Thursday, January 03, 2008

What To Expect When You Think You Maybe Want To Be Expecting

Posted by Assertagirl.

For someone who was determined to remain child-free, I sure do have a lot of baby on the brain. Someone offered up a copy of "What to Expect" on Freecycle, and I jumped at it. It's sitting here on my coffee table, beckoning, filled with facts and secrets I haven't been privy to because I'm not a mom. Yet.

I really didn't expect to feel like this but I have come through something in the last year, gone through some sort of metamorphosis. I'm not sure but I think my new-found longing to become a mom myself has something to do with having figured out some important aspects of my own relationship with my mother. Ever since I came to the realization that It's Okay to Put Me First, I've felt more like I want to have a baby. It's ironic, I know, because becoming a mother means that you basically never get to put yourself first again, so maybe it's more that it's okay to put My Family (those of us who live together under the same roof, day in and day out) first.

I've been reading mommyblogs for awhile, but they suddenly have new relevance, and hold a new fascination for me. I can learn from the mommyblogs. I can feel more prepared for the road ahead. I feel like these fantastic ladies and their endless stories, good and bad, are an amazing resource, and I know that no matter how tough it gets (and it will get tough), I will have company.

I wish that I could write more openly about these feelings on my personal site, but I'm not ready to expose these thoughts to my family members who might read it. I almost have enough to say about this that I could start a separate blog, but I don't want to go that route, because I am not two separate people. I'm still me. With options!


ewe are here said...

I didn't think I wanted children for a very long time in my life either, probably down to the fact that the family I grew up in was not a good place to be and it took time to come to terms with some of it. So your post makes sense to me!

And you're right about a lot of the mommyblogs, of which I am probably one. ;-) They are wonderful resources and provide a sense of relief that 'you're not alone'...

Good luck with your quest to become a mommy.

Aunt Becky said...

Good luck, darlin'.

It's a hard call to make, and had I not gotten an Oops! pregnancy 7 years ago, I'd probably still be on the fence about whether or not I wanted to have kids at all.

flutter said...

sounds like a celebration

Anonymous said...

Seriously, start another blog free of family members... I wish I had. I'd be able to be soo much more open!

Marilyn said...

When I was a teenager, I was steadfast in my "I don't want to have kids" stance. Imagine my surprise when I was the first of my friends to have children! It's not anything like I thought it would be. I worried that I wouldn't have patience, as I often don't with other people's children but it's different with my own. I'm glad for it now, it's made my life so much fuller.

Good luck with your decision!

Anonymous said...

The issue is not whether you want a child or not. Stop focusing on yourself. The issue is whether you can be a good mother. If you have reason for even the slightest doubt, it doesn't matter whether you want it or not. Wanting doesn't equal being able.

I very much regret my decision to have my child.

Stop reading self help books and start reading books about child development. Can you confidently say you know, for example, how children develop moral character? If not, stop the babythink until you can. It's not just a baby, it's a human being who will be in the world for a long time and can do either great good or great harm. In my child's case it is the latter. Believe me, you don't want the lifelong heartache of watching that and knowing you are responsible. Or one of the other varieties of permanent heartache.

Amy Urquhart said...

Thank you for your kind words, and constructive criticisms. Focusing on myself is something I rarely do, so it's not something I am going to stop instantly now because I've thought about becoming a mother. I need to be good to me before I can be good to anyone else. And I would be an excellent mother. I'm confident in that fact.

Thanks for the advice! :)


Christina said...

I think it's related to mothering your new kitten. ;) Just kidding.

Seriously, I'll tell you that you will still have time for yourself as a mother. Just not as much. But it's important to still make time for yourself if you do have a baby. Kids need to see their moms are people with their own interests, too.

And I don't know a single mom who goes into this knowing exactly what's coming. That's part of what makes it scary. But as long as you're willing to try to do the best you can, you should be fine.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Okay, but that book scared the crap out of me when I was pregnant.

You can be a mother and still be you, but it isn't an easy job and I don't know any parents without several full time nannies that would tell you any different.

All I can say is that for me it is totally worth it. I don't think that motherhood is for everybody but the rewards are worth the sacrifices if you are willing to make them.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Sarah. That book is fabulous birth control.

I never really aspired to have children. I'm not a selfless mother. I have a lot of gaps in my maternal instinct.

But I honestly don't regret having children. Not one bit. (And if I did, I'd admit it and post this comment anonymously.)

Jaelithe said...

Having a child totally transforms every aspect of your life. No one is ever really ready for parenthood, even a person has spent his or her whole life planning for a baby. No one can be ready for that kind of commitment or responsibility, OR that kind of overwhelming love, until they have experienced it. It sounds to me like you have thought very carefully about parenthood, and therefore you are about as prepared for this journey as anyone can be.

I agree with the anonymous poster above that whether one thinks one will be a good parent should of course enter into any thoughts about having a child. However, I disagree with Anonymous in that I don't think you have to intensively study childhood development theories to become a good parent. Sheesh. If that were the case, the vast majority of us adults would be much crazier than we already are.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Poppy Buxom said...

I had some issues (she said, trying to sound casual) with my mother. So I had to get talked into getting married, which I did at 31, and talked into having kids, which I didn't do until I was 38. So yeah. Scary decision.

But! It all turned out great, and I say that even though both of my kids have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

They are still my best entertainment value. Really!

Having a baby is like the scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps out of the sepia-toned farmhouse and finds herself in a Technicolor landscape. You aren't in Kansas any more. There is a huge adjustment to be made. And you don't get the baby you imagined. No one does. Expect surprises. And ditch the what to expect books--they'll have you paranoid beyond belief. ("Oh no! I ate a brownie! I ruined EVERYTHING!")

Good luck!