Having children is a BIG DEAL emotionally, physically and financially so it’s no wonder I freaked out before the birth of my first bub. Here are the top eight things (real and irrational) that I was super worried about before becoming a mother.
The pain of childbirth
A common one – no doubt about that. We’ve all seen the movies of women screaming their heads off and heard stories of terrible complications happening. There’s a reason why elective caesareans (not a result of health issues) have become so popular after all! Giving birth to a small human hurts (for most of the female population anyway), and even though I have quite a high pain threshold, was super excited about the birth and open to pain relief, I was still pretty darn worried about how much it was going to hurt.
Having a healthy baby
Like anything in life, things can go wrong with often no explanation, so like most mums I didn’t relax until my baby was out in the world and had been given an initial all clear from the doctor (a fear that carried through when I had my other two children).
Not being able to breastfeed
These days it’s great there’s a lot of education around breastfeeding and how hard it is, and formula feeding is not as frowned upon as it once was. However, it did also make me concerned that my body (or baby) wouldn’t be up to the task – because I really wanted to be able to breastfeed.
My downstairs bits being ruined
We’ve all heard the horror tales of vaginas being ripped apart, colossal haemorrhoids, and partners being turned off sexually. So even though I personally didn’t know anyone with a train wreck story it didn’t stop me from thinking that I would become one of those post-birth women that people talk about over brunch.
There’s a reason why they sell incontinence pads, and it’s not just for the oldies! Us mums go through so much trying to fall pregnant, carrying a baby and then giving birth; and for some unlucky ladies their prize at the end of it all is a leaky bladder that loves a good sneeze or bowels that want to let rip whenever they feel like it. Total. Nightmare. So yeah, I was pretty fearful this would happen to me too.
Not knowing what to do
Some women take to motherhood like a duck to water and make it look so effortless. But suddenly having to look after the needs of a small baby and keep them alive is a pretty radical shift from everyday childless life. I had every parenting book under the sun highlighted in case I had no idea what I was doing and sucked at this motherhood gig.
How it would affect work
At the time of my first baby I ran a business with numerous staff and had a lot of responsibility. I was worried about whether things were going to slip or change with me suddenly having other priorities to look after. Putting unnecessary pressure on myself, I read up on the best methods to get good routines happening so that I could have some predictability with my baby and therefore ‘control’ how and when my time was managed.
Not bonding with my baby
I’ve wanted to be a mother ever since I was little and thought I would make a good one, but what if I didn’t really (shock horror!) LIKE my baby, or couldn’t bond or relate to them at all? It seems ridiculous now, but I think the excitement and anticipation of finally being about to become a mum made me question whether my dream would actually be my reality. Luckily, it was.
Putting it all in perspective
If you are struggling with these fears don’t let them overwhelm you. Talk to other mums who have been through it, clear you head and start to learn to let go because if there is one thing all mums-to-be can count on, it is that you’ll have very little control of how life looks with a newborn. Best start embracing each day for what it is now and dealing with what comes, when it comes. You’ll need the energy you’re spending on worrying now, for when bub arrives. Trust me!
What things were you scared about before becoming a mum?