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  • In my search for an antonym for expectation I came up empty handed. There really isn't a good word that describes what I like to think of as an "unexpectation", which by the way is now underlined in red. An unexpectation is something that happens that you didn't expect, something perhaps you couldn't expect with your lack of experience. First time parents encounter many unexpectations with their first child and I'm sure there are some, maybe not as many, with any children thereafter.

    Going into parenthood there are so many expectations explained to us in books, on blogs, from our friends, family and so on. There's even a book that tell us "what to expect when [we're] expecting". But in truth, much of what we experience as new parents is totally and utterly unexpected.

    As a new parent who has successfully survived the first year of my son's life, I am very reflective of our first year together. Many of my experiences over the last year were unexpected. No book or blog could have prepared me for this gig. No advice from parents or friends could have properly trained me for this position in life. This is one of those times when you learn best on the job. Sure, it doesn't do any harm to do some research going in, but it is safe to say that nothing will ever prepare you for being a parent.

    The unexpectations are numerous. I didn't expect that sleep deprivation would make me slightly crazy. I didn't expect a sense of panic when everyone went back to work. I didn't expect breast feeding would be so challenging and yet so incredibly beautiful. I didn't expect to hold my child for hours for fear that putting him down would wake him up. I didn't expect to fear for his life when feeding him solid food. I didn't expect to fear for his life on a fairly regular basis. I didn't expect to feel an even greater responsibility to sustain and demonstrate a loving relationship with my husband. I didn't expect to fall so deeply in love and experience an emptiness when I was away from him.

    The list goes on but the point is this, whatever expectations you have about becoming a parent there will be more unexpectations than expectations. My advice; roll with it, go with the flow and embrace it all. The unexpectations are spectacular.
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