He Likes Me. He Likes Me Not.
Birth, marriage, divorce, death. These are life’s events that we can’t truly and completely prepare for. That would be too convenient. So instead, we obsess about them beforehand, and wing it when they finally arrive. And so it is with motherhood.
From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, your mind is filled with “how’s.” Things like how to change a diaper, how to find an in-home sitter, and how to change those darn bags in the Diaper Genie. That’s why we have instruction manuals and wise friends. But then in come the “What if’s?” These are a bit trickier because they let your mind wander. Far from reality. Like when you were planning your wedding, and after you’d spent countless hours agonizing over every little detail on the invitations, centerpieces, and the program, you gasped at the thought that it was possible that the last stall in the ladies’ room would run out of toilet paper. Yeah, what if that happened?
So there you are with a bun in the oven and have carefully covered your long list of how’s. You figured out how you were going to make more space in your already seemingly small home. And how you were going to cover daycare. And how you would pump milk at work. Ah, time to sit back and relax, right? Just coast until it was delivery day. As if.
Between your hormones, that nesting thing, and you just being an over-prepared gal, you now get to wrestle with the “What if’s?” Time to conjure up more scenarios. Not just normal things like what if your husband isn’t around when your water breaks or what if you lose your job. Uh uh. Big, silly, ridiculous stuff that takes up more time and energy than it has any right to. Things like, What if the sonogram was messed up, and I have quadruplets? Or, What if there’s a really bad storm, and I can’t get to the hospital and have to deliver those quadruplets at home?
I couldn’t stop wondering, What if the baby doesn’t like me? Yep. I let my mind go there. Despite the fact that I was 100 percent present during this little being’s creation, I doubted he would like me. Who cares that I carried him for nine months. What if after he came out, he’d spend the next 18 years trying to get away? Just because I was his mom, didn’t mean he’d give two hoots about me.
Second guessing and lack of confidence is an unfortunate and constant part of life. We could do it full-time forever. Honestly, I’m not sure my son has ever said he likes me. But I get a lot of “I love you’s.” Hmm, what if Oprah was his mom? Would he like her? See what I mean?