Pregnancy. It didn’t come to me as naturally as I had hoped; I have found it a very strange, precarious state of being - to be ‘with child’.
I’ve wanted to be a parent for as long as I can remember, but I’d got used to not being one. And now it comes to it, becoming a mum seems pretty daunting.
One day back in my twenties while I was wallowing in my longing to have a child, it occurred to me that becoming a mother might not be a ‘human right’, but instead could be a gift. I realised that unless I was going to resent every young parent I saw, I needed to change my perspective. I had settled into waiting passively; biding my time and saying ‘yes’ to things that I didn’t really want to do and doing things that didn’t really chime with who I was.
So I stopped waiting. And started living.
When ‘yes’ means stress
Earlier today, I read this quote:
During my years of passivity I'd said 'yes' to too many things that ultimately caused me stress. Since realising this I’ve found so much freedom to say ‘no’.
Simultaneously I've started to say ‘yes’ to things I’ve never tried before, things that bring me joy and have meaning. My life has been a great adventure ever since!
Those first few pregnant months
Some mums sail through the first few months of pregnancy. Other’s are very poorly. I would put myself somewhere in the middle. For that, I am thankful.
I could handle the nausea and the headaches much more easily than I could the enveloping anxiety of the up-coming life change. I’d come to enjoy my life as it was.
I love my job as a Brand Manager. I love giving Oppi my creative energies. I enjoy welcoming people into our tidy, calm, joyful home. I enjoy alone time. I like being able to hop on a plane to visit friends in Mozambique, New Zealand, North America.
Those first few months were raw with an internal wrestle. I wanted a plan; a crystal ball to look into the future. An answer to my question: “How can I continue to pursue those things I’ve discovered bring me joy and give to others, while also nurturing a little child?”
I still don’t have the answer.
What I do know is that when we saw our baby at the 20 week scan it didn’t seem to matter quite so much.
And now the third trimester
I’ve realised that I remain in the middle of that bigger, more fulfilling journey and I can’t know what the next few years will look like.
Our house may not stay so tidy, but we’ll invite our little one into a calm, joyful home. I may not be able to give Oppi so much of my creative energy, but we’ll invite our little one to play, create and explore with us. I might not be able to hop on a plane quite so easily, but we’ll invite our little one to have their adventure satchel always ready to go ... even if we just take a trip down the road.
I feel much more ‘me’ now than I did in my twenties. Would I have discovered that if I hadn’t laid down my ‘right’ to be a mum? I don’t know. But I did, and in three months time my life is going to be changed forever. At times that thought still scares me, but I'm choosing to trust in the one who writes my big story.
And just as my story continues, our little baby's is just beginning. So with that in mind, I’ve started recording the first chapter of their own Very Great Adventure.
You are welcome to follow our stories as they unfold: #JanesCreativeJourney