Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What have I gotten myself into?!

Yes, I admit it. This phrase seems to still be stuck on repeat in my head.
In the interest of full disclosure (for, um, posterity, right?), I am going to start a list of the fears--irrational or not--that keep creeping up on me:

  • I watch my cousin interact with her 9-month-old and wonder whether I'll even know what to do with an infant. What if bonding with my baby girl does NOT come naturally to me?
  • What if I can't find a way to console her when she's crying?
  • What if I can't figure out which kind of cry is which?
  • What if breastfeeding doesn't work out?
  • What if she'll need therapy later on because of my poor parenting skills?
  • What if I continue to make the same (ahem...mainly financial) mistakes that I've made in the past?
  • What if she hates me because she doesn't have a daddy like the other kids?
  • What if I get post-partum depression?
  • What if I just can't handle caring for an infant by myself?
  • What if something awful happens and she dies even before she is born?
  • What if something awful happens and she dies shortly after she is born?
  • What if she ends up dying from SIDS? How will I cope?
  • What if I end up not being able to afford good daycare?
  • What if she has colic or acid reflux or allergies or asthma?
  • What if I just can't figure out what to DO?!
  • What if I end up deciding this was all a big mistake?!
Weirdly enough, it feels good to just get all these fears out of my head and onto the screen, namely somewhere besides floating around in my head. I know that this post comes across as one big freakout, but I can assure you that that's not the case. But the truth is that these are things I wonder about, buried somewhere in the recesses of my subconscious. I'm sure a lot of first-time mothers wonder about these very same things. And ninety-nine percent of the time, I feel pretty sure that I'll find a way to figure out what to do about whatever may come up. At least I hope so.


  1. Yes, you will find a way to deal with anything and everything that comes up, don't worry! I remember having a long list of "what if's" during my pregnancy...some happened, most didn't. Things never are as you imagine they will be...at least in my world...and you find ways to get through the good and the not-so-great. Change your what if's to "what if I have an easy baby? What if I feel more fulfilled than I thought after giving birth? What if I decide this was the best thing I ever did?" etc. etc. Hang in there, you will be great!

  2. Thanks, Jess!! Deep down I know you're right...but sometimes (very late at night) the what-ifs make a return visit.
    I also had a lot of what-ifs during my first trimester, and much to my surprise my pregnancy has been really quite easy: no morning sickness, no miscarriage, etc. So here's hoping it all will be fabulous--despite the expected challenges!

  3. I agree with Jess, and plan to take her advice myself. I do the same thing you do - all the time. And my list of worries is updated daily! Yikes - it is all very nervewracking. But good, very, very, good.

  4. I think I'm the most scared about my entire life changing in ways I can't foresee...goodbye, comfort zone! I know change is good in some ways, but the unknown has me pretty freaked out today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. :)

  5. It totally will change. Your whole life, in ways you can't foresee. But that's okay.

    You can't foresee it, but you can totally handle it. The big, scary, not-actually-probable things we worry about generally don't happen at all. And the little what-if-I'm-not-good-at-this things end up not being at all what we were thinking. A lot of it either comes naturally or isn't that hard to learn.

    And of course, there's the stuff you never expected, which ends up posing the real challenges. For me, it was patience. Can you believe it? I'm the most patient person I know, and yet...that ends up being my weak point as a parent. Who knew?

    But whatever the particularly challenging parts of it are for you, you do it anyway, as best you can. As long as you're meeting your kid's basic needs and she knows you love her, you absolutely don't have to do it all right all the time. Mainly because nobody ever could, so, you know...

    Wow, what a helpful comment, Jen ;)

    Anyway. What I mean is, I know how you were feeling when you wrote this, and you're right when you say that you'll figure out what to do.