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Will You Be a Good Mother?

I was seven months pregnant, taking my evening stroll, when I spied the tiny, squirming ball of fur, its eyes still fused shut. How a baby mole got to the middle of my street I'll never know. I picked it up, wrapped it in a tissue, and carried it home.

Deep inside, a strange, reassuring glow began to emerge. I felt...nurturing. Maybe this meant I'd be a good mother after all. (Never mind that I returned the helpless creature to a hole in the yard that my husband pointed out belonged to a snake, who had surely devoured my "baby" for breakfast.) I'd been consumed by worries about how well I'd manage maternity. Here I was, soon to give birth, and I'd never so much as held an infant. I was a workaholic with a dry-clean-only wardrobe, the sort of person whom friends would vote Least Likely to Wear a Snugli.

Will I make a good mom? The question crosses many a woman's mind at some point in her life. Goodness knows, there are enough reasons for trepidation. Loss of control. Fear of sacrificing your own ambitions for your child. Fear of turning into your mother. Worries about how your relationship will change. Fear of realizing, too late, that you just aren't the type to be called "Mama."

It's easy for your imagination to run amok. You can't peek into a crystal ball to see whether you're cut out for the job. Your life, however, is rife with clues. Here, how to read them --whether you've just given birth or are waiting for your first baby.