Wednesday, August 25, 2010


when we were in chicago, we had the privilege of caring for our niece for 2 days while her parents were at work.

i loved it! it was so much fun, and molly is such a sweet, sweet baby girl.

but, truthfully?

it was hard.

keeping your eye on an active and mobile 10 month old can be rough.

but at the end of the day, i got to give her back to her mommy.

and those 2 short days? it confirmed what i had been quietly worrying about.

i have been wanting to be a mommy since i was wee little thing. i love babies, i love children. in fact, i used to joke that if i had to choose between a baby and husband, i'd choose a baby. hands down.

oh, hi, peter! i love you!

i started babysitting way before one should. i look back on this and wonder what the heck my aunt and uncle were thinking leaving my 13 year-old self home alone with 3 children under 5, one of them being an infant. i don't even think that's legal. but, i think they gave in because i loved my baby cousins so much, and they trusted me since i was "so good with kids."

"so good with kids."

"such a natural."

"made for this."

all things i've heard time and time again since i was a preteen. when i went into teaching, everyone said, "oh, of course you should become a teacher! that's your gift - you are such a natural with children."

i love teaching. i love spending time with children. a lot of times, i prefer the company of children over adults. they're less snarky. ;) and people always assume that because of this, i'm going to be "good" mom. a great mom. an amazing mom.

{as an aside, people would say these things all the time when we went public about our infertility. i know they meant those words to be comforting, but in a lot of ways they stung even more because it reminded me of what i so desperately wanted, but couldn't have...just wanted to share that. not pointing fingers, just saying.}

but, the truth is, i'm *really* worried about this.

i worry that i'm not going to live up to everyone else's and my own standards.

because over the years, as i've heard those words from everyone around me, i began to think they were true. secretly, i thought, "i got this."

but now, as the actuality of motherhood looms in the very forseeable future, i'm kinda freaking out.

you see, the thing about other people's children is you can give them back. when they're fussy, naughty, tired, hungry, cranky you can just hand them back to their parents.

but to care for a little one all day, everyday, through every mood and every trial, and to be the one that others turn to when the little one is fussy/naughty/tired/hungry/cranky scares me.

i worry that i'm not going to have enough patience on a daily basis. i worry that i'm going to be fussy/naughty/tired/hungry/cranky and take it out on someone else, namely, choi boy. i worry that with adoption, i'm not going to understand choi boy's grieving, and i'm going to be personally hurt by it. i worry that i won't be able to bond well with my son or vice versa. i worry that i'll be too selfish to parent well. i worry that i'll lose it some days, most days, everyday. i worry that i'll be extremely frustrated when i don't understand his needs/wants.

i worry that there'll be tons of days when i'll be a miserable mommy.

please don't read this as a fishing for compliments or "please affirm me" post. because it's not. this is what is troubling my heart right now.

i think that once i'm in thick of mommymode, i won't have time to worry. that i'll be flying by the seat of my pants and all the preconceived notions i had, whether good or bad, will go out the window. and i'll be so exhausted that i'll be dead asleep at all other times.

but for now? i worry.

waiting is bad news bears for worrywarts. bad news bears.


  1. tom and i were just having a similar discussion last night--not because i'm particularly good with children (i'm not) but because we've been dreaming of this for so long, we're scared about the reality. but i think you're'll do the best you can in each circumstance and, for what it's worth, i think you're going to be a GREAT mommy. actually, the fact that you're worrying about all this now shows that you are already a great mommy! hugs!

  2. One thing I learned about a month or so into this mom gig is that I'm going to be the kind of mom I am...for better or worse. I'm not going to be like my neighbor or my friend. Sure she may have more patience at times and bake cookies. But I can do a funny voice and make up a song on the spot to make G smile. You won't be perfect, but you'll be C's mom for all the good and not so good that you are. And he'll love you for it!!

  3. I can relate. What's worse though for me is that I've never been "a kid person." I do think it will be different when it's your own though and you get into a parenting groove. When you are with someone else's child you can't really mold them or shape them too much because you give them back at the end of the day. But with your own you can. At least that's how I look at it. I may come back to my reply a year from now though and wonder what the heck I'm thinking. LOL!

    I know you weren't "fishing," but add me to the list of people who think you'll make a great mom :-)

  4. I could have so written this post! Actually I was thinking of doing one just like this because these same things have been on my mind lately. Mind if I steal it? :) Just kidding! I guess it's normal for all of us expecting moms to feel this way. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!

  5. I think EVERY mom worries that she's not cut out for this. No matter whether you adopt or have a biological child. I did. And you will be frusterated and tired and fussy (after a particulary exhausting day, I told DH that I felt like being fussy). But on nights when E is fussy, or days when he won't nap I found that what works best for me is to thank God. When I start to get really frustrated, I thank Him for the privilege of having a fussy child - because that means I have a child! I thank God that I get to go in and rock him back to sleep. That I get to go through teething and gross diapers and spit up all over me and shots and growth spurts and reflux and all those other not so fun things. I think when you try as hard as we have to have a child, you find that, during your frustration, reminding yourself that you are thankful for this is not so difficult (even at 3am after 2 hours of crying).

  6. Of course you're worried, you've been building towards motherhood for so long. When you've been picturing and dreaming about and working towards something for such a long time, it's natural that you'd have a picture in your head of how it will work. And then it's different, or something goes wrong, and you move on with a new vision of what it will be like.

    Just like with teaching.

    Remember that first year you had your first class on the first day of school? Did you have fear in the pit of your stomach? I sure did! And then a kid threw up all over the rug, all over her backpack, and suddenly there was no room for fear. That was definitely not in my vision of "what it will be like to be a teacher." At least, not in the first 10 minutes! Yet, there I was. And I knew what to do. I imagine motherhood will be like this. (Though I'd prefer it if there would be no vomit in the first few hours...)

    Somehow, even though it's hard and it doesn't match the original vision, you'll get through. (Take this with a grain of salt, of course, because I've also always returned children to their families at 3 PM, so I say this as someone who's never been there.) But you'll get through, and it'll be great.

    Sorry for the essay.

  7. Oh yeah, and the cookies were fantastic. I will be making them your way from now on. So good job on that!

  8. Hi! Happy ICLW!

    For those of us building our families through adoption, I think it's like being pregnant for YEARS (but without the physical issues of course). Pregnant women worry about these things too, we just got a much longer time to spend worrying! :)

    On the other hand though, I think that we'd be deficient mommies-to-be if we never worried. It means we care and we will be the best mommies we can be. So if you're wrong to be worrying, then I'm wrong right alongside you! I'll keep my fingers crossed for your adoption process to go smoothly. :)

    ICLW #9

  9. I think we are kindred spirits in our worries ;)
    It's ok to worry. I'd be worried if you weren't worried about adopting/parenting.
    But God's got this. Just know that!

  10. TOTALLY hear ya on this one. I was just like you...babysat super early (even had an overnight gig twice a week with a two year old when I was 13 - single mom working the night shift!!). Anyway...heard the same things over and over. Taught for six years hearing them even more. I observed all those parents and seemed to think I knew more than them and had figured it all out. Then it was my turn to become a parent. There is not a day that goes by that I don't wonder, "Did I really just say that?" "Did I really just do that?" It is so very different when it's your own child, but no matter what I do or mistakes I make, at the end of each day, I have two little girls who love me like crazy cakes. It will be same for you. Carson is your son, and no matter what, he will love love love you!!!

  11. The worries are totally normal. And the whole fussy/naughty/tired/hungry/cranky thing? Totally happens. All the time. You wouldn't be human if it didn't. NONE of us know what we're doing when we start out, and yet people still trust us to parent children?
    Guess what, we do. We make tons of mistakes and we have horrendous days that we wish we could redo, but the whole thing is a learning experience. I know this sounds corny, but it's totally a learn-on-the-job kind of job.
    It's hard, but you'll do it. And it may take a while to find your stride, but you'll find it.

  12. I'm learning that motherhood means worrying. They just go together. It is what pushes you to be a better parent. And there will be some really bad and hard days. But what is awesome is that you can always try again tomorrow. And I try to remember each day something a great friend told me - "God chose these children for you. You are uniquely abled to parent them." Remembering that has gone a long way in boosting my confidence as a mother and helping me to forgive myself on those days when I wasn't the parent I wanted to be.

    And yes, the reality is you will be busy and you will figuring it out as you go! But, really, so is everyone else. You will do just fine...

  13. I promise...every waiting mom has felt at least some (if not all) of these same worries. I love JoJo's answer...we truly are all the type of mom we are going to be...different than everyone else. There is no such thing as the perfect mom. We learn as we go. Some days are better, some are worse. I try to learn from the "worse" ones and move forward. Having a good partner will give you strength. We find the TEAMWORK approach works best.

  14. You sound a lot like me. I started baby-sitting when I was 11 for our neighbors. They had a 6 yr old, 3 yr old, and infant. Crazy, huh? I was really tall for my age and I think it made people treat me like I was older than I was. I was mature for my age too and had always been good with children. I've been working with children my whole life- since I was a child.

    And I remember when I was in college I told myself if I never find a husband, no matter what, I would still have children. That children were more important than a husband to me.

    But yes, I still have twinges of worry. What if it's too much for us, etc.

    I think it's completely normal to worry about it. Especially since we have been building up to it for so long. I think it's just another sign you will be a good mother.

    This is my first time visiting your blog and I love it. I will be following your journey :)

  15. The fact that you are worried about these things means you are (a) already a good mother, and (b) ahead of the curve. Because it is so hard some times, which I am just now finding out. More rewarding than you ever thought - definitely. But also waaaay harder than I thought. Definitely makes you have more respect for your own mom and all the moms you know!!

  16. I can totally relate to your worries! I still worry about things like that, and Joel has been home for a year! We babysat our nephew when he was 2 for two weeks while his parents vacationed, and after I said I didn't want kids anymore. It's completely different when they are yours. I've discovered that I am NOT the kind of mother I always dreamt I'd be, but I'm working through that. Motherhood is a learning process for sure! You will have cranky, tired, and rough days--it's inevitable. But you will also have many wonderful, happy, and memorable days!

  17. Yup, you'll be cranky. You'll be more tired than you could've ever imagined. You'll wish you could fastforward to 9 p.m. when the little monster is hopefully finally asleep. You'll wish you could command your husband to come home RIGHT NOW. But you'll also experience so many great moments. When your son smiles and laughs, you will be happier than you ever thought you could be. You'll wish that you could stop time right then and there and never leave that moment.

  18. You're right - you will lose your patience and you will get upset & frustrated & disillusioned & nervous & all the rest of it. You'll get so cranky & fussy that, at times, people will think you're the baby. And it's totally normal.

    I've always been great with kids and I thought having my own would be a breeze. I was wrong, of course. But God gets you through so much. I prayed for patience almost every night for 2 weeks straight when my son wouldn't stop crying. But he kept at it and I thought I was gonna lose it. But then I realized: you can't have patience without something trying your patience. HELLO!! Once I realized that I became so grateful for every cry, kick, whine, etc. I'm blessed to be able to cater to lil man's needs and that's what being a mom is about. It's not about being a perfect mom - it's about being his mom.

    You're gonna do great!!
    ICLW #82

    p.s. thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm following you now!

  19. I agree with what Joanna said 100%. She said it perfectly.
    This Mama gig is hard stuff. Every day I wonder if I am doing a good enough job. I was the opposite of you. I always knew I wanted to have kids one day but never had the burning desire until I met Glenn at age 35. My best friend and I always laughed as she was just like you. ( and also became a mom later in life like me. ) If we were walking down the street in town and there was a puppy on one side of the street and a baby on the other, she would run to the baby and I'd be sprinting to go pet the dog. :) All I know is that some days I think I rock at this and other days I suck. I just wake up the next day and keep chugging along to do the best I can and try to make sure that Noah knows how very much he is loved.

  20. I have those exact same worries too, it's comforting to know I'm not alone in this fear. But I kinda look at it like this: I will have fought so hard to get there that once I am there, I'm going to just let myself be. Sometimes I'll be mommy of the year and other times, I'll be far from it! and that will be ok because I'll be trying my best and that is all I can do.

  21. There are so many great comments above me... and I agree with so many. You're going to do incredible though, and I'm not just saying that to give you affirmation. The fact that you worry at all at this point means you have what it takes. Really. You and Peter are going to raise Choi boy exactly as he should be and needs to be. Good days, bad days, fabulous days, horrendous days... the all make your journey, well, your journey.

    From one worrier to another... hang in there and go find a distraction! ;-)

  22. All the above comments are great. It still scares me that I am in charge of a little person who looks to me for guidance. I can't even spell for goodness sakes. I've only been doing this for less than a month but for all of the times you lose your patience, want to cry, and feel like you just can't do it anymore..all it takes is just one smile from the little guy and it's all worth it.

  23. I loved reading all the comments and your post and knowing that I'm not alone. Especially today when after a chaos filled day, my 2nd one spilled his gook-bap (meyuk-gook with rice) on the ground and then my 3rd one proceeded to walk all over it and sit on it...meaning that I had squished rice all over my floor. =) It is so natural to worry...even though J is my 3rd child, I was so worried before we got him home and even just last many worries about attachment, grieving, adoption, ect... But I think whether bio or adopted, ultimately, every night as I check in on my kids before I go to bed...I just realize I have to surrender them to God...they are not mine...they are His and He has given me the privlige to raise them...and I have to remind myself that it is a privilige...especially on days like today. =)

  24. I think it is super healthy that you worry about is easy to idealize motherhood, but the truth is it is so much hard work, and it affects the ones you love the most in a profound way. But it is also wonderful. My unsolicited advice is to read parenting books NOW, because you won't have any time when you need them the most!

  25. i think that every momma can relate to this. we are all afraid of the awesome responsibility of raising a wee one. i hope you know your not alone, and i hope knowing that helps to ease a bit of the worry. and if all else fails you can use my fool proof system...some days i just remind myself that i just have to survive the next 60 seconds in tact. and after that minute i celebrate a bit and move onto the next.

  26. You should worry. Who I am to tell you not to worry. Mothers worry, don't they? That's the thing with all the waiting - you have lots of time to worry about things that may or may not happen. Too much time. I worried about so many things as well, had lots of doubts and fears. Luckily, when the time comes, instinct takes over and you do what you do.


  27. I think the same thoughts - 'what if I'm no good as a Mum, after all this?' and like you I've always been told that I am good with kids. I think that coming at motherhood through infertility and then adoption gives too much time to think about it. When you have your child, you'll do the best you can, because what other choice do you have?

    Thanks for visiting my blog

  28. I was worried about the same thing when I had my son a few years ago. It's so cliche, but it really is different when it's your own. You would live or die for them and even if things don't go exactly as you had planned, you will still be a great mom!

  29. I really enjoyed reading about your journey to adoption. I slowly realized when I became a mom that you can't just give the baby is amazing how different life is. Glad you got your little one...;)
    Happy ICLW!

  30. You will do an amazing job, and I'm not saying just to prop up your confidence. Your worries are completely normal. I have felt those same worries as I wait to have a child join my family.

  31. I think every mom-to-be feels this way; I know I did. Especially with my first son, I was soooo hard on myself and spent a lot of those first months feeling like I wasn't doing anything right.

    Being a mom is hard, definitely harder than anything else I've ever done. There will be days when you are frustrated/exhuasted/bored/annoying. There will be times you make mistakes and wish you could press the restart button. Every mom has those experiences and all you can do is wake up the next day and try to do better. In the end, even the bad days are worth it b/c the good days are so wonderful.

  32. I could have wrote this post while I was waiting to bring Kyle home. I had a lot of people tell me that I was going to be a great mom and I kept thinking "how do they know" - I also "...worr[ied] that I'm not going to live up to everyone else's and my own standards." The first few months home with Kyle I was way too hard on myself. Being a mom is the hardest job I have ever had (this coming from a someone who taught special education for many years), but it is the most rewarding - when Kyle says, "Umma-ma-ma," - my heart melts!


why, hello there! do you have something to say? 'cause i'd so love to hear it!