Pessimistic about becoming a mum? That’s OK! It helps!

It dawned on me recently that there are some benefits to being a pessimist. I have been called a pessimist many times in my life. Someone who perhaps always thinks or fears the worst. And while this isn’t a trait I’m particularly proud of, or something I want to be, it’s something I’ve learned to accept. It’s just the way I am. And whilst sometimes I wish I could view the world through other people’s more optimistic and enthusiastic eyes, I actually think there are some benefits to being a bit of a pessimist. In fact I’d say that being pessimistic about becoming a mum, helped better prepare me for motherhood.

We only tried for Miss Belle for a couple of months, and whilst I wanted a baby, and was broody, the thought of being pregnant, giving birth and actually having a screaming thing to look after all day and night, terrified me beyond belief. The first thing I said to my husband when I saw the positive test wasn’t “yes!” or “wow, amazing, how exciting!”. It was “Shiiiiiiiittttt!”.

Then as pregnancy went along, I was anxious throughout. Having always been an anxious person anyway and after bad things had happened to people I was close to, I often feared the worst.

It was one of the reasons we went on a hypnobirthing course as well as NCT and the NHS midwife led classes. I wanted to be prepared in all directions. Anything that could help me get through the labour without dying, was a must.

I was pretty sure I either wouldn’t be able to breastfeed, or I’d hate it. Though now I realise that’s because I only seemed to hear the scare stories about how horrific it was and how everyone had to switch to formula.

When I left work, as much as I was so glad I was leaving to have a baby and get the hell out of defending the NHS, I actually said jokingly that I was probably going to hate being a mum, and be begging to come back from my maternity leave early. I worried so much that I would have a baby who wouldn’t sleep and would cry all the time.

Here’s the truth:

My pregnancy was fine

Yes I had horrendous nausea to start with and a dizzy spell once on the bus, but that’s what being pregnant is like isn’t it? I had a day of changed patterns of movements which I immediately got checked out and fortunately everything was fine with the baby.

The labour

Not a true “hypnobirth,” but drug free and unassisted. Probably the “easiest/smoothest” of a lot of my friends.

Breastfeeding

At the time it felt horrific but I know that was the hormones and although it was SO hard at the start, with that wonderful thing called hindsight, what I went through wasn’t a patch on what some go through. I fed my daughter for 18 months.

Sleep

Ahh the thing I stressed about the most. Yes here we were just plain lucky (sorry). We didn’t do anything differently to many of my friends, but generally other than if she’s unwell or teething, Miss Belle is a good sleeper. She had a wobble last year for a few months when she was learning to talk, but I’m sure it was just developmental, and she’s turned the corner again. (**Crosses fingers I haven’t just jinxed that.**)

Being a mum

Well here’s the shocking truth…actually, it’s ok. I’m OK at it! In fact the other week I wrote about how I am rocking motherhood. Some days are obviously harder than others. Yes, I do sometimes get bored. Some days I tell Matt I’m not cut out for being a stay at home mum. I loose my rag and shout more than I want to. Some days I despair when yet another meal is thrown on the floor. But, other days we play, dance, meet friends, go to classes, and I end the day thinking “today was a good day”.

So yes, I’ve always been a pessimist. Maybe I shouldn’t have been. Maybe all of the above is just one big fluke? Who knows. But, for me, being pessimistic about becoming a mum helped me adjust to my new role more easily. I did not go into it wearing rose tinted glasses. I expected the worst. And it’s been so much more wonderful than I ever imagined.

And it is with this pessimistic look that I think about having a second child. In my heart I know it’ll be lovely, and I want a bigger family. In my head I tell myself it’ll probably be horrendous.… that way, anything more than that will be a bonus!

Am I alone? Were you pessimistic about becoming a mum?

 

I’m linking up wth some of my favourite bloggers:

Pink Pear BearThe Pramshed3 Little ButtonsTammymumMy Random MusingsDiary of an imperfect mumHot Pink WellingtonsthemumprojectYou Baby Me MummyMummy in a Tutu

 

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30 Comments

  1. 27th February 2017 / 2:28 pm

    I was pessimistic about becoming a mum. I did have an awful pregancy and birth though. During pregnancy I extremely anaemic and then the birth went wrong and I was told to prepare for Oldest to be born “abnormal” those were the actual words used. I was rushed off to a c-section not knowing what was going on and then Oldest turned out to be completely fine. Although we did end back in hospital a week later as she went unresponsive! She liked to scare us but now she is a wonderful, non-stop 7 year-old. I feel very lucky! 🙂

    • thisismenow
      27th February 2017 / 2:54 pm

      Oh no I’m so sorry to hear that Emma, that must have been awful for you all! I was definitely scared about the birth at first. I blame episodes of one born every minute! The hypnobirthing did help though. I’d come out of the class and say I can totally do this! Then half an hour later I’d have the fear again!! I’m definitely going to do it again if we have another as I think it really does help xx

  2. 27th February 2017 / 3:15 pm

    Growing up, I told anyone who would listen that I didn’t want kids and I wasn’t really cut out for being a mum… Not because I didn’t think I could do it, or I was nervous, but more because I didn’t think I had the temperament or the patience, or to be frank, a maternal bone in my body! Turns out I was right! Haha, just kidding… turns out I was a little bit right, though – sometimes patience and understanding elude me, sometimes (often) I shout before I think, but actually on the whole I think I do a damn good job of showing patience (counting out loud) and biting my tongue (literally), and what do you know, there are maternal bones after all… of the pretty fierce kind! Great post #BigPinkLink

    • thisismenow
      27th February 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Haha – yes I had a friend at uni who was anti marriage and anti kids. She’s now married with a son! I guess we all change as we get older! Thanks for reading x

  3. 28th February 2017 / 6:10 am

    Love this! I’m usually an optimist, but am also a bit of a worrier too. I was very optimistic going into my first birth and it was so much worse than I thought it would be – ha ha! In fact motherhood in general felt harder than I thought it would be, until around age 2. Despite being a teacher previously, it all found so hard. After 2 though everything just settled down. The second time around I was a bit more of a worrier about it all and it’s been so much easier! Perhaps it’s just experience, I don’t know. She’s also a more laid back personality, so I think that helps too. But I think it definitely helps to be a bit more of a realist going into parenthood! xx
    Rosie @ Little Fish recently posted…Little Moments: Family and MilestonesMy Profile

  4. Stacey Oakes
    28th February 2017 / 9:19 am

    I was t pessimistic before but I have moments now when I feel like I’m not good enough. It’s a tough job but we are here and present in their lives, that’s something really positive!! #dreamteam

  5. 28th February 2017 / 12:24 pm

    I really needed to hear this. It is me down to the letter. We are in month two of trying and all of the same things are going around in my head. Thanks for the post.
    #dreamteam

    • thisismenow
      28th February 2017 / 12:36 pm

      Ah good luck and try not to worry. But remember if you do, nothings usually as bad as you think it’ll be! Xx

  6. 1st March 2017 / 7:08 am

    At least though you gave things a try and were prepared – it would be easy to let your pessimism stop you from trying breastfeeding for example. Pleased things weren’t as bad as you thought! Oh and defending the nhs – sounds like we do very similar jobs! #twinklytuesday

  7. 2nd March 2017 / 12:45 am

    I always say my mums is pessimistic and looks for problems – she insists its just her way of being prepared for the worst and if it doesn’t happen, then she’s doubly happy! I think it’s weird, but it works for her and it sounds like this works for you too. I’m pleased it all went well and that you’re enjoying being a mum
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie
    Random Musings recently posted…Mother’s Day Mini Gift Guide With AmaraMy Profile

  8. 2nd March 2017 / 10:02 am

    I never really thought about it deeply which maybe sounds silly. I just accepted it was what I wanted. If I had really thought of the implications then it may have put me off but I am most definitely an optimist. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime
    An imperfect mum (Catie) recently posted…#ablogginggoodtime #38My Profile

  9. 3rd March 2017 / 10:46 am

    I think it helps to be pessimistic especially in this motherhood thing…because I think high expectations are our number one downfall as parents and you know what they say….expect the worse, hope for the best! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub xoxo

  10. 3rd March 2017 / 11:52 am

    An old boss called me pessimistic once and I was fuming. I am a realist. There is a slight difference there and I think if you think logically and realistically you can actually have a good balance of thoughts. I didn’t plan much in my pregnancy coz I just thought whatever happens, happens. It can save on big let downs! #ablogginggoodtime

  11. 3rd March 2017 / 2:03 pm

    Not about pregnancy or being a mom. In fact, those were the two things I was most optimistic about, which is quite out of character for me. However, in general, I have been told I am a pessimist (although I like to think of it as being a realist)…have you heard this, “If you are a pessimist, you are either proven right or pleasantly surprised” now isn’t that a nice place to be… Seriously though, in general, I am trying to be a more positive person.

    • thisismenow
      3rd March 2017 / 4:28 pm

      Yes maybe I should have used the word realist?! Thanks for your comment and yes I agree I do need to be positive too x

  12. 3rd March 2017 / 3:10 pm

    I think I ignored a lot of those things because I knew it would make me anxious like you! I do tend to expect very little from things these days though just because the only way is generally up then. I’m not sure I’d call that approach pessimistic in parenthood though – more realism. Haha! #CoolMumClub
    Angela Watling recently posted…What Little H did – 2.1 yearsMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      3rd March 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Yes I’m wondering now if that’s what I am. I like the sound of it better!

  13. 3rd March 2017 / 4:10 pm

    Ah, I totally remember the positive pregnancy test moment of ‘Shiiiiit’! I admit to being an anxious and pessimistic person, and I struggled to see myself coming through the pregnancy with an actual baby at the end of it. I did have a pretty terrible pregnancy though! But I also struggled to see myself as a mum, other than vague ideas about crafting sessions that haven’t really materialised. I think for me, some things about being a mum have been far easier than I expected while others have been so much harder. But mostly, I actually think I’m pretty good at it and in lots of ways I think a bit of pessimism is better than naive optimism when it comes to parenthood – at least then your expectations aren’t crushed! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • thisismenow
      3rd March 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Totally agree! Thanks for hosting xx

  14. 3rd March 2017 / 10:43 pm

    I definitely had rose tinted glasses! I think it’s a good thing to be pessimistic – that way if it doesn’t go to plan (being the mum you expect to be) then you don’t feel as bad. Love this post! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • thisismenow
      4th March 2017 / 9:19 am

      Ah thanks Lisa x

  15. 4th March 2017 / 10:06 pm

    Ha to be fair I think you’re onto something. I didn’t necessarily have rose tinted glasses but a bit more a reality check in my approach wouldn’t have gone a miss. I was petrified of the birth and very pessimistic but yes that was fine. The rest of it er, I don’t think I had much in the way of expectations, just because I didn’t know, but I think it is harder than I thought. Also if you’re a pessimist then so be it it’s who you are, if it works for you bloody fab. I try to be positive about many things but some things I just can’t and defineitly take a more pessimistic approach but that’s ok because it works for me. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun x

  16. 4th March 2017 / 11:24 pm

    What an interesting read. I think I am at the opposite end to you as I tend to hope for the best, and if that goes wrong, then I just jolly along with what I have to work with. That being said, when it comes to little ones you can’t go wrong with double checking and being extra prepared for all possibilities. We do share that habit and hubby often jokes about my unconscious ‘risk assessments’ that I seem to make whenever we go anywhere new. Thanks so much for linking up to the #DreamTeam x
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…Inspire Me – Honest MumMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      5th March 2017 / 7:10 am

      Ha my husband now always tells me we have to leave 15 minutes before we actually do, just so we get out the door on time! Thanks for reading x

  17. 7th March 2017 / 12:00 pm

    I had terrible sickness with both my pregnancies, nearly ending up in hospital and putting out 3 ribs. With my first pregnancy, I just wanted to survive the pregnancy and I couldn’t really imagine ever getting to the end of it. Motherhood has definitely not been what I had imagined and with my second daughter, it wasn’t easier second time around! At least I wasn’t disappointed by thinking it would all be wonderful. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Review: Sands Alive Cake Shop…My Profile

    • thisismenow
      7th March 2017 / 12:19 pm

      Oh wow bless you that must have been horrendous. I had bad nausea and would cry and wretch but was never sick. It’s tough making a small human! X

  18. 9th March 2017 / 4:53 pm

    I am also a pessimist. In most things. Always have been. For me, it helps me. Prepare for the worst. Then you have less disappointment when things aren’t as bad as you though.
    #sharingthebloglove

    • thisismenow
      10th March 2017 / 9:12 am

      Totally agree! thanks for reading x

  19. 9th March 2017 / 10:00 pm

    I am glad to hear motherhood has turned out to be much better than you were expecting. I can be a bit pessimistic sometimes but I try to be positive as much as possible. However, I do try to not put pressure on myself for everything to be perfect because being a mum is hard and there are lots of days that are just rubbish. Thanks for linking this up to #BlogCrush xx

  20. 12th March 2017 / 11:51 am

    I describe myself as a disappointed optimist not a pessimist! #SharingtheBlogLove

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