Thursday, September 20, 2012

On Becoming a Mom

No baby yet. I see the Dr. today to see where I'm at.

I'm starting to get a little anxious about being a mom. After what we've been through, this pregnancy was so incredibly wanted and this baby was prayed for so much, I never had a chance to worry about the whole "we're having a real life baby" thing. Now, as I'm nearing 39 weeks of pregnancy, I'm starting to realize this is actually happening and I have no idea what I'm doing. I realize I'm entering a new chapter of life that really has no end. It's intimidating and it's still shocking, even though it's been such a long road of anticipation.

These are the thoughts I have now: Will I be a good mom? Do I even realize what I'm getting myself into? Will I be a grumpy, mean mom? Will my daughter be a terror? Will we get along later in life? Will being a mom fulfill me?

The last question really had me thinking. I can remember being in college and meeting a girl on my dorm floor. She was severely anorexic and very unhappy at school. She was from a town not far from mine and we carpooled home once and spent a few times together before she dropped out of school. One evening we were on a walk around campus and she was contemplating leaving. I remember not being able to understand her at all. We were so different-- from our eating habits, to our goals. I kept questioning what she'd do if she left school. Where would she go? I was so goal orientated at that point in my life that I couldn't imagine giving up and just going home. She told me she didn't care about school. That all she wanted to be was a mom.

I cannot describe the level of surprise I felt when she said that. My forehead surely crinkled and my eyes probably rolled. What? A mom? We're 19, what are you talking about? She stood by her statement and said, she wasn't concerned about a job or a major but just wanted to meet someone, get married and become a mom. That was her life's goal.

I've never forgotten the conversation and as I grew older I met many more women who seemed to just be waiting out their early twenties in anticipation of a family life. Now I know and am good friends with many moms. I know a lot of stay at home moms. And they really are so fulfilled by motherhood. It's their life. I will admit I was slightly judgy of this when I first met them. I can remember thinking, "Don't they have a life?" I realize now it's just something you can't understand until you are there.  I started to understand it more as I fell in love with B, and wanted to spend all of my time with him. But, I still held on to other aspirations and saw having a family as a known "right" that I would get to eventually. It wasn't a goal, it wasn't an aspiration, it was just something I knew would happen and was waiting to want.

I'm glad that the time came where I did want it desperately, and as you know my sense of entitlement to a child was turned on it's head as I birthed a lifeless baby and saw all of my hopes and dreams crumble around  me. It wasn't until then that I saw what a privilege motherhood was and how scary it all really is. It wasn't until after Bremy left us that I realized how little my life felt in comparison to her. Having a baby may not be getting into a good school or doing well on exams, or landing a dream job, but it was a sense of accomplishment that was too unique to describe. And I felt it stolen from me. And now it seems I could want nothing more.

I'm glad I had time to write this post before our daughter is here, because I can't wait to see how I feel once I'm actually a mom. For all of the friends I have who are amazing moms and who feel such self fulfillment in their roles, I have a few who don't. Everyone struggles, being a mom is no joke, but I know a couple friends who don't seem to find the same level of joy in mothering as my other friends. It's a hard thing to write and I don't mean to judge-it's something we've talked about, but it's just reality. I'm curious to see where I fall in that spectrum. Right now I can't imagine my daughter not being the center of my universe and the biggest dream come true for me, but that's a big statement. And frankly, a lot of pressure.

This may be a whole different post, but there's also a certain pressure I feel to be so grateful for my daughter that I couldn't possibly complain about being a mom. People tell me that's silly, but it's the truth and I will admit to thinking that of others who struggled with infertility, etc. I guess I think that of a lot of moms. The complaining gets old (again, glad I'm writing this now so I can yell at myself later as I deal with all of the inconveniences of motherhood and need to vent).

I'll tell you that I am so incredibly glad that I feel so great right now and am not struggling with the last weeks of my pregnancy. I really didn't want to end up complaining about being "ready", when all I ever wanted was to be this pregnant. The truth is I feel amazing and at this point am in no rush whatsoever (other than to avoid inducement). I'm very thankful for this time. I'm on cloud nine right now and everyone around me can tell that I'm just in the best mood.

Luckily these motherhood fears aren't overwhelming me, they are just little thoughts that creep into my head as I see a mom wrestle her toddler out of a shopping cart, or stop and stare at the little girl screaming at a restaurant. That will be my child and I'll figure it out. I think it's only natural to have these thoughts. This post was hard to write, but I wanted to get it up before she's here. I cannot wait to hold my baby girl and I can't wait to be her mom.


  1. Oh Ames, you're going to be an amazing mom. You were born for this!! You'll have your little bit of crazy, but that's what'll make your parenting style yours and your relationship with your baby girl special. It's the unique things my parents do/did that makes me love them all the more!! No matter what I know you'll love your kiddo unconditionally and that's all she needs. :)

  2. I think that it is completely natural to have all of these types of concerns and thoughts and questions arise during the final weeks of pregnancy. I also kind of think that acknowledging these things allows you to approach parenting in such a thoughtful way. And I agree with Kami - your love is all your baby needs :)