5 Ways Pregnancy Prepares You For Motherhood
Before I had children my life was so different as I am sure yours was too. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. If I wanted to sleep in until noon I did or if I wanted to stay up late and watch a movie marathon I did. It is amazing how motherhood changes you.
But before becoming a mother a woman goes through 9 months of preparation. Our bodies change, our emotions go haywire, and our psyche starts messing with us. We are so excited when we find out we are pregnant but then the questions start. Am I really ready for this? Will I be a good mom? What if my kid doesn’t like me?
It is funny how when you find out you are pregnant how quickly people are ready to give you advice. Everyone shares their horror stories of birth. Everyone puts in those two cents about major parenting issues and how they solved them.
You know what though? No matter what anyone tells you until you are going through that life event or circumstance you never really get it until after it has happened. Then when you sit back you realize, “Oh, that is what so and so was talking about.”
Well this post isn’t about advice on the perfect parenting method. This post is on you and your body and the wonderful occurrences of pregnancy that prepare you for motherhood.
Never Being Alone
Let’s face it. Once you have kids you will never be alone again (at least not for the first 3-6 years). Any mother will tell you, even going to the bathroom becomes a family event once you have children. What does this have to do with pregnancy?
Well, everything. For 9 months you will have a human being growing and developing inside of you. How cool is that? Not to mention the first time you feel your baby kick or roll. But these few months are like a dream compared to the constant closeness you will feel once you have kids.
Gone are the days of relaxing for hours in the tub or watching whatever movies or shows you want. No longer will you be able to get completely enthralled in a good book. Nope, now about 5 minutes into whatever you are doing here they will come. “Mommy I’m hungry.” “Mommy come play with me.”
Also, not only will you never be alone but you will never be able to sit in a chair comfortably again. Your child or children will want to be as close to you as humanly possible. Watching television? Be prepared to have a child in your lap and if you have more than one the other one will be so close beside you they may as well be attached.
Now don’t let this scare you. You can always stay up past midnight every night to ensure that you get a little me time. I know what you are thinking? Past midnight?! But I have to work the next day! Which brings us to our next point…
Saying Goodbye To Sleep
I don’t know what it is about pregnancy that all of a sudden keeps you from sleeping all night long. I mean it’s not like you can’t lay however you want to or the fact that you feel like a walking heater all the time. Don’t even get me started on the getting up to use the bathroom every two hours.
Thinking back on my first pregnancy my mom would constantly tell me that this was just my body’s way of getting me ready for the baby. I would usually roll my eyes and think “yeah right” but you know what it is the truth!
Honestly, I can’t even remember the last time I was able to sleep all night long and the funny thing is that even if you send your kids to a relative’s house you will still be up worrying and will wake up at 8:00 a.m. ready for your child to return. Also, if you co-sleep be ready to sleep on about two inches of mattress with at least one body part thrown on your head.
Feeling tired all of the time? That is just something that comes with motherhood. It starts when your pregnant just to ease you into it once your baby is born. However, it never seems to go away. Even on the nights you get a decent amount of sleep it seems like you still wake up tired and are ready for bed by 5:00 the next night.
Still not convinced that pregnancy will prepare you for motherhood? Let’s move on shall we?
Pregnancy is notorious for having those crazy spastic emotions. I mean one minute you are laughing and having a good time and then next you are crying because you realized you are out of that cereal that you have been craving and loving for the past month.
With my first child I was extremely emotional. One day I saw a cat get run over as I was leaving a gas station; I cried all the way home and then my husband had to sit and console me for probably about 20 minutes while trying not to laugh.
And the funnest part about these wonderful emotions is that with each pregnancy they are different. With my second child I mainly either stayed happy or aggravated. It didn’t take much for something to get on my nerves and I had to work really hard to restrain my agitation.
Are you thinking that these emotions will go back to normal once your baby is born? Think again. Pregnancy is just the doorway when it comes to emotions.
Once that little bundle of joy is in your arms for the first time you will see how quickly your emotions really can change. First you will be excited and then worry, doubt, fear, and anxiety will all come knocking in the first five minutes.
Oh, and just wait until that baby starts entering toddlerhood. Talk about the emotions then. You will be amazed at how quickly you can go from happy, to mad, to crying uncontrollably, back to happy in less than five minutes (and I am talking about you not your toddler).
Unidentified Bodily Fluids
Now this one is kinda gross but….. be prepared for lots of fluids. When you are pregnant you will just be dealing with your own. You will sweat more because it seems like you are always hot, you may have morning sickness, you tend to have discharge, and sometimes you lose control over being able to hold urine and/or gas/bowel movements.
Even though during your pregnancy you are only having to clean up after yourself you will get a small inkling into what it will be like with children.
Babies and children are messy. It is a well-known fact and to me this is probably the easiest aspect to grasp when preparing for motherhood. I can’t even count how many times one of my children have spit-up or vomited and my first reaction has been to catch it with my hand.
Even my husband got in on the action when changing my first child’s diaper. She had major stomach issues pretty much from birth and one day while my husband was changing her she had a bowel movement that was loose and went clear up his arm all the way to his elbow.
It is amazing how becoming a mother changes the way you look at the world. Most of the time once you become a mother you put your children first. You care less about what you look like or what you will be doing and focus more on making sure your children have what they need/want and what their interests are.
Pregnancy is when all of these priorities start shifting. As your belly grows you start looking for clothing that is more comfortable and that actually fits. You may not be able to wear those high heel shoes you never left the house without before. But not only clothing is effected. You start connecting more with people who are also mothers or wanting to be mothers.
When you become pregnant you still want to go out and have fun but you may decide to go to the movies instead of hitting the clubs. The same goes for after the baby is born. I mean how many mommas do you see taking babies to clubs or concerts? Probably not many if any.
Once that baby is born you start putting them first. You want to make sure that their needs are met and that they are happy.
Let’s face it, if baby ain’t happy, nobody is happy.
But even with all of these changes that start happening with pregnancy and last for the rest of our lives I don’t know any mommas that wouldn’t go through all of it again. Becoming a momma has been one of the most rewarding, tiring, trying, and biggest accomplishment I have ever achieved in my life. I love being a mother and even on my hardest days when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry I would never want my life to be any different.
Don’t let these changes scare you or make you feel like you are inadequate or ill-suited for motherhood. At the end of the day we are all just trying to be the best mothers we can be.
Hi, I’m Chelsey. I am the mother to two beautiful kids and am the wife to a wonderful, loving husband. I love reading, photography, and writing about motherhood and relationships which you can find at www.mommanurse.com.