Facebook is a scary place that knows too much about me.
As soon as I became pregnant, countless articles about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting started flooding my newsfeed. Of course, I read them all.
As the months passed, I started to feel like the majority of these articles painted a horrific picture of motherhood. The overall messages I took on what to expect can be summed up in the following statements:
1. Expect to fear childbirth and be completely validated in that fear because the media has trained us to react this way.
2. Expect to have a mid-life crisis and launch into survival mode. “Once I’m a mom, is that all I’ll be? Will that be fulfilling enough for me? Do I even like who I am now? Do I know who I am?”
3. Expect to not get any sleep because your boobs will be slaves to your baby. There won’t be time for anything else but feeding this voracious alien.
4. Expect your marriage to suffer, to never have sex with your partner again and for the most important relationships in your life go down the tubes.
5. Expect to feel and behave as if you’ve gone completely crazy, especially if you’re typically the most level headed person in the world.
6. Expect all of the moms you know to seem so calm, cool and collected while you lose your shit completely, question whether you like your baby at all and fall into a deep postpartum depression.
7. Most especially, don’t you dare forget that despite all of the above, having a child is the most amazing thing that has ever happen to you and you better enjoy it.
For about the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, these statements were on a loop in my mind.
I was buying into the hype and believed everything I read, simply because I felt I didn’t know any better. I was clueless so I had to at least consider every perspective being thrown at me.
Turns out, if I stop reading the endless amount of bullshit and start relying on intuition, I honestly know in my heart that I’m going to be fine. For centuries, mothers have been raising children with little to no knowledge of how to do it.
I forgot that I have tools for shifting my perspective. So I created a ritual.
Now, most nights, instead of cruising Facebook, I set myself up in a restorative yoga pose in our future nursery, I set a timer and I meditate. On everything. Until I’m clear. And it’s like hitting the reset button.
When someone at work tells me about their negative birth experience, I go home and read from a book of positive birth stories.
When a friend or loved one offers parenting advice that instantly triggers my nervous system, I politely say something along the lines of, “I’m glad that worked for you,” and then shake it off.
And perhaps the most valuable thing my husband and I have learned is to simply stop asking for advice and start forming our own opinions through solid research.
With four months of pregnancy left to go, I resolve to practice presence. This special time in my life is flying by and I’m actually enjoying being pregnant now. I don’t want to miss anything because I am worrying about an unknown future.
My baby boy and I expect so much better.
Author: Megan Ridge Morris
Editor: Travis May