Despite the fact that you are now pretty much ready to pop, that there are little elbows and knees tickling (make that breaking) your ribs, and you’ve even got a pile of nappies ready to be filled, you might be wondering how you’re ever going to be a Mum. With antenatal classes focused on birth, and all talk about what it’s going to be like having a baby, there isn’t much room to consider what it feels like to be you right now.
Of course, this transition has already been happening gradually throughout your pregnancy. Practically, you have probably already begun to turn down evenings out (at least sometimes, or the especially wine-fuelled ones), and begun to prepare your home for the arrival of a baby. And psychologically too, with your attention more frequently focused inward on the goings-on in your womb, and at least some opening up of your heart and mind to include the little being wriggling around in there.
However, there may still be a little (or big) part of you murmuring doubts that you will ever be a mum. That this pregnancy is going to end in a baby, rather than just a casting off of that big belly and a subsequent return to life as you always knew it. This might be a quiet whisper “Am I really going to be a mum?” or a full on screaming “I’m not ready for this!!”
Because in pregnancy, although so much has already changed, you’re not yet in the world of mothers. Others may give you knowing glances, point out babies and say “That’ll be you soon!”, talk to you about nappy brands, but it may feel to you that they are talking a different language. Really, they are. Mum World is a place where poo can be talked about for hours, and sleep is so frequently discussed it’s almost a mantra. And the more others try to pull you into it, the more you may end up wanting to just call the whole thing off. Many women talk about leaving their baby shopping until the last minute, putting off deciding on baby names and avoiding any mention of the B word. And any glimpse into that world can feel positively terrifying when your focus for now is on getting through work and sorting out the DIY, not getting through the night and sorting out babygros.
And why wouldn’t you avoid it, when in having to face the incessant chatter about the pros and cons of swaddling, whether or not you’ll use a dummy, have you thought about getting him a passport, haven’t you registered her for a nursery….all you can hear is “You’re not prepared!”
But maybe the answer isn’t to start preparing. You can’t be a mother without having had the child yet, and how on earth can you prepare for that? So rather than worrying about how you’re going to fit into Mum World, perhaps now’s the time to really make the most of the world you’re in now. Do all the things you’ve been meaning to, whether that’s a night out, a weekend away, catching up with friends you haven’t seen for a while, a crash course in French. You might be feeling a little sad to say goodbye to the single carefree you, so why don’t you treat her to a massive, fabulous send off.