So far, the scariest thing about being pregnant has been this impending need to let go.
Now, for a lot of people that may sound like a simple and rather exciting thing. Just… let go.
I started the whole thing out with the very best of intentions, particularly after seeing this interview with Jen Garner. You know Jen, right? Effortlessly nailing motherhood in every paparazzi snapshot since I don’t know when.
Sounds easy, right? It is, when you don’t need to think about it. You think oh, I’ll deal with that later, or, I’ll just take it as it comes. Until it all starts coming at you and you need to start making decisions.
Letting go of my body as a small alien slowly settles in and starts commandeering it, sending regular functionality running for the hills, that’s been gradual so no real stress there. However, the whole getting dressed for work thing has become a bit more of a challenge as things that were appropriate with tights no longer are. Realising that this body can’t (and, arguably, shouldn’t) try to maintain the same pace of daily life as it did before has also snuck up on me a little, and I’m not as big a fan of naps as I once was. Tricky.
Realising that, in a few short months, there will be no choice but to let go of work – pass it over or let what’s going to happen, happen, in your absence. That, coupled with the realisation that leaving work to head home ‘when I’m done’ will be a thing of the past and ‘bed time’ will not be a thing I determine anymore – those things make it all a little more real.
The rest, the real mom-stuff like which brands to use and what our birth plan is and which angle we’ll change his butt from – that we will 100% be winging. We’ll be prepared, but we’ll be winging it.
Jen wasn’t kidding when she said that there is so much advice, though. My word there is a lot of it. People are pushy, and certain and cast rather judgmental eyes over this way when I share how ‘unprepared’ we really are. “You must have”, “You must do”, “If you don’t XYZ, you will never sleep / breathe / walk / eat again. You just won’t cope.”
Perhaps the scariest thing of all is wondering how you are meant to know all of the things that moms just seem to know. And how do you know what you’re meant to know and what you’ll figure out? There are books, yes, but surely the rest can’t be all ‘instinct’? I have heard that it’s one of life’s greatest questions, but it’s scaring the heck out of me. I’m sure we’ll learn by doing, but at what cost?
Let me be the first to say that I occasionally get wrapped up in it all and PANIC, and ask the mamas of the world how you let go and just go went with it? Or am I overthinking this whole thing and will there, in fact, be no time for thinking once the small human in?
For now, if you need me, I’ll be trying to channel my inner Jen. Clutching anxiously to this cup of rooibos tea.