A few nights ago, I had a mini-breakdown during bedtime. As my husband, Niki, and I prepared for bed, I tearfully confessed that I felt my Motherhood Knowledge was so inadequate, and despite my voracious reading of all kinds of parenting articles I was still ill-equipped. I asked Niki why he wasn’t reading as much as I was, and to me it felt like he wasn’t preparing for this crazy ride we were about to get on.
(I am on my third trimester. Please bear that in mind as you keep reading.)
He patiently waited for my teary tirade to end, quietly listening to my ranting and blubbering about how terrified I was that we were going into this blindly. “I don’t feel like a mother”, I said, “How am I supposed to do this?”
When I had finally calmed down and my wet blubbering turned into quiet whimpers, he came close and held me. Tired from my episode, I collapsed into his arms like a little girl after a tantrum. After a few minutes, he tilted my chin up, earnestly looked into my bloodshot eyes and said to me, “There is one thing i’m sure I know how to do, and that is to take care of you. That’s not something I read up or researched on — it was something that came naturally. Because I love you and it’s all I want to do.”
I tried to interrupt him, tried to tell him how important it was for us to know as much as we can! To arm ourselves with knowledge! But he continued:
“Now when this baby comes out, I know it’ll come naturally to us too. We’re going to love him so much that we’re going to do whatever it takes to take care of him the best we can. Just so you know, I do talk to other parents and married people about what to expect… but I don’t think reading as much as you can will make you a better parent. Loving unconditionally will.”
Suffice it to say, I slept comfortably that night.
The Internet can be such a great source of information, but it can also be a major Fear Feeder. You read up on all of these scenarios that are really more exception than the rule, and you spend endless hours worrying about whether you’ll be the next statistic. It does NOT help your sanity. I have got to be more careful about what I choose to read and believe, and allow for experience to teach me about other things instead.
As for my maternal instinct, well, maybe it hasn’t kicked in fully yet, but all of these great moms have told me that it’ll come in its own time, usually the moment you see your little bundle of poop and joy. I’ve go a little over 6 weeks to find out 🙂