“It looks like you have everything you need. Have a safe trip home!” The midwife smiled and disappeared from the room, taking with her every ounce of parenting confidence I thought I had.
I blinked. Waited.
The midwife didn’t return.
My husband and I gathered our things along with our sleepy and less than 12-hours-old son. I sat in the backseat and stared at the tiny human beside me.
As I held my son’s tiny hand, every fear, anxiety, and horror story I’d ever heard about motherhood began rattling around my mind. Suddenly the discomfort of a giant baby bump seemed ideal compared to my current situation.
Was I thrilled to finally hold my son? Absolutely. But the weight and reality of keeping a tiny human alive suddenly seemed too much to bear.
Was I really qualified to do this?
Women are strong and resilient, and our culture often assumes women don’t have any qualms or fears about stepping into the unknown territory of motherhood. I recently asked my Instagram community of moms what they feared or struggled with the most. The responses were instant and eye-opening. (I’ve put an asterisk next to the ones that were mentioned multiple times by multiple women.)
- Sleep deprivation*
- Not having any breaks
- Conflicting info about what is best/healthiest/safest
- Breastfeeding and all the unknowns that go with it*
- Not knowing how to discipline
- Losing friends, changes in relationships*
- Postpartum recovery, postpartum depression *
- Others’ opinions about what I should/shouldn’t be doing*
- Comparisons to other moms
- Vaccine decisions
- Balance of working from home while caring for baby
- Judgement for going back to work
- Finding time to spend with my other children
- Anatomy and ultrasound scan
- Worrying about allowing visitors once baby is born
- Anxiety about not doing enough for my child
Every single response from these moms is grounded in some sort of truth or reality. If we minimize or brush aside these concerns, we put women at risk of sliding into crushing isolation and loneliness.
As my husband and I took our son home 6 years ago, I agonized over many of these questions and fears myself. I wondered if I had what it takes.
Maybe you’ve wondered the same thing. Thankfully, the adventure of motherhood isn’t something we have to figure out alone.
Facing Fears Together
Over the next few months, we’ll be tackling each of these fears and concerns in a new blog series: A Bump in the Road: Facing the Fears of Motherhood. We’ll share practical tips, resources, and experiences from real moms who have been there. We’ll also give you the chance to share your insights or questions on our Instagram and Facebook pages, so make sure you’re following us so you don’t miss the chance to join the conversation.
Friend, you’re not alone. Motherhood is difficult, but it is also incredibly rewarding and full of joy. We would love the opportunity to walk alongside you during and after your pregnancy.
If you’d like to make a free appointment to talk with a trained advocate about motherhood and all the options available to you, call us today or request an appointment here. You can also be a part of a growing community of moms through our Pregnancy 101 and Parenting 101 classes.
Together, we are stronger. And together, we can empower one another to face pregnancy, motherhood, and every unknown that comes after, without fear.