Our next book is set to be released in exactly 1 month! To celebrate this, we are releasing an excerpt from our book so you can get a taste of what it will be about. Plus, we would like your input on our book title.
Out of these three book title options, which do you like best and why? (Please leave your answer in the comments.)
A) Cry With Me: How We Learned to be New Parents
B) The Secret Life of New Parents: What the First Year Felt Like
C) And Then We Had a Baby: Feeling Our Way Through the First Year of Parenting
Update: The book was released on March 25, 2013. To find out which book title we choose and watch the book trailer, go to our BOOK PAGE.
Here is the excerpt from our book. This is the prologue, which opens the story. You’ll see that both Olive and I write our own individual perspective in this chapter, which happens throughout the book. This is one of the uniquenesses of this book, which compares and contrasts Olive’s perspective (as a new mother) with my perspective (as a new father).
Theoretically, we were well prepared to be parents.
Both Olive and I are planners and we thrive on creating and executing plans. We like to be prepared for anything and everything. Naturally, we approached parenthood the same way.
As single people we took full advantage of our freedom to adventure. In my work and vacation I had the opportunity to travel to Asia, the Middle East, and across North America, while Olive worked abroad in Asia. While we were dating and married, we travelled to Asia, Europe, Central America, and Africa.
As a newly married couple without children, we were intentional about building our marriage as a good foundation in preparation for our future family. This involved getting to know each other, learning to resolve conflict, and developing a deeper vision for our life together. (We wrote about these years in our first book, “Fight With Me: How We Learned To Be Married.”) When Alena was born, both Olive and I were 30 years old and had been married for 3 years while living just outside of Vancouver, Canada.
Being first time parents was rough. But hardship wasn’t unfamiliar territory. We had both faced difficult experiences before. Olive went through burnout that required three years of recovery. I had struggled with depression on and off for 10 years. In a way, these experiences prepared us to face and embrace the challenging emotions that would come with being first-time parents.
In another sense, we were completely unprepared to be parents.
Nothing could have prepared us for the sleep deprivation we experienced or how that impacted the way we functioned and lived. We weren’t prepared for the burden and weight of being responsible for someone else’s life – especially the life of a tiny and helpless baby. We weren’t prepared for how parenting pushed us to grow as individuals, and how it complicated the way we interacted with each other, with our family, and with our friends.
And although everyone told us beforehand that having a child changes your life forever, no matter how we much we believed what they told us, we had no idea what exactly that meant.
We would soon find out.
Becoming a mother did not begin with birthing my baby. Motherhood began for me when I decided to be open to the idea of welcoming a new person into my life. Way before our baby was even conceived, I had to make the decision to let go of life as I knew it and to invest myself into another being.
For me, it was not an easy place to arrive at. Tim was open to the change much earlier than I was. I was nervous about the practicalities of caring for an infant. I had very limited prior experience with children. How would I know what to do? I was worried about what would be required of me. Did I have what it would take? I was hesitant about the possibility of losing my figure. I was reluctant to let go of the familiar life, the life of freedom that I’d grown accustomed to. And this world we lived in – this often violent, sad, problem-ridden world – did I really want to bring a child into this kind of place?
Yet Love beckoned. Love invited me to say “Yes” to a life that was about more than me. It challenged me to open my heart, to be generous, to dare to help a child grow into an adult and find myself growing up in the process. Love asked me to hope; to believe that raising our next generation with compassion would serve to better the world.
Little did I know how much I would be stretched – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – or how rich I would become, just for welcoming a baby.
photo credit: Dennis’ Photography