Did you know that some — maybe most — little girls don’t know that becoming a mom is choice?
We’re given baby dolls as kids to hold, rock, breast feed(?), and care for at very young ages. And constantly told things like “WHEN you’re a mom…” That’s why, even thought I never wanted to be a mom, for a long time but I 100% thought that I would eventually become one. I assumed that being a mom was something that just happened to you without your consent — like getting your period, or dying. But it turned out that becoming a mom is something we can chose to either pursue or maybe terminate — either way, I was relieved that motherhood turned out not to be mandatory.
I can’t remember the day that I actually realized that. But I can remember how hard it hit me. It was a mind fuck. Like solving a difficult math equation (also something I’ve never been interested in doing).
It was so freeing. Because I really didn’t like the idea of another human inhabiting my body and then bursting forth from it like so much puss from an infected wound (although more painful and somehow more gross).
But now I’m actively trying to become a mom.
From the moment we started dating, my husband and I were perfect for each other. Except for the fact that he didn’t like dogs, which I thought would be a deal breaker for me. And the fact that I didn’t want kids, which he thought would be a deal breaker for him. And yet… we didn’t break. And, as a joke, I suggested a new deal: A dog for a kid. Maybe I thought that he’d never budge on the dog thing. But two years and an an engagement ring later, we got a dog. And now, three years and a marriage later, it’s baby time.
Seriously, I’ve been off birth control for 2 months, and been taking prenatal vitamins for 4 months. What. Is. Happening. To. Me???
This is the scariest thing I’ve ever decided to do in my life.
As my therapist pointed out: Getting pregnant, giving birth, and becoming a parent? This is the FIRST thing that I’ve decided to do that I have NO IDEA if I’ll be good at from the start. And, in fact, I feel like I won’t be good at it at all.
All the things I thought I’d successfully avoided — childbirth, sleepless nights, public and private tantrums, emergency visits to the hospital, children’s birthday parties, constantly getting sick, disappointing my offspring in a myriad of ways despite my best efforts, having to spend time with other people’s kids, and so much vomit — are all very real eventualities now.
But it ain’t all doom and gloom!
Since it’s been decades since I decided that I’d never have a kid, I’m also thinking about all the positive things I’ve never considered. I’ve picked awesome names… I’ve thought about fun family trips we could take… I’m looking up nursery decor… I’m imagining watching my husband play with our kid… I’m thinking about getting to see the world differently through my own child’s perspective… And having enriching conversations when they’re an adult…
My therapist also says this is all normal — the terror and the excitement mixing together — especially for me who never thought she’d be a mom.
Is there anyone else reading this who never wanted to be a mom and then become one? Wanna give me some words of wisdom to calm down my freaked out brain?