How I’m Managing Fear Of Missing Out While Pregnant
Have You Ever Felt Like You’re Missing Out?
Human beings are innately social creatures; we are born with an unwavering desire for community, and we learn to value acceptance from a young age. We want to be a part of what’s going on around us and, as we get older, this search for inclusion continues. When we don’t feel it, there’s often a fear that we’re missing out.
Since becoming pregnant, I’ve often felt this fear of missing out (FOMO). As I watch stay-at-home orders begin to lift in my city, there’s a part of me that’s worried I’m being left behind or that I am no longer accepted the way I once was. It’s a delicate dance, and I’m walking between two worlds—on the one hand, I’m excited about this next chapter, but it’s also hard to release who I used to be and the life I had before becoming a mother.
Social media makes it challenging, too. I watch as my non-pregnant friends post about their lives—lives so similar to the one I had only a few months ago—but I’m also immersing myself in parenting and motherhood. I’ve come to realize that I’m yearning for a new community, one that feels right for this chapter of my life and includes other pregnant people and families.
This doesn’t completely erase my fear of missing out on life while pregnant though. And as I move further and further into motherhood, I’m allowing myself to witness all that I’m experiencing—including FOMO. Here’s how:
Be proud of your own journey
We fear missing out when we focus on what we don’t have and strive for change. The real challenge then is to shift our attention to the present moment and our current journey. When we practice gratitude for what we already have, we can experience peace and groundedness.
Thinking about pregnancy this way has been especially helpful in moments when I experience FOMO. Throughout the day, I’ll close my eyes, breathe, and remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I also write down at least three things that I’m grateful for at the end of each day. This helps me drift into a peaceful sleep and rewires my brain to focus on gratitude during this season of change.
Find community in motherhood groups
Recently, I’ve found myself craving community with other mothers; I have the most nourishing conversations with women who are on the same journey as me. While my non-mom friends are still my friends and support me, finding a connection with other parents is the support and inclusion I need right now—especially to help me work through feelings of FOMO.
The reality is, we all need to have people around us who understand the journey we’re on. While meeting new people can take time, I’ve found social networking sites like Meetup, Facebook, and Instagram are great for connecting with other parents. There are also apps—like Peanut—to connect people across fertility and motherhood. You can even ask your doctor about local motherhood groups (often offered at clinics and birthing centers). Alternatively, reach out to any parents you know and ask where they found their community.
Share your journey with your family & friends
Pregnancy is a personal experience that can sometimes feel lonely. So in the process of building a new motherhood community, I’m also sharing honest experiences with friends and family as a way to feel connected.
“How are you feeling?” is a question that comes up often while pregnant. Instead of responding with “good” or “tired,” I’ve been practicing honesty and offering deeper answers with my non-pregnant friends. I’ll tell them about sensations or new cravings I’ve been experiencing. And it’s fun to see their responses, as they’re often surprised or curious. Setting a foundation for transparency can also be a building block for establishing long-term support.
Continue practicing the hobbies you love
Pregnancy and motherhood can become the center of our world; at least, that’s been my experience so far. I find myself wanting to dream about my baby and curate my registry more than anything else. Yet, a little voice inside me reminds me to focus on my passions, hobbies, and growth as a person, too.
One of these passions for me is my online yoga business. When I found out I was expecting, I began to prepare for teaching throughout pregnancy and beyond. I received my prenatal yoga certification and started mapping out long-term business goals. By continuing to focus on my business in this new season, I’ve been able to maintain a sense of self.
Staying dedicated to our practices, hobbies, and goals during pregnancy can help us prepare for the future, but it can also bring us joy and remind us of who we were before becoming pregnant. We will likely still love the same hobbies and passions once the baby comes, so why not continue them in pregnancy?
Make birth art & explore new hobbies
Pregnancy is a beautiful time to start a new hobby, too. Hobbies can help us turn inward and honor this time of creating a new life. It can also be a great place to meet new friends, perhaps even other expectant mothers.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider these crafts or screen-free hobbies. Alternatively, you could try making birth art—a tactile experience that can help you connect with your pregnancy journey.
Many feelings will come up throughout pregnancy and motherhood—and it’s okay if feelings of FOMO arise. May we allow ourselves to experience these feelings without judgment, and embrace the many twists and turns that this season offers.
Are you experiencing FOMO while pregnant? I’d love to hear your tips for managing these feelings in the comments below.
Courtney Jay is a writer at The Good Trade. She is also a yoga instructor, health enthusiast, and sustainable fashion advocate. You can find more of her writing and take one of her online yoga classes on her website Coincide.