While leafing through the family photo albums my Mom so generously left at my house for an undetermined amount of time, I was able to put 10 fears to rest that have been lurking in the back of my mind regarding mothering and pregnancy. I thought I’d share them with you today, so that you can see how I’ve managed to overcome them one by one.
1. I’m too young to have that kind of responsibility
Well, my dad was practically a minor. Just look at him:
OK, he was actually 28 or 29, but seriously folks–does he look a day over 16?
2. My house will become overrun with child paraphenalia
Not necessary! I slept in a cardboard box.
I was bathed in a trash can.
I guess I don’t need a ton of stuff for my future babies–I mean, they don’t even know the difference between their fingers and their toes, much less between a fancy bathing apparatus and a brown trash can. My parents kept their house very free from self-multiplying plastic objects, and I find that inspiring and relieving. Phew!
3. My schedule will be chained to the sleep schedule of my child
My parents simply put us to bed wherever we happened to be. Like at a concert. Hey, they were musicians, and we had to adapt.
There’s my Dad running the mixing board. I think this was in Japan, and I’m looking a little spaced out. Apparently they kept a blanket by the mixing board, and when it was my bedtime simply put me down on the blanket where I peacefully entered dreamland. Children are more adaptable than I would have imagined–and they can adapt to me as much as I can adapt to them.
4. My house will become an uncontrollable mess
Well, if I follow my Mom’s philosophy I will simply put my children to work. I mean, all day long I worked the family’s farm . . .
. . . and then I got home, tied my tresses up in a bandanna, and got ready to give the house a good shake down. My Mom didn’t take any excuses–here she is saying “Alright Jenna, don’t come back until all the curtains are laundered and pressed!”
She didn’t even care that I had just laundered and pressed them, like, two days ago!
While the house was my responsibility, the birth of my sister Erica fulfilled the vacancy for groundskeeper and chauffeur.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah Dad–just take the dang picture and let me finish washing the car.”
I’m so glad to know that I too can simply train my children to do all my work for me, while I sit on the couch issuing orders, drinking coffee and nibbling on scones.
5. I will become frumpy and hideous
This picture of my Mom was taken when I was almost 2 years old.
Yes, my Mom is a classy broad. Here she is again with her two sisters (she’s on the left), around the same time:
That classy lady second from the left is my grandmother:
I have inherited genes that indicate frumpyness may not be in the cards for me. Or if it is, my extended family will whip me into shape so as not to disgrace their name. I have historical evidence for this claim: Aunt Jessie was put on frump alert many years ago, and was immediately forced to the nearest beauty salon to fix the issue.
She tried to resist, but she was no match for her determined mother, the one wielding the cane. It’s nice to know that I have the kind of family who stamps out frumpery and beautifies you even against your own will.
6. If I have daughters, they will steal my shoes and clothes at the earliest opportunity
OK, well, that may happen. But nobody seems particularly upset about the arrangement, as I see it.
7. It’s so hard to travel with children that we will never go anywhere
Well, here are my parents in San Francisco . . .
. . . and in New York City . . .
. . . and my Mom in Japan, with me in the stroller and Erica on the way.
These are just a few pictures of the many I could have included showing them in places like Florida and Niagara Falls, with small children in tow. Being in a band, travel was part of their life menu. And if they could do it, dang it, so can I!
8. My children will yell and scream
Well, my childhood pictures prove that it’s possible to have a 100% fuss-free kid. I am always smiling, always cheerful, with a surprising maturity for my young years. My good attitude from birth forward created a very peaceful home environment.
Yes, I was a perfect child and I expect no less from my future children. Calm, wise beyond their years, and zero whining.
Hey wait! How did that picture sneak in there!
Someone’s gonna get fired over that slip-up.
9. Once you have them, they’re with you all the time
If I choose to follow my parents’ example, I can simple pack my child up (with packing peanuts for safety–don’t worry) and ship them off to the nearest baby store, Attn: Returns Department.
As long as you print off your certified baby return label, it should be easy as pie. Then, when you feel like having that baby again, you simply go to the pick-up counter and retrieve him or her. Couldn’t be more simple.
10. Baby stress will cause untold marital tension
My Dad once said that having kids has provided them with the funniest moments in their life. They have never laughed together more than over one of us and our ridiculousness. Instead of driving them apart, raising us three girls has brought them closer.
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for doing such a great job and providing a solid photographic record that I can return to for inspiration, encouragement, and ideas.
Now it’s time to talk about the one fear I haven’t been able to shake or disprove. It’s something I’m really having a hard time even thinking about. It may be the source of regret, frustration, and physical discomforts untold:
The fear of not being able to sleep on my stomach.
I mean, I’ve been doing it practically since I was born.
And I don’t think there’s any way of getting around it . . . unless I buy a special mattress with a hole in it. I just have to decide if this final concern is a ‘make it or break it’ moment in our child-bearing plans. Wish me luck as I try to make a wise choice.