For the past few years, I have always had the same answer when being asked when he and I would be having children: ‘We’ll see. If it happens then great but right now they aren’t part of our plan and if that means they don’t happen it’ll be because we’ve been busy doing other things”
It’s not that I didn’t ‘want’ children, we have just gone through so much in the past few years with international moves, job losses and changes, financial stress, new countries and building a location independent life that children didn’t really factor into it. We also have a longer-term vision of owning a Community Development Lodge overseas – a vision that included the two of us rather than a family.
I feel like I became the non-maternal one, the one that’s too selfish and passionate about living life to the beat of my own drum, doing things in the way I want to do them, to factor in having children. The one that lives in a boat and therefore couldn’t possibly have children.
So for the first few months of being pregnant, I got caught up in the story I was telling myself that people didn’t think I wanted to be, let alone could be, a mum.
I felt like everybody was so shocked I was actually pregnant, me the ‘non-maternal’ one, that I couldn’t be excited about it, couldn’t be gushy about the baby and all the feelings I was experiencing. This led to me playing down my excitement, telling people about the baby in a matter of fact, offhand, dropping it into conversation kind of way.
Over and over again, I found myself leaning into the story that I wasn’t meant to be a mum and telling myself that I should be nervous, anxious and worried about this new chapter that I hadn’t even been planning. In my head I heard people talking to me as if I didn’t have a clue because I wasn’t someone who would be able to do this, rather than not having a clue because really who on earth actually has any idea what being pregnant and then a mum is going to be like until you have done it for yourself. I got caught up in the idea that all these people who didn’t think I wanted children were thinking I wouldn’t be able to do it.
On top of feeling like I wasn’t meant to be a mum, I had a deep sense of guilt. Over the last few years, many friends have experienced difficulties in getting pregnant and I felt like I needed to protect my friends. This led to me spending a lot of energy trying not to ‘rub the news in people’s faces and denying myself my true feelings.
I dwelled on the fact that it wasn’t fair on other people that I, the one in many of my friendship groups didn’t ‘want’ children right then, was pregnant and other people weren’t.
So it was only a few weeks ago, around the 30-week mark, that I realised it’s ok to be happy and to be excited. It’s ok to be enjoying the pregnancy, to talk openly about it and even to be kind to myself while my body goes through this transition. It’s also ok (even if slightly boring for everyone else) that the baby is all I want to talk about!
The more I embraced this new story, my own truth about being pregnant, I realised that as much as I am excited by it, I am also ready.
There’s a deep, innate feeling that I know everything is going to be ok.
That in itself was a shock to me. I was so busy thinking about how I thought I should be feeling that I wasn’t acknowledging how I actually felt.
Yes, we live on a boat and no we aren’t moving into a house but there’s plenty of room for all of us.
Yes, I work for myself and don’t get company maternity leave but we’ll find a way to make it work.
Yes, we have a needy dog who is both the bane and the (furry) love of my life, but she will adapt to not being the centre of attention.
I realised I’m actually enjoying being pregnant (it’s not the worst 9 months of my life like I anticipated!), I’m excited about what’s to come and that there’s a deep sense of calm within me.
At our women’s only NCT session I was the first one to burst into tears when we were asked what our biggest surprise about being pregnant has been. My answer was easy, that I know it’s all going to be ok. After a few tumultuous years, I feel like I am in a place where I am coming home to myself and able to blend all the versions of myself that have appeared over the last few years into one.
P.S. If you love what you've read and are wondering how you can have more of me in your life, there are a few options!
1. If you're a new mama and need a helping hand to stop and catch your breath each week, join me for Mindfulness & Mental Wellbeing sessions.
2. If this is the week that you said you'd prioritise your wellbeing and finally do the things you know will make you feel more grounded, settled and at peace with the world around you but, again, it's just not happening. Join me and make good on the promise you made to yourself.
3. Or if the sound of 3 months of daily accountability, chats and problem solving is more up your street, book a call to chat about my Rebel Coaching and Online Business Development