Mama always said...

Direct quotes from my mother:

"I love my kids, but if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have any."

"Don't have grandkids on account of me."

"I'm almost free!" (referring to the fact that my youngest brother will enter college this fall)

"After you have kids, your relationship will change... Everything will be different."

And with these words of wisdom from my mother, my mind begins to race. What have Dave and I gotten ourselves into? What if our relationship does change, similar to how my parents' did, losing focus on each other and growing distant? What if I end up feeling trapped by the baby, unable to pursue my own goals, because I can't find a sitter? How will I watch my child suffer through the growing pains of life, forced to stand idly by, unable to do much other than offer my feeble advice?

I know that these are selfish concerns and that becoming a loving parent is ultimately an altruistic act. I assume that other mothers-to-be excitedly anticipate the arrival of their babies, spending their days decorating the nursery and buying toys and clothing... But perhaps, some of them have some of the same worries and concerns...?

Here's a basic breakdown of my feelings about having a baby:
  • 50% excited about starting a family with Dave
  • 20% worried about something going wrong with the pregnancy/baby
  • 20% unsurity of whether I have what it takes to be a good mother
  • 10% concerned about whether the food I ate at my last meal is on the approved pre-natal food list

And, I'll be honest... Although my mother has been very supportive, I wouldn't say that she is "thrilled" at the aspect of me having a baby. She has called to see how I'm feeling and make sure that I'm doing all right... She even bought me a copy of the "What to Expect" book. But, I can hear her voice echoing in my mind all the time - and I worry... what if she is right?


Diana said...

It's perfectly natural to worry, just don't let it overtake the excitement!! :o) Worrying about if something will be wrong or go wrong, is like worrying if you're going to make it to tomorrow. So stop your worries about that. Whatever happens won't be something that you could have prevented or could have changed. So, just enjoy your pregnancy. :o) I think you'll be a great mother! Before I had Amanda, I didn't think I wanted to ever have kids, just felt I was not "mother material", however once I had her my feelings changed. I don't feel that I am the best mother and I feel that I could have done somethings different, but I think I'm doing alright and she's turning out just fine. :o) I think everyone has their own "style" or opinions of parenting, just have to find what works for your family. Either way...you & dave will be great parents and knowing you two, your relationship will probably grow even stronger. :o)

Eve said...

I love, adore, am enamored with my kids. If I had to do it again, of COURSE I would BUT...

I feel the truth in everything your mother says. In a few years... you will too.

The fact of the matter is: Motherhood is 100% selfless. It is fucking hard and challenging. There is no manual or instructions. You constantly doubt yourself. Constantly worry. Something is wrong with your child… you blame yourself.

You WANT to be selfish and do things without them becoming a deciding factor. But you can't. And it's frustrating and irritating that you can’t.

A normal emotion of a mom is "What if". And that's the thing… you'll never know. It is too late. You have already taken the plunge. And though somedays you want to submerse yourself in it and joyfully marinate… other days you feel STUCK.

And the grass is always greener.

You are going in with the knowledge of REAL emotions that you will experience. NORMAL emotions.

And let me tell you E, despite all that... you will love it. And you will be good at it.

And for every ache and pain, there is a reward and gratification.

It's not a cakewalk, but damn... it is a super amazing journey.

Dave Morris said...

I think the things you are feeling are normal - I know nobody who's been through it who hasn't had those same feelings.

You're doing great. I know you hear it from everybody, and are probably sick of it, but you really will be a great mom. The secret is letting it happen one day at a time. When you pile all of your worries up into one big heap, they look insurmountable. Take them one at a time. Worry about only the things you need to worry about now.

And don't forget, love... you're not doing it alone.

Ari said...

If it was my mom, I'd be kind of torn between being happy she was being so honest and feeling pissy that she wasn't cheering me on. I think your worries about not doing a good enough job are proof that you will.

Jen, Fred, Jennifer or Mom said...

I agree with everyone, they already said about everything I thought of as I was reading your blog.

Hugs Em, it is scary, but you will be fine, and once that little person is in your arms, you will wonder how it is that you can possibly love someone THAT much.

mckay said...

1- pick one night of the week to be the official date night. get a babysitter and spend time as a couple
2- pick one night of the week to be the official family night (when baby is older and can play board games, etc).
3- tell your kids how great they are every day. they thrive on love and support.
4- love on your spouse, nibble ears, etc...

you'll do fine. if i lived a bit closer i'd be your cheerleader and babysitter :0)

Violet said...

thanks everyone for your words of encouragement... it means a lot. i just get overwhelmed sometimes... i guess motherhood is just kind of one of those things that you have to jump into with both feet, ready or not.

rosemary said...

I can't add much. Your mom is probably feeling a bit "old" perhaps. But, she needs to keep her mouth shut if she continues with the same type of comments. Motherhood and grandmotherhood are both wonderful experiences. As the old saying goes...neither one comes with a handbook. The fact that you are facing your fears, have said them outloud and Dave knows them as well is half way to the solution. You only grow apart if you let that happen.

random moments said...

I think it's natural to have these feelings because it's a permanent thing. Not like buying a boat and selling it after you've had enough.

Well, I mean I guess you could sell your kid if you wanted, but I think that's illegal.

Kidding aside, my mother still says the same thing -I think its in the last chapter of the Mother's Handbook. Who knows - maybe you will say it one day yourself. But if you didn't have this beautiful thing in your life you would always wonder about the unknown.

sistasmiff said...

Everything changes when you have a kid. Most of the things are great and you get so used to being a mom you can barely remember when you weren't one. Your relationship will change. Relationships evolve and change over time. Up, down, sideways, good days, bad days, it's about choosing to love when life is complicated, messy, happy, sad...whatever.

The mother thing...it never stops being tiring. Having two teenagers and a 9 year old, I'm way more worn out now than I was when they were little bitty. Course, I was younger then, too.

Weary Hag said...

Awww. You're SO pregnant now. I love it!
Listen sweetie, if you think of nothing else throughout this entire pregnancy - try thinking of this... I disagree with the theory of taking one day at a time when it comes to motherhood. Why? Because ... the split second you have this baby... and I do mean the split second - you will BE a mom. It just happens. And moms ARE the best. And moms DO know it all.It really just happens. And moms will ALWAYS know what's best for their little one. And moms NEVER, EVER have to be 'shown' or 'taught' how to care for their young. Seriously. It really does just happen.

The split second. Think about that. It's really quite simple, and you'll finally discover what fun (not to mention unconditional love) really is.

Hugs to the worried lady!