When I was pregnant with my second son, people would soberly tell me things like "the first year or two will probably suck" and "oh you're going to be so run ragged". I spent half my pregnancy mentally preparing myself for the worst. And to be honest, the first few months with two children were difficult, to say the least. In fact, yes, they sucked.
Yesterday, at an indoor play centre, I got chatting with another mum. She had an eighteen month-old and was 7 months pregnant with her second. Upon seeing my two kids of an age gap to similar to what hers would be, she was interested to how I found it. Was it okay, with two kids so close together? Was it manageable?
For a brief moment I thought about spilling the still-fresh details of the first few exhausting months - how some days I couldn't tell whether I was coming or going, how I nearly ripped the hair from my head on several (thousand) occasions, how I had wondered if I'd ever sleep for more than an hour at a time again.
And then, instead, I told her it really wasn't all that bad.
Which, okay, in truth was a little bit of a lie.
But you know what? As the pregnant woman waited anxiously for my answer, I decided I wasn't going to tell her what people had told me. I wasn't about to fill her with fear. Because who knows - maybe her new baby will be an "easy" baby (whatever the hell that means) - one that sleeps well, eats well and is generally content. Maybe she won't feel the need to pull her hair out from the roots by the handful or daydream about climbing out the window and running in the direction of the nearest bus station.
And I tell you, when I saw the look of relief on the woman's face as I casually shrugged and told her it really wasn't all that bad, I was glad I chose to tell a white lie.