This blog is for the women who have fears about becoming a mother.
We so often talk about the “joys of motherhood” the “I always knew I was meant to be a mother”, but we rarely talk about the fears…
Am I going to be good enough?
Am I going to be happy?
How am I going to keep it all together?
Yes, of course – motherhood is a beautiful gift and an amazing miracle of the human body. And I hope that the fear and pain and unknown is worth it when you have your perfect little human in front of you. But I also think it is important to talk about the fears, the “what ifs”, the isolation and the guilt. Because when we pretend it is all storks and sunshine and rainbows, those real and valid feelings make us feel isolated – make us feel like bad moms before we even have a baby to hold in our arms.
And I think that the best mom is an honest one, a supported one, and a mom that still seeks pleasure for themselves – a mom that shares her fears, finds balance and grows with the beautiful parts, but also acknowledges the not-so beautiful ones.
I am going to get raw, and I am going to get vulnerable. Because in my darkest moments of worry and fear, I wish I heard more stories like this…I think it would have made me feel less alone.
My Fears of Becoming A Mother:
I fear not knowing enough…
From the second I peed on a stick and found out I was pregnant, I felt joy, I felt confusion, and I also felt an overwhelming sense of fear. Here we go, I can never make another mistake again. I have to be the best mom, I have to buy the best of everything, I have to choose the right way to feed and sleep and talk to my child. I have to be careful, because I live so much of my life online – I get trolls and negative comments on posts I write to bring people joy and make them feel like they are not alone, on health advice I give as a Doctor with 8 years of education and two successful businesses, what is going to happen when if open the doors to the mom-judgement, even just a crack?
The information feels overwhelming. The ways I was raised, that feel familiar and normal, are no longer best practice today. I am on my own to make all of these difficult choices and there is no practice run.
What if I fail?
I fear being a working mom…
I love my work. I love the career path I have chosen; I love the women I get to meet and help, I love working long hours, researching and planning, brainstorming and creating.
I am afraid to cut back on my hours – I know there will be women who feel like they are being let down or cut off if I take too much time off.
I am afraid to get full time childcare help – I know there will be judgement for hiring extra help around the house so that I can be a mom and a business owner.
I fear losing myself…
My experience with motherhood has been watching women give themselves entirely until the only identify they are left with is “mother”. I have watched careers and hobbies slip away, health deteriorates as it becomes a lower priority, weekends that used to be spent travelling and laughing turn to tournaments and burnout. The examples of motherhood I have watched have modelled self-sacrifice above self-care and fading into the background. I hope that the women who have given up their careers, who have found themselves in the life of a mother, have chosen it with passion and desire in their hearts. But I know the stories, I know the pressure and the guilt and the heaviness that women are carrying every day because they don’t feel fulfilled and abundant in their role as just a mom, and to say otherwise would be offensive.
It shouldn’t be radical to say that I don’t want to eat the crusts off of my child’s plate at breakfast – I want the avocado toast too.
I fear the impact on my mental and physical health…
I understand the physical, hormonal, mental changes that women go through during pregnancy, I have been reading about it in textbooks since I was an undergrad. But the knowledge of the process doesn’t prepare you for the experience. Be honest with your friends and daughters about childbirth. The “it was a beautiful miracle” storyline does nothing to help quell the fears we have about giving birth. I am so thankful for the women in my life who have been honest about the exhaustion, the challenge, the trauma of their experience. I know it is going to be tough. I know it is going to be challenging. And all the other women who keep those fears to themselves and suffer alone shouldn’t have to.
We can be scared and brave. We can be worried and warriors. That is our gift – that despite all of these changes, we persevere to bring life into this world.
I fear raising a daughter in this world…
I fear for the path my daughter will take. I fear her learning that she has to give all of herself away to be considered worthy – that to be a good girl, she has to give all of herself to take care of everyone around her. I hope that she will not have to do the work to undo the messaging of what it means to be a “good woman” just so that she can be happy. I hope she never loses her spark and fire in this world. I hope I will raise her to be unapologetically herself, even when that is going against what society is telling her she has to be.
My fears of being a mother don’t make me a bad mother.
I will tell myself that every single day, especially on the days I don’t believe it.
I will acknowledge my fears about being a mother, I will share them with other mothers, I will use them to build a bridge between mothers so we can share support and lend a helping hand, not as a fence to keep others away and hide in shame.
My community where we share openly and honestly about our experience is called The Pleasure Mindset Bootcamp and it is on Facebook.
I would love to have you join us.