Summer of my discontent

August 22, 2014
Tamara Petkau |

I have been absent from this blog for a while. I wish I had a grand excuse, like gallivanting around Europe, or road tripping across the country, or building a treehouse for my daughters. But my only excuse is a lack of thoughts and words worthy of this blog. Also, a lack of motivation. But here goes. . . .

At the risk of sounding extremely melodramatic, I would have to say that this has been the worst summer of my life. Yes, we have done the obligatory camping, cabin-ing, beach-ing, and bbq-ing. Enough to warrant a good summer, at least on paper, but the truth of the matter is that I have found all of these things to be very difficult and frustrating this year. Because I am pregnant.

Being pregnant is a real gift. I realize that it is something that many people want and struggle with. But being pregnant is also really hard. This will be my third pregnancy, and I feel as though my body was just starting to recover from the last one. My body doesn’t feel ready for this. My mind doesn’t feel ready for this. And so this summer has been a time of discontent, confusion, and attempting to adapt.

“The world is designed for families of four,” Hubby pointed out one evening while we trying to figure out our new life. Cars fit two car seats in the back. Hotels sleep four people comfortably. Our house has three bedrooms. Bringing a third child into our family messes up the norm that we were just growing accustomed to.

It’s thrown us for a bit of a loop, and I can tell we’re not the only ones. As we share our news, I can’t help but notice how different the response is from our first and second pregnancies—the first when everyone squealed with delight, surprise, and excitement, and the second one when everyone said, “It’s about time!” To announce a third child catches many people off guard. We get excitement, but we also get sympathy, and we get lots of questions, mostly, “Was this planned?” and even the grossly inappropriate, “Is this a good thing?”

Yes, this child is a very good thing. It doesn’t matter how sick I feel, or how frustrated Hubby is that he has to do ALL the dishes and cooking (you know, because of the smells). It doesn’t matter how inconvenient our sleep arrangements become, or how un-cool our mini-van is. This baby is a very good thing, and I know that when s/he gets here, the world will be a better place. Babies do that. They’re kinda like magic.

I am nearing the end of my first trimester. I’m almost 1/3 of the way done. I keep trying to trick myself into thinking this journey is shorter than it really is. But I’ve been here before and I know that this is a long road, one that I don’t travel easily. But I also know that the destination makes it worthwhile, and I will get there. I will get there. I will.

And so I am trying hard to enjoy the last days of summer with my family. I am trying to find the energy to splash little bodies in the kiddie pool and to stay up late enough to tuck them into bed at 7:30 pm. I am trying to enjoy the quiet of a family of four. After all, these days are fleeting.

Author Name: 
Tamara Petkau
Share this page: Twitter Instagram


Thanks for your reflections Tamara, reminding us that the discomfort of children is worth it. I became a dad almost a year ago now, and it's been probably the most challenging year of my life... and I don't see that letting up anytime soon. When I see the little person I've been commissioned to care for I'm blessed to realize it's worth it.

Add new comment

Canadian Mennonite invites comments and encourages constructive discussion about our content. Actual full names (first and last) are required. Comments are moderated and may be edited. They will not appear online until approved and will be posted during business hours. Some comments may be reproduced in print.