I Was Scared to Become a MOM

When I found out I was pregnant I had a major identity crisis. I feared becoming a single label: “mom.” It seemed like that mom life would be the only life I’d get to live.

I was so upset by that. I didn’t want to lose myself or sacrifice the person I was. I didn’t want to be so consumed with my daughter that I was no longer the wife / friend / employee / person I was before…

And that fear caused a problem. It took a while to enjoy my pregnancy. I wanted to be pregnant, but I didn’t know how to connect with what was happening. I adjust to new people and new experiences slowly. It felt weird and distant. M was born and the weirdness didn’t instantly go away- although it changed.

After sorting out my ppd and taking care of my health, I had the realization that M was mine. Everything she did and all her care was my job- I didn’t have to seek approval or validation for my actions from anyone (in tandem with K, of course). And that didn’t scare me at all- I started feeling more comfortable referring to her as my daughter.

Truthfully, I’ve only just starting thinking of myself as a mom. Maybe Mother’s Day helped a little? I resisted the all-consuming title for a long time… even though I was, by definition, A MOM. I admire other moms, I wanted to have a kid from the start, I look up to so many amazing mothers out there. It’s not the fear of being old or having that soccer-mom-mini van-driving,-lob haircut-vibe…….. it’s just the uncomfortableness of a new and limiting name.

When I announced I was pregnant the MOM CLUB showed up in full force and I felt like such a phony. People offered me clothes, toys, meals, advice, their kitchen sinks, etc. It felt weird… It felt fake to be accepted just because I was now “one of them.” I truthfully hated the idea of it… but secretly loved the support and help.

(I realize now that being a parent is tough and the so-called MOM CLUB is actually just women who have been there/done that/are still in trenches who want to help someone else that’s wandered into this war zone of untold horrors and blessings. Lol.)

A lovely blog friend shared with me that she felt very distant from her pregnancy, too, and only connected with her daughter once she was born. Another blog friend told me that the “instabond” moms have with their babies is sometimes a myth and for good reason. It makes SENSE that getting to know your baby and bonding would take time. They are a person after all- someone with their own wants and needs and likes and dislikes and personality and feelings. It’s a relationship that takes a little time.

M is five months old now and I love love love being her mom. Having a child didn’t make me love kids. I’ve never been a big kid person. But now that I’ve gotten to know my baby I am sure that I was meant to be her mother. No regrets, no hesitation, no second thoughts. I live for the day she calls me “mom.”

And life was unclear at first with a new human in the mix. Our days and priorities have changed accordingly… but I’ve found that deep down, I haven’t. I might be a little more distracted and usually covered in spit up, but I have a good relationship with my husband, I try to support and love my friends as much as I always have, and I still enjoy and excel at my job- although I work less days and sometimes long to be home with M when I’m in my office. I read a little less but I’m still a reader. I blog a little less but I’m still a blogger. I’m still a type-a perfectionist but things are a little more lax around here. I’m still me. I’m just a mom, too. And I think I had to go through that stage of insecurity to fully and gratefully accept this role.

This feels like a raw confession of sorts. I’ve never not loved M… I just didn’t know how to serve her and stay true to me. And I feel happy that we’ve figured this out a.k.a. I’ve realized the joy and fulfillment I have in being HER mom.

It’s tough to struggle with your identity. Whether it’s a job or a hobby or a label… it’s weird and uncomfortable to be sorted into a category by default. I feel lucky that I’ve ended up enjoying this new role. I’m embarrassed by how much I doubted myself, but thankful for those who built me up and helped me transition into motherhood. I don’t take the people in my corner for granted and I will teach M how important “our people” are- not least of all her incredible dad.

If you’re struggling with something big, reach out for help. Someone to talk to, an outlet to share your frustrations, prescribed medication to stabilize your mental health. It’s important. Your quality of life matters- don’t dismiss it when something feels wrong. ♥

20 thoughts on “I Was Scared to Become a MOM

    • I’ve never been a natural caregiver and I have NEVER been the type of woman to say, “My purpose in life to be a mom!” Good for those women, though! The world needs ’em! I mostly definitely feel like I was meant to be M’s mom, but I’m slowly learning that I get to be other things too and I am SO grateful for that.

      Like

  1. Thank you for writing this and I really can relate. I never liked kids, never knew what to do with kids, but very much wanted M. It took us a while to bond to be honest, but we’re BFFs now. I told Nick the other day that I still don’t think of myself as a mom…. it’s such a weird feeling but it helps to know I’m not the only one.

    Like

    • Same boat… I will run to a puppy before I will run to a baby. Lol. And I HATED babysitting and being in charge of young children while growing up. But M is a totally different case. I love being with her. And I feel like things are starting to feel more and more natural. I’m so glad that you guys have bonded and gotten there, too!!

      Like

  2. One day M is going to realise how lucky she is that she got YOU, with all the different aspects of your identity, as her mum. Honestly my favourite parents are the ones who manage to combine being amazing mums/dads without entirely losing the identity they had before. I’ve never understood what becombecoming a mother means that’s the only thing you’re allowed to be now.

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Bev ❤ You're going to be an amazing mama someday to some Earthside babies! I agree that adding on "mom" or "dad" to your resume shouldn't be all-consuming… although admittedly sometimes it feels like it mentally and physically. Haha.

      Like

  3. I love this. I think it’s way more common for moms to not really feel connected at first, or have reservations. People just don’t want to talk about it. There are definitely a lot of judgers out there, and it’s so dumb. I think you were definitely meant to be M’s mom, and I’m glad that you’re feeling better about this new role in your life, and that you don’t feel like you’ve lost other aspects of your life/personality too.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Like

  4. Everything was so well said in this, Audrey!! You’ve put words to something I haven’t been able to explain, but I resonated with all of this. I write a lot of posts on my blog about my kids/motherhood, but in the forefront of my thinking, I’m very scared of letting that “motherhood” part of my life become all consuming and the only identity people see in me. I want my real life and my blog to be balanced–my hobbies, my dreams–but I also have this very real day-to-day of caring for small humans.

    Anyway, my longwinded comment has no real point but to say: yes to this post. And thank you for sharing this.

    Like

    • Thank you, Julie. It’s such an odd tightrope to walk… You are a FANTASTIC mother but also an amazing gardener and baker and friend and wife and Christian and writer!! So many hats! Definitely not “just” mom! (Although I admit that “mom” is quickly becoming one of my favorite labels!)

      Like

    • Thank you, Kristen ❤ I went back and forth SO many times. And it took us a while to have M so during that time I'd think, 'What if we never have a baby? Will I be ok with that?' Sometimes the answer was yes. Now that I know her, I'd have said no no no. But truly it's just because it's her. She's who I fell in love with- not necessarily motherhood in general.

      Like

  5. Love this. I struggled getting back some of my hobbies/routines after having Zoe. Now that she is a little more independent, I have more time to read, blog, start new hobbies, etc. I think this post will definitely help some soon to be moms out there with their feelings!

    Like

    • Thank you, Nadine! I know we’re in the very early & needy days right now… and I really do love being her mom… but I’ll be happy to have a little time to get back to my hobbies someday 😉 Definitely not wishing time away, though!

      Like

  6. As much as it’s little sad that snuggly newborns get bigger, it’s also so much fun to learners about them and their personality and things they like and don’t like! I’m glad you’re enjoying being M’s Mom 🙂 And I’m glad you have a Mom club to offer advice!

    Like

    • Thank you, Amanda! I’m really enjoying her and her age right now. Newborn was a rough stage for us but I’m slowly getting better at this- more laid back, more patient. Ha. So grateful for that Mom Club!

      Like

  7. I can absolutely understand this – it’s one of the (many) reasons that I never wanted children myself, though I adore my nephews & nieces. I’ve seen so many friends turn into machines that live for their children’s every want and need, subsuming their own selves for 15+ years. I’m so glad you’re finding your balance! x

    Like

    • Yesssss. I don’t want her to move out one day and me be like, “Oh. Who am I now?”
      I want to keep being a reader and wife and dog lover and human. But I admit being her mom is one of my favorite things!

      Like

  8. Oh my friend, you know I’ve had all of these same feelings. Motherhood is HARD, and I also struggled so much at first. I didn’t want to lose who I was and be “just a mom.” I’ve always identified myself as a librarian, a reader, a writer. It took me time to realize I can be all of the things wile still being a mom. Some mothers throw their whole beings into motherhood, but I don’t think it’s wise. What happens to them when their kids are grown and moved out? Then what’s next for them? I think it’s healthy to show our kids that we are other things still… still a wife, still an employee. still have hobbies. Sometimes I still feel guilt over it, but I know it’s the best thing for all of us.
    P.S. I also do not like kids for the most part… or to be nicer, maybe I should say I’m not a kid person instead. I basically only like mine and other kids that I know.

    Like

    • Yes yes yes. I agree that it’s so important to keep your hobbies and lifestyle and everything. I don’t want her to move out one day and me be like, “Oh. What now?” That mom guilt is a real bitch, though. Ugh.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s