Hey Mom-to-be, it’s OK…
… if you don’t love being pregnant. I was chatting to some preggy friends who said they felt guilty for not loving the experience. It’s OK! Pregnancy is incredibly hard. Try to comprehend that you are growing a human. Oh and then there is social media, which shows “perfection”, so it’s hard not to compare yourself to a beautiful picture, when you’re wiping vomit from your mouth after another round of morning sickness. If you’re not loving the experience, don’t be hard on yourself… you’re doing enough by forming this perfectly, healthy baby. When I am not loving it, when I’m excruciatingly sore and uncomfortable, when I can’t keep my eyes open but still have another 5 items on my to-do list, I remind myself of this: It’s a privilege to be experiencing pregnancy. I have friends who haven’t been able to have children and friends who are struggling with infertility. That reality always brings me back to being grateful for this – yes, aches and all. Despite my complications, I’ve actually really loved this journey and I’m going to miss my bump! BUT, it’s OK if you’re not!
… if you’re not glowing. Sweating yes. Glowing, not so much. Just remember you have much more blood circulating through your body. Just look at your veins on your hands and arms that constantly stick out – I’m pretty sure the term: Hot mess came from pregnant women. Some women get the best skin and hair and others get acne, which in my opinion is just cruel. It’s purely the hormones. My suggestion is to firstly check the ingredients in your facial cleanse routine and ensure they’re healthy for your pregnancy. Secondly, be diligent about removing make-up and also taking your pre-natal vitamins, which will definitely help with good hair, skin and nails.
… if you’re not feeling bonded yet. Some girls have said they feel like they’re going to be a terrible Mom because they don’t feel connected with the little alien(s) in their stomach. I find that a lot of Moms-to-be feel this way in the beginning, when it’s hard to compute that there is a human being in your tummy. Hell, I still have moments even while looking at my huge basketball stomach and think: OMG. There is a human inside me. I only really started to feel like this was real (besides not being able to deny my growing tummy) when I felt Baby G’s first flutters and now as he gets bigger and there is less space, I feel every kick, punch, roll and hiccup. BUT, if you still don’t feel a flutter in your heart strings when you feel the movement – it’s OK! It is weird to love someone you’ve never met, so don’t be hard on yourself. The bonding will come – even if it’s not straight away when you do meet them.
… if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I’d like you to introduce me to a Mom-to-be who isn’t overwhelmed so I can understand their thought process. Life as you know it is about to change, and while that usually sounds all doom and gloom… often parents complete that sentence with: for the better! However, we don’t know that yet. We assume what it will be like, which is usually worse in our heads, right? It is overwhelming to realize that there is someone who is completely reliant on us and that makes us completely responsible for them.
… if you’re feeling fearful. If you’re worrying about whether you’ll be a good Mom or not, you’re already a good Mom. If you’re worrying about how you’ll juggle your career and a newborn, you’re completely normal. If you’ve had the meltdown of: OK. Can’t do this. Where’s the “lets put this on hold for a few months” button? What do you mean I can’t do that? Holy crap. Nope. Not ready. Guess what? You are normal. I’d be more concerned if you didn’t have any of these fears.
… if your baby Daddy is acting a little strange. You’re not the only one going through changes. Men, when they find out they’re about to become Fathers, grow up a little. His priorities change. Long term thinking starts kicking in and financial security is suddenly more important than ever before, because they want to ensure they can provide, regardless of whether you’re a one or two income household. My best advice is to communicate and chat about the fears, the excitement and do your best to include them as much as possible, but don’t feel offended if they’re not overly excited about going to Baby City with you, or choosing a paint colour for the nursery. Allow them to show their excitement in other ways.
…if you’re suddenly freaked out about mortality and your partners safety. You strangely become more aware of things that never ever concerned you before. Plane trips and even longer car rides become a little worrying. “Drive carefully!” becomes a real thing when you say goodbye to the other. Yes, even when popping down the road to get milk. Worrying about your partners safety becomes even more prominent because suddenly there is someone else who needs both of you and it’s a scary thought of something happening to your partner.
It’s OK to feel all the feels.
Allow them and know they’re all a rite of passage and if you’re not dealing with them well, lean on your support group. Nothing a good chat can’t solve. People have funny ways of putting things into perspective and making us see things in a new light!