**This post was originally written back in July. I debated posting it because, for the first time in a LONG time, I’m actually feeling pretty calm from the emotional basketcase front. This is an important message to parents though, so here we are. Enjoy.**
I just got off the phone with an aunt. I shared the big news. She cried. I laughed. She got excited. It made me feel good.
All of this news sharing makes me feel good. Telling people you’re pregnant (when you’re married, 33, and have an established income) always brings smiles to people’s faces.
But I want a mom to tell. I want a dad to tell.
I can talk to the clouds and the wind and each and every robin that crosses my path and pretend that they are up there listening. Maybe they are. But they can’t tell me how to change a diaper. How to survive on 2 hours of sleep. How the relationship with my partner will change, but in good ways, too. How to make a swing out of a towel and tease the Eggroll by tying her socks while they are still on her feet.
There will be moments at 3am when the Eggroll won’t stop screaming and Randy is in Cleveland, when I want to call my mom and ask her for advice. Call dad and ask for patience. God, that’s going to hurt when I can’t. I know there are thousands of people out there that would gladly accept that call. Hell, I think I’m going to have to move again under the cover of night if I don’t want help right here in the house for the overnight shift. Each and every one one of these helpers are amazing. Perfect. But they aren’t my parents.
I know becoming a parent (of a child who at 33 is happily married and has an established income) was the crowning achievement of both of their lives. But I know that as their child. I don’t know that as their peer. As their friend. As the confidant they could speak to honestly.
So here is my homework to you. If you are a parent, I want you to tell your kids right now what it’s like to be a parent. If they aren’t at an appropriate age to hear it, write it down. Put it somewhere that they will get it if you aren’t around to take that phone call someday. If you don’t have kids – even if you never, ever, ever plan on kids – ask your parents what it is like. Ask them what they would do differently. Ask them if/why it was worth it. Ask them about their favorite parts and the worst parts.
If you’d like to share this advice with me, I would absolutely love to hear it. My heart breaks each time I think about what I missed out on, but you’ll help me prop that heart back up with your words. You can email me if you don’t want it here for the world to see.