It doesn’t matter where you were when you found out, it will always be a moment that you remember when you were told that your life was going to change forever.
I’m talking about when you found out that you were going to be a parent. I’m not talking about apparent because the moment you become a parent it becomes clear to you that you don’t know what to expect out of the next 9 months and beyond.
I’m talking about being a parent. To your own flesh and blood or maybe to a child that you adopt. We all remember the moment that we found out. Whether it was your wife walking down the stairs and with tears in her eyes saying, “I’m pregnant!” or the phone call you have been waiting for to say that the child you were hoping to adopt is now part of your family. We all remember that moment.
I recently posted on The Rookie Dad’s Facebook page asking people to tell me in GIF form how they felt when they found out that they were expecting. The plethora of responses reminded me that at some point during those nine months that you are waiting to hold your son or daughter in your arms, we go through each and every emotion that people responded with.
Even though the first time my wife came out and told me that we were pregnant was 7-year-ago, I remember like it was yesterday. We had just moved into our first home and just gutted the master bathroom hoping to be able to remodel it and move onto the other areas that we wanted to update in the house.
I honestly couldn’t even comprehend what my wife was telling me at the time. I was more focused on cutting drywall and making sure that my attempt at plumbing work under the sink didn’t leak. It didn’t really sink in that we were going to be having a baby until I put in the last light bulb in. Once that was in, I could focus on preparing the nursery in our new home.
Sure, it wasn’t how we had planned the needed updates on our new home, but it was what had to be done next. It was preparation for what it takes to be a new parent in trying times. You do what you have to do even if it isn’t according to plan. But, painting the nursery and attempting to understand the instructions on putting together a crib gave me a chance to actually start to think about what was going to be the next 18 plus years of our life with a child.
Every emotion of those GIFs that my supporters posted on my Facebook that day, I went through during that time. I went through happiness, anxiety, confidence, joy, apprehension, second thoughts, and fear.
The thing about it, it was our first child. I was going to go through all of those emotions, sometimes at the same time when at the most random of times, it hit me that I was going to be a new parent. One would think that it would be old hat with our second child. In a way it was, but it also felt a lot like the first child.
Instead of being in the throes of a remodel, I was held up on our couch, in our second home that we had just moved into with Hand Foot and Mouth disease. My wife walked down to tell me that she was pregnant and in a way, it had not come as a surprise. Our then 4-year-old predicted it when he told my father-in-law that the 3rd bedroom was for his little brother or sister. But I couldn’t celebrate the fact that we were expecting another child. I was on my death bed, and the doctors said that there was nothing they could do. (I ended up being OK thank you for wondering and asking)
I wasn’t able to really comprehend the feelings that we were adding a second child to our family. I was excited, yes, but my feet hurt so bad from the blisters that I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t dance up and down the streets exclaiming how excited I was that I was going to a new dad if that is what we call ourselves when we have our second child.
And yet again, I went through each and every emotion that was brought up in that Facebook conversation. That is the thing when you start to comprehend that you are going to a new parent, whether it is your first child or your fifteenth.
You both excited and nervous at the same time. You can’t wait until the moment the nurse hands your son or daughter, but at the same time, you worry about how you are going to be able to afford the child. It is an emotional rollercoaster when you become a new parent.
And that is only the beginning.