In this month’s essay, A Work in Progress, Jennifer Itell remembers that after her son’s birth, she had to come to terms with some preconceived notions. She writes: “I wept my way through the first couple weeks, as the parenting books warned I might. I wept because of hormonal changes and lack of sleep, because my newborn had insomnia, and try as I might I couldn’t get him to sleep for more than a few scant half-hour stretches a day. I wept because I’d spent months imagining what a perfect mom I’d be, but now that Alex was on the scene I kept doing things that proved otherwise.”
Before children, what fantasies did you construct about childbirth and parenting? How did you come to terms with the disparity between your dreams and reality?