My wife is a realist and apparently it seems that I am a staunch optimist. I’ve always been a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, easily pleased by the simplest of things and never phased by much, but transferred into an environment such as we are in, my optimism may well come back and bite me on the be-hind!
Throughout the pregnancy, we have been consistently reminded to “enjoy yourself while you can”, whether it be going out to the cinema together, getting a good nights sleep or even turning up to church on time. Through my optimistic mindset my response goes something like this, “I’m not worried, our baby will be perfect, life won’t change that much”. This response is often received with sarcastic laughter, shaking heads and funny looks, as if to say ‘you’re kidding yourself!’; I’m starting to think that they may well be right.
Today is our due date, so we decided to go out for lunch with some friends, followed by a little walk to try and ‘get things moving’. One of our friends has a very cute 9 month old girl, she sat in her high chair eating some crazy Wotsits style crisps made from carrots, followed by some water and some weird fruity smoothie thing. Four of us [without children yet] ate paninis and chips and drank our drinks, however our friend [with the baby] just about managed to eat a brownie and quickly squeeze in a de-caf coffee. I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘where’s her lunch?’. Are my expectations of fatherhood and parenthood unrealistic?
I work best on 6.5 hours sleep a night, any more or less and I just don’t cope quite as well, I also love food and enjoy spending time sat around not doing much. I’m starting to realise that maybe, just maybe, my optimism may be just a little optimistic. My wife is expecting lack of sleep, lack of food and lack of personal time when our son arrives; she will likely receive that reality. I am expecting sleep, food and peace… I think I know who will receive the outcome they expected. My expectations are unrealistic.
But even though I have had this epiphany, I remain optimistic, knowing full well that almost none of my unrealistic expectations will be met. But I will rejoice in each and every moment that my optimism comes out on top and the rest of the time will rejoice in the fact that we will have a son; the joy of which far out-weighs anything that might affect me and my idea of a perfect life.