Here I (Anna) am, 23 weeks pregnant. The baby is happily bouncing around as I type, which always makes me pause and smile. I can’t believe how fast it’s going (although I realize I might be changing my tune when I’m nearing 40 weeks). I find myself caught in the classic “dialectical tension,” as we call it in communication, of feeling torn between clinging to the predictability of my life as I know it and the novelty of what’s to come in a few months. I’m concurrently frightened and ecstatic! Below are the questions that keep popping up in my mind–as they might for all expecting parents–about my upcoming new role as mother:
1. Will I still love my work? Right now I adore conducting research and teaching. I actually look forward to doing my work. Will my “work” become more of a “job” when I become a mother?
2. Will my husband and I struggle to find our joint “parenting style?” Or will we agree on most ways to parent?
3. Will I experience the love that everyone describes they have for their children?
4. Will my view of the world change? My thoughts on politics? Religion?
5. Will I still like my regular television shows like How I Met Your Mother and Gossip Girl? It just doesn’t seem “momish” to watch these shows. Which leads to question 6…
6. Will I finally feel like a “grownup?”
7. I intend to remain connected with all the amazing friends I’ve made through the years. Will it be harder than I think it will be? Will they accept me as a mother?
8. Will my baby be as fun(ny), smart, and cute as my nephews? I’m wondering if it’s even possible!
9. How will I ever survive without sleep?
10. Will my husband and I still laugh multiple times a day? Will we practice what Carol and I preach by maintaining or adapting our meaningful rituals?
I won’t know the answer to these questions until February and beyond. For now, though, I’ll keep pondering them, trying to remain present in the uncertainty (and excitement!) a change like this brings.