Feature image from SATINE
First pregnancies are exciting.
Everyone told me all the time how exciting my pregnancy is. By the end of the nine months I’m actually starting to believe it.
First pregnancies are also hard, stressful, tiring, emotion battles that leave you feeling like a personal wreck and a failure as a mother. That’s what people keep telling me also. So much so that I started to believe it too.
I am 8 months pregnant now and I am worried that my emotions and feelings about my pregnancy are all based on how everyone else felt about their babies.
But what if that was just their experience, and I had a chance to make my first baby a wonderfully positive experience? What if I were able to do it better than my friends? What if I could excel at parenting and have a wonderful time?
How would my friends feel about that?
I get the feeling that lots of people around me are just waiting for me to fail. They are secretly hoping that I find parenting as hard as they did. They smirk a little when I don’t know the words to nursery rhymes – “You’ll have to get on top of that.”
I brought a pram the other day. But when I took it home, I didn’t want to unpack it because I didn’t know how. People stood around waiting for me to unpack it. I couldn’t do it. I felt like an idiot and you know what someone said, in a smirky little tone, “Well you’ll want to practice that before the baby comes”
– Well, of course I will.
It feels like I am being given advice, not so that I am prepared for the baby to come, but so that I am warned as to how little I know, being told how overwhelmed I should be, how much I have to learn.
It feels like I need to find this just as hard as all the other people around me. Because they struggled, they are waiting for me to struggle, so we can share in that experience.
When I tell people how optimistic I am, they shoot me down. When I tell people I don’t think motherhood needs to kill me, they laugh. When I tell people I hope to work from home they giggle and tell me I’m dreaming. When I talk about taking the baby on holidays, people try to talk me out of it.
I’m going to continue to have high standards about my experience as a parent. I am not going to expect fuck-ups and failures all the time.
I am not going to begin this journey having already given up. I am going to fight my hardest to make sure it is everything I think I deserve. Not someone else’ss version of their own failed experience.
Did you let other people’s comments about parenting get to you?