Please please watch this brilliant talk on the taboos of parenthood. Each of their four taboos resonated so deeply for me – I look forward to your thoughts – mine are below :
Taboo #1: You Can’t Say You Didn’t Fall in Love the 1st Minute
I definitely experienced this myself, and remember the horrible guilt and disappointment. Love does indeed grow over time! Whenever I mentor a prenatal class I am sure to include a discussion of this phenomenon as we talk about the first moments postpartum. Yes, sometimes we feel that swell of pure love the moment we gaze into their eyes. Sometimes, however, we do not, and the inner judgment around this can be huge. One of my favorite lines for new moms is this: When someone asks “Don’t you just love your baby so much?”, reply with a smile, “We’re really getting to know each other.”
Taboo #2: You can’t talk about how lonely having a baby can be.
I often hear this from new moms wondering why nobody told them how hard it could be… We talk about the sleep, and how life will “change”, but rarely do we ourselves even admit how lonely it can be. How important it is to find connection and support…
Taboo #3: You can’t talk about your miscarriage
(Along with the other big taboo: Don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant before the 2nd trimester) The silence on this topic is astounding. Only after I lost a baby myself did I truly understand how strong this taboo is, and how many friends and families were carrying their loss in silence.
Taboo #4: You can’t say your average happiness has declined as a parent.
I think would be terrifying to hear during pregnancy – and yet the research has shown in 4 separate studies that our avg happiness is reduced as parents. I wonder, however, how avg happiness compares with satisfaction, or love, or average “meaningfulness” in life. Does life change with kids? Absolutely. Our experience of this is unique, however, and perhaps can’t be measured as an “average” – each day can bring moments of absolute joy and despair!
I would love to hear your thoughts on these taboos and your experience of them, in your own life & in our culture. Any other taboos you can think of?
About Sarah Juliusson
Sarah Juliusson, founder of Mama Renew, is a gifted facilitator and writer on the journey of birth & motherhood. She brings two decades of experience supporting families through pregnancy, birth and motherhood to her work. Sarah is mother to two growing boys, a playful crafter with cloth & wool, student of traditional food preservation, and a diva at heart. Join the conversation on http://www.mamarenew.ca & on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mamarenew