don't panic captain mainwaring

I am a calm person.


At least on the outside.

But every now and then, the bubbles of panic that I usually keep hidden inside pop up to the surface. Sometimes I don’t even know they are there until they burst out. Once they’re out, that makes me wobble even more. Panic panics me.

The last time this happened was just over two years ago, around January 2008. I was 8 months pregnant with our daughter. Things were all coming together nicely: the nursery was decorated, furniture bought, clothes washed and put away, bags packed, names (almost) chosen.

My to do list was looking remarkably healthy. All that remained was to learn how to fold terry nappies.

I was totally in control. *ahem*

Except I forgot about the hormones.

About four weeks before my daughter was born, the reality of what was about to happen to our lives hit home. Hard.

What if our daughter hated me? What if I was a godawful mother? What if I wanted to send her back? What if I couldn’t feed her? What if…?

What if we had made the biggest mistake of our lives?

I remember being in the kitchen clearing up after dinner, and all these “what ifs” just kept pouring out of me. I had no idea where they were coming from, and couldn’t stop them even if I tried.

I don’t do crying, but there I was, a snivelling, snotty wreck who had no idea what she was letting herself in for.

Thankfully my man is unbelievably rational. He just hugged me while I dribbled on his shoulder and responded to each “what if…” with a “well, we’ll just…”

And he was right. We did just…

And now, here we are two years on. Our daughter is thriving, doesn’t hate either of us and is quite simply amazing.

Yes, becoming parents has been terrifying, but it is without doubt the best thing I (we) have ever done. And we’re about to do it again. Only this time without the panic.


This post was written for the Writer’s Workshop #17.

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