I wanted to be a mother since I was a little girl. However, in all my imaginings I didn’t anticipate the anxiety that accompanies this occupation.
There are many mothers who I admire; most of them seem to easily bear the mantle of motherhood. When I observe them, I see how comfortable they feel with their role and how they adjust naturally to changes.
I wish I felt that way.
I love being a mother and I adore my children. Recently, I’ve started daydreaming of having a big family again. A huge step for me since the miscarriage.
However, I don’t feel qualified. I see this in simple things.
When Ben leaves for work, I am gripped by this terrible fear of being left, alone, with the kids. I think about the hours I have until they are down for naps and then until they go to bed. I dread meal times and bath times and almost everything in between. So I plan lots of activities to fill the voids–library visits, aerobics, shopping trips, and appointments. I don’t prefer play groups because it means I must visit with other mothers who probably are much better at being a stay-at-home mom than me.
If the kids start to cry, I become rattled. I tell myself that I cannot comfort them and that the crying will continue for hours during the day. A lovely relic of the heavy duty colic I survived with both kids.
I spend half the day chasing after Emily and the other half cleaning up the messes she has made. Sitting down and playing with her rarely happens as she is too busy getting into the things to have anything to do with puzzles, blocks, or any crafty thing.
As a woman with a degree in family science (with a heavy emphasis on child development), I know what I need to do to encourage my children in their intellectual growth. Thus, when these things aren’t done, I feel the failure even more significantly. And it scares me.
I crave comfort in motherhood.
My life is in chaos. I don’t mean that lightly. The family has yet to adjust to Ben working two jobs. I’ll freely admit that I am struggling with it.
The hardest part is being responsible for everything. Sure the dishes can wait…for me. If I don’t clean, no one else will. It’s not that Ben doesn’t want to help, it’s that he can’t. His burden is our finances while mine is the household. Hefty responsibilities for both of us. We share what we can while doing our bests to fulfill our sole obligations.
I am taking a break. I need time to organize my life so I don’t feel overwhelmed by the slightest setback. I don’t know when I’ll be back; it could be a couple of days, a couple of weeks, or couple of months.
Perhaps this break will stop the unsettled feeling I have. I’ll let you know when I get back. Until then, know that I will read here and there, and that I will think of all of you during the absence. Hey, as the saying goes, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Or maybe that’s intended for a different context. Yeah, that’s a bit awkward.
Anyway. If I’m not back before the holidays, I wish all of you the best. I’ll see you when I see you.