That’s what happens to most of us when we make the transition from childless – whether by choice, circumstance or infertility – to parenthood. We eat humble pie, daily, in large, fatty portions!
I read a blog today that reminded me of how I’ve been gulping down rather large portions of humble pie since becoming a mother.
I read a quote a while ago and now for the life of me, I can’t find it, but it goes along the lines of people who don’t have children should enjoy having all the parenting answers while they are child-free because as soon as they become parents, they’ll realize they know nothing! Obviously the original quote is much more eloquently stated than how I’ve verbalized it above, but you get the idea right?
This is most certainly true for me and for my husband and for all of my friends who have made the transition to parenthood. We’ve been gulping down humble pie ever since. And really, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve wanted to have a baby, read up on having a baby or been waiting to have a baby, as much as you think you may learn, your baby will come along and turn everything you think you know on it’s head.
Hindsight is 20/20 right? It sure as hell is. When I look back at some of the things I said as a childless woman, some of the opinions I formed, some of the judgments I made and some of the advice I dolled out to my parental counter-parts I can literally just die. I must have seemed like such an arrogant know-it-all when reality I had NO clue.
I formed such strong opinions on subjects I had no experience on, because lets be honest, motherhood is not anything remotely close to how we fantasize it will one day be. In some ways it is so much greater than we imagined and in some ways it’s so much tougher than we could ever have dreamed.
I was always adamant my child *insert arrogant tone* would never watch TV, well guess what? She does, she LOVES the Disney Junior channel and is obsessed with all the Barbie movies and she has not turned into some emotionally immature being incapable of any social activity, quite the contrary really.
I swore my child *insert arrogant tone* would eat all her vegetables? Well guess what? She only eats peas! But she’s growing and she’s thriving!
I swore my child *insert arrogant tone* would know throw tantrums because I knew how to deal with it. Well guess what? She does throw tantrums and I’ve had to learn ways of dealing with it because any experienced mother of a toddler will tell you, once those tantrums start there ain’t a damn thing you can do to stop it.
I swore my child *insert arrogant tone* would never run like a hooligan through the Spur on a Monday night when everyone is trying to enjoy the free burger. Well guess what? She does run screaming through the Spur to the play area.
I swore my child *insert arrogant tone* would NEVER use a walking ring! Well guess what? She did and she loved it and it did not stunt or damage her development in anyway.
And the list goes on and on and on….
The point is, one of the first lessons you learn as part of your initiation by fire into parenthood is to choose your battles. Some lessons are worth teaching your children and some battles can we well avoided because they serve no purpose.
I read this very funny article today: Dear Know-It All People Without Kids, Shut The Heck Up! And it made me laugh because I recognized myself in the know-it all person without kids and also as the mother on the receiving end of the pointed looks and unsolicited and usually pretty useless advice from people without children.
For all of parentals reading this, how delicious is your humble pie? And for all non-parentals reading this, take a note out of my book lest you too get to enjoy copious amounts of humble pie, or don’t, God knows we’ve all been making this same mistake for as long as their have been parents and childree people in the world and I have no doubt this will continue till the end of time too.
So now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go an enjoy a rather large slice of my humble pie – YUM!