When we found out we were expecting, my boyfriend and I were on our way to (bae)cation at an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republican. Days before he’d been throwing up but just brushing it off, claiming it must’ve been something he ate. But I grew suspicious when it began to happen every other morning, and especially when we’d eaten the same thing the night before. I joked: “Are you pregnant?” But little did we know…
At the time, it seemed as if everyone around me was pregnant. And for a moment the thought crossed my mind: “When the time came, would I be able to have a child?” To be honest, we weren’t exactly trying but we weren’t doing anything to prevent pregnancy, either.
So when the results from the two at-home pregnancy tests I took came back positive, I was overjoyed but also a bit nervous. “Ok, so now I’m pregnant but am I ready to be a mom?” Regardless, I had approximately nine months to prepare myself or to get as close as possible. I had so many questions for the moms around me but I first had to ask myself a few questions.
1. Am I too selfish to be a mom?
This one was a deep dive into self-discovery. Growing up in a household with seven siblings, it was hard for us to be selfish. Our parents made sure we understood the fundamental of “sharing is caring,” but we all had our moments. One thing that I’ve learned about being a mom so far is that you can’t be selfish. Think about it: Your body no longer belongs to ONLY you. If that doesn’t put things into perspective…
I joked with my friends about how the upcoming summer was supposed to be MY SUMMER and how I was supposed to have abs. We see how that turned out.
But, as it turns out, I wasn’t too selfish. From the moment I found out that a life was growing inside of me—one that didn’t choose to be here—something came over me. I immediately took into account that everything that I did from that point on would no longer affect just me. It was my duty to make sure that little life made it here safely.
2. Am I financially ready to be a mom?
This one went hand-in-hand with the previous question. Thankfully my boyfriend and I were in a comfortable financial position. We both had good-paying jobs and had been pretty responsible when it came to saving. This just meant that we had to be a bit more diligent in managing our spending habits.
3. Would being a mom give me FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)?
That one was easy: Nope. I was already a homebody. Having a baby would just give me an excuse to not have to hang out. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good night out with the girls but I would rather much stay in and Netflix and chill. Besides, many of my friends were already moms so they knew the realness of the struggle.
4. Am I ready to not be in control?
I love to be in control but I knew that there would be so many things beyond my control when it came to being a mom. One of the biggest things that I had to accept was that I had no control over when our son would actually be born. I went two days past my due date and those were the longest two days of my life. Knowing that I could go into labor at any moment was stressful. Thankfully he didn’t keep us waiting for too long.
Another factor that I have to accept that I have no control over is development. Our son smiled when he was ready, laughed when he was ready, rolled over when he was ready, etc. I can’t control when he’s ready to advance to the next stage in his life, even if that means that one day he’ll decide that he no longer wants to cuddle with me or let me kiss him in public. But hopefully, that’s a while from now.
You guys please pray for me because the struggle to let go of wanting to be in control is real! It’s a process but I’m taking it one day at a time.
5. Am I ready for the physical changes that come with being a mom?
This last one was the biggest. My answer: HELL NO! No matter how many blogs you read, how many people you talk to, NOTHING can prepare you for the physical transformation that your body endures. Before conception I’d gotten down to a pretty comfortable weight, I was working out consistently, and eating healthier than I had been in previous years. I was on my way to abs. But, again, we see how that turned out.
One thing that I’d read was that if you stayed active during your pregnancy, it would help during labor and the recovery process. Because I maintained a steady workout routine, I was able to hold off the swelling and excessive weight gain until the very end of my pregnancy. But one thing that I wasn’t prepared for was leaving the hospital and still looking about six months pregnant. Oh, and not to mention the stretch marks and loose skin!
It took me a while to accept the fact that my body will never be like it was before having a child. I tell myself that it is better. Stronger. More purposeful. And when I catch myself feeling down after looking in the mirror, I’m quickly reminded of how I went through such an amazing transformation to bring a beautiful life into this world.
While I knew my answers to these questions wouldn’t change the fact that I was going to be a mom in a matter of months, they did help me get in the right state of mind. I encourage you to ask yourself these same questions before pregnancy, if possible.
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