I give up on trying not to be "That Pregnant Woman" on social media.
Whatever. We're all bad about it...whatever is going on and completely consuming our life consumes our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. Whether it's a show that we're in, or a politically-driven issue we have to post memes and articles about, or whatever...it's how this whole social media thing goes, really.
I've kept a lot of my deepest thoughts and fears to myself or to my husband and very closest friends, of course, but I have really felt like the things I've posted have helped me in one way or another. Asking current moms about their experiences with certain products or issues...posting weekly or bi-weekly baby bump photos...or just blogging about how I've felt has helped me. I'm definitely one who thrives in a "community," and my social community (most specifically on Facebook, because those are all people I do know in real life and love and trust, for the most part) has been very important to me and very helpful. It helps me to bounce feelings or thoughts or questions off of others and take in all of the responses and then make my own decisions.
I also give up on trying to please everyone. I've tried hard (too hard, at times) to maintain a sense of "cool, pre-pregnancy Mandy" throughout this process, but I'm giving up. Actually, no. I'm giving in. I'm giving in to the changes that are happening to me and to my family and in my life. Things are going to change. It's too hard to fight them and try to stay this person who tries to make sure she doesn't make anyone mad by not going out somewhere or doing something when really I want to be at home. I need to be at home.
I'm amazed at how much I've changed in the past couple of years. I used to be dying to get out of the house and be social. Now, when I'm out, I want to go home. I want to go sit on the couch with my husband and my dog and watch t.v. and laugh at our stupid wrong answers on Jeopardy! and fall asleep intermittently even though I just woke up/am about to go to bed anyway.
Here's a good example: I went to see some friends in a show this past weekend, and I desperately wanted to leave before the show was over. It was a great show, one of my favorites actually, and I was really enjoying the production, but I just started to feel the need to go home almost to the point of anxiety levels. Granted, I started to get physically uncomfortable, too, in those theatre chairs. This baby likes to hang out all nestled up in my rib cage, it feels like, so sitting for a long time starts to get really painful.
During a Play Readers meeting a few weeks ago, I was anxiously checking the clock because I wanted to go home. This has NEVER been something I've struggled with.
I used to revel in my alone time at home, so I could watch whatever I wanted on TV or Netflix, but now I just watch the clock and my phone until Michael comes home or lets me know he's on his way home from work or a commitment.
I'm sure some of it's hormonal, but I also really think that God is using this time to shape me into the mother I will become, and how that will change me as a wife. This is a blog post for another time, and I really do want to write about it, but I have a genuine fear of Michael and I becoming just parents and tending to forget that we are also partners in a marriage. I'm ready to be home. I'm ready to be a nurturer to my child and a partner to my husband. I still long to create art and be onstage; that's not going to change. It's also a fundamental part of me individually.
I want my projects to enhance who I am but not define who I am. I want motherhood to enhance who I am and not define who I am. I want my marriage to make me a better person, but not to define who I am. It's a tricky, tricky balance.
I guess we never stop changing, do we?
I'm okay with that. I may put more of it "out here" than people are comfortable with, but I figure that for every annoying post that causes someone to hide me, I'm also hiding someone for an annoying political post, so it all eventually evens out anyway.
The word vomit helps me, and the support from friends helps me. If I lose friends because I put my family and myself first, and/or because I'm too honest or public about it, I think that might be okay too.
Thanks for making it this far, if you did, and thanks -- as always -- for reading.