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You'll seeeeee: parental fear-mongering predictions that didn't come true

It seems as though we tell each other a lot of scary stories about parenthood. I mean, of course people want to share their experiences with each other. But all too often this storytelling slips into fear mongering. It's sort of a pre-emptive commiseration — an anticipatory sing-song of Oh, you'll seeeee….

331

I walked out of my house and left my husband and kids

Five months ago, I took one of our twelve suitcases out of storage, dusted it off, opened it up, and crammed in all my clothes, three photo albums, my mom's journals, a bag — (ok, fine, three bags) — of assorted hair and makeup products that I had collected before leaving Los Angeles, the soft zebra dress my daughter wore as a baby, and the tiny cotton onesie with the sheep parading up and down the middle that my son wore for the first month after he was born… and I left the kibbutz.

5

An adoptee explores her relationship to motherhood

I was six years old, and that was my reality. One day we were a family of three, and the next, four, and later, five. Pregnancy skipped a generation in my family. While I vaguely understood how other people's babies might be welcomed into the world, I believed my existence began at day three when I entered my family. Offices were where I came from and were where you went to get siblings. In fact, it wouldn't be years until I witnessed pregnancy firsthand by watching my co-worker's belly grow daily.

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Why are moms so hesitant to view their male partners as full, competent parents?

The first time it happened, I was at a Mothers of Multiples Club welcome brunch. My fantasy was that my terror of the impending birth of my twins would dissipate as soon as I met the wise kindred spirits who would be guiding me through the transition to multiple-motherhood. Much to my surprise, however, brunch soon descended into a partner-bashing session, replete with the kind of ominous warnings I would receive over and over during my pregnancy.