While I’m forever grateful to be carrying a perfectly healthy baby and having a healthy pregnancy I can’t help but feel bad about my mom/wife skills, or the lack thereof. Despite all the good, there is a darker side. A side of me that I don’t like, that keeps making her presence known day in and day out. You could say I say I feel like “the other mother” from “Coraline”, the version of me made of all the bad things about myself. This pregnancy is wrecking me and I worry about what life after this is going to look like.
I easily slip in and out of anxious states. It’s something I’ve dealt with for years and typically have under control. However, it’s made worse when my hormones are out of whack, for example when I’m pregnant. I try to micro-manage everything. I’m easily irritated, and my already short temper is shortened dramatically due to my anxiety. It doesn’t help either that before this pregnancy I experienced two miscarriages. Those two losses hit me hard and have added to my anxious tendencies when monitoring this pregnancy like “counting kicks” for example. I get obsessive about it and panic easily when I don’t feel like she’s moving enough. Luckily, she “kicks” me back into reality when I get like this because I honestly think she senses my anxiety.
I’m beyond lucky to have an amazing spouse that has selflessly stepped in and picked up the slack during this pregnancy. He’s played both mom and dad seamlessly and does so without complaint. He does the cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, and much more. He allows me to rest when I need it and makes me rest when he can see I’m pushing myself too hard. He doesn’t look at me as being a burden when I’m convinced I’m ruining his life. He reassures me that I’m still a good mom even when the last thing I want to do is actually be around my kids. He’s the glue keeping our family together. He’s also keeping me together even when all I want to do is quit and fall apart.
I’ve also become very hard on myself during this time, especially about my appearance. I was honestly in the best shape of my life before this pregnancy and really happy with where things were going for us, my personal mindset, and my outward appearance. I’ve obviously gained weight, but not to an extreme. I’m actually right where I should be if you go off the recommended weight gain amount of 25-35 lbs. I eat (relatively) healthy and we tend to be pretty active, especially on weekends. But when I look into the mirror I don’t see “me” staring back. I see a version of me I don’t like and can’t wait to change. Basically, if I’m talking about myself in any capacity it’s nothing but negative and apologetic for not being the old me. I know my family and friends hate that I do this and they are constantly getting onto me about being so hard on myself. But it’s hard and until I get back that “control” aspect, the same one that triggers my anxiety, I probably won’t snap out of it.
As this pregnancy nears the finish line I find myself just trying to survive at this point, and keep myself in check when it comes to handling our family life and my own personal mental and physical health. As I tell my friends, I make great babies, I’m just not good at it. At the end of the day, I’m only human. I have flaws, I make mistakes, and that’s okay. It doesn’t help that we live in a society that is full of so much criticism, and scrutiny. Being pregnant and/or being a mom today is hard and we honestly need to be more gentle with ourselves and others. I’m a prime example of that right now and it’s something I’m really working on as my due date approaches.
To the other mama’s out there dealing with some of the same issues, you aren’t alone. Were all amazing in our own special ways even when we aren’t feeling like we are. Allow yourselves some grace during this time and embrace this moment for what it is, a miracle. Hang in there mamas, we’ve got this!