I should have known better than to browse the internet. I have far too much free time (since I can’t easily find work for the very short timeline before I give birth) and limited transportation. So, I’ve succumbed to reading pregnancy forums, and online advice.
I really didn’t expect women claiming to feel guilty for eating chips once a week, or having pizza for dinner from time to time. I didn’t expect the occasional cup of coffee during pregnancy to be equated with child abuse. Hell, I didn’t expect to see supposed doctors advising women not to let their heart rates go above 140, or to lift over 15lbs on some sites.
So, I’ll just accept it. I’m a bad mother already, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I take medication for my asthma and a modern antihistamine for my allergies (though I checked both with motherrisk). I occasionally eat sushi with raw fish (though not from the hole in the wall place, or anywhere new). I have cut down on the coffee, but I still make the occasional soy latte. I don’t apologize for eating a large portion of nachos, or my renewed chips-and-dip addiction. I don’t think I’d have made it without medication for morning sickness for a few weeks. And I certainly am not worried about hauling down my kayak, tiring myself out swimming, or making a hilarious attempt at running my usual route.
Still, it’s hard not to worry that I’m a horrible horrible person for not living up to a perfect standard of behaviour. Maybe I’m dooming the poor child a little more each time I take a swim, or eat something not entirely healthy. Maybe the medication has some subtle effect that will doom the kid to a life of addiction to antihistamines. Maybe I’m just not cut out for this.
I guess it’s all preparation for the expectations to come. I’m likely to be working part-time when the kidlet is about 2 months old. Sure, the kid will be with Dad when I’m out, and I’ll be far more sane for the break. But it’s probably all wrong. If the kid gets an occasional bottle of pumped milk or, even worse, formula, it’s probably going to make my potential Nobel winner a High School dropout.
But, I guess that’s the way it is. My husband has committed to being an equal parent, even in the early years. I expect he’ll get unwarranted praise for it, as he does for being the primary cook and grocery purchaser. I’ll probably really enjoy my part of it, and I’m looking forward to it. If only I could get away from the guilt.
I’m in my mid-thirties, and a PhD student in computer science.