Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I am very afraid.

I feel disconnected from the parents I see around town and I am in a bit of denial about the fact that I will soon be one. Does this mean I am not ready for the challenge? I am so scared of the amount of attention she will require and whether I will be able to do it all. I am scared of the energy she will need from me. I am so excited, ecstatic, can't think about anything else, but what if I am terrible at this? What if I change my mind?? Is that even possible? I tend to give myself wholeheartedly to things but then grow bored of them. Might that happen with my daughter? I know that mother's are not "supposed" to say this stuff. I know I am supposed to be serene and blissful and nonstop happy about it all and, for the most part, I have been more positive about this than anything else in my life before it. But I also value honesty above everything else and I have to be honest and admit that I am scared I won't feel what other mothers feel. I come from a family who is not known for their "softness." My mother and I were close, but she was tough. I don't want to be the kind of mom who gets angry at neediness or vulnerability, but I worry I have a lot to overcome in that department.

I am scared that I will let my fears and longing for my "old life" will keep me from loving the new one. Are these fears normal? Do other people feel them and not talk about them? When I first found out I was pregnant, I was terrified, sad and regretful instead of ecstatic. I felt like I was failing some test of motherhood. No one else told me they felt those things so I was forced to conclude that I was deficient. I should have been thrilled at the thought of a baby and yet I was panic-stricken at the finality and permanence of it all. I was so relieved later when I came around a few days later and got excited. But sometimes in the back of my head, that fear comes back again. Can I really do this? Am I going to be ok at it?

I never had second thoughts about my marriage. Marrying R seemed like the most natural thing in the world. So I was surprised by the mix of emotions that have come with this life change. Getting married certainly does change one's identity. have been a daughter, a sister, a cousin, then a "wife." But that label never spooked me like this one. "Mother" sounds so old, like something I could never be. I find it almost laughable that a little being will be looking to me for answers. She will think I am really smart. How is that possible when I feel like I am about 16 and totally irresponsble? I almost feel bad for her in some ways, although it does give me perspective on my own parents. I always looked at them as if they knew everything and when they messed up, I assumed it was my fault since they were so old and mature and clearly knew better. Now I realize my mother was even younger than I am now when I was born. She probably felt a lot of the same things. I am scared I will not meet my daughter's expectations and I don't want to have to wait 29 years for her to figure out that I am only human.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

All of these feelings are totally and completely normal, as I'm sure you read on my blog last week. You're not alone. There is nothing that will change your life more than the addition of a baby, and there will be times when you will miss your old life. I certainly do! But luckily, the good times outweigh the bad ones, and one little smile from your baby (or one blissfully long nap) can eliminate the previous day's frustrations. And of course, you have me for support, anytime you need it. :)