I’m Already Stressing About How I’ll Manage Motherhood

Gillian Sisley

Am I too independent, and require too much of a sense of control, to successfully juggle children AND my business?

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Yesterday, my husband woke me and said that our dog had thrown up and had diarrhea all over the dining room throughout the night.

By the time he went to work, our dog wasn’t in any better shape. Nor was he eating or drinking anything.

Within a couple of hours, stool was replaced with a puddle of blood and I was rushing our 3-year-old Shih Tzu to the emergency pet hospital.

I was home by 11 am — they held our dog overnight and gave him an IV to rehydrate and some medication. The vet said it was an episode of colitis (sudden and aggressive digestive upset).

I picked up our fur baby this morning, and I’m happy to report that he’s doing a hell of a lot better.

He’s eating and drinking again, his tail is wagging happily, and my husband and I are $700 poorer for it. But it’s worth it, because when it comes to family, even family pets, we make sure they’re healthy and safe.

This mindset will transfer to the children we are planning to have a few years down the road.

But I’m not going to lie, my husband and I are pretty damn comfortable right now. We’re a dual-income household, and while we have a lot of debt leftover from our wedding, we’re able to just putter along focussing on our careers and spending quality time together as a married couple.

Life is pretty good right now. And as soon as we introduce children into this mix, life’s going to get a hell of a lot harder.

If there’s anything I’m really good at, it’s looking far, far into the future and trying to envision what that will look like, and often worrying myself into a bit of an unreasonable state of anxiety.

My newest topic of panic? The realities of juggling motherhood.

I don’t want to ‘be it all’, but I also don’t want to give up my business to be a mom.

I want to do both.

I want to continue to raise both things I created from nothing.

I don’t want to have to choose between my career and my child. I certainly know plenty of women who did and do both. I have clients who run their businesses AND work from home raising their infants.

I want to be that kind of woman, too.

But I’m worried I don’t have what it takes.

Take my dog’s illness yesterday. One little inconvenience in my work schedule, one thing that didn’t go according to plan, and even while I had the whole rest of the day to work knowing full well he was in good hands, I basically became useless.

I recognize that an ill pet who is considered family is a solid reason to feel off and distracted during a workday.

But this raised a red flag for me, because it seemed all too easy for even the littlest thing to activate a series of unproductive actions, resulting in getting very little done.

Because if this, I found myself thinking today,

“Holy sh*t — how the hell am I going to manage life with next to no sleep, a child forever rested on my hip, working off of the most uncontrollable schedule possible?”

I currently thrive as a creative by working on what feels right in the moment, at that particular moment.

I recognize this is an incredible luxury.

But once I have a kid or two… damn. There won’t be any more “doing it when it feels right”. I’ll have to take every little 5 minutes I can get throughout the run of the day.

And that reality is really scary to me, because I know my failure rate is higher under that sort of workflow.

Can my deep desire to be a mother trump my temperamental independence?

I recognize that this is going to be a struggle for me. By having children I will be sacrificing the thing I consider my lifeline over all else — time to myself.

No more moments by myself.

No more peeing alone.

No more general silence and concentration.

Even those few seconds with a mug of hot tea will be a luxury because I will have little nuggets attached to my hip from birth onward.

As it stands, I’m currently used to hours of downtime in the evening, self-reflection and self-recreation on my own. It’s a little slice of heaven, and life is pretty damn great right now.

Losing all control of my time, and how I use it, is frankly a terrifying concept.

But not as terrifying as the thought of missing out on a chance at motherhood, in whichever form it comes.

What if my trauma tries to sabotage me again?

I almost lost my business because of my PTSD following a sexual assault from several years ago.

It was 4 years from the incident, and my business was still put in jeopardy because of the depths of my trauma, and my struggle trying to manage the symptoms while also running my company.

Motherhood is just another thing that trauma could latch on to and try to take away from me.

When it’s just me, handling my own sh*t, I’m okay not being okay.

But I find it hard to practice grace with myself, even now, to ‘be okay not being okay’ when I envision trying to raise kids.

My panic and paranoia for something years down the road isn’t a new reality for me — my anxiety likes to get me worrying about mundane things in the future long before necessary, and obsess about them a little.

So while it may sound foolish to be asking these questions years before motherhood is likely to be a reality for me, I still think there is great value in asking these questions at all — and processing them as early as I can.

Final word.

If there’s anything that I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember, it’s to have a family.

It’s to be a mother.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m really, incredibly excited to be a mother one day. I suppose I’m just pre-mourning the life I have before I lose it out of the intentional sacrifice to raise tiny human beings.

I find myself often concerned and worried about how difficult that transition is going to be for me, in particular. I imagine my husband is going to thrive. I, on the other hand, am likely going to have I’m pretty tough time dedicating all of my attention and focus to another human being, while sacrificing my own personal time and the opportunities to build my businesses.

This next milestone in our lives will bring along with it a lot of changes and difficulties (goodbye to enough sleep forever), and my husband and I are doing as much as we can in our careers and financial situation to prepare for that milestone several years ahead.

My hope is to be creative writing full-time by the time we have our first child.

I hope to make at least 80% of my current income through creative writing, which would mean dropping my current social media clients and just focussing on my own writing for a monthly salary.

This is an intentional decision and goal that I’m working towards so I can work my writing around a child’s needs, and still be able to run my business, and whichever fashion that may be.

It may seem foolish to be concerned about this, but hey, I still a work in progress and am figuring it out as I go.

I want to get this motherhood thing right — whatever that ever means.

Not perfect, but right.

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Online solopreneur. Tea drinker. Committed optimist. I write about trending news, viral Reddit content, and anything else that tickles my fancy.

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