99% of the time I love being pregnant. I don’t want to take pregnancy for granted because fertility isn’t something that doesn’t always come easily to some women. I have embraced the changes in my body, I have been getting used to throwing up regularly (even still at 20 weeks), and I am getting used to the idea in 20 weeks we will have a baby girl in our home.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I immediately downloaded the What to Expect app which I find equally fascinating and annoying for its over cautious and peppy style. One of the first emails I received was in the “For Dad’s” section and it was titled, “Dealing With Your Partners’ Emotions”. In summary it made a pregnant woman sound like this giant, irrational monster who bounces from angry to crazy to elated, to crying, back to angry. It annoyed the heck out of me and I thought that I wouldn’t be one of those women and I would stay in control of my emotions.
At 14 weeks I BECAME that cycle. I would go from angry to irrational to elated, go crying, back to angry and it was destroying me. I became a person I didn’t recognize and I was not okay with that. I was extremely snappy with Rob, I would slam doors, I actually threw things, I would say things I didn’t mean, I yelled, and I was angry all the time. I had never acted that way before in our two years of marriage, our fights are usually super game but all of a sudden I was stuck. I would always apologize after but I stayed in that cycle. Anger is never something I struggled with but suddenly I was angry all the time. Both Rob and I made excuses for it saying it was just pregnancy hormones and it would pass.
After two weeks in this cycle and a particularly loud fight, I felt horrible. I have never felt so ugly in my life. I decided that I could not ALLOW myself to behave that way anymore. I would not give myself permission to act this way. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.
Sure we could blame it on pregnancy hormones now but what next? Next we could blame my inexcusable behaviour on postpartum hormones, then on sleep deprivation, then on a fibro flare, then again on sleep deprivation, then on the pregnancy hormones that will come with baby number two. Before I know it I have spent my life modelling the worst behaviour possible for my children. I would be modelling it’s okay to yell, slam doors, and say hurtful things in the name of emotions. I would be modelling that being disrespectful to another human is okay. My anger would probably be turned to them from time to time and I would be that snappy, miserable mother who yells over everything. Even worse, I would hate for my little girl to think it’s acceptable to treat their spouse like that or for my future sons to think that’s how real women act.
Being a woman is beautiful but can be hard. So is pregnancy, being a wife, and I imagine motherhood. No matter what role I take on it is easy to let emotions take over and just allow them to control me instead of using self control. No matter how loud my emotions scream I want my character to be louder and bolder.
Here are three things I am constantly reminding myself of and am doing to keep my emotions in check:
1 – Count my Blessings: In a time of self reflection, I realized that it was so easy to snap at my husband because I wasn’t being thankful for him. In fact I was being purely ungrateful. I wasn’t appreciating the extraordinary person he is and all the amazing things he does for me daily! He is always willing to make supper, do dishes, do a load of laundry, and run to the 7/11 next door to grab whatever I’m craving, among the other countless wonderful things he does. He makes me feel so loved everyday and I have nothing but the desire for him to feel respected and valued.
2 – Make My Marriage a Priority: One day all of our many future children will have flown the coop and it will be back to the way it originally was, just me and him. One of the best gifts I can give my children is having a great relationship with their father and I know that doesn’t happen without intentional effort. I have been called to show my children what selfless love is truly about and how set a standard of what they look for in a spouse. Lately I’ve been making my marriage one of my top focuses and it has made both of our lives happier and healthier.
3 – Take Care of Myself: this will serve me well as a mother if I learn to take better care of myself. For me that means during the day taking at least five minutes of quiet time to focus on my faith, have a nap, avoiding caffeine, or take a bath to unwind then I need to do that. I may have to adjust what self care looks like once I have a house full of children but I will be a better person, wife, and mommy for it.
No matter if you are single, attached, married, a mommy or mommy to be, it is so important to give yourself grace and to remember tomorrow is a new day. We are all in this journey together!