5. "I Won't Be a Good Mother"
Worrying about your parenting skills is a positive sign, according to Diane Ross Glazer, PhD, a psychotherapist with the Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, in Tarzana, California. "It shows that you want to do a good job," she says. Fortunately, as she points out, "parenting is a conscious activity" -- so you can take steps to turn yourself into the kind of parent you want to be, by reading books and taking classes. If you're really worried about caring for a very young baby, hire a baby nurse or ask one of your relatives to help for the first few weeks.
At the same time, don't lose sight of the unique abilities you bring to this endeavor. "Remind yourself of the challenges you've faced in the past, and how often you've risen to the occasion," urges Sanford. And keep in mind that you don't need to be an expert on potty training or school lunches the moment your child is born. Your parenting style can develop as your baby grows.
While the prospect of being responsible for a helpless infant can be daunting, rest assured that you'll likely do better than you think. "Most mothers intuitively understand how to care for and nurture a new baby," says Sanford. "So go ahead -- trust yourself."
Barbara Solomon is a writer in Scarsdale, New York.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, September 2006.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.