Commentary by Heather Kestian
I vividly remember when I was pregnant with my first child and one of many horrible things happened to my body. I thought, “My best friend never told me this was going to happen!” I would call her and lament that something was terribly wrong. She would reassure me that the awful thing that I was worried about happened to everyone. WHAT?
As I was about to hang up on her, she shared what all parents know that non-parents do not know. If she had told me about it before that horrible body-altering thing happened to me, she feared I would never have children. This is when I learned a valuable lesson – parents will lie to non-parents in the hope that they will be around for the moment that the non-parent becomes a parent because this is where true comedy lives.
Fast forward to the present day and a recent conversation I had with a friend. Little did he know, I vowed all those years ago to be truthful to my non-parent friends. Being a parent is hard enough, and not giving full disclosure to a friend before they walk into the parent’s nest seems to put one in the category of “crappy friend.”
My friend told me his wife mentioned that there was no need for him to accompany her to the first pre-natal visit for their first child. I inquired, “What did you say?” He said, “Ok, I won’t go.”
Oh my. I advised him to call her immediately and tell her he would absolutely be there. Trust me, you do not want to be on the receiving end of those hormones when they catch up to your words. Friend, if you think her inability to be around certain smells is weird, you have no idea what the future holds for you when her hormones get your, “So, our baby isn’t important to daddy,” message.
After this conversation, we spoke later, and he mentioned that I was honest, and brutally so. I like to think I averted a crisis and perhaps saved the world. Sometimes, the truth cannot be wrapped in flowers and accompanied by an adorable puppy frolicking in the dew-covered meadow. I know the truth hurts, but it hurts less than sleeping on the couch without a pillow or blanket.
Rest assured, if you want the truth on parenting, come to me. I will not hold anything back, much to the horror of my dear friends.