Skip Nav
Amazon
It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s a Fleece Blanket With Sleeves, and It’ll Keep You in the House All Weekend
Halloween Costumes 2018
61 Costumes That Your "Too-Cool-For-Halloween" Teen Will Actually Want to Wear This Year
Pop-Tart Bites
parenting news
This Line of Pop-Tarts Bites Will Make Your Toaster a Thing of the Past
Kid Halloween Costumes
OMG, These Baby Costumes From Pottery Barn Will Make This Halloween the Cutest Ever
Parenting
50 Calm-Down Ideas to Try With Kids of All Ages

Why Having a Newborn Is Better Than Being Pregnant

The 7 Words You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

My pregnancy was anything but blissful. Diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, I spent most of the nine months throwing up regularly. I was hungry, weak, and I couldn't sleep for more than an hour at a time (thanks, pregnancy bladder). I could not wait for it to be over.

Yet when I talked about how I was struggling with pregnancy, both on social media and in person, I'd frequently hear the same thing, the seven words I came to hate more than any others: "Just wait until the baby is born." Even meant kindly, they hung over me like a threat, warning me that the worst was still to come, telling me to steel myself for the intrusion of this baby in my life and the terror to follow.

But then I gave birth to my daughter, and you know what? It wasn't worse. In most ways, it was easier.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sure, there were lots of difficult times (like the two months when she refused to sleep for more than an hour at a time, day or night). But unlike during my pregnancy, I could share those struggles in practical ways. I could hand the baby to my partner or my mother or my mother-in-law, or any of the myriad of friends and family who offered their help and take a nap or have a shower in peace.

Because for those of us lucky to have coparents and supportive families, parenting isn't something we have to do alone. We don't have to be the ones to change every diaper or watch over our little ones every moment when they sleep. We can share that work.

Pregnancy, though? The vast majority of the struggles are on you alone. You can't take a 10-minute break from pregnancy. You can't just check out for an afternoon. You can't take off that heavy belly for an hour and let someone else hold it. When you're sick on the bathroom floor, there's nobody else who can be sick for you. I found pregnancy to be a uniquely lonely time. Though I shared the journey with my partner, there was so much of it he genuinely couldn't understand.

In my experience, the joy-to-misery ratio in early parenthood is much better than it was in pregnancy. It's certainly not easy, but even when you're cleaning up vomit when your toddler's into their third night of gastro, there's that moment when they put their hand on your arm, look you in the eye, and say "Mummy." The delights are frequent and sustaining. That isn't to undermine the reality of postnatal depression, and everyone's experiences are different, but the early months of parenting are certainly not universally worse than pregnancy.

When my daughter cuddles in to me as we read her favorite "Emma" book for the umpteenth time, as she makes her funny faces as we read each page —"angry", "amused", "scared" — I sometimes think back to those seven words and how I wish I'd known the rest of the sentence. "Just wait until the baby is born . . . " because it's about to get so much better. "Just wait until the baby is born . . . " because you'll get to shower them in hugs and kisses. "Just wait until the baby is born . . . " because you're about to meet a little person you'll love to eternity.

For me, pregnancy was something to endure. But actually parenting? That's something to treasure.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lacy Kiernan
From Our Partners
Easy Ways to Calm Kids Down
Gender Reveal Balloon Floats Away
Morning Routine For 3-Year-Old
Can You Take Fish Oil While Pregnant?
Parenting a Strong-Willed Child
Morning Routine With 8-Month-Old Baby
Identical Twins Give Birth to Rainbow Babies on Same Day
I'm a Special Needs Mom, and I Hate Birthday Parties
Is Carrie Underwood's Second Baby a Boy or a Girl?
Does Caffeine Affect Your Fertility?
How to Have Good Sex While Pregnant
Rihanna Includes Pregnant Models in NYFW Show 2018
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds