I love babies and kids. Pretty much always have. It’s rare that I come across one that I have a hard time interacting with.
I know that ‘being good with kids’ or ‘spending lots of time around babies’ has pretty much nothing to do with what your life will be like when you become a parent.
Also, pretty much my entire pregnancy I’ve had this mental block where I just can’t envision myself interacting with the baby. As much as I know about her from holding her inside my body all these months, I’m clueless how she will react to the outside world. I feel like I can’t project any expectations on her because I want to encourage her to find her own way to just be.
The real shocker has taken a little longer to sink in. As much as I don’t know what Nora will be like, I almost feel like I don’t know what I will be like either. I know my hormones will change, my sleep schedule, my energy level, my interests, and probably all of my close relationships, not the least of which, my marriage. (This is particularly ironic since Brandon & I both agree that getting married didn’t really change anything about ‘us’.)
I’m more than a little intimidated by this future me. I wonder how she’ll be able to make and keep friends, juggle household basics, continue to grow as a partner, and be a mother. All at the same time. No breaks.
I’ve met a few great women who seem to have all of these things down pat. Maybe not every minute of every day, but for the most part, at least to me, the face they put forward is one of confidence and competence. I don’t know if it’s the giant belly or the huge changes in my social life, but I feel more awkward that I can remember feeling since before puberty. I can’t decide if I want to be ‘put together Rachael’ or ‘this is hard but I’m trying, vulnerable Rachael’. How do you invite someone to get to know you, if that’s what you’re trying to figure out too?
And all my ‘before baby’ relationships… how do I make all this work? My family will always be my family, of course, and Brandon is growing and changing with me, so that’s not quite so drastic. But few of my friends are going through the settling down phase like we are, and the few that are married aren’t interested or just can’t get pregnant. Which is okay. Children are not for everybody, and I wish more people would put a little more thought into whether or not they can produce productive members of society rather than just how cute and squishy babies are. But there’s no hiding the fact that I won’t be going out drinking and hanging out at all hours of the night without some serious planning, and even then, it won’t be the same.
Ug. I’m definitely wallowing now. I’m tired and cranky. I’m a little scared too. I know that most of the answers to my questions will just work themselves out over the coming weeks and months, and even years. There really is little sense in worrying about all these things just to pass the time. Until then, I’m trying to shift my focus back on the joy and beauty we’re soon expecting.