The title to this blog post – Am I Ready? – is something you’d think I’d have thought about before actually deciding to have a child. Well I did obviously. I felt like I’d put plenty of thought into the decision to become a mother, and looking back it wasn’t something I felt I rushed. It just felt right, if that makes sense. I’d always known I wanted to have children at some point in the future, as soon as I was with Dylan I knew I’d found the person I wanted to be the father of those children and there were a whole host of reasons why it made sense to do it sooner rather than later.
But now I feel I went into that decision armed with only about five per cent of the facts, if that. Now please don’t get me wrong, I am 100 per cent totally not saying I regret getting pregnant or I’m not looking forward to our little girl’s arrival or I don’t already love her a ridiculous amount. But I feel like thinking ‘am I ready?’ for motherhood is an entirely different concept once you’re actually in the position of becoming a mother.
For starters, you learn a whole lot more about the process of pregnancy and having a baby. Beforehand, sure I’d spent time with friends who had children (and the children themselves) but you don’t really get an insight into the totality of their situation, the 24/7 daily life they lead and how that’s flipped upside down by a baby. You know your life will change, and I felt sure (and still do) I was well past the days of wanting to be stood inside a grimy nightclub of a weekend. But it’s only once you approach the latter stages of the pregnancy that you start really taking notice of what you do now and what you’ll be doing then. One night last week, Dyl and I decided on a whim to go out for dinner at 9pm. I’m not saying we’ll never go out for dinner again – we obviously will! – but that kind of spur of the moment thing surely has to be dampened for at least the first couple of years. Taking a baby or toddler out til 11pm without any prior preparation or planning just isn’t feasible!
Then there’s the emotional side of things. After a pretty turbulent start to 2014 (playing it down massively), the summer last year was a real turning point for me and I feel like since I’ve really levelled out and probably been the calmest I’ve been in my life. But now, armed with a whole host of pregnancy hormones, I’ve started worrying whether I really can become a mother. Whether I won’t just sit in a corner and cry a lot! Whether the first day Dylan goes back to work after paternity leave won’t just involve me looking at the baby and wondering what the hell I do now.
People tell me instinct kicks in, you just get on with it, you form this amazing bond and you look back one day and realise you are a mother. I’m massively hoping this is true and that actually, all of the thought I’m putting into the process and the question of ‘how do you become a mother?’ is unnecessary, it’ll just happen.
Harriet and bump x