Put Positivity First

I have to be honest…

As I sat at the kitchen table eating my Special K cereal, my mind just kept repeating all of the comments and stories people have been throwing my way these last few days.

And by the time I got to work, I just wanted to hide under my desk and cry. 

I know deep in my heart everyone has the best intentions. But it seems like the majority of the comments I get are geared toward my life being “over” and how I should “sleep (or do anything relatively fun) while I can” because “your entire world is about to turn upside down.”

And while I am FULLY aware that these are true statements….

But to be honest, it’s just not what you want to hear the days leading up to your big day.

It’s gotten to the point where I am even questioning if I will be a good mother. Or I am even cut out for parenthood.

What if I can’t make him stop crying? 

What if I never sleep again? 

What if I never shower again? 

What if I never brush my hair again? 

What if I turn into a cow – in all contexts of the word – and simply let my child nurse for hours and hours without even blinking? 

What if I never leave the house again without wearing a sweat pant suit and a scrunchy ponytail?

What if my husband and I never have sex again and we simply become roommates – living in the same house, but operating like zombies?

What if am a bad mother?

These are the types of questions I had my husband last time before bed. These questions of doubt and fear have completely consumed my thoughts these last few days….

These are the thoughts some people, movies, and books have put in my head about the perceptions of parenthood.

And the reality is- many of these thoughts are true…maybe not to the extreme examples I’ve included…but these situations are likely going to happen.

But these are the thoughts that I don’t want to have in my head leading up to the birth of my son.

I want encouragement.

I want excitement.

I want joy.

I know people think they’re doing me a favor by reminding me that being a new parent IS NOT all butterflies and ponies bringing home a baby.

It’s hard.

And certainly, there will be a lot of crying (Justin, Bandit, and myself included).

There will be fights.

Breakdowns.

Horrible moments. 

But can we all take a minute to throw out some positivity and share some good stories too?

Tell me what you loved about your doctor or nurses at the hospital. How they completely made a difference in your mood or experience at the hospital.

Tell me what went through your head as you first laid eyes on your son or daughter for the first time. How you haven’t ever seen a more beautiful or loving creature in your entire life.

Tell me about a trick that REALLY worked when you were trying to put your sleepless baby to bed. How you only wished someone would have told you this sooner….

Tell me about a moment where you just looked at your new child and realized that you…and your world were never the same. How you don’t know how you ever truly lived  and experienced life without this little tiny person.

Tell me about something your child said or did that really touched your heart. How their thoughtful actions or words made you see them in a different way or light.

Maybe as a society we tend to over-share our negative experiences more than the positive ones. I mean, my Facebook and Twitter newsfeed is FULL of this proof. Many of the posts I come across are people complaining, leaving indirect comments toward other people, or simply feeling sorry for themselves.

I once heard for every bad experience, you’ll tell 10 people about it

And for every positive one, you only tell 3.

Why only 3 people? Why not share the good? Why not switch around those numbers? 

So maybe…just maybe…we aren’t programed in today’s age to put positivity first….but can we all agree it’s time to switch that mentality?

There is CERTAINLY time and place for the negative stories. I’m not saying you should hide all of the bad experiences and stories that come up in your life. It’ll only lead to isolation, heart break, and the inability to heal or move on.

But can we all agree that now is the time to put positivity first?!

I’ve absolutely have friends and family in my life who have shared some remarkable stories and shared some really uplifting advice. 

And those same people, who have been super positive throughout this entire pregnancy…you know who you are…and I am SO SO SO thankful for you…In fact, there is too many of you to name – because I really do have a great support group in my life.  

And no one person triggered this post or did / said anything awful to me that kept me up all night cying. So please, please don’t take this personal if you think (or know) you said something about getting more sleep now or how my life will change. I promise you there isn’t a single person I have in mind while writing this post.

It’s just a combination of one liners here and there – sometimes from strangers – that just get me thinking…

But pregnancy related or not, it’s just an important reminder for us all…to focus on how we can ease someone’s mind instead of worry their mind. To share positive stories that inspire hope and happiness

Just something to think about…

Much love,
Ashley 

2 thoughts on “Put Positivity First

  1. Sarah Eutsler says:

    Okay, I'm not a parent and don't plan on being one any time soon, BUT I do have some pretty kick-ass parents and I've gathered a thing or two about the type of parent I want to be from them. Yes, your life changes, and their lives changed. But my parents were also the type of people who never wanted their lives to be completely dominated by kids. I don't mean this in a negative way–they're amazing and affectionate and they've given me and my sister so much–but if they wanted to do something, they did it. They didn't let being parents consume them entirely, and I think that's the type of attitude you have to have–and I hope to have someday–going in.

    They also NEVER put up with the type of behavior I see kids get away with today. They weren't mean, just firm (it also probably helps that my dad has always been kind of a big guy and he just naturally seemed scary to us when we were little, though he's a big softie) and they always set the expectation that we behaved in public–no temper tantrums or throwing food was acceptable. My father has jokingly told me a hundred times that the fact my sister and I are alive is proof we never behaved that way. But it's true! He also said he was never going to let a kid dictate his life in that way make him and everyone around him miserable. He was the adult in the situation, and I think too many parents are afraid to be the adult and want to be the buddy.

    The other big thing they've stressed is to never tiptoe around your baby. They learned this from one of my dad's friends (they're both musicians) who had a kid who could literally sleep through a band practice in a living room. Make noise that's natural. Talk. Watch TV. Live your life. My aunt did the complete opposite and insisted that her kids sleep in absolute silence, and the result is that they were terrible sleepers and whiney kids and my aunt and uncle's lives were completely dictated by their kids' sleep schedules. My parents would just put us in our car seats and go where they needed/wanted to go regardless of nap time because they made sure we were both flexible sleepers.

    The main thing is there are no perfect parents. There are no parents who do everything right. But there also really isn't a “right” when you think about it. We all grew up with different rules, different environments, and everyone I know is a relatively normal, productive member of society who is smart and kind. So basically: don't fret! You've got this! You're warm and compassionate with a huge heart and you've already expressed so much love for this kid. That's all that really matters 🙂

  2. Ashley Marie says:

    Sarah – thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog post and share your story! I think your parents are pretty awesome people (from the sounds of it). I think you're absolutely right…there is no perfect parent and no one is every doing everythingggg right! It's all about learning, growing, and trying your darn best! Thanks for the support and kind words + reminding me not to fret…just love!

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