Baby’s due date is coming up so quickly…. Back in January and February when I spent most days working on the floor of my bathroom with morning sickness, August felt like eons away. Now it feels like a blink away. I have been so focused on just getting through each day, checking things off my pre-baby to-do list, and trying to get to a good place with work so I can slow down and take time off… that I haven’t had much time to think about all the post-delivery things. You know, like, when the baby is actually here.
Luckily, I have spent a lot of time around newborns, and babies, and kids from years and years of babysitting and nannying so I’m not scared of not knowing what to do exactly. But every day I definitely feel myself growing a little bit more anxious about parenthood. The stakes just feel so…. high!
photo by Georgie Morley
FEARS OF A FIRST-TIME-MOM-TO-BE
I mentioned on my Instagram story last week that I started therapy right at the end of my first trimester. The psychologist I see specializes in pregnancy/motherhood, life transitions, etc. It has been unbelievably helpful, especially now as I start to mentally prepare (as best as one really can, I guess) for the actual motherhood part.
(Side note: I got a LOT of questions about how to find a therapist. Honestly, it takes time to find the right fit. Beyond just searching to see who is in your insurance’s network, if you have coverage, you can use a website like Psychology Today. Google also works! The biggest tip I have is to go to the websites of doctors and see what their website says about them. Many list their specialities and even have blog posts for SEO reasons but that might clue you in to what they’re most helpful with. I think this is a crucial step to finding a good fit– you should match with someone who specializes in an area where you feel you need help.)
The list of things I need to do before baby has been dwindling and the list of things I’m anxious about once he’s here has been growing by the day. It’s also been helpful to navigate all of the fears that keep popping up. Therapy is definitely helping with that too– even just to say some of the fears out loud. Most are run of the mill fears and others are a little kookier, for sure. (I lost a night of sleep recently panicking about the fact that at some point we’ll have to teach him how to drive?!?! 🤣 I know we have plenty of time for that but the thoughts were spiraling.)
A few of the fears that have crept in and keep running in a loop in my head:
– I’m worried I might do something that “messes up” my kid
– The fact that he won’t be safely inside of me anymore…. (weird but it already makes me cry)
– What if I’m bored? Or what if I love it so much that I have no desire to work again?
– How will I balance caring for someone else, while also maintaining a sense of self?
– I have anxiety about generally knowing I’m not going to be able to control everything… I partially am ready to roll with the punches and partially terrified of that too!
And I think the overwhelming fear I have is…. there’s only so much you can do to prepare. Does anything really prepare you for parenthood??? I do feel like we’re just standing on a diving board waiting to dive in. We’ll just have to figure things out, take it one day/stage at a time, and (to quote Nike, haha) just do it?
This is a bit all over the place… just wanted to share some of my thoughts of where I am right now. Again, grateful for therapy 😉 and overall feeling excited…. but it’s still just a huge life change ahead!!!