Dear Baby: on nervousness about motherhood

Dear Baby,

It is now approximately 14 weeks until your due date, or a little over three months, and this has your father and me a little anxious. Not anxious because we’re scared to have you here–oh no, we can’t wait to meet you–but anxious because there are still so many things we need to do to prepare for your arrival. Things like, get a place for you to sleep in, empty your bedroom of all the extra stuff we’ve been storing in there, get clothes and diapers and all the other things you’re going to need when you get here, etc. And baby, I tell you what, I don’t think anyone ever realizes how overwhelming and big the world of products for babydom is until she/he has kids. I knew in theory, cause I’d heard it was nuts, and I had seen and even read mommy blogs and such talking about all of these things, but somehow, it’s all been brought home even more in the past week or so as I’ve started researching things.

This is probably because even though you’ve been growing inside me for six months, it wasn’t until about two weeks ago that I actually started thinking about the actual physical preparations for your arrival. (We’ll be just fine on that front, though, baby, I promise–lots of extraordinarily kind people are helping talk your mama through it. Don’t you fret.) And waiting to start getting baby things was an intentional decision, partly because we were moving halfway across the country and it just didn’t make sense to start sooner, partly because I wanted to not overwhelm myself too soon, and partly so I could focus more on you and me, and making my body a good home for you until you get here. I hope it’s worked for you.

Baby girl, please don’t misunderstand me here. I know perfectly well that this nervousness about getting everything ready for you is simply a metaphor for me fearing the big unknown of being your mama. The real fact of the matter is that I can hardly wait to meet you. And even though I sometimes still stare motherhood in the eye with abject terror, it’s my own insecurities and inabilities that I fear, which is something we all have to confront in one way or another. 

But when I’m wondering too much how I can ever care for and raise you to be the strong woman I know you are, I look down at you and smile. Because that’s when I feel your fluttering limbs inside me, (I don’t know much about you yet, baby girl, but I do know you like to dance)pushing eagerly out towards the world as if to say, I’m here, Mama–I can’t wait to come to you. And when I worry about how to help you be faith-filled and courageous in this often sad, scary world, I look down and see my stomach move for a split second, as if your tiny two-pound body kicking me from the inside proves that you will be powerful and brave and smart and strong, no matter what bad things are out there. And when I wonder if my failings and insecurities will make your life unnecessarily harder, I look over at your handsome father, and remember that thank goodness you have his love and his genes and his help too, along with God’s, and both of them love you just as much or more than I do, so although things will be messy, with two fathers like that, you can’t go too wrong.

I’m used to thinking of you being my baby now, but it is a different thing entirely to think of myself as your mother. I hope you’ll forgive me for all the times I’ll fall apart–I don’t know much about being a mom; I’ve never done it before. But oh, how I love you already and I can’t wait to get to know who you are and what you’re like and all the little things that make you special and unique and interesting.

Together, we’re going to have so many, many adventures.

Love,

Mama

baby announcement

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5 thoughts on “Dear Baby: on nervousness about motherhood

  1. I love you! And really hope I can call you someday when I’m traversing the scary road of babydom. P.S. You’re an amazing strong woman. Baby is going to be very lucky to have you. 🙂 I know I am.

  2. Oh Tracy, you can call me any blessed time. Not that I’ll have any wisdom or anything, but you can always call.

    Sorry, Sisterfriend. I didn’t mean to. 🙂

  3. I love that baby girl too! I love her mama too, and I know she will be a wonderful mother. Amazingly the “world of babydom” was overwhelming 30+years ago when I had my first baby girl, but I learned quickly and out of necessity (because we were poor students) that you can get by on much less than what is recommended. (And look how great your sister turned out:)

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