I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!
Fears of First Time Mothers
October 30, 2018
In honor of one of my favorite holidays, Halloween, I’ve decided to terrify myself by making a list of all the things about becoming a first time mom that scare me. I’ve spent this entire pregnancy trying to live in lala land and not stress too much about impending motherhood in the hopes that my baby will be born with a laid-back attitude (a woman can dream, right?!). But the closer I get to the end, the more these things are on my mind. Am I the only pregnant mama who has dreams almost every night about dropping the baby?!? So I decided to make a list of the things that scare me the most in the hopes that maybe they won’t be so scary once I see them on my blog. Does that make sense? Probably not. But hey, I’m 8 months pregnant, so I’m feeling lucky that I can still spell the correct “your” and “you’re” over here.
Will my baby like me? I know this is completely irrational and silly, especially considering he has lived inside my belly for so long sucking the literal life out of me. But what if I don’t have some special mother scent that babies like?? What if he finds my jokes unoriginal and boring?! Ok, maybe that will happen later on. But seriously, sometimes I wonder if I will have that immediate mother/child bond everyone always talks about.
How am I going to survive without sleep?! This honestly terrifies me to my deepest soul. I don’t want to admit how much I enjoy sleep because some might find it an unhealthy obsession. But I seriously die a little inside every time someone tells me that I’m basically giving up sleep for the rest of my life as soon as this little guy is born. My mom’s advice to me is that you just do it and live with it. But honestly, how do mothers not become complete psychopaths with all the sleep deprivation?!
How will I cope if my baby is developmentally slow? When I was young, I used to ask my mom if she had wanted a boy or girl with each birth, and she told me that she always just wanted a healthy baby. I never understood that fully until becoming pregnant myself. Obviously, I am praying for a healthy labor/birth and baby, but I also think about the learning development milestones that we’ll have to conquer later. And I can’t help but wonder how I’ll respond to any tough times we may face. Will I be the strong mother I want to be? Or will it completely break me?
Am I going to harm my baby somehow? We’re actually taking a newborn care class this week, and I’ve definitely been around my share of babies. But what if I do something completely wrong and have no idea I’m doing it?! I’m also a super clumsy person in general (I’ve actually fallen a couple times during this pregnancy), and I keep envisioning myself falling down the stairs while holding the baby! I know it’s completely crazy, but I can’t help it.
Am I going to be a good mother? There is no secret recipe for being a good parent. And there is certainly no perfect parent. But I genuinely want to be a good role model for my child, and sometimes I wonder if I’ll be able to truly feel like a good mother. I should definitely work on my road rage cussing in the meantime.
What if something bad happens that I can’t control? Any pregnant mama knows that SIDS is basically on our minds 24/7 considering all the information that we research before giving birth. And it’s certainly hard to avoid all the terrible news going on in the world today. I don’t want to be a helicopter mom, but I also struggle with the thought of sending someone so precious out into this scary world with no control over anything that happens to them. I’m not sure how to cope with this.
Will I be able to handle all the poop? I pick up my dogs’ poops constantly, so I’m no stranger to handling stinky, mushy things. But the sheer amount of baby poop that comes out of babies is enough to send me to the hills. Why is there so much?! And why does it sometimes leak onto their backs and everywhere else?! I keep picturing Miranda from SATC when she wiped poop on her forehead, and the thought of handling that much poop kinda makes me want to gag.
What if I’m unable to breastfeed? I’m pretty sure some people need to have “breast is best” tattooed on their foreheads because I’m constantly being told that (sometimes by complete strangers). Listen, I get it, breastfeeding is one of the best things I can do for my baby. But sometimes there are factors that prevent this from happening. I don’t want to feel guilty if I have to switch to formula, but I can’t help feeling like it’s seen as a failure as a mother. Man, I’m already annoyed at my husband’s useless nipples.
Will having a baby negatively change my marriage? I’ll never forget sitting in my family relationship class in college and hearing my professor talk about how statistically every marriage dips significantly when they have children and then stays that way until the children grow up. So I guess I’m going into parenthood with low expectations for my marriage (sorry hubs). But I think every couple sincerely hopes that their bond will become closer once they become parents, and we’re no different. I know I can’t look into the future, but I’m hoping my Magic 8 Ball is right when it says “outlook good” for my marriage.
Will I lose myself completely? This may sound selfish, and if so, then feel free to despise me, but I don’t want to just be known as a “mother” for the rest of my life. I’ve had a life before this baby, and I want to continue living my life as a whole person, being a mother included. Chalk it up to some of my feminist ideals, but I don’t think it’s fair that women are often cornered into one trait. Can’t we be more than one thing in life? I know this little guy will be the center of my world, but I hope I don’t completely lose my identity.
Tell me your scary thoughts about motherhood! And if you have any advice on how to overcome them, send it my way!