Monday, October 12, 2009

Little white lie

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.
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10 comments:

Momma Sunshine said...

It just depends on the 2nd kid, I think. Mine were 23 months apart, and honestly, it wasn't that bad, because #2 ate well and slept well. I defintely didn't find two to be twice the work of one, that's for sure.

So I guess it all depends...but good on you for giving her something to hope for. I fully support your decision to tell a little white lie. We don't need to tell the brutal truth all the time...

Sara said...

haha haha I think time dulls it all down! In about a year I will think back on the past year and how it wasnt ever totally chaotic and mad. How sometimes I really could contemplate just letting them cry it out in the morning with the hope that we could all sleep in to a reasonable, mmm 10am?!
I like the little white lie, except for the fact that if you really are sluggin it out you may wonder how everyone else seems to manage so well. I guess the answer is everyone lies! Except those mad people who tell you all the gory details about how rotten their labours were when you are pregnant, like you really want to know. I suppose the thing is once they are already pregnant and labour and the first months are inevitable, might as well let the optimism remain!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Sometimes I think we're so excited about telling our own horror stories that we don't think about they'll affect the innocent listener... Good for you making her last few months a little more hopeful.

Midwest Mommy said...

I usually say, It's not that bad but most moms lie.

James (SeattleDad) said...

The baby will be the baby and either it will be easy or hard for her to deal with. At least for now she feels better. Good choice.

Chic Mama said...

I don't understand people thinking that just because it was hard for them its going to be hard for everyone.....I'm sure it's wishful thinking that they hope the other person has a hard time too. Good for you.....as you say her baby may be the best baby ever. My number 3 slept all the time- such a relief as I had a 4 yr old and a 19 month old. :0)

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

That's absolutely when a little white lie is the best method. Besides, if you hadn't been filled with fear, who knows how your take on the first few months really would have been? ;)

Loukia said...

Haha! Somtimes, white lies are necessary, it is true... she'll find out soon enough, right? You know what? I am glad no one filled me with fear before I had either of my children. I only heard good things. I think it was better that way! :)

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

I'm torn on this one! I found the first 1+ years so difficult with my girls. Sometimes, I truly thought I was going crazy. Some people had told me that having 2 was not much tougher than having one, but I almost wish someone had warned me. Of course, if they had, I'd be upset. Why would she say this to me when I'm obviously nervous enough to ask? you can't win here. You did the right thing by not giving her 2 months of worry until she's in the situation.

ModernMom said...

Oh you so did the right thing. What is the point of stressing out a women who is clearly past the point of no return.
I'm sure she slept well that night!