Sunday, October 28, 2012

On a serious note... I'm freaking out

Growing up, all I wanted to be was a mother. Dolls were my favorite toys! I loved babies even when I was very young. In high school and college, I had these lavish goals that I would grow up, marry a business man who drove a BMW or something, we'd have three or four children with whom I'd stay home and take care of. I'd be the cool mom--the favorite mom. The neighborhood kids would come over and I'd give them hot dogs and mac and cheese and homemade chocolate chip cookies. On field trip days, all the school kids would want to ride with me in my fantabulous SUV, because, afterall, I was the cool mom.

I was never career minded. I never thought of the "corporate ladder." I never wanted to be "somebody." I figured a job was something you had so you could make money to pay bills and buy shoes. Other than that, what's so great about working??

Somewhere in my mid-20s, my thinking started to all change. I was able to gain promotion after promotion at work within just a few years. People knew who I was. They knew I was a hard worker--that I was "going places." And the more I saw children out and about, I started to think that wasn't for me. The child having a fit in the aisle at Wal-mart. The child who wouldn't stop crying at the restaurant. The child whining to his mother in line at the grocery store. OMG, children are freaking annoying. I don't have time or patience for that crap, I thought. There is NO way I could work a job and deal with the insanity a child brings. But there is also NO way I could not work, because my income is what keeps our family afloat. (sometimes barely). No. No. No.

I had never been more anti-children than I was in June. Ironically, the same month I conceived (funny how God works that way.) And now my opinions are all sloshy and crazy again.

I care more about this child than I do my "career" now. When I'm not feeling well because of Baby (I've been getting crazy bad headaches lately), I don't push myself to go to work anymore; I stay home. Issues at work don't seem as big anymore because, dude, I'm growing a person in my uterus! I don't care so much about what my next big move at work is... only that it continues to make me enough money to care for Baby and preferably gets me to a location where I'd really like to raise my family. This Baby already has suddenly become my whole world. I would give up anything so that he/she can have everything he/she needs.

So, where's the freaking out part? Well, amid all the crazy pregnancy worries and fear about labor and delivery, I've realized that's nothing compared to what happens AFTER Baby is safely outside my vagina. I have no idea how to be a mother. I babysat a bit when I was younger, but no one under the age of 6-8 months. I don't know what to do with a newborn. I don't know how to stop a crying baby. I don't know how to recognize colic or ear infections or any other million sickness related things a baby can have. I don't know how to potty train. What if I don't read to Baby enough? What if Baby is the bad kid in class and I'm always going to parent/teacher meetings? How do I keep Baby away from drugs, under-age drinking, and scary sexual situations?

What if I'm a bad mother.

That's my biggest fear. I know we all have at least something we regret or resent about our own mothers--and the innate fear that we may turn out that way, too. What if, this little person that I already love so much, hates me? What if everything I can give is still not good enough?

I figure time will tell on many of those things. And I know that "what ifs" are the worst things to dwell on. So for now, I just have to research all I can about caring for newborns and raising babies....

And maybe it's terrible that I do this, but I know there are way worse women out there that are having babies--so I clearly won't be the world's WORST mother... it's just... what can I do to make sure I'm one of the best?

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