In the last few weeks, I’ve had this irrational fear? thought? rear its ugly head at random times throughout my day/week.
You see, I’m the eldest daughter of the eldest son of a traditional Korean (-American) family and I grew up being the caretaker of nearly everyone in my life: my younger brother, my parents, my cousins, my aunts/uncles, (and it spread to ex-boyfriends, etc.).
It’s something that happened by default (translator for the adults in my family) and by choice (love to spoil my lil bro and cousins and unfortunately undeserving ex-boyfriends).
Regardless, it’s something I’ve grown accustomed to throughout the years; and as much as you can hear me whine, bitch, and vent about this role – it’s honestly something that makes me who I am at the core. I love to help, to give, and it really is the foundation of my innermost happiness.
So where am I going with this self-indulging description?
Well, this is what has made me (pre-BFP) never question my [future] ability to be a good mom. It seems like it’s a sixth sense for me to “take care of others.” Why wouldn’t it apply to matters of caring for my own flesh and blood? My baby boy?
I’m not sure if this is the hormones talking or whatnot, but recently I’ve had random flashes of panic –
“Well yea, so you’re good at taking care of other grown adults in your life, what makes you think you’ll be good at taking care of a helpless, tiny baby?” – The Voice Inside My Head.
How will I know if my baby’s cry is for food or a diaper or something completely random like cold feet? (I’ve heard there’s different cries for different needs.)
How will I figure out all there is to breastfeeding?
How will I not scream at my husband when I’m running on NO sleep?
I know that stepping into mother(parent)hood is the step of years of endless/constant worry over the safety, wellbeing, and happiness of your child; but in the immediate future (we’re nearing the 100 day mark this week!) I’m so begotten with anxious feelings that somehow I’m going to fail at being a “good mom.”
And so- what’s a girl to do? I gabbed with new mommy friends, posted on Hellobee and Twitter, and am now here posting on the blog. Venting, talking through these fears, and realizing that HEY – these thoughts are normal, other mamas have thought it too!
“I think that the moms who worry about whether they will be good moms are the ones who are good moms.”
“The fact that you’re telling me this now, tells me just the opposite: you’re going to be GREAT at being a mom.”
“You’ll do great because you’ll love your LO to pieces!”
“Worrying about it is a sign of how committed you are, which is a huge piece. Just like with any new job or role, there is a learning curve that can feel pretty steepp at the beginning and can be humbling. While i think it is important to strive to be a great mom, it is also important to be gentle with yourself, especially at the beginning.”
“You’ll be a great mom. Weve all had these thoughts/fears and so far we aren’t doing so bad “
“It depends how you define “good.” Honestly, sometimes I suck as a mom, that’s how it goes though. Other times I want to high five myself.”
“I’m sure you’ll be a great mom. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be days where you’ll feel like a failure at mommyhood. We can only strive to try our best.”
“I’m having the same fears cross my mind. I’ve always been a great caretaker of people but now I worry it won’t translate into motherhood.”
“Lady, you are going to be an awesome mom. I just know it.”
“I constantly beat myself up about not being a good mother, more so than usual since my 6 week old screams non stop. I hate feeling this way. I have a 4 year old as well and everyone always says “She’s so happy/smart/polite” and it makes me feel good, but then I have days like today where I just feel like a total failure. But like my mother tells me “It’s the bad ones who don’t give a crap.”"
“It’s tough and definitely tests your patience, but you’ll do great!”
And so I take a big breath and relax, back to my “go with the flow” thought process, and rest easy until the next wave of emotional/irrational mommy fear…