The Fear of the Unknown

“All my worries about everything I didn’t know kept

building up when I was pregnant making me irrational and all

over the place. I was like a child after eating a bag of Haribo or

a lollipop - completely uncontrollable and knocking anything

that gets in their path into space heights - but without the

buzz or enjoyment.” Amy

Have you ever experienced the overwhelming sensation that

you aren’t good enough for anyone, including yourself? I

believe that any mother can feel like this when they find out

they’re pregnant, whether it’s their first or fifth child. Each

time is like being a new mum, because you never know quite

what to expect, and it’s this fear of the unknown that can

affect all of us, if we allow it to.

Even just those words written down ‘fear of the unknown’,

can invite irrational thoughts to race around our minds. The

‘what if’ factor of every unknown scenario of motherhood was

a frequent visitor to my mind. All of those thoughts build up,

overtaking any rational ones trying to calm us down.

I’ve read so many times in magazines, online, in pamphlets

and in shared posts on social media that even the most

knowledgeable and experienced professionals agree that

when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood there

is still so much we can learn as a society. Opening ourselves

up to every opinion and claimed fact that crosses our screens,

papers and hospital notes can leave all women feeling very

vulnerable, not to mention confused. Is it any wonder we

question ourselves? I questioned myself every time I saw a

new mum smiling from a magazine article and looking

physically fit in what seemed like days after giving birth. Was

I happy enough? Was I lazy?

But I learned to look in the right places.

There are lots of opinions of what motherhood should look

like, and what you should be experiencing. I find the more

the years go on, the more information can sound like it’s

turning into opinions, so I no longer felt like I had to believe

everything I read. I even found supportive influences that

took away my fear.

When I first became a mother, things were slightly different. I

had my first two children before the internet became what it is

today, and scarily before any social media platforms or many

relatable pregnancy and parenting books were available on

the shelves. Sometimes I think I’m lucky that I didn’t have

those influences, but then I feel that I missed out on the choice

of support and knowledge that new mothers are getting now.

Those first two times, I was dependent on the knowledge of

the professionals who surrounded my pregnancy, my birth

and the first years of motherhood. Yes, family members and

friends gave me their advice, but it was always clouded with

the positives, so that they didn’t scare me. My mum would

remind me that she would be there for me every step of the

way because I would need all the support I could get. It was

so lovely to feel supported but of course in my head I was

thinking, wow is it going to be that hard that I need so much

assistance? My mum has always kept to her word through the

good times and the tough times. I appreciated that at the time

and looking back it makes me smile because of how much of

the reality of motherhood she sheltered me from before I

began my journey.

I often meet women who feel claustrophobic from all the

advice that is shared with them, and I also meet mothers who

wish they had support like that. They all feel lonely, unseen

and unheard. The pain and confusion of these women is real

and it’s probably happening to someone close to you.

Always here Clare

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