The Mommy Interview, Part 1


This is the first in a series of interviews I plan to have on the blog. I’ll be interviewing parents at all stages of the parenting process. To start, Janelle was kind enough to answer a bunch of my questions.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a Mom? Or was there a time when you knew that it was something you wanted to be?

A: This is sort of a challenge to answer.  It’s hard to say if I always wanted to be a mom, but I think it’s fair to say that, as far as I remember, I always figured I’d be a mom.  That actually sounds sort of horrible, so let me see if I can explain a little better.

I was not one of those little girls who had her wedding day planned out at 12 years old, or who had the picture of her future home and how many kids were running around.  For me, I’d say there was more the sense that all of those life events would happen, but they weren’t things that I focused on or planned for in any way.  So, I think the mom thing was something that seemed to be a given, at least when I was younger.

I think once the idea became more tangible, probably college and after, I went through what I’m guessing is a somewhat typical crisis of confidence.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be a mom; I just didn’t think I’d be any good at it.  The insecurity over it was actually pretty significant.  I can’t really recall what specifically concerned me so much, but I do recall the general feeling of concern about it.  I honestly don’t remember if I felt that way while we were together.  I think not, but it has been awhile, so the timeline for those feelings is a little bit blurred.  I do remember having the distinct feeling that parenthood was a part of future, but that I was not ready for it.  That was several years ago, back when we first got married.  I wasn’t ready to give up our time together and focus on anything but each other.  The weekend we spent watching our oldest niece sort of confirmed for me that we could handle it, but that I didn’t want to quite yet.  That was 5-6 months into our marriage.

I’m not 100% sure when the transition to “readiness” occurred for me.  I can say that we waited, even after I was ready.  Outside influences delayed our timing, but I think it’s worked out perfectly, as it seems like everything is falling into place for us at the same time.

Q: Would anything have ever deterred you from becoming a Mom?

A: Did I address this in the previous answer?  I think sort of.  All I can think that would have prevented mommyhood is my own insecurity.  I didn’t think I’d be any good at it, so had that feeling become more solidified, it may have put me off of being a mom.

Q: How did you decide that you were finally ready to have a baby?

A: Sorry, I guess I sort of covered this in the first response too.  Not sure I can give a very solid answer to this.  I guess we got to a point in our lives and our relationship where it felt right.  That sounds sort of lame and cliché.  I know we talk sometimes about how I had a “timeline” for marriage and a first baby, and while that is true, I don’t think I was ever all that serious about sticking to it.  As it turns out, we’ve met the timeline just perfectly, but it’s not because of it that we are where we are.  I think it was more conceptual than anything.  It sounded like a good idea to have a baby before turning 30, and it sounded good to be married by 26, but I don’t think those ages sounding reasonable affected the actual timing for us.

I think when we were first married, even though we’d been together for so long, I wasn’t ready to have our lives be about anyone but ourselves.  A year or two into our marriage, we had some friends starting families, and those that weren’t settled down yet were starting to move in that direction.  Everything started to settle into place and it helped transition me to thinking that a child was something that would be a wonderful addition to our lives, rather than something that would take us away from things.  That sounds kind of awful too.  Maybe I’m being too serious about all of this.  I’ll try to lighten up in the rest of the answers I give.

Q: What was it that kept you from wanting to have one as soon as we were married?

A: Man, I really jumped the gun in answering that first question.  So, basically, I wanted more time for us.  I was concerned that a baby would create too much change for our relationship and our individual lives, and I wasn’t ready for that to happen.  I was concerned about the impact a child would have on our lives, and just knew that I wasn’t done focusing on myself and us.  I believed that having a child meant giving up a lot of your own life, and that our relationship would change in a way I wasn’t ready for (I figured we’d fight more since kids and houses/finances seem to be the main arguing points for couples and that we’d lose focus on each other).  Now I know better.  Yes, things are going to be different, for us as a couple and us as individuals.  But those changes won’t be a negative for us.  We’re constantly growing and changing, and this is just one part of all that.  I guess this goes hand in hand with the previous answer.  Sorry…stream of consciousness.

Q: How has the pregnancy been for you so far?

A: Easy.  Not sure how else to put it.  The discomforts have been pretty mild overall.  No puking, which is a huge relief.  It’s been quite the unexpectedly positive experience so far.

Q: What does the pregnancy feel like for you? Do you feel different at all? Is it just physically different?

A: This is a really difficult question to answer, mostly because I feel like I won’t do it justice in describing it all, and because I think there are some intangibles that can’t be described.  However, I’ll do my best.

For the first 2-3 months, I’d say it didn’t feel at all different from a physical standpoint.  There were a couple of body changes, but no tummy really, so it didn’t seem obvious to me that there was a baby involved.  The other physical issues (indigestion/heartburn, peeing all the time, that might have been it) aren’t things that obviously imply PG [Editor’s Note: It’s cute. This is how my grandmother refers to being pregnant, “PG”, and Janelle’s picked it up], so that didn’t really alter much for me either.

Emotionally there are ups and downs.  The initial lack of physical reminders was actually sort of a challenge mentally.  I knew that I was pregnant, but there were those little moments where a thought of “are we sure there’s a baby in there?” would sneak in, usually as we got farther from the last appointment (and the last reminder that, yes, there is a baby in there).

Speaking of reminders…just got what felt like a couple little thumps on the inside…Baby is apparently being punchy (now that we know sort of where the hands are).  Either that or it’s gas.  Ah, the beauty of pregnancy.

Anyway, I’ll get back to the emotional stuff now.  Other than those occasional nagging thoughts mentioned above, I don’t think I’ve had too many concerned type emotions.  In the very, very beginning, I was sort of counting the days until I passed the “you’re going to get sick mark”, and again until we passed the 1st trimester.  But those are fairly normal cautionary reactions for people.

All in all, I’ve had nothing but excitement and love and just about every other positive feeling you can have.  I’m excited to be somebody’s mom.  I’m excited to meet our child.  I’ve loved it (and the idea of it) for a long time.  I’m excited to see the changes that happen for you.  I’m really eager for the baby movements to go into full gear, and for you to be able to feel it too.  I’m nervous for us on occasion, but mostly because I know how prepared we like to be, and as you’ve mentioned before on your blog, you’re never really prepared.  I’m much more nervous about house stuff than baby stuff.  So far.  I can’t wait to hold and snuggle the baby.  I can’t wait for the 3 of us to have our first moment together as a family, especially once we are at home.  Getting teary thinking about it…I am such a pregnant lady.  I guess most of the emotional feelings are anticipatory in nature.  There’s an eagerness to everything relating to our having a baby.  But not so eager that I want it right now…I can wait until May/June.

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  1. #1 by Jessica on January 18, 2010 - 8:46 PM

    This is the cutest thing ever – I can relate to so much of what Janelle is/was feeling! Janelle, you are going to be the best mommy ever. And I know that baby Scarpelli will undoubtedly bring you guys together in ways you never imagined possible. It’s amazing how things change in unexpected ways – you will love (and probably already are loving!) the journey together.

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