You see the craziness with which people attack wedding planning. Just turn on a lifestyle channel on the weekends and you’ll see people worried about colours, place settings, dresses and venues. But what thought do they give to the marriage?

The same happens in parenthood. We prepare like heck for the birth, by taking classes and decorating rooms – but what thought do we give to the life about to begin?

Alanis Morissette has a post at iVillage this week where she talks about how shockingly unprepared she was for parenthood (just like the rest of us).

No one told me about postpartum. And when they did, their shared recollections were semi-hazy and greatest hits-esque. They made the after-the-baby-is-born era sound somewhat idyllic, if they remembered it at all. So, as I was wont to do, I put their stories together, composite-style, into a fantasy that included bursting into blissful tears, buoyed by clouds and surrounded by cherub angels gushing how the lil’ one’s lips were his father’s and his deep contemplative gaze mine.

Cue record scratching sound.

Not the first time there were other parts, beyond the fantasy, that I hadn’t considered. I had used, as usual, the I’ll-rise-to-that-occasion-when-I-get-there approach to the post-child-bearing journey, so all my DVD-watching and focus went toward the birth experience itself, and how best to prepare myself for that (as though I really could prepare for a Human. Being. Coming. Out. Of. My. Body.).

Perhaps there was a method to my huge oversight, a necessary judiciousness exercised for the sake of not being overwhelmed during the big lead-up to this new role. So I found myself lying there, stunned, humbled, overcome, reduced…the final push serving as a portal that hurtled me, irrevocably into this new uncharted territory and state that I had yet to wrap my Oxytocin-riddled brain around.

You can read the rest of her entry here

I have a favorite book I like to recommend for new dads. Be Prepared focusses on what happens right after the baby is born. If mom is going to be all worried about having “a Human. Being. Coming. Out. Of. My. Body.” then the least Dad can do is Be Prepared for what comes next.

What was your experience like? Were you as unprepared as Alanis?

 

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