November 23, 2012 by theresiugoes
It is dawning on me that my title in life is changing. People now relate to me in my title as “expectant mother.” I’ve spent my whole life as “daughter” and “sister”, and the last few years as “wife”. But the baby changes all of that. Baby makes me “mother”.
Growing up, I hated being defined as “daughter” or “sister”. And it’s hard, when you have such vibrant, well-known and popular parents and siblings, like I did. I wanted to etch out a personality for myself that was different, that stood apart from my role in the family. I always felt so deficient in those roles.
On every one of her birthdays, when we would ask MamaN what she wanted, she would say “your obedience”. I know it wasn’t her intention, but it always made me feel like I was a bad child, not good enough to be hers.
And I always felt deficient as a sibling. People would say “oh you look so much like …” or “you’re nothing like …” and I would want to cry out for my individuality while at the same strive for a strong bond. It’s hard to grow up with so much of your known identity attached to your position in your family.
Soon, my title will be “mother”. I don’t feel worthy to share that title with all the wonderful mothers I know . I don’t feel worthy to share that title with my own mother, who was so precious, so devoted, so loving.
Sometimes, I still feel too young. I still dream of “when I grow up” – the responsibility of house and motherhood has always seemed so far away, and now it is fast approaching. And as I come closer to being a mother, I worry that I’m not yet ready for the task at hand, I’m not ready for the responsibilities that it brings, I’m not yet ready for the transferral of my time, energy and devotion.
Husbandsylv often shares that he feels the same. We’re both afraid that we’ll be deficient as parents, lacking in skill and struggling to care for our child in the way that they need.
But we’re also excited. Excited to hold our child in our arms and know that we made this child, in love, together. Excited to have the opportunity to refocus our time and energy, to live a life caring for someone more than we do ourselves. To be so consumed by a love that is greater than anything we’ve ever felt before.
But still the tension is there. I don’t know if I’ll still be excited when the baby is born. I don’t know if I’ll be a good Mum, if I’ll ever be worthy to share that title with the amazing mother I had, and the others who have influenced me.
I’m a much better daughter at 27 than I was at 17, but still in every interaction with BabaK I can see ways in which I could improve. And, hopefully, I’ll be a better “mother” at 37 than at 27. I’ll grow into it. And there’ll always be more space to improve.
I wish this post could end, neatly resolved. But I don’t think life is like that. I don’t think there are fast answers for these doubts and fears. So we continue, nervous but steady, through each day as it comes.