There might not be anything more nerve-racking than expecting your first kid and preparing to be a parent. And somehow, even though what you need is reassurance and support, people who are already parents often fill you with doom and gloom: You’ll never sleep again. You’ll never see another movie. Say goodbye to peace.
That was certainly the case for dad-to-be Harris Fanaroff, who is three weeks away from becoming a first-time parent. When he realized that he was getting a lot of negative advice, he hopped on Twitter to ask for a more positive angle.
“I’m tired of hearing the… ‘You’ll never sleep again’ ‘Your travel life is over’ ‘Say goodbye to your weekends,’” he wrote. “My first baby is joining us in the next 3 weeks and I’m excited, nervous, anxious, and grateful. I’d love to hear your favorite parts of having a newborn/baby/kids.”
In just a few days, thousands of comments rolled in brimming with all the positives to parenting (and there are plenty, if only we had a moment to ourselves to think of them). Not only was Fanaroff filled with relief and excitement about the next chapter of his life, but many parents reading the thread were given a few minutes to reflect and feel grateful for their kids — no matter how old they were.
“Bottom line is the good stuff outweighs the negatives 100:1,” read one of the most popular comments. “Holding that little life, watching them figure out the entire world, the giggles and little hands on your face, seeing you in them, for good or Ill they’ll have to figure out themselves. It’s the most human experience there is, nearly definitionally, and your genetics and hormones will not let that fact slip your awareness. Ours is now 14 and the journey never stops being miraculous even as it changes.”
“Wish this got more attention, love this 100:1,” Fanaroff replied.
Here are a few of the other best responses:
“Babies are magic. Just had my 4th, and it will never cease to amaze me how much you can love hanging out w a person you just laid eyes on and who also cannot talk. Nothing better than a baby snoozing on your chest. You have many moments of wonder & sleepy smiles ahead of you!”
“Babies unlock a whole new and different part of life filled with those things, sure, but also of love, joy, happiness, meaning, and purpose. You get a brand new perspective on life, and your heart grows. It’s the best thing in the world.”
“Our baby girl hit 11 months today. It’s amazing. Seeing her face in awe every time she experiences something new. Seeing how she picks up on little quirks from me and my wife already. It’s all so awesome. Just enjoy the ride. Do what works for you.”
“Where to begin? You will take one look at your baby and your heart will explode and you will instantly know you would die for this human. The best parts are snuggling, laughing, watching them grow and learn about the world, getting to understand their personalities. It goes fast.”
“Seeing their personalities develop! Hearing them say something they thought of on their own that totally catches you off guard and makes you laugh out loud. The love and the fun they bring is actually overwhelming.”
“Their smiles. Their laughter. Their first words. Watching them grow up. Seeing how fast they learn. How much they depend on you. Helping them figure things out. The pure joy when they see you.”
Other parents hit the comments to refute some of the original claims. First of all, weekends won’t start to suck, many explained.
“Say goodbye to LAME weekends. Weekends playing with your kids outside are way more fun. Nothing beats being a dad. It’s awesome,” one dad wrote.
“Our little dudes favorite weekend activity is breweries. Your weekends aren’t over,” another wrote.
Another posted a picture of their daughter playing softball, and explaining that travel sports actually make weekends super fun.
And will travel end forever once you reproduce? Not even close, according to the comments.
“Honestly we traveled all the time w/ our baby and still do (w/ 3!),” one mom shared. “When baby was super little it was fun to walk to dinner and baby would just nap in stroller while we had a night out just us (vs. prior maybe we would just work all night). Also baby snuggles are actually crack.”
“We had twins and everyone said our travels were over,” one parent shared. “Then had a 3rd last year and everyone said our travels were over. Spoiler alert: my 9 year olds have been to 20 countries and my 10 month old has been to 5 countries. Don’t listen to the naysayers.”
“Just ignore everyone who says stuff like this. We have a 1 month old and: 1. sleep 6-7hrs a night each 2. have multiple domestic trips and 2 international trips planned in next 14 months 3. Still manage to go on a date per month + do social activities with friends on the weekend.”
To enjoy all the responses (or to bookmark it for when you’re having a terrible parenting day, read the full thread here.