3rd tri nerves? don't think I'm cut out for being a mother(21 Posts)
I'm constantly being told I should be excited and delighted but actually just feel ill, hassled and scared. Pregnancy really took me by surprise in terms of how difficult it is, and now I fear motherhood will be worse.
I I used to be healthy, energetic and in control of myself and now I'm slow, enormous, can't do anything I once enjoyed and I have this constant buzzing of people in my ear telling me what to do, how I should feel, how I will feel, what to buy. I take no joy in "baby things" and have left it to my partner to organise. I won't read the baby books because I find them overwhelming (plus I'm still working and have no time). I don't look at other people's kids and think "I want that", I think "oh Christ"
I sometimes just want to escape from it all (although obviously that can't be done).
I seem to have nothing in common with other pregnant friends or parents, who all project an image of total happiness and fulfillment. I ask them if they ever mourn their old life and they say no, that it seems abstract to them now. I genuinely miss being young, and feeling young.
Its as if being a mother is supposed to define me now and, for me, its just too scary. I like my job, I like the person I used to be, I enjoy reading, learning and travelling. I was always fiercely independent. These traits don't seem to go well with the image of "Ideal Mother".
My own mother gave up her whole self for her kids and ended up broke, frustrated, bored and lonely so I think I'm just terrified of that.
Am I alone in feeling like this? Everyone says I'll be a different person in a month when my baby is born, which I'm supposed to find reassuring but I don't even want to be a different person - I quite like who I am.
No! You are far from alone on this!
Me and my dh are constantly frustrated by the litany of 'this will be how it is when baby is born'! We deliberately ignore it - your child will not be identical to your friends, your own experience will not be the same.
I am someone very much into my work and not a natural earth mother by any means. I look at the 6 months of mat leave ahead of me and wonder what the hell I'm going to do.....
It's all weird - its not something you can really prepare for - we'll just have to take it day by day.
Please don't feel like you are the only one feeling like you are.
My DS is 11 months old and I still have times when I mourn my old life. I wouldn't change my new life for the world but I can't really understand people who wouldn't want to just go out on their own again one more time, or have more lie ins, or not have to get up in the night etc etc. I'm sure that's perfectly normal, being a mother changes your life in every way. But it can be so much better than your old life at times too. You'll find a way to be the best mother that you can be once your baby is born, absolute bollocks to the 'Ideal Mother', I swear that doesn't exist! You just need to find a way to be your 'old self' at times whilst embracing your 'new self' too!
As for the pregnancy though, it's crap and it's hard work. I found pregnancy harder than having a baby. I slept more and felt more energetic with a baby than I did whilst pregnant. I really hated the physical restrictions.
Don't beat yourself up about it. You couldn't possibly predict how you'll feel once your baby is born now I don't think!
Totally not alone and this is number 2 for me. It took me months to feel like a mother with dd 1 and now potter along. Just when I was enjoying things it's taken 6 years (not saying I've not enjoyed dd but we can do stuff now) I'm back to square one and can't enjoy the fact I'm pregnant.
Don't read the books, totally overrated and you will spend the first few months going 'but the book didn't say to do that'.
I completely agree with you. I'm so relieved to read this just to know I'm not alone. I'm only 17 weeks but people keep asking me if I'm really excited. You can't spend 9 months jumping up and down!?
I also keep getting 'pearls of wisdom' telling me my life is over and we should really enjoy this Xmas as it's basically likely to be the last we do. The other day I got told I'm going to be the size of a house and had better get over it when I said I was still going to the gym.
I completely get why you feel hassled. You aren't alone!
It's not just you. Okay, obviously you do need to be alert to the possibility of antenatal depression but I felt like this very much when DD arrived- like I had lost myself and would thenceforth only ever be "DD's mum", and that I would probably do a shit job because I've never been overly maternal (whatever that means).
It took about 3 months to emerge from the fog and suddenly realise a)I can do this and b) I can still be me.
The key thing for me was realising that DD had even less experience than me in knowing what a mother "should" be. I was all she knew and she seemed to think I was ace and doing a brilliant job- in that she was alive and healthy and smiled at me when I chatted to her. You don't have to be anyone else's idea of "mother". Just do your thing and you and your baby will learn as you go, and as you gradually gain in confidence you'll find the space to go back to some of the old things you liked, and even find some new parts of yourself you never realised were so strong and cool.
It doesn't matter that you find all the baby prep boring- it is! And maybe it's more that the anticipation is scaring you so you're avoiding things. Hey, I've done that too!
But D day will come and suddenly you'll be just doing it- being a parent. And yes it'll feel overwhelming at first, and sometimes overwhelmingly lonely and boring. But you'll get there. And it only takes a micro-smile, or a few seconds of that baby staring deeply into your soul (how do they do it?) and you'll feel lighter for long enough to get through the next few hours. I think sometimes the less excitable you are, the more relaxed you tend to be, and babies feed off that. So it's actually good.
Sorry for ramble. But you aren't alone. It's just hard to find others who'll admit to feeling this way! But best of luck with everything and don't listen to the chirpy fuckers. It's major culture shock for some of us, but it is ace in the end.
I'm 30 weeks and feel exactly the same. Feel free to PM me.
I've got anaemia and I'm feeling so sick and faint. I'm scared of the birth and just want to feel better. I'm terrified I've made a huge mistake - my husband is wonderful and super excited, but like you I look at other people's kids and just think "Jesus." I'm worried about breastfeeding, and getting the baby to sleep through the night, and so many things.
You will probably feel so much better once you have recovered a bit from the birth, I did, I was elated to not be pregnant anymore, you'll be able to do normal things again like falling asleep on your front, getting out of the bath won't be a challenge etc. I just hated pregnancy, I am pregnant again now and i see it as more of an endurance test, I'd love to be one of those women who love being pregnant but I'm not, it is a means to an end and I really didn't know anything about babies or what being a Mum was going to be like, just knew I wanted to give it a go. I think all the comments from everyone are really annoying and not helpful - you'll do being a Mum in your own way. I'm not into baby clothes or all the stuff either, I'm more on the practical and affordable end of the scale. Just like every other aspect of life like work, relationships etc, having a baby and being a Mum will be done your way and individual to you. I have found it hard that parenting seems a lot more open to other people's opinions and judgements than other aspects of life - I wouldn't dream of discussing someone's career choices as a conversation starter but that seems to be the norm with parenting :\ I've had a lot of uninvited advice and comments from people whenever i dont seem to be doing it their particular way eg you should stop BF now, you should put him in nursery now, so do you only have the one child? Isn't he lonely? dummies are immoral, you need a better changing bag, you shouldn't have an epidural etc etc the list goes on and on. It is only now my son is 3 and I'm pregnant again that I can let all this stuff wash over me a bit more because I know there are a million ways to do it and I'm happy with the way I'm choosing to do it, still rankles me though. There are loads of women who combine being independent and adventurous with motherhood, I'm probably at the other end of the spectrum on that front and have had plenty of peer pressure to go back to work, to be away from my son before I was ready - it just goes to show that you really can't please everyone and you just need to focus on what is right and feels normal for you, everyone does it in a different way. I am a very different Mum to my own Mum, my grandmother, my mother in law, sister in law, friends and they sometimes get critical because I'm not doing it exactly as they would but I'm doing it the way I want to. And I'm not doing anything massively uncommon at all, its just that people seem to get very particular over pregnant women and mums.
People tell you things because they think it's helpful. At the moment you don't really know how you're going to feel when the baby is here. If you embrace motherhood and allow yourself to be changed by it you could potentially be extremely happy.
When the baby is born you will be full of hormones, good experiences will make you feel euphoric and bad experiences and negativity could lead to depression. It's important to be positive.
As a mum you have to be selfless especially in the first few months. It doesn't mean you're somebody else it's just a new chapter of your life. What you want now will likely change, things that seemed important before might not be.
You're still you, you're also a mother. It really is great!
Wow BBLucy, I could have written that post myself and I'm only 7 weeks!
You have articulated my fears and worries and made me feel so much less alone. So thank you
Ah, OP! You sound just like I felt with DS.
I couldn't understand how these people could enjoy pregnancy, I felt shades of terrible throughout.
I'm not maternal. I hadn't ever held a tiny baby. I didn't have friends with children.
But it all came together eventually. I didn't join the masses, though, and have instead tried to keep being myself in all this. I found maternity leave hard and went back to work before 6 months. I felt guilty because I didn't feel guilty about working! I still can't bring myself to define myself "as a mum". I just happen to have a child! (I've done more of the slightly inadvisable and unconventional hobby
skateboarding, unbecoming of a woman my age, since having DS too!)
I haven't felt like my child is wonderful, I can't understand these parents who gush all over Facebook. But in our own way we're happy! Motherhood has been a slow burn for me, and that's ok. It's ok for you too. There is no right way of doing this!
I'm now expecting #2 (several years later) and am feeling better physically and emotionally about the whole thing. Now I'm starting to "get it". (Though now I'm slightly concerned I'll lose the edgier part of me and become more mumsy!)
Good luck, OP. Don't let anyone tell you how to feel, or how to perform. You'll be back to you in no time.
Ok this all sounds normal. I'm 27 weeks with DC2 and my heart does sink when I think of going through it all again. BUT. Having a newborn was for me a million times better than being pregnant, especially the 3rd tri. I just hated being so big & slow etc. I kept working, going to the gym until 37 weeks which kept me sane.
Then ds arrived and it sort of fell into place (eventually). Yes it's like a bomb going off in your life but you do get into the swing of things
plus you can drink wine again
I was happy to go back to work when he was 8mo, so the old me was still there, just with the totally ace addition of DS.
I did read some books but they confused me. I got most info from
frantic 3am googling mumsnet anyway! It's worth making a few 'mum friends' just so you can compare notes and vent. It generally works out for most people, we are all winging it but the babies are generally ok and there is support out there if you need it, be it health visitor, gp, mumsnet etc.
Just hang in there, don't lose hope,you will still be you and your life just gets back to the new normal, somehow!
It's late now and I'm off to bed but wanted to reply to this first! I haven't read through the other comments yet so I appologise if I'm repeating anyone! The truth is, for many, pregnancy isn't the fun, enjoyable experience they expect! It can be very difficult for many reasons! sickness, doscomfort, fatigue to name but a few!!! I remember struggling with exhaustion during my first pregnancy. I was anaemic and it was awful! I was constantly told, it will be worse once the baby arrives! Well turns out it wasn't! I have never felt as tired as I did during pregnancy! The point I'm making is, people don't really have a clue, every pregnancy, baby, mother is different! Another point to consider is that during pregnancy, your body's doing lots of hard work with little reward! (Don't get me wrong, it's lovely feeling the baby kick etc.) When your baby arrives and you hold them in your arms for the first time, your outlook will change! It's a feeling like no other! Them smiling for the first time, saying mama! There are little pleasures throughout the day (and night) once your baby arrives! I had the same worries you have but I really needn't have! I wouldn't change any of it for the world! I have my lovely 2 year old and 2nd on the way so doing it all again, and this time I can't wait!!!x
Wow, this post sums up exactly how I'm feeling at 29 weeks. I'm anaemic so I'm feeling utterly fed up with the fatigue and faintness. Plus all the "enjoy this time, you won't have a moment to yourself" stuff is really grating now :-(
I'm not a maternal person at all and dread when people ask me if I want to cuddle their baby. I just don't find them cute at all, they're terrifying!
I guess I wanted for me and my partner to be a family, but it all feels so overwhelming now, and I'm ashamed to say I sometimes wish I could turn back the clock and not do this after all. Especially now I'm starting to bloat all over and gain pounds by the day. The thought of the birth is giving me anxiety attacks too...
Sorry for being so glum, but it's a huge relief to say these things to people who understand. It's all a bit of a conspiracy this pregnancy malarkey!
People in real life never tell you what its like or how you might feel, all you get is oooo so exciting etc. Tbh i was never a 'baby person' in fact i didnt like kids. When ds was born i remember having to buzz s midwife in hospital as he had pooed and puked and was crying and i just didnt know wtf to do. But you know what? Even if your the sort of person who thinks im not cut out for this (god knows i was/am) , you get on with it, you learn how to do everything through trial and error, you do things you never thought you would and you will suprise yourself at how you take to it. Some days you will want to run away. Some days you will want nothing more than to just look at the life you have created.
Total conspiracy PinkPlaid!
The key thing is to learn to lie so as to keep the conspiracy going.
"Oh yes, soooo excited, can't wait!"
"Oh yes, completely organised; prams, clothes, car seats, all ready and waiting!"
"Oh yes, birth was tough but FINE REALLY!"
"Oh yes, feeding is going really well."
"Oh yes, very settled."
"Oh yes, getting good chunks of sleep at night now, she's VERY SETTLED."
"Oh yes, good advice that, thanks"
That way all the nice people who are just trying to be kind really can feel happy for you, and you can save the exhausting, chaotic, haemorrhoidal, bloated, sleep-deprived reality for a choice few in the inner circle
Although actually it is intermittently brilliant in its own bonkers way once the baby arrives. And the intermittent moments of brilliance coalesce over time so that by age 1 or so things will be mostly just fantastic, messy, and fun for your whole new little family !
Before I had DD I didn't like babies. I have discovered that I still don't like young babies or children other than my own! I didn't enjoy pregnancy and was very worried about potentially not bonding with my baby. DD is now nearly 2 and an absolute delight. Watching her grow and develop fascinates me and I love her so very much. It can't be that bad as I'm now expecting DC2.
Here are a few things that helped me to feel better when pregnant and after the birth:
1. Tried to accept that how I felt was ok, that I wasn't an uncaring freak or a terrible mother.
2. Accepted all offers of help, holding the baby etc to give me a break and a bit of sanity.
3. Went back to work when DD was 6 months, leaving DH to do the rest of the leave. This was very important to me. I never wanted to feel like the "default parent".
4. Gave a death stare to anyone who referred to me jokingly as "mummy" and pointed out that I still had a name.
Feel free to pm me if you want to ask anything or just to rant. Some elements of your life will change, but how much will depend on you!
I'm soooo glad to read all these replies. I'm not enjoying pregnancy at all. I feel completely freaked out with my body and it's changing shape, I hate people looking at me, I find babies boring , I miss wearing my jeans that have fit me for years! I felt more excitement at passing my driving test than I do about having a child!
I hated being pregnant. Hated it. I was also horribly anxious throughout. I cried my eyes out once when I got mixed up on when payment for a prenatal class was due thinking I was the shittest mother to be ever, I would forget the dinner money and my child would be hungry etc etc. Well I'm not exactly Mother Earth and forgetting the dinner money is still a possibility, but my DD is one and a half, happy and doing well, and I seem to be rubbing along just fine and so will you, more than likely. One day at a time, and if a day is too much to contemplate then one hour at a time.
23 weeks nearly and I'm terrified. You're not alone-I keep wondering how I'll manage to keep somebody else alive
Champagne - I worried about this. The only reason the cat gets fed on time is because she makes a nuisance of herself till it gets done.
Turns out babies are the same! They have you trained as well as a cat trains its staff within a few days!
Join the discussion
Please login first.