Being a first time mother… I was excited for the future but mostly terrified.
I knew it was going to be a difficult job and a HUGE responsibility. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it.
I had never really babysat as a teen. I was scared of kids. The one family I did babysit for, the kids were a little older. No diaper changing was involved and all I basically had to do was to occupy them by playing games, toys, or watching kids movies. Somewhat easy peasy compared to what I was currently getting myself into.
The funny thing is that I had always told my mom that if I wasn’t married (or with the man I knew I would spend the rest of my life with) by the time I was 25 I would get artificially inseminated. I look back and think how ironic it was that I got pregnant at 24 and turned 25 by the time I gave birth to my first son.
During my pregnancy I was still working as the library specialist at a high school. One day a teenage girl walked in who I knew pretty well. She confessed to me that she was expecting. All I could think of was how scared I was at the age of 25 to be pregnant for the first time, never mind being 15-16 years old and having the responsibility of another life in your hands. She looked so unsure of the future but I tried my best to show my support for her.
When my first son was born, I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. HAPPY that he was finally here and that I was able to see his little face and cuddle him. PROUD that I could be part of making something so precious. TERRIFIED that I would do something to screw it all up and that I would be a terrible mother.
And I cried a lot. I cried because I was happy to have a healthy baby. I cried because I was excited to be a mom. I cried because I was stressed. I cried because I was so tired and just wanted one full night’s sleep. I cried because I didn’t know what I was doing or if I was doing it right. I cried because I wanted my mom. I cried because my husband was going back to work and it would just be me and the baby for hours. I cried because I envied others who were past the newborn stage and getting sleep. I cried just because. I knew I would be an emotional wreck but I had no idea it would be like this.
I knew I could have help if I needed it. I did reach out to those close to me when things got tough but probably not as often as I should have. All I really wanted was my mom. I really wished that my mom could have been here to provide some guidance and advice. She had passed away a few years before though. At least she got to meet and know the man that I would have her grandchildren with a few months before she died.
Things got easier along the way. My brother taught me how to change my first diaper. I would call my cousin (who is a nurse but wasn’t yet a mom) for medical or just for advice in general. I would email my best friend from university as she had just had her first baby a few months before me. My dad visited as often as he could with my soon to be step-mom. One day my step-mom came over to try to calm Big Boy down (looking back now we think he suffered a bit from colic). She tried everything in her arsenal to soothe him but nothing worked. This made my husband and I feel a bit relieved. We figured that if even an experienced mom couldn’t calm him down then we were probably not doing so bad a job after all.
We figured it out. We learned as we went along. We may not have done everything by the book. Actually, I ended up throwing out “What to Expect the First Year” because it was freaking me out. Shh, don’t tell anyone I did that. A librarian isn’t supposed to throw away books.
But we did it. We survived the spit ups, crying, sleepless nights, exploding diapers, potty training, temper tantrums, etc.
Our oldest son is now 6 and thriving. He loves hockey and does very well in school. And our house is also blessed to have a fun and crazy 2 year old in its midst. They both make me laugh everyday.
I think we did and are continuing to do a pretty good job as parents. We may never get the “Parents of the Year” award. We do have our not so fine moments.
But our children are healthy and happy.
And that is all that matters in the world to me!