I recently brought a bag of food and a baby gift over to a friend. I had meant to drop it off and leave but her father in law answered the door and insisted I come in. My friend and her husband had just gotten home a half hour earlier with their first born. I am sure my face wasn't what they wanted to see at that moment. They had just come from an five day stay at the hospital after an unexpected c-section. Their exhaustion was thick, and I could feel it when I walked in.
I was happy for them, don't get me wrong, but I left feeling like I had kept a huge secret from them. Of course it wasn't my job to inform them of what they were about to go through, and even if I had, there's nothing I could say to prepare the, so what's the point? I just looked at them, so new and optimistic, and wondered if they even knew what tired was. They would soon find out. I also wished them a big congratulations but left out how life as they once knew it will never be the same. Amazing, new, exciting and joyful but NEVER the same as when it was just the two of them.
I am guessing this is coming off as negative, and I don't mean it to be. I personally felt the restart button was pressed on my life when I had my daughter, and so does my husband. We also feel that a reservoir of love opened up in our hearts that we didn't even know existed. There is just no denying though that you will never quite feel the same about yourself as you once did. It comes with joy, wonder, excitement, and an amazing feeling that is beyond words, but it also comes with a new set of concerns. A list that goes on and on. I so admire people who enter parenthood and seem to be easy breezy about the whole thing, but for most the new sense of responsibility is grand. Never again are you completely and fully at peace when you are not in the same place with your child.
It is a whole new chapter of a whole new book, and nothing I could possibly tell them about the story would prepare them, so I just dropped off some food, a onsie, and said "Congratulations!"