Real-life Stories: Scared of Motherhood

Expecting your first baby is exciting. But it can also create anxiety about your future role as a mother. Here's how two women overcame their fears.

Real-life Stories: Scared of Motherhood different_nata/Shutterstock

"My mom had always made parenting look easy and effortless. I feared I wouldn't measure up." - Claudia Zurita, Houston

I was excited when I found out I was pregnant, but also a little panicky. I had no idea what to expect. I read every pregnancy website I could find and joined an online community for moms-to-be. But although I was eager to learn about expecting and motherhood, I was afraid to talk to anyone about my fears about being a parent. I was nervous I wouldn't be a good enough mother. I worked full-time so I feared my child wouldn't really know me in the same way he would if I was with him all day. was scared that I'd be some sort of klutz and drop the baby, or what if I fell asleep in the rocking chair while trying to put him to sleep? How would I know that I'm doing things right? When I had my son, I had awful postpartum depression symptoms. I bottled up my emotions and had the worst anxiety I'd ever felt. I constantly worried. I'd get up three times a night to see if he was breathing, and I was terrified he'd put something dirty in his mouth and get sick. >But after about a year, I finally found my groove and felt much more confident in myself and my parenting skills. My son knows who mommy is, and seeing his face light up when I get home after a long day at work means everything to me.

"I was afraid of how a baby would change my relationship with my husband

"My husband and I get along so well and have so much fun together; I was afraid a baby would disrupt that." - - Lisa Parro, Chicago

My husband and I waited almost seven years to start trying to get pregnant. Both of us were very happy being childless and we got married young (I was 23; he was 24), so time was on our side. Mostly, I was afraid our life would change for the worse, and that parenthood would be difficult and we'd be stressed out. We didn't want to have kids simply because we were expected to.

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9 things to consider. But after attending a funeral for my husband's 18-year-old cousin Stevie, who had died of cancer, we started talking seriously about having children. The memorial included a slideshow of pictures from throughout Stevie's life, and we were both struck by all the images of togetherness. Did we really want to miss out on all of that by remaining childless? I got pregnant in September 2011 after trying for nine months. I had an easy pregnancy and a tough delivery, and now have the sweetest 16-month-old son. It's such a cliché, but I can't imagine life without him now. My relationship with my husband has evolved. It's nice when it's just the two of us, but it's rare. We go out a lot less than we used to, and when we do, we almost always bring our son with us. I feel bad leaving him with a sitter because we work during the week. Parenting is challenging, but we've been blessed with a happy baby.