The Worst Thoughts I Had About Becoming a Mom


It's funny, there's so much about early parenthood that I've lost to the murk of my own faulty memory, but I can still remember the predominant thought in my mind both times I held a positive pregnancy test in my hand. It wasn't Hooray! Nor was it I'm the luckiest girl in the world! or I can't wait to embark on this miraculous journey of motherhood! Both times it was this: Oh dear god, what have I done??

Don't get me wrong, both pregnancies were very much wanted and hoped for (the second one, in fact, was pursued with a somewhat unromantic sense of purpose, as anyone who's ever involved fertility monitoring is all too familiar with: "RIGHT NOW WE NEED TO BE HAVING THE SEX. THE TIME FOR HAVING SEX IS NOW"). But I can't lie, amidst the heady swirl of emotions that accompanied those test results was the undeniable fear that I had made a really, really big mistake.

Maybe I'm the only one who experienced the Test Result Freakout ... but I kind of doubt it. It's such an enormously overwhelming moment, one that promises an incomprehensible number of life changes ahead. At the time I felt ashamed for having doubts about our choice, but looking back on it, that undercurrent of OH SHIT seems perfectly natural to me.

In fact, I'm going to go a step further and admit to three other similar new-parent freakouts. Maybe you'll identify, maybe you won't.

Holy crap, this baby was a terrible idea. I remember having this fleeting thought more than once during the baby stage, when it seemed like I hadn't slept in weeks and my entire life had morphed overnight into some sort of Sisyphean drudgery involving the sound of crying, the scent of sour milk, and the sight of human excrement. My free time had disappeared, my mood depended entirely on the mood of a tiny creature who appeared to be plagued by invisible demons, and I was living in a constant state of anxiety and bug-eyed sleep deprivation.

I hardly need to say it, but this stage doesn't last. That doesn't mean it's not incredibly difficult while you're in it, though. No mother wants to admit that she's fantasized about taking a mulligan on the whole "having a baby" thing, but I'd tell anyone having similar thoughts that it's totally normal, and things will be 100 percent different a few months from now.

My body is never going to be the same. Ah, childbirth. What other life stage leaves you a hormone-addled, exhausted, physically ravaged mess right at the exact moment you take on an insanely rigorous mental and physical challenge? And then there's the whole body image whiplash of going from Round With Child to Lumpy With Puffy Parts. The first few months after birth can make you feel like your body was permanently reassembled into a new and unappealing shape, but like everything else, it gets better with time. In the meantime, I highly recommend investing in a comfy-yet-flattering pair of luxury yoga pants.

Parenthood is going to kill my marriage.
Becoming new parents is a huge adjustment, no doubt about it. It's hard to keep the romance alive when you've been thrown into the trenches, fighting just to make it through the day. Candlelit dinners and festive nights on the town have been replaced with tandem diaper duty and midnight feedings, and the stress can cause all kinds of stupid arguments and hurt feelings. The good news is that surviving this stage together can bring you closer, and the bond of parenthood can bring another indescribable dimension to your partnership. You'll make it through together, and you'll emerge on the other side stronger than ever.

Have you had any thoughts like this as a parent?

Image via Linda Sharps

baby first year, newborns, postpartum recovery, postpartum weight


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Melis... Melissa042807

Oh heck yes. In fact, the first words out of my mouth when I got a positive pregnancy test with my first baby were "HOLY SHIT". :-) But the thing I've learned about all these feelings with me is that they are temporary, and there are usually other things besides the baby going on too that are contributing to the stress. It's when those feelings are NOT just temporary that I think a mom needs to get help. 

lucidkim lucidkim

I love the internet. What I mean is that yes, it was around when I was pregnant back in 1999 for the first time - but at that point I didn't know of any blogs or honest parenting opinions shared so I was alone with my thoughts back then. The difference knowing I wasn't alone would have been tremendous! I was freaking out the whole time I was pregnant (it was a surprise) and the first year with all the crying and mess and sleep deprivation and no time for myself was awful. It felt like I had fallen into the pit of hell. I could not imagine WHY anyone would want one of these noisy, messy things and what convinced anyone to do it AGAIN? (I say now as the mother of two!) I love being a mom (now) but the beginnings were hard.

Maman... MamananaKara

YES!! I'm not alone, haha. I completely freaked out. I was shaking, sweaty and anxious. I just don't deal with the unknown very well, and the reality of it all completely blindsided me. OF COURSE my son was wanted, but I was too hung up on the impending change of everything to be sunshine and rainbows, haha.

butte... butterflymkm

I remember a couple days after bringing DD home from the hospital I had this odd feeling of 'So this is mine...I'm not handing it back to someone at some point...what exactly am I suppose to DO with it???' lol

vanes... vanessa5470

Yuuuuuuup. ESPECIALLY when the second was conceived with Paragard in place. I took a pregnancy test in the bathroom stall of the school I was teaching at then. I burst into tears and thought my life was over. I will never forget the feeling of failure and uselessnee, like I had no control over my life.

Well....after nine months of a horrible, depressing pregnancy ( am doing wayyyyy better thanks to counseling/ exercise) my LO is 4 months old and I adore the little booger.

nonmember avatar sb233

Oh my -- the worst night of my life was the first night we brought my firstborn home from the hospital, and my husband and I knew NOTHING -- she cried from 6pm until 6am straight, because she wasn't getting enough breastmilk and I had no idea what else to give her -- poor thing was just hungry. I remember crying while laying on the floor of the nursery thinking I had made the biggest mistake of my life, and that I just wasn't going to make it another day, let along a lifetime of being a parent. Luckily, it got so much better at the 3 month mark, and we figured things out. Now I'm crazily thinking about making another one!

klh1185 klh1185

I experienced the same thing. planed the second baby but still felt that same "oh Shit, now what" feeling when the test come back positive. It kind kept going for a while too as i had a lot of complications. I have to say thoughnow that i have her i would'nt trade her for the world :)

mikki318 mikki318

my situation was a bit different.  i was suppose to be an "emergency caregiver" to my sil's 2 week old son.   i was so angry with her mental illness.  it was a very confusing time, there was lots of unknowns.  I didn't know how long i was going to be doing this.  it was hard to make plans for the future and i was getting selfish.   there was lots of crap talking going on from family. 

  It didn't take long for my husband and I  to fall in love and dread the day that he would be taken away.  He was never taken away.  very bittersweet

tis.u... tis.unnatural

Oh my gosh yes, I'm going through the first part right now. I'm currently 4 months pregnant with my second, and even though this pregnancy was planned and very much wanted I'm still evenly split between excitement and absolute terror (sometimes it's closer to 20/80, actually...). My son is 16 months old and things are starting to get easy! What on earth was I thinking, adding another baby into the mix now??? :) 

AyaTa... AyaTachihara

It's so comforting to hear other moms talk about this. With this baby, I literally broke down crying on the bathroom floor after getting a positive test result because of how bad the timing is and how little my body can endure at this point in my life. I think it's important to know that other people have felt the same way. I will get over it completely when the baby comes, I always do. But it's still very hard sometimes to have your body and life hijacked when you weren't expecting it. Then again, I think there are more surprise babies out there than there are completely planned ones, lol. We love them all, just the same in the end.

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