This past week, a coworker brought her fresh new baby boy into the office. He is just six weeks out of the oven. Everyone coos and dotes over a newborn, and seriously, this one was pretty precious. I approached with caution, and he was quickly offered up to me to hold. With my hands tucked into my pockets, I backed away slowly like a wide-eyed animal caught in a trap.
I have to admit to you, seeing babies does not do for me, what it seems to do for other women. I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I am not sure if I should run or vomit. Don’t get me wrong it is not that particular baby’s fault. More than anything, it is my experience as a new mother. The thought of a being around a baby elicits fear and panic in the deepest parts of my soul.
I want to share my first year as a new mother. Truthfully, I want to share even before that, the nine (ACTUALLY TEN) months before his arrival. There is no better place to start than the beginning. I think this will set the stage for how I become the mediocre mom I am today.
I never really wanted children. I was adamant about not having children, and not in that typical teenage fashion, but I just did not picture myself as that Leave it to Beaver Mother type. I met my husband, and that didn’t change. What did change was my desire to give my husband what he wanted more than anything, the chance to be a dad. For those that don’t know us, my husband lost his father to leukemia when he was just 2 years old. He wanted that father-son relationship, and I wanted to share that experience of parenthood with him.
I quit birth control in September with the expectation of it taking a LONG while. In October, I went to Walmart and bought a pregnancy test after work. I rushed home and took the first test. I held my breath and waited. Negative. I let out a sigh of relief and went on with my day. About four days later, I still wasn’t feeling right. I dug out the 2nd test from where I hid it and peed on the second stick. Confident that I was just overly paranoid, I waited for it to turn negative. Instead, the digital display said PREGNANT.
This was a relaxed Saturday afternoon, it did not remain that way. My husband was taking a lackadaisical afternoon nap (which he desperately longs for now); I just found out I was pregnant and I went into an immediate panic. I paced. I circled, then I ran. I ran out of our increasingly shrinking apartment and hopped in the car. I drove around the neighborhood. I ended up at Target. I then paced up and down the baby isles, with my brain running a million miles a minute. I just kept thinking, “Oh, shit. What have we done?!” I got home and finally got the nerve to wake up my husband. I handed him the stick; he said, “Did you pee on this? GROSS.”
I was overwhelmed and unsure of the new path now laid out before my eyes. I was scared shitless. Honestly, I still feel this way sometimes because I have NO idea what I am doing.
It’s taboo to talk about real feelings and real thoughts. I did not have the storybook reaction to finding out I was pregnant. I had a real reaction. My life was about to be turned upside down. It has taken me over a year to grow into my role as a mediocre mom, and I will not win any parenting awards for sure*.
*Story to come about my most recent epic fail as a mother.
At the end of the day, life is messy, emotions are messy, but messy is real. I choose real (the highs, lows, and exposing my own vulnerabilities) over being fake any day. Exceptions to this policy include coloring my hair and wearing a push-up bra; no one wants to see that level of realness.