Getting emotional is definitely a side effect of pregnancy. Then again it’s a side effect of being a woman. At least now with a baby in me, my hormonal imbalances make sense. Before when I was PMSing my desire to cry would pop up at unreasonable places like the grocery store in the cereal aisle while looking up at a box of Rice Krispies. But now I get emotional for real problems like a cafe running out of soy the one day I want a soy chai, or I’m running late to a meeting and no gas pumps at the gas station seem to be working when I need gas, or I read up that Saudia Arabia removes women from advertising because it turns out they’re not a country they’re a large hardcore woman-hating gay club. This is why when I get emotional these days, I know I can’t brush it off as merely a chemical imbalance. So the other morning when hanging out with my husband making breakfast and truly appreciating how lucky I am to have the man and the life I have, hormonal induced emotion hit me…I won’t be having this much longer. The reason: soon we’ll be in charge of another person rather than doing whatever we feel like doing together. “Oh sh**,” I thought, “I’ve so enjoyed enjoying my husband for almost twelve years now…I think I’ve sabotaged a good thing!” The water works were instant and non-stop. Only a year ago I couldn’t think of life without trying to have a baby. I never came up with a conclusive reason as to why I needed one, all I knew was that it was something I wanted and was ready to have at this point in my life. Now two and a half months before the due date it hits me…WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?! Why did I do this to myself and my husband?! My marriage suddenly turned into a person with little time to live, and I became the mourner experiencing anticipatory grief while sobbing into my husband’s arms before sobbing into our Texas shaped homemade waffles.
So what is it about this upcoming change in my life that I’m so afraid of? The part where I turn into parent. Not a mother, there is a difference. Mothers and fathers I think can be incredibly sexy and alive, but parents, well… it’s like becoming a walking mini van. Everything becomes sensible and focused on the child. Even the way parents dress says, “I need clothes that are comfortable to deal with my kid not to turn-on my partner.” No wonder mini vans don’t hook up with other mini vans; mini vans have a kid to bus around, chores to take care of, they’re a mini van for crying out loud–they don’t have time for anything but what’s practical and efficient.
It’s clear that with new responsibilities and work it can be hard to keep the flame that made you want a baby with your partner alive, but why is that the case? Is there a good reason why we let children smother that spark? I still don’t know because I haven’t shot out my kid yet and taken to wearing capris, but I wonder if it isn’t just an American stereotype of “Family” we let ourselves fall into without question. Changing who you are to fit the norm of a parent doesn’t make you any better suited to be one, and just because you become more focused on your kid than yourself doesn’t make you a better parent it just leads you to a greater chance of unhappiness and divorce. No wonder Americans have so few babies, we make it look life-sucking, unsexy and HORRIBLE! I don’t want that. I love the life I’ve got and want the baby to reap the joy from what my husband and I have, not kill it. So please America, let’s come up with a cooler way to raise kids and change the standards of what it means and looks like to have them so I can finish my breakfast without crying before November.