Over the last few weeks I’ve shared things that I do and do not want to do with my kid(s). The thought process of what kind of parent you are going to be is exhausting and non stop. The evolution is ever progressing. When you find out you’re pregnant you want to be a good pregnant mom. Eat all the right things, get the exercise, go to the doctor, etc. If anything of these things goes awry or you’re just too damn tired and sick to do them the feeling of failure can be overwhelming. After you get past that phase you move onto the, “She’s going to be here really soon. What is the parent of a newborn suppose to do?” and then toddler and then parents of two and then and then and then. This is my life now and I have accepted that.
What I haven’t accepted are the things that I’m afraid of being a parent. I haven’t really thought about my own fears too much. I have so many others things going on I haven’t had the brain capacity or time to really think them through. Sure I’ve thought about the mistakes I don’t want to make but those are more of building a good human. What do I do when I don’t feel like I’m enough of a human to be a parent?
Here are 10 things I am afraid of becoming a parent of an actual human.
1.) Fear: Mom guilt
Why I’m afraid: Mom guilt is something that I’m sure all moms go through. I feel it now whenever I think, “I don’t want to be pregnant anymore” or “She’s taking my body from me”. Things that are perfectly fine to think or feel but the guilt after is awful. I sometimes let it take over and she’s not even here yet. I’m afraid that it will only be magnified when she’s in front of me.
2.) Fear: It won’t be just the two of us anymore…ever
Why I’m afraid: For the last six years Tim has been by my side. We’ve gone through a lot together. He has been my everything for that entire time. We’re the gross couple who knew after a month together that we were meant to be together forever. We literally can spend days together just us and not annoy each other or need to get away from the other. Am I really ready to let that go? I know the addition we are getting is going to be our everything and we’ll wonder, “What did we do before her?” in a good way. But sometimes when we’re laying on the couch making each other laugh I wonder if it will ever be this again? I then feel like the most selfish mom on the earth for even daring to think that.
3.) Fear: I will do everything right and still have an a-hole kid
Why I’m afraid: I’ve worked with numerous types of kids and met numerous types of parents. There were always the, “Yeah, I get it” after meeting parents but I did meet my fair share of, “Where did your child come from?” I don’t want to be that parent. We could do everything right in raising her, but she still is a thinking and acting human. That’s terrifying.
4.) Fear: Some day I won’t want to mom
Why I’m afraid: I’m not sure when nouns became verbs but this one is true. There are days now that I wake up and think, “I can’t pregnant today. I am so tired”. I know that the tired I have now is child’s play for what is ahead. What do I do on the days where I wake up and think, “I can’t mom today. I am so tired.”? And then the mom guilt comes in and a vicious cycle comes into play. I’ve wanted to be a mom for so long it scares me to think that some days I won’t want to be one, just for a day.
5.) Fear: I’ll focus too much on what I’m doing well as a mom
Why I’m afraid: There are many types of moms being labeled in our society. The hot mess mom. The Pinterest mom. The know it all mom. The overachiever mom. So on and so on. While I’m not a big fan of labeling any effort to raise a child, I don’t want to be the mom who thinks she is nailing this whole mom thing. The mom who talks about how my eight month old is already beginning to pull herself up and another mom says, “You’re genius child just ate a Dorito from the garbage.” I won’t be perfect, but I don’t want to always think I am and over look what I need to work on.
6.) Fear: I won’t be able to nurse
Why I’m afraid: We went to the breastfeeding class and got all the literature about how great breastfeeding is for you and your baby. What we didn’t learn or read about was that sometimes it just doesn’t happen or work out. My body just doesn’t jive with it. Eva might not be able to latch. We could try for a couple weeks and Eva decides it’s not her thing. A million other reasons could come up. Again, if I can’t I know it’s not my fault. It doesn’t make me a bad mom. When you hear professionals tell you over and over how amazing this thing is for your child and how it should be one of the most natural acts a mother can do, what else are you suppose to feel if you can’t do it? Moms constantly worry they aren’t doing enough for their child. What if I jump off the dock feeling that way?
7.) Fear: If Tim and I will be good parents
Why I’m afraid: Okay, this one is kinda a gimme for all parents and I know I’ve listed it before on other posts but honest to lawd, it is one of my biggest fears. It will forever be one of my biggest fears. It’s with little things like when I still respond with, “That’s what she said” to big things like, “Are we financially responsible enough for children?” Kids seem to like us, but once again that doesn’t mean we going to be these amazing parents.
8.) Fear: All the articles/blogs I read are going to happen to me
Why I’m afraid: I’ve been reading parenting articles and blogs for months now. I’ve noticed a trend that a lot of them are about the hardships of parenting. The internets have become a place where parents feel like they finally have a voice to ask, “This is terrible! Is it terrible for you?!” which you can totally understand. Who wants to feel alone with a struggle as a parent? After reading one after another you begin to get paranoid that all these things will happen to you and your child and there’s no light in any tunnel.
9.) Fear: Postpartum depression
Why I’m afraid: I think it’s pretty obvious why this is a fear of mine. You read so much and are told so much in baby classes that PPD is real and something you need to pay attention to. Again, the idea that I’ve wanted a baby for so long to only go into a torturous cycle of feeling hopeless and at worst not wanting my child anymore is devastating. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, there is help available, but I honestly am not sure it’s something I could get through.
10.) Fear: I just can’t do this
Why I’m afraid: It all comes down to questions about the impending future, “Am I going to be a good mom?” “Are Tim and I going to be good parents together?” “Am I going to loose myself to being Eva’s mom?” “Right now we want 3-4 kids. After Eva is that all going to change?” “Can I be a parent?” Questions, questions, questions race through your mind with every onesie you fold. Watching a room in your house that was empty for months or years slowly fill with baby furniture and baby chachkies. You are mentally and physically prepping for one of the biggest changes of your life. How could you not question whether you can do this or not?
Fears. They can overtake your mind. I’m trying to focus on the wonderful things ahead of me. Looking at Eva for hours marveling that she’s here and she’s ours. Seeing family and friends become aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins. Little kid hugs. Butterfly kisses. Giggles that give you life. Playing dress up. Beach days. The list goes on and on. I’m so lucky that I have one of the most amazing support systems a person could possibly have. Family and friends jumping at chances to help and love us through whatever comes up. Fears are just those, fears. A feeling that comes in and goes. In about three weeks I’ll be welcoming my beautiful daughter to the world. At the end of the day, I can’t be afraid of that. I can only be excited to met her.