Sunday, May 9, 2010

Motherhood Madness!!!

Okay, so in trying to branch out and do different things here on the blog and on the Facebook page, I decided that I would start posting periodically and direct it more towards the mom readers of the blog. From time to time I will be asking moms to submit a little something for the blog, based on a certain topic.

You know, when I first found out that my wife was pregnant for the first time, I didn't know what to think. I was overjoyed and extremely excited, yet at the same time I was so afraid and so worried. I had been around kids before, but never had such the responsibility of raising a child. It almost drove me crazy some days thinking about everything from "Will this child love me back?" to "Oh my gosh, what if it poops the black stuff out on the first poopie diaper change and it's my turn to do it?!?" Many things ran through my mind.

Well, turns out dads aren't alone in this by a long shot. Perhaps, even, moms have more and stronger fears and anxieties about it than many dads combines. I asked some mothers to share their biggest fear when first finding out they were going to be a mommy. Here's what a few of them had to say. Thank you ladies for sharing a little bit of the Mommy Madness with us!

LadyLiberal - Biggest fear for me was not bonding w/girl out of fear of losing her. We lost 1st baby 21 weeks into pregnancy. - Life, Liberty, and Vodka Tonics

MamaRocksReno - Definitely the biggest fear I faced was once I got the baby home from the hospital. I had a total irrational fear that someone was just going to come in and say, nope your not qualified we are just going to take her with us now.  It was so surreal to just bring the baby home without a parent handbook stating all the the things we need to do as parents.  Its just such a life changing event and once I became a mom and settled into the roll, my fears were erased and I realized I was MADE FOR THIS!! Being a mom is the single most important thing in my life and nothing I do in my life will have ever been more important than raising my 3 children and making sure they are ready for this ever changing world

Amber - my biggest fear is looseing my children or them getting hurt...

My Mother - What was my biggest concern when I found out I was going to have a baby? It wasn't how to take care of a baby -I had been around babies all my life. I knew how to feed, bathe, and clothe a little one. It wasn't whether I would love a baby enough. I knew our home was filled with love, and each new family addition would only multiply that feeling. No, my concerns were in altogether different areas...

As a Christian Mom, my first priority was to make sure my children would know who God was from an early age, and that they would each see and feel God's love in our home. Was I perfect at it? Not by a long shot! But I did my best to put God in front of them each and every day, and I did (and still do!) spend a lot of time on my knees, asking God to bless them and protect them and draw them close to Him.

Secondly, I wanted to prepare them for the world they would face as they became adults. I wanted my children to find their place in the world, to find a spouse to share their lives with, both joys and fears, happiness and sadness, for better or for worse - well, you get the picture. I wanted for them to find the work God planned for them, knowing they would never be truly happy if they did anything else. I wanted to teach them to look forward, beyond the here-and-now, to how their actions and decisions would affect future generations; to understand that the example they show their children now will likely be the example their grandchildren and great-grandchildren will see.

My children are grown now, with children of their own. I don't know if all my "lessons" got through to them or not - I suspect some did, and others, not so much. But I know that I love them with all my heart, and my grandchildren are the treasures of my heart. I know that I will continue to try to impart these same truths to my grandchildren, and I pray that somehow my family will be better for that, many, many years down the road

@Tilga - When I first saw that positive pregnancy test, I was 20 yrs old and had been married for 3 whole days to a man I'd known all of 6 wks. We'd already been accused of getting married because we were pregnant. That's not why we got married. We were young and stupid and thought love was enough to go ahead with marriage. Well, I was young. He was 27. He was just dumb! I literally freaked out when I saw that BFP (big fat positive)! 

My sister was born when I was just a few months shy of turning 14, so I'd taken care of a baby before. I was comfortable, if not confident, in my abilities as a care giver. That was not my concern.
We'd JUST gotten married and could barely afford to even BE married. And now we were bringing a life into the mix?! My biggest fear at that exact moment was lack of money.  Then, the humility of all those people accusing us of getting married bc of pregnancy and me denying it?! Well, turns out I WAS preg. They'd all think me a liar! Oh... And we lived in a 2-room efficiency apt downtown that we couldn't afford. Where would we put a baby?  And the cocaine and LSD we'd done over the past few weeks, celebrating New Years' and our wedding..?  The list of fears grew and grew.

Dad did a better job of calming me than anyone, reminding me that my sister wasn't expected but was so utterly loved and the joy she'd brought to our lives.. At that point she was only 7 & Mom still had most of her things. So, while we got all non-girly hand-me-downs & were pretty much covered in baby gear, we needed to move.
And the better I got to know my new husband, the more miserable I was. He was a spiteful, emotionally abusive, manipulative man. My monetary concerns were overshadowed by a deep sadness and fears of my mental and physical health and safety & that of my unborn child.

A friend helped me move our stuff to a 2 bedroom apartment. Of course, my husband didn't lift a finger. Not even to pack. This was not how I'd pictured my life would go while expecting my first child.
Things went quickly from bad to worse.  All those Lifetime movies where the woman won't leave or she let's him back in? I lived that. I didn't have black eyes, but bruises that were easily covered by clothing. The joy my baby brought me helped my breaking heart. He even seemed to know in the womb when I was upset. He'd kick more when I was crying than any other time, as if to comfort me. "I'm here, Mommy! I love you!". His kicks and gymnastics in-utero kept me going, kept me strong.

I now know I was deeply depressed during that time. And until he was well into his toddler years.
We went through alot, the two of us. I was able to free myself from his father shortly after his first birthday. The "slim" years began then. Until he was 2, I never knew when I'd get food again and quickly learned I could feed him a Kids' Cuisine microwave meal every day (twice on the weekends) while I survived on free coffee from work, some cigarettes (which were about $1.25/pack back then), and a 12 pk of beer per week (1-2 each night made me forget I was hungry)...  When things were very bad, a friend would show up with arm loads of groceries, out of nowhere.
I don't think he's completely unscathed by the things he saw between me and his father that first year of his life... He's still super protective of me and can't stand for me to be sad or hurt or to not feel well. He will flip out & try to take care of me.

But we are close and had great times playing peek-a-boo and dancing on the coffee table on Saturday nights and taking long walks around the apartment complex at dusk.
My initial fear was money. We didn't have much, but we had each other. And we made it. Whatever your beliefs, I believe God saw to it that we were provided for. Him working in mysterious ways and all.
There is a (mostly) happy ending.  My first-born will be 11 this fall, shortly after I celebrate 5 yrs of marriage to his stepdad, a wonderful (if not slightly obssessed with video games) man. We also have custody of my stepdaughter (she will be 12 at the end of the summer) and we just welcomed his half-brother into this world November 2009.
Our relationship will never be the same as mine with his baby brother or even his stepsister. Not after our journey.

From sitting at that 30 yr old table in our run-down efficiency apartment, wondering how I'll provide for this child, to being a stay-at-home mom to him and 2 others.. We've come a long way, baby.
And while we still have to worry about money, we will never again have to worry about our safety, security, health or welfare.

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