Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Join the Club

Why does it seem that parenthood is like a fraternity/sorority of excruciating pain? The phrase misery loves company can be used in this application. Every time my wife and I say we are expecting our first child there is an immediate reaction of joy, “Oh my God, congratulations!” or “You must be so excited!” or “I bet you can’t wait.” Then follows what I call the “tell”, that pause of doom that lets you know this is a parent, and suddenly they are reminded of Dante’s Inferno, the third ring being occupied by parents who are forced to repeat the third trimester, labor, delivery, and the post partum 3 months. Their eyes glaze over, a wince appears on their face, but just before you ask them “What’s wrong?” they quickly recover and give you the “I can only be happy if more people join us” lie of; “You’re going to love it!”
This may be a sophisticated form of hazing, with the intention of making expecting parents terrified of what the next few months will hold. It seems that it succeeds quite regularly, and appears to be a time honored tradition and a method of retrieving some of the dignity that was lost when it happened to them. In sociological terms, this is referred to as a cycle of behavior (violence, abuse, etc.) that is perpetuated by its victims in order to be accepted by their tormentors. This cycle must be broken, and as a man of conscience, I feel it my responsibility to break this chain. No longer will we fear hormones, delivery rooms, crying babies, poopy diapers, and insomnia. No longer will we strike fear into the hearts of already nervous expecting parents just because it was done to us.
HEAR ME NOW! You people looking to procreate will only receive the truth, not exaggerations designed to make you freak out and run away. We will comfort you and ease you of your worries. Besides…if you can survive the first trimester of psychotic hormones, projectile nausea, defacto celibacy, and extremely tender breasts then YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT!

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