Robin, 5m4m contributor shares her insights about the fears of first time moms. This post is part of a promotional campaign for the book Mommy Time: 90 Devotions for New Moms. While we were paid to promote this book, all opinions do remain our own.
When I was pregnant with my first child I had a dream that I left the hospital and went straight to a store to get baby stuff. I carried my new baby through the aisles looking for bottles, bibs and bath toys, but the shelves were empty. I had nothing I needed and, apparently, no way to get it.
I woke up from this dream disconcerted, but not because I didn’t have any of the required “stuff.” It was more that I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into and realized there were no easy answers to my questions. Would having a baby be hard? Would I be any good at it? Would I like it?
I think at that point I knew my life was about to radically change, but of course I had no idea how much. I didn’t know I would have an incredibly fussy baby who didn’t sleep much. I didn’t know I would get postpartum depression. And I didn’t have any inkling how good a dad my husband would be.
Good friends of ours are expecting their first baby in October and we went for dinner with them recently with our four-year-old and his seven-month-old little brother in tow. Our friends asked questions about car seats and inspected our stroller. They asked lots of questions about all those things that feel overwhelming when you’re preparing to have a baby and drowning in the seemingly endless choices in the baby gear stores.
The wife in this couple is a public health nurse and has lots of experience with babies and families. “Do you feel like you know more what to expect because of your work?” my husband asked her. “Sort of,” she answered. “But I also know that you never know what it’s like until you have a baby of your own.”
They have fears about the usual things, just as I did. There’s the fear of labor (and of ending up with a C-section, which I did). The fear of sleep deprivation. The fear of the first few nights (or weeks or months) when you might just check a few extra times to make sure your baby is still breathing.
Having a baby brings with it so much excitement and anticipation and, yes, fear. All of it is normal. And no matter what you fear, you will be okay. Plus, as I now know, it’s very unlikely that you’ll actually in a store with empty shelves looking for the basics for your new baby.
Want more help as a new mom? Check out Sarah Arthur’s newest book!
Mommy Time: 90 Devotions for New Moms
Sarah Arthur’s eighth book is a devotional memoir of reflections on the early days of mommyhood (Tyndale House Publishers, April 2013). Blending humor with spiritual insight, Sarah explores everything from sleep deprivation to the loss of “quiet time” to a new mom’s struggles with her ever-changing body. In a hardcover gift edition, Mommy Timeis perfect for baby showers, baptisms, and Mother’s Day.
“Speaking from that newborn-inspired place, Sarah is a good companion for any new mom.”
- Sara Groves, Christian music artist
“A beautiful, moving work. Sarah Arthur is indeed a theologian.”
- Andy Crouch, Executive Editor of Christianity Today
More about Mommy Time:
What were your fears like as a first time mom?
Robin Farr is a woman, a writer, a wife, a runner, and a mom – chronologically, at least. She got mixed up philosophically during her struggle with postpartum depression but wrote her way out of it on her blog, Farewell, Stranger. The perspective she gained from that experience led her to a new motto: “Live the life you’re meant to.” She’s now working on doing just that.