As a kid there were many things that I envisioned for my future. I wanted to go on adventures, to travel and explore the world. I wanted to meet interesting people and learn interesting things. I wanted to create a life I was proud of, and build something that would impact the world. Never did I think I wanted to be a mom.
That isn’t to say I never thought I’d raise a family. I figured it would happen eventually. It just wasn’t something I imagined or accounted for in my plans, and so it was something I continued putting off until… well, now I guess.
Kevin and I are expecting a baby girl in early November, a few weeks before my 38th birthday. The pregnancy was intentional, and we are truly excited to embark upon this new chapter of our lives together.
But I’m not going to pretend my feelings aren’t ambivalent.
The positive aspects of having children are obvious. Building a family legacy, the most intense feelings of love, deeper bonding with your partner, and the personal growth that accompanies a challenge of this magnitude. I’m very much looking forward to all these things, and am certain my life will be better for including them.
But I’m old enough and smart enough to know that I’m also giving up a lot of things that I truly love about my life. Things that I’ve worked hard to achieve, like freedom and independence, will no longer be a given in my day-to-day activities. Willfully giving up these things is difficult, and I’m slowly coming to terms with what this means to me and how to reconcile it with the future I want to have.
For the record, my ambivalence isn’t worrisome to me. Uncertainty will always feel a bit uncomfortable, but I’m confident that my mind and body will guide me through this and I’ll find the balance I’m looking for. I know it will be a challenge, but as you know personal growth has always been one of my favorite past times. And as this recent Times article makes clear, I know I’m not alone.
One of the challenges for me as I adjust to this new normal is figuring out how to talk about my experience, both publicly and privately. Privately it has already been difficult. It is clear that people come to the subject of pregnancy with a lot of preconceived beliefs, most of which I struggle to relate to.
I know everyone is trying to be nice and/or helpful, but most of the conversations I’ve had have either been of the magic and rainbows variety, or the “let me give you the real talk” advice dump followed by “you’ll get a lot of advice, just do whatever you want.” I don’t know how to respond to either of these things except with fake smiles and shallow thank yous.
Only one friend has mentioned the struggle that comes from shifting your personal identity when virtually everyone expects you to be someone you’re not. I greatly appreciated this honesty.
Talking about pregnancy publicly is also a challenge. If health, body image and nutrition weren’t the focus of my work I probably wouldn’t mention it here at all, at least not until I was closer to the due date. I’ve never wanted this site to be about me, it has always been about helping you.
But there is no way around the huge impact that pregnancy and motherhood will have on my perspective on the subjects I cover here regularly. So I’ve made the decision to come out and tell you now that I’ve completed the 3-month hangover more commonly known as the first trimester. Plus I’m sure many of you are dying of curiosity and have a million questions about my experience.
I want to be honest and open with you, but I don’t want this to turn into a mommy blog (literally my worst nightmare). Obviously I’ll pepper in personal stories related to my experiences in articles and podcasts whenever it feels relevant, but at the moment I don’t plan to dedicate exclusive articles to my thoughts or experiences on pregnancy or motherhood after this one.
That said I’ll consider using another platform like Facebook Live or something similar to host Q&As if enough people are interested.
One of the unexpected benefits I hadn’t considered when we decided to start a family was how it would impact holidays. I’ve never been a formal holiday person; you won’t find any Easter Bunnies or jack-o-lanterns in my storage rooms. But as much as I’ve tried to tune it out, Mother’s Day has been a bummer for me ever since I lost my mom in 2003.
This is the first time since the accident that I actually have something to smile about on Mother’s Day, and next year I imagine will be even more meaningful. It is also just a few weeks before the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing, and I know that Father’s Day (also coming soon) has been tough on Kevin since he lost his dad a few years ago. We hadn’t considered that these holidays would take on a more warm and positive light as we start a family of our own.
To celebrate the beauty of new life, I’m offering a rare $20 discount on Foodist Kitchen today through Mother’s Day. This price has never been available publicly––and likely never will again––so make sure to take advantage of it now if you’ve been wanting to learn to cook without recipes.
Simply enter the code MOTHERS20 at checkout between now and May 14 to save $20.
Thank you all for your continued support through this crazy journey called life.