I feel you kicking again. I probably shouldn’t have had that brownie last night. Or that coffee this morning. Sometimes I forget it’s not all about me anymore. Am I doing everything I can to make sure you become the perfect, healthy child I dream you will be? Maybe I should have signed up for that prenatal yoga class after all. You’re not even born yet, and I’m afraid I am failing you.
Mama, I’m so warm and content here in your belly. I may not understand what you’re saying or how your decisions affect me, but the sound of your voice makes me wiggle with joy and your concern lets me know I am safe and loved. This brownie you speak of? It sure smells delicious. When you eat, I am nourished. When you move around, it rocks me gently and puts me to sleep. You are my everything.
My milk won’t come in. Will we still bond if I don’t breastfeed? This formula better have all the nutrients you need. Oh, no. You’re crying again. You’re not happy. Why didn’t anyone tell me I’d need a degree in physics to swaddle? I’m getting this all wrong. I don’t know how to be your mother just yet.
Mama, being wrapped in your arms is even better than being in your belly. Your skin feels like home, and your gentle kisses make me happy to be in this world. I know I’m impatient, but you always figure out what I need in the end. When I’m hungry, you feed me. When I’m wet, you make sure I’m clean and dry. I want for nothing, because you are here. You are my everything.
Another day at home. We should get out more, but there’s so much to do—laundry, dishes—and I haven’t showered in two days! I need to find a Mommy & Me class so you can learn to play with other kids. Should I be looking into preschool? Maybe you’re too attached to me. I worry you’ll never learn to be independent.
Mama, spending time with you is my favorite thing. Knowing you are near gives me the security I need to start becoming my own person. Your presence helps me learn about trust and reliability. And it will give me the confidence to be away from you when the time comes. But right now, following you around while you vacuum is exactly where I need to be. You are my everything.
Fast food again. What kind of a mother am I? I should be feeding you home-cooked meals, organic veggies and meats that are straight from the farm. Your health should be my top concern at all times. How will you ever learn to take care of your body when I can’t always model healthy habits myself?
Mama, it’s so exciting when we get a treat like this. My body is growing big and strong thanks to how well you take care of me. But it’s nice to learn what it means to indulge sometimes. Letting me have something special every once in a while shows you care about making life fun. Because French fries are awfully fun. You are my everything.
I worry that I’m making poor decisions for you or saying the wrong things. I’m terrified that all that you are and everything you will be delicately hangs on every single move I make as your mother. With each mistake on my part, I fear that I’m setting you up for more challenges, more difficulties. Maybe I’m not enough for you. Maybe you deserve more than I can be.
Mama, the only mistakes I know are the boo-boos on my knees and the messes I make on the kitchen floor. I don’t care if you birthed me at home or in a hospital. I don’t care if I wear cloth or disposable diapers. I don’t care if I go to preschool two days a week or four. I don’t care if you feed me a vegetarian diet or Cheerios and canned fruit. I will be just fine—as long as I’m your everything.