AIBU to be apprehensive about motherhood

(43 Posts)
Freudianslap Tue 30-Jul-13 07:52:02

I'm due to have my first in Sept and as it approaches I am starting to get bouts of sheer panic - will I be a 'good' mum? How will I cope without the intellectual challenges of work? Will I be lonely (and bored) at home all day on my own? What I just don't know what to do? Will I totally lose my identity? That sort of stuff...

Yet whenever I mention this to anyone I seem to be met with looks of horror. It's making me feel like a terrible person that I am not in this perpetual blissful pregnancy bubble that people seem to think I should be in. It was all topped off this morning by my DH - his response to my concerns was 'well there's nothing you can do about it now so just deal with it'. Which I suppose is true but wasn't really helpful.

Don't get me wrong, on the whole I am excited about this baby and the new challenges he represents but am I really being so unreasonable to have a few doubts?

Freudianslap Thu 01-Aug-13 08:05:42

hopalong - no I haven't joined the antenatal group here on MN, I did have a look at it but couldn't make sense of what people were talking about (lots of in jokes and things), think I will have another look though.

I haven't done NCT because there were no classes running that I could actually get to date-wise. I will definitely go to some of their post natal things after the baby is born. I will also try and stay in touch with work related things as I feel I might miss the intellectual challenge work brings - I cannot believe I am even thinking about missing work!!'

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 31-Jul-13 11:07:07

Are you on an antenatal thread on MN? I love my postnatal MN friends, and meet up with some of them regularly, and chat over FB etc. Those contacts with people who are going through something similar at the same time as you can be really helpful.

In all honesty I found babies a bit...meh. They're cute and all, but it's when they start doing stuff and talking and running around and climbing on all the furniture that I really started to enjoy it. Toddlers are awesome. You will possibly have a couple of 'why did I do this?!' moments early on, but I've been assured that that is normal. It's good to be a bit scared, better to have realistic images and then probably be pleasantly surprised by how much you like it, than to live in a rosy bubble and be brought down to earth with a bump by chronic sleep deprivation, leaking milk on your favourite top and the dawning realisation that just because it is your baby's shit, it doesn't make it any more fun to wash off the wall. Soppy git alert - it goes by so fast. So very very fast that even hardened cynics like me find myself sobbing over itty bitty baby vests and wondering when DS got so big and grown up? That first year feels like it will never end, but it's just a drop in the ocean really. Can you tell I'm in the middle of a reminiscing phase?

You just need to be able to laugh at yourself, and others. That's the key.

Annakin31 Wed 31-Jul-13 10:53:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

itsaruddygame Wed 31-Jul-13 09:50:10

Yanbu but you will be fine. My DS is almost 5 months and I felt similarly to you before he arrived. Now I am over the moon to have him and am enjoying motherhood and mat leave so much.

My NCT friends have been invaluable and I also go out to several groups/activities per week. I like to get out of the house everyday and the little guy likes going out too : )

I did have a tough first few weeks but they really do flash by!

chocolatesolveseverything Tue 30-Jul-13 22:32:18

Thanks for this thread OP. I'm due to give birth for the first time any day now, and whilst I'm sure I'll manage somehow and probably love it, I find this whole journey into the unknown world of motherhood unsettling. I want to meet my baby, but I'm also scared. Sometimes I'm faking enthusiasm for labour to start when really thinking, "Omg omg...". It's comforting to know I'm not the only one!

I remember when we got home with DD1 and I remember thinking "OMG they let me come home with a baby, are they mad? I don't know what to do with a baby".

Best 'advice' I got was from Dh's boss who said "Don't worry about it, you'll just start doing things that you never knew you could do."

justmyview Tue 30-Jul-13 19:17:42

Best advice from our health visitor "If you're doing your best + you're conscientious, then it'll all be fine".

We really clung on to that at first, it was so reassuring

Freudianslap Tue 30-Jul-13 19:15:37

Totally agree, I did join another forum but they seem so unrealistic. I seemed really miserable and cynical in comparison!

Took me a few months of motherhood to find MN and I think it's a crying shame I didn't find it earlier. It would have been so useful to have had access to it during my first pregnancy. I hadn't really been around babies very much so had no idea what to expect.

The other websites seemed to be feeding the delusion of motherhood involving mainly floating about in meadows wearing flowing garments & staring beatifically into the baby's eyes. I genuinely think that this sort of build-up to birth & parenthood can be incredibly damaging, even contributing to PND. Mumsnet's refreshingly honest view of parenting & reassurance that I'm not a crazed loon has been hugely helpful.

Freudianslap Tue 30-Jul-13 16:28:12

DMC I'm certainly a fan of the humour on MN!

TBH I'd worry more if you weren't having these moments of anxiety. There's a big change coming & it's only normal to be nervous. I also suspect that people who spend 9 months on cloud nine, blissfully imagining nothing but colour supplement moments of joy with their baby are in for a rude awakening when reality dawns. Having children is fabulous, but not for every minute of every day and that's NORMAL.

I second the advice to get out of the house every single day (even if it's only for 5 minutes to the end of the garden & back. And try to find a like-minded mum or two at some local groups. You may have to try a few until you find a group that suits you.

And YY to keep posting on MN. It's an invaluable source of advice, support & gallows humour. Plus as it's international, there'll always be someone up if you have poo related questions at three in the morning. grin

Emsmaman Tue 30-Jul-13 14:55:24

Also a tip re sleep, I never did this but if you can afford it, you could look into getting a babysitter (sitters.co.uk perhaps) in during the day to look after your baby whilst you catch up on sleep. You don't have to go the whole hog to leaving the baby alone in your house, and the sitter can bring baby to you for a feed if necessary. Friends who did this had my utmost respect smile

Emsmaman Tue 30-Jul-13 14:53:05

Don't be disheartened if your first attempt at a baby and mum group or class doesn't suit you. We moved away from my NCT group when DD was 2 mo so I had to find other mum friends, for me the local council run groups were disastrous (very cliquey, much younger mums than me, I felt uncomfortable breastfeeding as everyone else was bottle feeding). After doing some trial classes of other activities I found likeminded mums (and dads) in another activity and although we don't do the activity anymore, 2 years later and we still meet for dinner etc without the kids. IMHO baby groups and activities until the baby is crawling, are mostly about the adult interactions and far less about the baby's stimulation which could be obtained from cbeebies.

Freudianslap Tue 30-Jul-13 14:47:25

Stupid fat fingers....

My cat doesn't in fact look sad, she looks like...well...a cat.

I am going to use your good advice and start compiling lists of groups and things I would like to do. And am also going to be embrace a more go with the flow / wing it strategy!

I sense that mumsnet is going to be a great port of call for sensible advise smile

Freudianslap Tue 30-Jul-13 14:44:09

Thanks so much for all of the positive comments, they really do make me feel better. I'm a bit overwhelmed by them actually - that could be partly to do with hormones though because earlier today I cried because I thought my cat looked sad....she d

tomatoplantproject Tue 30-Jul-13 11:25:46

Totally normal. I was terrified. Dd is now a cheerful 8mo. And it's me mostly who has got her here.

I make everything up as I go along - it can be hard work but also lovely and if things get v challenging just think that babies change so quickly they soon grow out of that particular phase, and if you're stuck there is so much advice out there on the web, breastfeeding clinics, drs etc.

My rule is to get out once a day - in the early days this was popping to the shops, now it's connecting with friends with little ones, Nct group, baby classes, going to see dh for lunch, baby yoga... There is a whole community of mums in a similar position to connect to and sometimes a bit of effort pays dividends. If I don't do much I go stir crazy. As does dd who likes the stimulation (I think!)

And finally, it's not a crime to want to go back to work. I have friends who went back fill time after 6 months. I'm in the process of negotiating 3 days per week and I CANNOT wait for the intellectual stimulation and adult company.

guiltyconscience Tue 30-Jul-13 11:13:10

Op no yanbu but it's bloody fantastic! Enjoy !

jeanmiguelfangio Tue 30-Jul-13 11:12:21

Congratulations!! Personally I'm a bit wary of anyone who says they aren't at all anxious about having a baby, I think you are perfectly normal. My DD is 5 months and I was scared, getting the hang of it now, def a change but each step is exciting and fun good luck you will be fine

I was terrified, for the same reasons, and although I love dd to bits I still worry that I'm not doing a good enough job with her! However, I try to make myself just relax and enjoy my time with her and when I do I can see that she's a happy and contended little person and this must be partly down to me! I also had the fear about taking time off work, and expected to be desperate to get back, but as it turns out I'm now dreading my return and know I'm going to miss her hugely when I go back. I'm even considering trying for another (haven't told DH yet grin ) as I've enjoyed the experience much more than I ever thought I would.

MTBMummy Tue 30-Jul-13 09:47:57

Freudian - I think it's completely normal, DD is 3 and I'm expecting my second and I still feel the same way.

The problem with being a mum is that we put ourselves under too much pressure to be the perfect mum society portrays and expects from us.

No, we're not all happy, we're not all perfect, we don't all have spotless houses but we do the best we can.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 30-Jul-13 09:44:28

Frediunslap - I am so relieved to read your post, as I am due in 4 weeks and have also been having similar periods of complete panic. I worry that I won't be able to cope with the baby, that I won't be able to handle the lack of sleep (I feel really rough if I don't get 8 hours a night), that I won't love the baby, that it won't like me and that I will just end up resenting it for the changes it will bring to my life.

I haven't told anyone other than my DH that I feel this way, although my Mum and sister both realise that I haven't taken to pregnancy and the idea of motherhood easily, despite the baby being completely planned.

I feel bad for feeling this way, particularly as I had a miscarriage last year which was awful for both of us, but this feeling of fear is never far away, even though I do sometimes feel excited. If I try to get organised then 'the fear' is even stronger, so have spent a lot of this pregnancy with my head in the sand - hence now having loads to do and buy.

That other pregnant women seem to be, as you say, in a blissful pregnancy bubble really doesn't help - I often wonder why I am the only one screaming "stop the ride I want to get off." But then again, perhaps they are, it's just that like me, they are screaming it silently.

Just wanted you to know that you are not alone.

Xiaoxiong Tue 30-Jul-13 09:17:00

You sound just like me, and now I am pregnant with DS2 I feel the same way all over again. In fact I just had a freakout about having another child, basically "omg what have we done to have another child this is a disaster and will ruin all our lives". DH and my friends on my post-natal thread from DS1 kindly talked me down from the ledge and said everyone has those kinds of worries.

I think it's a real shame that people around you are just telling you to get on with it. It's a huge and irreversible life change - it's normal to have worries and wobbles and want to plan ahead for the big stuff.

I think there are some people that concentrate on things like the nursery and the pram as distraction/deflection methods, head in the sand because they don't want to deal with the big hard stuff.

SkinnybitchWannabe Tue 30-Jul-13 09:03:07

Yanbu, I think it's normal to be feeling that way, afterall we can't send then back once they're out! I felt the same when I had my first ds. Then again with my second ds and again with my third.
Good luck and congrats xx

YANBU, it's totally normal to worry! I don't know anyone who didn't, and we've all turned out just fine smile So will you.

purrpurr Tue 30-Jul-13 08:43:10

You sound a lot more down to earth than those worrying about what colour to paint the nursery. Your concerns are all valid and normal. In the latter stages of my pregnancy I researched things I could get out and do with my newborn - baby swimming, sensory classes, mother and baby groups - then I saved it all in a folder on my PC and forgot about it until my DD was 8 weeks old. She is now 10 weeks and I'm going to one of the classes I researched with her this morning. Use your head - small babies can be boring, and it is ok to be bored, just plan ahead if you can and find out what is on in your area so when you're sleep deprived you don't have to think about it too much smile

Congratulations!

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