Great thread! As far as prep, we were really unsure if we wanted kids. We got married, and discussed it every year or so and the answer was always, “yeah maybe but not yet.” Finally at 10 years married and me approaching 37, RLG said, “We’ll never be ready. Let’s just try and see what happens.”
So not the best approach maybe, but we were pretty financially stable. No house, both done with masters’, no debt.
I spent most of my time worrying about giving up myself. My mom was a young mom who completely martyred herself to her children because she didn’t really know any other way, and was a single mom. I worried so much about not having me time, not having an identity outside of mom, and not being talked to about anything besides mom stuff. The truth is the only person who sees me as ‘only a mom,’ is my MIL, and that’s totally about her, not me. I thought there would be a lot of angst and worry and instead it’s just been this pretty awesome journey of getting to know this wonderful little person. As cliche as it sounds (and makes me want to puke to say), I’m really not exactly who I was before. It has changed me, but not into some stepford mom…just into someone who lives more in the present and enjoys more simple pleasures and seeing the world through my kid’s eyes.
I’m so glad someone told me not to buy a bunch of new expensive stuff. I did not have a shower, and I bought very little new. This time around I’m buying even less. If you’re not too remote, almost everything you want can be found on the marketplace or in consignment stores for less than half the price.
When I walked into the hospital and they asked me what my birth plan was I said, “I want to live, I want my baby to live, and if possible, I’d rather get the kid out through the vagina, but if not that’s ok.” The nurse was horrified, and kept reassuring me that I would not die. I guess…don’t say that exactly, but if you can approach labor with that attitude, I think you will have an overall easier time mentally than if you have a really specific vision of how you want it to go and it doesn’t come out that way. My expectations were very low, so I felt like the birth was a good experience in the end. YMMV