I want to preface this post by saying I know that it is a privilege to have experienced pregnancy. I know there are tons of families in the world who struggle to get pregnant and sometimes even can’t, and I am extremely grateful for that privilege.
I’m writing this because I needed to hear it during my pregnancy, and someone else out there may need to hear it, too: you can hate being pregnant, but love being a mom.
You hear about the achy feet, the mood swings, the cravings. The giving up your favorite vices: coffee, alcohol, extreme exercise, and sushi. The morning sickness, the fatigue.
You prepare yourself for your body to change—the stretch marks, the struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position with a watermelon-sized belly, and the little human inside of you kicking and rolling around deep into the night.
Even still, people expect you to be “glowing” and accommodating to that complete stranger who wants to touch your bump. You’re supposed to answer extremely personal questions you receive from the guy behind you in the checkout line at Target.
To openly and willingly accept unsolicited advice from every mom on the planet, and to ignore the judgment and snarky looks you get when you go to the bar with your friends, even if you’re not drinking.
You understand that your life will never ever be the same. Your priorities will change—they already are changing. You can kiss those impromptu road trips, last-minute plans with friends, and lazy days just sitting on the couch goodbye.
To put it bluntly, I hated being pregnant. All of it. In fact, the only part I actually enjoyed was designing the nursery. My wedding ring no longer fit my finger. My feet grew a whole shoe size. I hated my favorite foods. Even the sight of pizza gave me heartburn.
My hormones were wild. I cried over spilt milk. Literally.
I struggled with my identity as a soon-to-be-mom. I missed wine. None of my friends were parents yet, and I don’t live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids.
And I knew all of these things were silly things to dwell on. But all the little things were adding up, and I literally felt like I was carrying around a ton of bricks.
So naturally, my mind starting playing tricks on me.
What does this all mean? Am I cut out to be a mom? Am I going to love my son? Will my husband trust me to nurture our baby? Will I have maternal instincts?
Good news ladies, the answer is YES.
YES, you were cut out to be a mom. YES, you will love your child. Like an earth-shattering, undeniable, how is this even possible kind of love. YES, you and your partner will find a new normal. Or maybe it’s just you.
You will adjust to your new role easier than you think. And YES, you do automatically get super mom powers the second you lay eyes on your baby.
You’re presented with new challenges as a mom. You develop a new appreciation for your body. The body that grew, birthed and nourished your perfect, angelic, miracle of a baby. Who cares about stretch marks when they’re evidence of your body’s overwhelming strength and power?
Being pregnant is HARD. Pushing a baby out is HARD. Being a mom is HARD. It’s okay to admit that.
It’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to be uncertain, and it’s okay TO BE HONEST. Because I can promise you this—you are not the only one feeling this way. Just rest assured knowing that every single miserable, sleepless, confusing, uncomfortable, chaotic moment will be absolutely worth it.
You can hate being pregnant, but love being a mom.
For any new moms, moms-to-be, or experienced moms struggling during quarantine, I am here for you! I’d be happy to share my experience, or just listen. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone you don’t know, especially when you feel guilty about how you’re feeling (even when you absolutely shouldn’t).
Please don’t hesitate to reach out. I also encourage you to be open and honest with your family and friends, and your partner if you have one. It may surprise you how understanding and supportive they can be.
Otherwise, here is an article that I came across while I was pregnant that really helped me. You got this, mama!
Edit: Charlie is one whole year old now! Time absolutely flew by. To learn more about him, check out this Open Love Letter to My Son.