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22nd Sep 2019

10 signs that I was absolutely NOT ready for motherhood

How do we know when we are ready for motherhood?

When we have the career sorted? When the traveling and partying is done? When one day the urge to smell a newborn’s head overpowers any logical reasoning of the ‘but we can’t afford it’ or ‘it’s not the right time?’ variety.


10 Signs that I was absolutely NOT ready for motherhood

1. I lived in my father-in-law’s house and shared a bunk bed with my husband when I got pregnant

This doesn’t exactly scream ‘parent material’ does it? We were saving for a house at the time.

2. I didn’t notice I was pregnant for months

Seriously months. It was kind of mad, but the only symptom I had was an all-consuming, unfocused rage which is obviously not that different from my demeanour the rest of the time.

3. When I did realise I was pregnant, I had no way of telling HOW pregnant I was

This was embarrassing. Due to my wild and elusive womanly cycle, when asked when my last period was I answered November 2006.

pressure points

4. When I was pregnant, I was FULL-TILT petrified most of the time but refused to admit it and seek help

I had profound anxiety that would bubble all day long and erupt in the early hours of the morning when I would lie awake and worry about the soon-to-be-arriving bundle of joy. I also felt really, really guilty – like an anticipatory guilt at what a terrible mother I was most likely going to be.

5. Two weeks before the birth I developed a phobia of the baby’s room

I was not ready for this. With hindsight, I think developing the phobia in and of itself isn’t the worst thing – what was worse was not speaking up about it and getting a bit of help.

6. On some level, I kind of thought that maternity leave was going to be a nice break

Ha. Hahahahaha…. I will literally never stop laughing at this. Although truth be told the parental amnesia is a potent thing, and I keep catching myself looking forward to my forthcoming maternity leave like it’s going to be a relaxing little stretch of me-time.

7. I didn’t spend even a single minute of the pregnancy thinking about what having a baby might be like

Therefore when one came out of me, I was clueless. And really freaked out. It took eight full weeks for me to realise that they need naps. NAPS! Essential things naps: Believe me I know, I lived with a poor demented baby who was nap-deprived for eight goddamn weeks.

8. I told the baby to “f*ck off” at one very low point

I feel so wretched about this to this day but in my defence, I think I was in a deep state of shock about the new and very alien world of motherhood in which I now dwelled (and couldn’t seem to find an exit from). And he had been crying for three hours straight – clearly, he was goading me, or just really needed a nap.

9. I felt really, really young

Not that I think age has everything to do with being ready for motherhood. I think some of us can be ready at 20, while others don’t feel ready at 40. However, I felt young. I wasn’t even that young. I was 28 when he was born, but I felt like a lost child. Every encounter with a doctor or midwife made me feel about 10. I had no confidence to ask questions, or speak up about the decisions being made about my care. Being pregnant again and taking a much more engaged, hands-on approach this time, has made me realise what a difference three years can make.

10. It took me a long time to adjust to not being so selfish

I think that I am finally getting there. Though some days I act like more of a spoiled toddler than he does.