Motherhood: A New Kind of Anxiety
Before I had a kid I felt that I was pretty level headed. Sure I had moments of worry and dread but that was usually in the dead of the night where my reasonable brain wasn't awake yet to tell me that I was crazy. Well, now that I have a kid I feel like that reasonable part of my brain is either too tired from exhaustion from the sleepless baby I have OR it just has gone off the rails because I feel SO ANXIOUS! (and not in the Genuine "So Anxious" kind of a way).
I fell that ever since I became a mom I've become way more paranoid about a lot of things. Last week my husband and I went out on a trip with out the baby. I thought "Whatever! We did this already before. This will be a cake walk". Boy was I wrong. Not only was it harder to leave but my brain had a field day with all these horrible thoughts of things happening while I was away.
Here are some "reasonable" things that I thought would happen while I was away:
- We were going to get in a plane crash.
- The grandparents wouldn't know what to do in a emergency.
- We get abducted and forced into having to go on a murder spree for a "game" like in Saw or Black Mirror or some weird horror movie plot.
- Or he thinks we are dead and won't know who we are when we return.
All of those were pretty reasonable scenarios that could happen, which then in turn stressed me the fuck out before we even left! I don't know why I felt that something horrible was going to happen. Maybe it was because I felt so guilty that I thought I should be punished for leaving my baby for five days to do something that I wanted to do. RIGHT? Moms don't get time to do things for themselves! They are supposed to be there ALL THE TIME! But COME ON! That's not realistic and also other parents/moms say that you need to have "you time" and sure I want that but why do they make it so hard to do that! Why do we ultimately feel like shit every time we leave to do our interests and hobbies? I am also talking about my experience with this and I am aware that other mothers might feel differently and that's awesome because we are individuals and shouldn't all be the same. I just know I felt like a bad mom. It also didn't help when I came back River was PISSED at me and didn't let me forget how mad he was for the following two days of sleeplessness and clinginess.
Even though it was super hard to leave I am glad we did it because it made me miss River in a way that makes me know I care about him. Which seems funny to say because of course I care about him but I'm around River ALL THE TIME, so, it's nice to have some space to miss our bond that we have built together. Even though the space was great I feel exhausted and don't know how moms who travel a lot or work a lot do this and more power to you because it's tough! It's also tough when moms get all this pressure to "do it all". We are supposed to be the full time mom but also have our own lives and careers and identity and feel that sense of longing for a children but also be ok with having that space. It's just a tough world to navigate and not everyone can fit in. It's just a lot and I feel lucky that we were able to have that time away though I don't know if I can personally do it any time soon.
Though, lets be real. It was really nice to sleep through the night.