When you become pregnant for the first time, it can be easy to go in with lots of preconceptions about how you "should" feel and act. Things may not go as planned, though, and you might find yourself having thoughts you never expected to have. Honestly, you're not alone, because there are plenty of things every new mom thinks about pregnancy that definitely don't (and won't) make you a bad mom.
I remember think back on my first pregnancy and remember how nervous I was about everything I did and thought. I had read studies about the impact that negative thinking can have on babies, and I was scared of the impact I might have on my baby, even before that baby was born. Like many new parents, I spent so much of my time considering the long term effects of every single choice I made and, as a consequence, lost myself along the way. By the time I (unexpectedly) became pregnant for the second time, I was so overwhelmed with my perinatal depression and anxiety (along with parenting a toddler deep in the throes of what can only be described as the terrible twos), that I couldn't wrap my head around any semblance of positive thinking. I was in pure survival mode. Turns out, my son is a happier, easier baby than my daughter ever was, so who the hell knows what the secret is?
Honestly, you shouldn't beat yourself up for having what people have arbitrarily described as "wayward" thoughts during your pregnancy. Your hormones are off-the-charts crazy, your body is going through this massive change, and you're live is slowly evolving into something completely new. Cut yourself some slack and understand that you are not alone. We've all been there. Here are 12 things every new mom thinks during pregnancy that don't make you a bad mom:
"When Will This Be Over?"
Not everyone loves being pregnant. In fact, I think it's a pretty small minority that does enjoy every single moment of gestation. You will have plenty of moments when you will just want the baby out, so you can get on with being a parent, but that doesn't make you a bad mom. It makes you like almost every other mom out there.
"I'm Not Sure I Want To Have This Baby"
So many women feel doubt during their pregnancies. It's a gigantic change in your life, and it's completely normal to think twice about it. That doesn't mean you're going to be a bad mom, though.
"I'm Not Ready"
I don't think I know a single parent who felt completely ready to have kids, especially once the pregnancy was under way. You always think you're ready, until things get going and self-doubt shows up (uninvited, of course). Then you have these second thoughts, especially about being able to provide for your new child. Doubts are a healthy part of being a self-aware parent, in my opinion.
"I Don't Think I Can Do This"
You can do this. As I said before, the doubts are normal, and I truly believe they're a healthy part of being a parent who is self-aware and wants to grow and do the best they absolutely can. At least, that's what I told myself when I was having these thoughts while pregnant.
"I Hate Being Pregnant"
There's no rule written anywhere about needing to love pregnancy. It can be horribly hard on your body and your mind (as someone who suffered from prenatal anxiety and depression, I can attest to that), and it is a means to an end: your baby.
"I'm Going To Mess This Baby Up"
I've had this conversation with my friends many times, and we've come to the conclusion that we are all going to mess up out kids in some way, shape, or form. It will most likely be in ways that we didn't even realize, though, so just relax and try your best.
"I Just Want This Baby Out Of Me"
As I wrote earlier, pregnancy can be so hard on all parts of the mother. This image that society has created of a beatific, joyful mom-to-be is bullsh*t, if you ask me, because it sets women up to feel guilty before their babies are even born. Let's face it, moms have enough guilt issues as it is.
"Why Don't I Love My Baby Yet?"
You haven't met your baby yet. Right now, you are in that conceptual stage of parenthood, because while your body is taking care of your baby, you don't have to actually do anything. Some women feel that magical connection before the baby is born, but if you're not feeling it, it doesn't mean you're a bad mom, it just means you haven't actually met your baby yet.
"I Want My Body Back"
How many times do I need to say it? Pregnancy is hard. Motherhood is hard. Your body changes so fast while you are pregnant, that it can be jarring on your body image, and how you generally feel toward your body, but that doesn't make you a bad mother.
"I Don't Feel Anything For My Baby Yet – What's Wrong With Me?"
The magical bond between mother and fetus can truly be elusive. I felt an incredible connection with my first while she was still in utero, but I was absolutely petrified of my ambivalence toward my second baby while he was still in utero. He's two now, and I adore him just as much as my daughter, so the connection I did and didn't feel, didn't matter.
"What If Something Is Wrong With My Baby?"
No one asks for a baby with complications, but of the parents I know who had a child with unexpected medical problems (whether short term or long term), not a single one would trade their baby out for a "healthy" one. You will love your baby no matter what, and it's normal to fear for their health and safety.