that your feelings are, and your experience is, 100% valid.
You are a good parent. An amazing parent. Even when it feels impossible.
I see you.
While pregnancy, birth, postpartum and parenting is hard, you know yourself and your baseline. If you think you may be experiencing postpartum depression (PPD) or postpartum anxiety (PPA) please reach out to your medical doctor, midwife, doula, or call 811 (Calgary HealthLink) or 911.
There are many resources available - check out the following:
Pacific Postpartum Support Society || https://postpartum.org/
Moss Postpartum House || https://www.mosspostpartum.com/
Families Matter || https://familiesmatter.ca/
Lindsey is a DONA certified birth doula and certified prenatal yoga instructor in Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
Lindsey van der Lee
Birth Doula and Prenatal Yoga Instructor
CD(DONA) || CYT 250+