Dear uncertain moms-to-be,
Whether you just saw the “pregnant” on the stick or are days away from the delivery room, congratulations! You are about to have the greatest adventure of your life.
Maybe you’re feeling excited, or maybe you’re so ready to meet your baby. Or if you’re anything like I was during my first pregnancy, you’re terrified and conflicted. And I want you to know that the way you’re feeling is 100 percent OK and normal.
When I got pregnant, my first impulse was to panic over the coming change in my life. I loved my life the way it was with weekly dinners with friends, frequent date nights with my husband, and uninterrupted reading and snuggling with my cat.
It’s easy to latch on to all the horror stories of parenting, like sleepless nights, screaming babies, and a total lack of time for yourself.
It’s overwhelming, and you might not feel ready for your life to change so much.
You’re not wrong. Your life is going to change forever the second your baby is born. It’s about to become infinitely better in ways you’ve never imagined.
There are going to be sleepless nights and screams, but there will also be giggles and cuddles.
You’ll still go out with your friends, but you’ll miss your lovebug at home whether you admit it to anyone or not.
You’ll still have date nights, but you and your husband will spend half the night laughing as you scroll through adorable photos of your toddler.
Your house will never be clean again. You’ll find toys in places you didn’t know your child could reach or open.
There will always be food under the highchair no matter how many times you vacuum. Your mini Dustbuster will become one of your favorite appliances.
And you won’t care about any of it until five minutes before a guest comes to your house, and you scramble to make it look halfway decent.
You will learn so much from your child.
They’ll teach you their cues, and you’ll understand every sound they make on a cosmic level.
They’ll teach you to play again and to appreciate things you’d long forgotten, like the magic of a smooth rock on the beach or the perfect red crabapples on the tree in your yard.
Everything gives them a sense of wonder, and you’ll get caught up in it too. Passing planes, dandelions, and neighborhood dogs will become the highlight of your day because of the joy and excitement they bring your child.
I’m not going to pretend it’s always easy because there are so many challenges that go along with raising a child. But your challenges will be outweighed by the joy, fun, excitement, and most of all, the love.
You’ll learn that nothing in the world is better than a toddler running to you and hugging you tightly even when they accidentally head butt you in the nose. Your baby’s giggles will be your favorite sound in the world, and you’ll blow thousands of raspberries on their little bellies to hear them every chance you get.
You’ll pick up on your baby’s sense of humor earlier than you ever thought was possible. They will find their own little adorable ways to make you laugh. They’ll invent their own little games, and you’ll feel honored to be included.
You’ll be their source of comfort.
They’ll sleep in your arms when they’re little, and you’ll listen to their soft breathing and feel so full of love. When they’re a little older, they’ll slip their little hand in yours anytime they’re scared, and your heart will feel like it’s going to burst.
You’ll savor every second of their life and feel like there is never enough time in your days with them.
And then you’ll look back on everything you were afraid of before you met them and laugh. Because you were right, everything did change. But so did you, and you’d never have it any other way.