Friday, April 17, 2009

our favorite joke

Anyone who's ever been pregnant, or been married to someone who's been pregnant or has expected a child in any way knows that likely The Most Common Thing Ever Said to People Expecting A Baby/Child (particularly the first one) goes a little sumpthin' like this:

"Oh, your life is REALLY going to change!" (always pronounced in a tone that belies the unending wisdom borne of one who has survived the rigors and challenges and hardships of parenting.)

At which point, Expectant Woman and/or Man Married to Expectant Woman smile(s) politely, pretends s/he has not heard this eleventy-billion times before, and continues on his/her way.

Because really - the fact that having a baby is life-changing is one of those things that you KNOW, but you can't REALLY KNOW until it happens. And you know it. You know?

Anyway - Mark and I wearied (as have many expectant couples before us) of hearing variations of those words of wisdom, and since the life-changing (gasp!) birth of our daughter, have applied our vast and renowned comedic skills to the situation and come up with a joke that is pretty much NEVER NOT FUNNY. (To us - the slightly sleep-deprived, expectant-again parents of a busy, adorable toddler...)

Whenever parenthood proves tough or inconvenient or involves some sort of dying-to-self (which is roughly every 1.87 minutes, I think) - we look at each other and one of us quips, oh-so-cleverly:

"Why didn't ANYONE tell us that parenting would be hard??"

And then we laugh so hard that we cry (or pretend that we are so that there seems to be a fun and funny reason for the tears), congratulate ourselves on our impeccable wit, and get on with the tough, inconvenient, dying-to-self task at hand.

And although we may not actually BE FUNNY (shhh... don't tell us!) - we come out the other side a little better for having laughed, a little comforted in our not-so-aloneness, and a little more able to pick up the parenting cross and keep on truckin.

5 thoughts:

Chantel said...

i completly understand where you are coming from. Every person I see says that and when I tell them that this will be my second they give me a look like I am crazy. Which I may be but it has nothing to do with my willness to venture life with two kids.

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

Um, YES. :) I remember getting mildly frustrated around the eleventy-billionth time someone said those words, but, really, we DIDN'T have any clue how much everything was going to change. Because, you know, we were new parents, and new parents know EVERYTHING, right? ;)

Julie said...

I'm so guilty of asking all of those dumb questions. All. the. time.

The worse one that I find myself asking is usually to a newly married couple 'So, how do you like being married'. I try not to ask anymore because one very rude person actually answered back 'You think I would actually tell you if it sucked?'.

In my defense I'm really only trying to make conversation. I'm usually really excited for the person and the things that they're experiencing. And, I'm just trying to show my excitement.

So, for lamo's like me.... what would be a good thing to say?

Katie said...

Julie - Congratulations! is always a good place to start. I liked hearing people's stories, or answering specific questions about the pregnancy (if they weren't complete strangers) - but it just got frustrating to hear over and over again about how we had NO IDEA how much our lives would change. I knew I had no idea - and it always sounded more like a warning than a happy wish.
I've definitely asked the stupid questions too - so don't think you're alone... I just have become much more aware of it, and I try to ask about specifics instead.
(Instead of "How's life as a mama??" I'll ask about milestones, or sleep or something specific enough to get a real answer).
:)

Courtney said...

No one yet has said that specific phrase to us regarding adding two more to our family--I'm guessing they think we've already lost our minds enough that an additional warning isn't going to do any good. The most common comment we get is "wow! You're going to be busy!" LOL