There's a maternal buzz around the office. A trio of expectant moms who work at the library are all due to have their first child within the next few months. Shared stories, flashbacks and recognition from those of us who have been through the ups and downs of a first pregnancy fill the sporadic lulls of our office days. Certain life events are universal with cliches that ring true. "Your life will never be the same." "You won't believe how fast it goes." "You'll never know how much one heart can hold."
I recall all of these statements passed on from other voices of experience. And, I remember feeling like I couldn't possibly begin to imagine the reality until it happened. What to expect when you're expecting? After a certain point, I turned my copy's cover face down, refusing to check what was happening to my body and my baby on a weekly basis as it became too much to process. In terms of what a new mother could expect, reading something more along the lines of Scary Mommy blogger Jill Smokler's "Motherhood Comes Naturally (and other vicious lies)", or Daisy Waugh's "The Kids Will Be Fine: Guilt-Free Motherhood for Thoroughly Modern Women" would have put a more comical, relaxed, and possibly more realistic spin on what the mommy road is truly like.
As the mom of one extraordinary soul, experience has shown that what enables mothers to make it through relatively intact, is the overwhelming love for their children. Before becoming a parent, I wouldn't have believed how inconsequential parts of my life would become. The sheer number of responsibilities one gains is enormous. The amount of details that need to be juggled daily is breathtaking. But, life happens and you learn to roll with it. There's really no other choice. What should you expect when you're expecting? Expect joy.
Photo courtesy of flickr user Tobias Koepe under Creative Commons license.
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