Forming a family is great fun but also difficult – it is both demanding and meaningful. If you already have tried it, you have had a lot of “plus and minus” experiences. If you have not yet arrived there, you are perhaps trembling. Your friends are talking about their tired partners and whining kids. No sleep, no sex, no news. But if this is your experience, you have probably only listened to the minus-part of it. You have missed out on your friends’ comic details about Dina’s new and funny sound at the breast as well as his almost ridiculous pride in telling you that Frederica smiled at him and said “babababa”, which of course, means, “Daddy”.
Why is it so great and difficult to become a parent? You can provide answers regarding harsh economic conditions, inequality between the sexes, the stress of our times, changes in values, etc. Being a psychoanalyst, I tend to focus on how all these factors lie beneath the surface and cause troubles to parents and children. Here is a list why forming a family might seem so gigantic and insurmountable.
- No change in life – except being born and dying – is greater than becoming a parent. Your birth, well that has already been taken care of. Your death, there is nothing much you can do about it. All that remains is preparing yourself to become a parent and to develop that skill.
- You are going to make yourself acquainted with a human being who is functioning in a completely different way compared to yourself, your partner and your friends and family.
- You are going to care for a helpless and tiny little child who cannot tell you what he wants or feels, and cannot point to you where it is aching or why it is frightening being a baby right now.
- You shall be big, strong and if possible positive too. At the same time, you have never felt so childish, jealous and tired before!
- You shall be wise, caring and make quick decisions. At the same time, you search for the correct answer as to why the baby is screaming, has a green diarrhoea in his diapers or funny spots on his skin.
- Does this equation sound difficult? It is! But it’s a very interesting one to try to solve. I hope to help you with my experiences that I have been accumulating as a clinician and a researcher.