Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On the Couch

Here's the post where my blog acts somewhat like therapy. I'm going to talk about some things that keep me up at night and that in past times I may have only shared with a professional. Since I don't want to spend the dough on that right now, here goes.

My anxieties seems to revolve around the stress of being the sole caregiver to my future child. Here are the things that run through my head (and that seem much scarier at 3 a.m.)

1. What if something happens to me? My child is 50% more likely to be left parent-less than with a 2-parent family. I worry about my child being left without me. Somehow planning for life insurance and custodial rights doesn't seem to banish this fear. Part of me feels guilty for subjecting my future child to this possibility.

2. Last night I woke up thinking of my future baby with colic, or with a cold or flu in the middle of the night, and the loneliness and fear of that moment. I even had a kind of vision of me standing by my window trying to comfort her/him. Those are the moments I think will be the hardest.

3. What if somewhere in there I am Mommy Dearest? Ok, this is really irrational, and surely brought on by the showing of that film last Friday evening on the WE network. There is no reason to fear in any way that I would be such a horrible, hurtful, mean mother as Mommy Dearest. Really. I don't want to scare anyone out there. I am a true devotee of wire hangers and even use those horrible dry cleaner hangers with the sticky rolls on them on a regular basis. Wouldn't be caught dead scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees with bleach. I'm going to file this under the "will I be a good mother???" "will my child love me?" anxiety.

[btw, sometimes I feel like tv is channeling into my brain; in addition to Mommy Dearest, did anyone catch the episode of House a couple weeks ago where the single woman Doc (name?) was trying to adopt a child and the child died? I thought the actress did a good job showing the hesitation of dealing with the biological mother--not wanting to seem too controlling but also hugely vulnerable to the bio mom's decisions. Ug. Part of me was happy this story line found its way onto network tv but the other part of me was hugely distressed while watching it.]

I think I feel better now. Thanks for listening.


Starr Morgan said...

All of those things are logical worries (well, almost all, I am sure you will be nothing like Mommy Dearest!). If your baby has the flu in the middle of the night you will be so concerned about your baby you wont even have time to think of your own feelings of lonliness at not having a partner to share it with. I think that as long as you have a strong support system (as it sounds like you do) then you will do great! Not that any of that will keep you from worrying. Even if it eases your mind about those scenarios you will find more to worry about. It is the curse of motherhood, I think! Or maybe just the curse of being female, we worry about everything!

calliope said...

I so so so have had these thoughts before. And I think the fact that we think them will make us make good choices should we ever find ourselves in the midst of such things. At least I hope so!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I cannot sleep sometimes because I'm thinking of these things. It's harder, I tell myself, because I'm going to do it alone. But then, I talk to my best married friends and they tell me that they had the exact same thoughts when they were having their kids. So it kind of makes me feel better. Kind of.

Meg said...

I have very similar freak outs but I keep telling myself that single or married those are all normal thoughts.

1 & 2) Having a partner doesn't guarantee that those things still couldn't happen. All anyone can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best. Standing alone at the window would be much worse if you add in being super annoyed that your husband is snoring away while you hold a crying baby.

3) I think the fact that you are putting so much thought in to what it will take to be a good mother shows that you will be a good mother.

You can do this!