Monday, July 06, 2009

Crazy part of my brain, please STFU. Thank you.

Let me start out by saying that I think I'm a good mother.*  I really do.  I try very hard to be loving and fun and to instill in Zeke a sense of playfulness and adventure.  I encourage him to try to do things on his own, but give him a little boost when he needs it.  I encourage him to play hard and get dirty.  I read to him constantly, I get down on the floor with him and zoom trucks around, I take him to the zoo and the park and the pool.  I don't freak out about little things, but I do try to enforce a certain level of discipline, with consistency and patience, as best as I can.  I'm not always as patient and consistent as I'd like to be, but most of the time I think I do OK.

Which is why it's driving me nuts that I'm having massive anxiety attacks about my parenting abilities, particularly where a second child is concerned.

I've had a shitty time sleeping this pregnancy.  If I don't take something to help me sleep, I'll fall asleep for an hour or two and then wake up with my heart pounding and a panic attack in full swing.  You know that cold flush that spreads over your chest and neck when something is really scary?  I'll feel that way for 3 hours before I finally settle down and am able to go back to sleep.

So I guess the moral of the story is, "don't forget to take your meds, moron."  

Roger that.  Loud and clear.

But now, I think the nervousness I'm feeling about managing a second child and being a good parent to both Zeke and the Joey is starting to overwhelm my psyche, because I sleep, but I'm having nightmares, all involving an inability to care for my (or other peoples') children.

Saturday when Zeke went down for his afternoon nap, I decided to take advantage of the situation and get a nap in myself.  And promptly fell into a dream in which Zeke was fussing and I was feeling impatient with him, and so I slapped him hard across the face.  Even in the dream itself, I had the decency to be horrified by my own behavior, but I was completely freaking out when I woke up.  I burst into hysterical tears and had to call my mother to be talked off the ledge.

Last night I dreamed that a friend of mine had gone out of town and asked me to look after her 2 year old daughter.  I agreed, but decided to go out early in the morning to try out some new bicycle that my dad had.  But the bike was really hard to ride and the gears wouldn't shift properly, so after getting down a big hill, I realized I wouldn't be able to get back up in time to get the children up or get them to daycare or anything.  Then I got lost.  So I abandoned the bike and tried to take a bus back to where I was supposed to go, but the bus stop where I got off was a good mile from where I lived, plus I didn't have any money to pay the fare, and I was panicking because it was pushing 11 in the morning and the children were undoubtedly awake and HOLY SHIT, WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF THEM AND WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME????

I think alot of it is our current situation in which Jason is in Vail 4 days a week and then home for 3 days.  And I'm handling it OK, but during those 4 days, I'm very tired and my belly is getting huge and I feel very cumbersome and physically incapable of running around with Zeke as much as I'd like.  So the thought of that arrangement with Zeke plus a newborn is terrifying.

The logical part of my brain keeps telling me that I'm a capable human being and that I'll handle it.  People have cared for children in far more difficult situations than mine.  

But the crazy part of my brain isn't listening.

*I don't take all the credit.  Jason is an amazing father, and I believe that Zeke gets a huge portion of his sweet and happy disposition from his daddy.


  1. As my friend Jane would say, "You are spending way too much time in your head, and it's a bad neighborhood, so you should get out of there!"

    You have a ton on your plate and deserve a break. I hope that you get some rest soon.



    p.s. The meds are your friends. :)

  2. There is absolutely no doubt that I spend too much time in my own head. The minute I resolve one issue, my psyche produces another one to torment me. It's like a game of whack-a-mole.

    And I do appreciate my meds -- it's just that I take them at night, so sometimes I'll fall asleep reading or something and just forget.

  3. You are juggling so many things, and I know I've said before I can't imagine managing a toddler and being preg. And on top of that, you're a single mom for most of the week. That's so HARD. I don't have any advice, and I certainly wouldn't know how to tell anyone to get out of their head. I've never managed to do so myself. But you WILL rise to the occasion and do a great job. You really will, and nobody doubts it. Just hang in there, and hugs to all of you!

  4. I still have those anxiety-type dreams (among dreams--I'm forever searching for the registrar's office to figure out if I've graduated and why I'm still in school after all of these years). In my kid-related dreams, I find sometimes that there is another child that is mine? I've neglected him/her all of this time. I've left the kids at home or in the car, or in the street, or something horrible. The meds do help. Pregnancy dreams in particular are horribly vivid, so hopefully, your mind will release you somwhat after the Joey arrives. Miss you.

  5. Lisa -- thanks, babe. 'Preshate it. Good luck with your last 6 weeks!

    Mich -- I used to have the school dreams, but then my brain was finally able to convince my dreaming self that I had graduated and didn't need to be there, so I moved on to other kinds of anxiety dreams. Thanks, brain!