I had spent my entire adult life trying not to get pregnant… until my partner and I decided it was as good as time as any to start trying to conceive. Luckily (or unluckily, since the “trying” part is pretty enjoyable), it took us just one cycle off my birth control pills for us to get me pregnant. And the moment I found out I was pregnant my mind changed about so many things. It was kind of a wake-up call, as if my body was telling me, “OK, you’re a grown-up now, or at least you have to officially pretend to be one, if you’re going to take on the responsibility of raising another human being.” It was… a lot.
One of the things I wrestled with, mentally, was what kind of parent I wanted to be. My partner and I both considered ourselves decent people, undoubtedly because our parents had raised us to be that way. But there were a lot of things about parenting in our folks’ generation that we didn’t agree with (corporal punishment, for one). I had always imagined myself as the “cool mom,” the one whose kids weren’t embarrassed by what I did or said or wore. Now, as I started actively growing a baby inside my body, being “cool” seemed much less important than being patient and reliable and even, much to surprise, firm about rules. I wanted our kid to feel secure and safe and loved, and while you can be cool in your personality, I realized that the parenting style I was going to subscribe to was derived from being a trustworthy grown-up in my child’s life, more than a fun friend.
Here are some more things I changed my mind about the moment I discovered I was pregnant, because, sure, we can all have a plan, but pregnancy can certainly change that plan in an variety of ways, and sometimes all at once.