Feeling selfish and confused. Baby = "no more me?"
Hello all, I hope this finds you well.
I feel a little shy opening up about this as I am not proud of all of my feelings, but they are mind.
I have struggled with whether or not motherhood was right for me for years. At 36, I realised I had limited time. I am in a committed relationship.
I don't know if this question is common or unwelcome here - being so focussed on parenting.
I have little experience with babies, and frequently, I hear mothers both beam about the love they have of being mothers, and the bitter agony of it.
My fears are shameful to me, but they are real.
I work in entertainment (TV, movies, voice, etc), where I am accustomed to frequent cosmetic investments to maintain appearance, focus being on appearance, and a self centred lifestyle.
I feel I need to sleep, I need to have days off, I need to have trips to beauty salons and dermatologists... I like the same thing I imagine most people might like: looking nice. My job demands it, and if I am honest, I started to unhealthily tie up my self worth with it. I know this is not a good thing, but it's me being honest. I fear that somehow, being a mom changes us. I expect this is untrue and foolish. I know very few mothers, as an expat in a pace where I know a handful of locals.
I am ambitious. I grew up with very little, and I dream of giving a child more than I did. I have no real family. It's something I've always wished for.
I have this image of "baby = no more ME" and that scares me. I expect it is what you make it, but I expect you give up a lot of yourself (and I expect it is gladly done). I wonder, how do you parents feel about this?
I fear my selfishness. I fear my weakness.I suppose I despise my ego-driven ways that indicate my insecurity.
However, I can't imagine not having a baby. Strangely, I am afraid of babies. I don't feel much of a reaction toward them, but the idea of my own is wonderful to me. Being pregnant is something I would welcome.
When I was 28, I lost an unplanned baby due to a medical problem. It has never stopped haunting me. It was very painful.
I often dream of what my child might become, and how exciting it could be to watch it grow and become a person.
I have a deep fear of being too shallow, too weak, and too attached to the things that make me feel valid. I also dream of healthier things...such as watching a combination of myself and a loved one grow for me to love.
I guess I am wondering if anyone can relate, particularly as I am 36, and would look to have a baby at 37 or 38...for financial reasons. I live as an expat, so life is unstable.
I feel a clock ticking over my head and absolute confusion and fear. How do you figure out if motherhood is right for you? Is it different for everyone? I imagine so, but it's worth asking.
I hope this post isn't too far off topic for this forum.
I welcome your insight. I have been pretty brutally honest, but it's what's inside me.
Thank you for laying it all out there.... Having a child changes your perspective on the universe, on your parents, on your siblings, on your friends, on your every day life. You might think you know what love is, but you don't know until you hold a piece of yourself. A piece that grew under your heart. You are their WORLD. And there is nothing on this planet than I find more fulfilling than being a mother. I didn't know that when I was younger. Heck, I didn't know that when I was 28.... DH and I figured we'd have one kid and see how it went from there.... I was 30 when our first was born. I will 35 next month and I'm currently pregnant with what will hopefully be our fourth (and final) baby. After our first we realized we needed a herd of little people for us to be whole. It's hard to explain....
I have an MA and had a fabulous career and now I'm a SAHM. I couldn't imagine leaving my kids so I could work. But I was never tied to my career as part of my identity. You seem to really like your work, your field.... And there are LOTS of mothers who find a really good balance between motherhood and work and you honestly can't even begin to guess what would work for you until you have that little person in your arms. Children change you - they change your priorities in a heartbeat.
Your header is "Baby = no more me?" I think a more accurate statement would be "Baby = new you." I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything because I have children - I'm experiencing different things than people who don't have kids. I don't feel like I've given up any of my identity, it's just different than it was a few years ago. And my kids are growing every day. One day they'll grow up and move away, and then I can do all the traveling that DH and I can't afford to do now and I'll have to redefine myself yet again. If I were to die tomorrow, I would regret not having my babies more than I would regret not having been to the beach one more time. My children are my heart. And you know what? Not every woman has that urge. Not every woman wants to have kids. And that's fine too. At the end of the day, you have to be the best you that you can be for yourself. Because you have to live with you every. single. day. of your life. And it's tough to figure out what that is. You seemed quite reticent to say a lot of what you really wanted to say for fear of offending someone. Feel free to pm me. I don't mind sharing my experiences at all. Good luck in whatever your future holds!
I think these are normal feelings and it's good you acknowledge them. I too work in the entertainment industry (music) and so recognise the pressures and work commitments you mentioned. Even now, I worry can I get back in shape in time for my summer work and I'm always too tired these days to go the recording studio (which is only in my basement, not even like I need to leave the house!) and complete work clients are waiting on.
But 3minions said it best when she said it doesn't mean the end of you, just a new you. Life has a funny way of meandering here and there and us humans are, by and large, good at adapting.
Please don't be ashamed of your feelings! There is nothing wrong or abnormal about your concerns. I spent all of my 20s and a lot of my 30s telling anyone and everyone that I would NEVER have kids. I wanted to live my life for me, I'd never looked after a baby before, and I hated how motherhood appeared to steal women away from accomplishing things in the wider world.
I haven't 100% settled those negative feelings, but I have seen how babies/children have enriched the lives of my friends and family and I'm thrilled that I'll get the chance (touch wood!) to experience that myself. To be honest, my maternal instincts didn't kick in until 2-3 years ago, but now being a mom is The Most Important Thing to me.
I'm kind of rambling at this point as I haven't slept well in about a week and can't think straight, but I guess what I'm trying to say is you don't have to be 100% on board with the idea of being a mom in order to be a good mom. You're allowed to worry how it will change you and it doesn't make you a bad person. I like what another poster said about motherhood making you a new person instead of erasing who you are. If you acknowledge your fears, and what is important to you now, then chances are you can work to find a balance between your work and family life that works for you better and faster than those who ignore their concerns. And as far as looking good, there are a lot of yummy mummies out there and there are many more opportunities for women to wear nice maternity clothes, attend fitness classes specifically to help them get their bodies back post-birth etc.
Nothing to be ashamed about, at all. It's pretty amazing that you wrote it all down, actually
I was the same way. I'm educated, had an awesome career, but (unlike you) I didn't want children at all. My husband knew this marrying me, and we agreed no kids just dogs. I was very focused on myself, my husband, my career, and didn't think that I would be able to give a child the love an attention it would need. I babysat growing up, but that was for pocket $ and I wasn't particularly fond of the children ever. I was named a Godmother to my cousin's daughter, and I was more excited about buying her jewelry than holding her, quite frankly. I am very in-touch with my feelings and have 0 qualms about vocalizing them to my husband, such as my biggest fear: he would love the baby more than me, and I would get pushed by the wayside and my marriage would fall apart.
Well, things changed the hard way. I got pregnant (oops!) and found out while we were visiting my parents for the holidays 1 year. I was NOT happy. I started crying, freaking out. I didn't want to be a mother. Everyone was trying to get me excited, but I literally spent a week in tears. Well, from my mouth to God's ears, let's say, and I miscarried a month in. Strangely, I was devastated. I had just gotten used to the idea that I wasn't alone anymore, and it was gone. That moment is when I hopped the fence. As soon as we were given the green light, I was pregnant w/in 6 weeks, and THRILLED.
My daughter is 2 now, and has made me a better human being. I'm a SAHM, and I would give my life for her, anything---but that doesn't mean I don't still take care of myself. I'm thin again, as if there was no pregnancy, makeup/hair done, I still spend on my clothes, but now I get to spend on hers too I get excited to pass her down my jewelry, handbags, everything! Watching her learn, sing, discover… It's wondrous and indescribable.
Things do change, you will re-prioritize without even trying to. You will still be you, but I found that I've softened a lot. While I still am not interested in anyone else's children, I think my daughter is the reason for my existence---if that means dark circles under my eyes bc she had nightmares, well, then they were worth holding her all night keeping her safe and secure.
You will look at yourself a few years from now and probably wonder how the old you could doubt yourself. You'll look at your child and won't be able to fathom life without him/her. You'll see
You aren't alone in worrying about how life will change after the little one arrives.
I'm 37 and expecting my first. I was never really interested in children. I've really enjoyed having my time to myself and doing things with my husband.
We talked about how we are going to balance being parents with our own interest and have agreed that it's important that we don't just stop doing everything we enjoy because we have a kid. It will mean adjusting our hiking trips and other favored activities.
Me, I'm worried about being slotted into the typical gender mold (e.g. cooking, cleaning, childcare and nothing else). I realize this is a fear, not a destiny. It's about balance and being open with my husband about our changing roles as we move towards being a parent.
I try to think of it as a new adventure. It's something I didn't want to regret not doing.
I worried about that too. I was 37 when I had my daughter (planned) who is now 2, but worried that I wouldn't be myself anymore - the me who loved to be social and go out. Maybe my situation is unique because I have family close by who adores my daughter and is willing to watch her any time, but I really feel I'm the same person, only a little better, and now I'm definitely more interested in spending time with this cool person. I'll never be a baby person, but it's worth it to know them as infants. It will sound harsh, but they're kind of little blobs for the first few months. But every month it gets easier and they're more fun. All of this to say: you can still be you after the baby is born. There are ways. But it's possible and maybe even likely that you'll want to be a slightly different you after your little one is here.
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