Am I Ready for This?
Somewhere between finding out you are pregnant and the delivery of your new little bundle of joy comes a phase I like to call – I'm so not ready for this. This is just your anxiety about being a new mom, underestimating your qualifications, and thinking about the preparations for your new role.
It seems sometimes we get so excited about an idea that we don't really think about what it really means. I remember when I was pregnant with my first child; I was so happy. Then, around 24 weeks gestation, I hit this phase. First, I was overwhelmed with the fact that this little one, who was growing so well and was getting so big, would have to come out one way or another. After that hurdle, I started to think about the fact that this new little baby wouldn't be going home; no one would be picking her up at the end of the day because she WAS home. We were going to be parents, and this is a life changing event! Although I knew these things before we decided to start a family, the reality of the situation really hit home one day. Maybe it was a mix of hormones, maternity tales from every stranger, friend, and relative, and a look at your life and the things that need to be changed, but it happened all at once… I was so not ready for this.
At the time, I thought something was wrong with me; maybe I was too selfish, too set in my ways, or just terrified, but later I learned that most new moms go through this. If you doubt this, ask one of the “oh so well meaning” strangers that come up to you to entertain you with stories of how long…how short…how fast…how horrible…or how great their labor and deliver/newborn experience was. They will also (if they are being honest) tell you about their anxiety, when it hit them, and how they got over it.
The way to overcome this anxiousness of becoming a new mom is to talk to other women you trust, both first time moms and moms with experience. To help with these feelings, you can fill yourself up with information on new moms and what they go through, join an online Mom Club, or, if you're up to it, find a local chapter. Just know that these feelings usually go away, especially when you gain knowledge and get experience. The fact that you are worried at all means that you care, and you will do what you can to make everything work. Whatever you do, know you aren't alone, and if your feelings don't improve in a few weeks, check in with your doctor or accredited medical personnel.