What kind of mom will I be? I like to think I'll be laid-back, super-casual, taking everything in stride. Perhaps a little anxious at times, but always moving forward. That I'll be more than happy to hand the kiddo over to friends (whether or not they just used hand-sani), and that I'll be totally okay with getting away from the Wee One for a weekend while Gma & Gpa babysit, so that I can sleep in somewhere and then eat a breakfast buffet I didn't have to make. I will happily let my husband help with childcare and revel in watching them bond. I will enjoy my 12 weeks of FMLA leave and then be moderately conflicted as I wean myself off my baby and go back to work, sad to not be sharing re-runs of Fringe over midnight feedings with him anymore, but happy to see my coworkers & have conversations with adults again. I won't freak out over every tiny thing and feel the need to post on an online baby forum, asking if it's okay that my 6-week old baby hasn't started laughing yet, or uploading photos of suspect red spots to see if the general online mommy community thinks my baby has thrush (NOTE: I obviously have no idea what thrush is, based on that link.) I won't obsess about having a perfectly clean house (Lord knows I don't right now) or get upset if I can't breastfeed. As he gets bigger I will teach him about science and dinosaurs and geocaching and be totally okay with him playing in the dirt with the dog. I will eventually send my kid to public school and periodically have to tell him the toddler-appropriate version of "tough turds" and "sometimes life ain't fair".
But the truth is, I don't know. I have no idea what instincts or hormones will come flooding forth the second that tiny babbin makes his first appearance.
I may start snarling like a wolf and hide under the hospital bed with him clutched to my chest, and bite the first person who reaches for the baby (If so, sorry..I promise I've had all my shots.) I may become a total germaphobe and place the baby in a bubble. I may fall down a shame spiral over my dirty house and my inability to produce food for my tiny human. I may stalk the online forums and NEED ALL THE ANSWERS OMGRIGHTNOW BECAUSE I HAVE NO IDEA WTF I'M DOING. I will decide my husband is a moron & should never be left alone with an infant. I may not leave the house for a year and convince my boss to let me telecommute, or suddenly decide that my career and saving the environment means nothing because I NEED TO MOTHER. I will use my Master's degree to homeschool my kids so I can be sure they know MY VERSION of Genesis vs. The Dinosaurs. I will be on Pinterest when I should be sleeping so I can research all of the best life-development activities and make sure their lives are as enriched as organic wheat flour. Oh, and they'll only be getting organic nitrate-free super foods--I will probably butcher the cow myself (while babywearing) just to be 100% sure. He will never see the inside of a McDonalds or know the joy of a cheeseburger Happy Meal. Forget helicopter parenting, I'm going Blackhawk on that kid, and every boo-boo will be nursed and totally the grass/rock/other kid's fault. And we'll sell the dog, of course, the first time he licks the baby's eyeball. Maybe we'll even rid ourselves of all technology & go full Amish on him.
Or maybe I won't connect with my baby at all. He'll hate the beach, and rocks, and dinosaurs, and books, and food, and ME, and I'll swear he was switched at the hospital and forever long for my "lost" baby while resenting the one sleeping in that crib...that FAKE baby. I'll refuse to breastfeed & become withdrawn, depressed, and never leave my bed ever again. Our house will gradually fill with refuse and stray cats (no idea where they came from, but I will love them more than that Fake Baby) and eventually Family Services and the ASPCA will show up on our doorstep at the same time.
Or maybe I'll love him to bits but accidentally swaddle him to death. *shrugs*
All I know is it will be a new adventure, and life will never be the same. (And I'm still really hoping for Option #1. And definitely not Death-Swaddle.)
I vow to love & protect you, Wee One. And I promise to REALLY try not to kill you via accidental or intentional means.