This is a guest post from 1st time Mom Julie
With just three weeks left until I’m due with our first child, (a baby boy!) I’m a nervous ball of energy. Okay, maybe “energy” isn’t the right word. I get out of breath trying to get out of bed, feel like I ran a marathon when I climb a flight of stairs, and my feet get swollen if I stand for more than 5 minutes. But on the inside, I’m bursting with excitement and anticipation. The past 9 months have flown by, and I can’t believe that in less than a month, our lives will be changed forever.
Like all expecting moms, I’m really excited but I’m also super anxious about all the changes a child will surely bring. My husband and I have heard it all; advice from friends, the in-laws, family, strangers in the grocery store, you name it. But we both know it’s completely different to read & hear about “what to expect”, and another to actually experience it. I have faith that we’ll start to figure everything out as we go, but here are some of my biggest fears as we get closer to D-day.
Will I lose my own identity once I become a mother?
It took one second of hearing his little heartbeat at an ultrasound appointment to know that I will give up everything and anything to make my child happy and safe. But will I be able to balance that fine line of keeping things and hobbies that are important to me while growing into a new version of me as a parent? Can I be “me” and “mom” at the same time? I think this is something most moms probably struggle with, but right or wrong, I never really appreciated it until now.
What if I never lose all this baby weight?
I’m a petite 5’2” and have gained nearly 40 pounds already. I haven’t really changed my eating habits, still exercise every day, we haven’t been making the cliche fast food or ice cream runs, and I’m not craving weird foods. And yet, I can’t believe how quickly I’ve packed on the pounds despite all of that. And don’t get me started on the size of my hips right now! Have you seen the newest Kate Middleton photo? A few weeks after giving birth and she looks fabulous already. And if a princess can do it, why can’t I? (yeah right). Hopefully I can recover in a healthy and manageable way and won’t have to throw out all of the clothes and shoes in my closet.
What if I can’t keep my children safe?
Mr. Google has been my best friend over the past 9 months, I’ve double checked everything to make sure it’s safe for my developing baby. I’m already paranoid about protecting him, but what about once he’s out in the world and it’s out of my control? I’m having nightmares of bullies in school, stranger danger, one of his future coaches taking advantage of him, or any other CSI-type scenario running through my hormonal anxiety-ridden brain. I am hopeful that I will be able to educate him on how to protect himself, and create a family environment where we can be open and talk about everything, but it doesn’t make it any less scary!
Will I have to choose between my career and family?
And what if I make the wrong choice? My success in my career right now has required a kind of single-minded focus, but what will happen when my children come into the picture? Will I face repercussions if I have to take a day off when my son is sick, or what if I can’t stay late at the office to meet a deadline because I have to pick him up from school or daycare? If nothing else, I know to expect a juggling act that most women deal with on a daily basis.
You can read every What To Expect When You’re Expecting book on the market, but I know nothing can fully prepare you for the changes that will happen once you have kids. I’ll keep you updated on my journey along the way, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.
What were you excited or fearful about during your pregnancy?
Is there something you wish you knew before your babies were born?
Julie lives in the suburbs of NJ, right outside NYC with her husband, adorable rescue pup Murphy, and will soon be welcoming a baby boy into the family in September. By day, she runs Etch Communications, which helps authors & small businesses with their public relations & marketing needs. In her free time, she loves to exercise, create DIY projects, bake gluten-free goodies, drink gin & tonics, and swoon over letterpress stationery. You can find Julie on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
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