Yep, I’m 19 weeks pregnant.
Whoever said, “You can’t be a little bit pregnant” was right on the money. All of a sudden, it feels like everything changes. Yes, it’s partially the expected weight gain, bloating, physical discomfort, and occasional forgetfulness (like when I called my dog one of my employee’s names recently, oops). But it’s also the unexpected changes. Instead of being marketed beautiful clothes and glamorous local events, my Facebook feed is now filled with ads for $3 baby ointments and $1 off coupons for diapers. Everyone from friends to total strangers offer unsolicited advice. (Sometimes conflicting, confusing, and unwarranted advice, but advice nonetheless). Even my magazines have gone from the glossy and high-grade paperstock of Vogue and Vanity Fair to the lackluster and flimsy pages of Parents or Family Circle. I feel like I’ve been cast from professional thirtysomething into the bastions of diapers, doo-doo, and drama.
That said, in the midst of all of this change, I have a tendency to be incredibly Type A, and it’s hard to deflect all of the messages. I tend to read and research everything, make detailed plans and lists, and methodically go through tasks and processes. I’ve probably gone through more tabbed binders and notebooks than anyone I know, except maybe Leslie Knope, and she’s fictional. I’m a pro at planning and executing and making my dreams come through to fruition.
But this type A tendency also means I also have a tendency to set my expectations too high. With everything from vacations to medical school to past relationships, I’ve imagined futures that were a lot brighter and more pristine than I had envisioned, and I’ve gotten burned more times than I care to admit. It also means I’ve tended to start things at unsustainable lightning speeds, never realizing most things are more of a marathon than a sprint. I’ve been deeply disappointed and disillusioned more times than I can count.
With motherhood, I’ve decided to take a different approach. I’ve decided this is going to be about my child. Not about me and heightened expectations for motherhood. Not about proving to anyone I’m a great mom. Not about me trying to be perfect in the process. Not about me trying to impose my ego through pictures showcasing a “perfect” family. (Well, maybe once or twice a year. lol). But really, not about anything other than raising a child who grows up to be a kind, respectful, loving and well-loved man. I want to raise a child who knows how to trust himself. I want to raise a child who knows can do whatever he wants with his life and knows that we love and support him. I want to raise a child who feels strong, confident, capable and empowered.
I think that starts now. I’m resisting the urge to go out and buy everything. I’m resisting the urge to plan every single little thing. I’m resisting the advice to to talk to elite preschools. (He’s still gestating, c’mon.) I’m resisting the urge to spend hours on mommy blogs or Sarah Stage’s Instagram, which quite frankly often intimidate me. I’m simply following a baby book, taking it one week at a time, and listening to my doctor.
I have no idea what motherhood is going to be like for me. All I know is that I am going to take everything one week at a time, have my own goals, resist the urge to try to live up to others’ myriad of expectations, and do the very best that I can. And I think this is what’s best for me and my family, Type A tendencies be damned.
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