When I visualized myself as a Mother before giving birth to my first son I saw a sort of tribal, earth mother. She was chill and open to sharing the love of her children. She was going to puree her own baby-food, use cloth diapers and let other people hold and kiss her baby while she looked on with beaming pride. What I turned into 30 mins after giving birth was a raving lunatic that wanted to run off into the woods with her baby so she could have him all to herself and no one else could touch him. I remember the first time they let me hold him I began ferociously scanning him for identifying marks. I was fearful that some jaded nurse would try and pull a switcheroo on me or worse steal off with him in the night. He had two dimples above each ear. Wooo..ok, I could pick him out in a line up. Some semblance of peace returned to my body.
Now I realize that your hormones, post delivery, are going nothing short of ape-shit but I sometimes wonder if my sanity wasn’t released from my body with the after-birth. When I returned home with my first son my house was packed with family and friends. I’m a pretty social creature. Usually this sort of scene would delight me to no end. However, after about 30 minutes of dealing with the mob scene I was crying uncontrollably. When I say uncontrollably, I mean that if you had offered me 10 million dollars to shut off the water works I would have told you to, “Suck it!” I simply could NOT stop crying. It was too much. I wanted, again, to be alone with my child. I’m embarrassed to say it now but the truth is it nearly made me break out into a rash when someone else would even hold him. Crazy, Mother of One, your cell is available.
As time wore on I became less of an emotional basket-case and more of what appeared to be a cool, calm and collected female nurturer. That was of course until the over-nights started. You know, these are when your child stays the night at the G-Rents house so that you and your husband can get to know one another in a biblical sense again and do so without whispering or covering one another’s faces with pillows. While the absence of children may have brought sexy back to our house it also revealed the following. I am the Mother who in the middle of the night stands at her child’s door way and weeps quietly. I am the Mother that while out to dinner with her husband will speak incessantly about the children. I am the Mother that will call so many times you will wish you could change your # while you are caring for her babies.
I was certain that I was getting better and that my paranoia was becoming a shrinking violet. But that was before we booked a trip to Antigua in June for 4 days. 4 days must not sound like much to the average traveler. But to me it’s 4 days of not knowing how many meals my kids have eaten, when was their last bowel movement, are they sleeping well, did they get any boo-boos today or worse did they reach any milestones without the presence of my watchful eye???? I am doing what I can to alleviate some of my fears by making a list that will surely be 10 miles long. This list will include minute to minute instructions on how to care for my children while I am away. I am sure much of it will be ignored. I mean my mother did manage to raise 3 children of her own. But nonetheless it will give me some peace of mind. I’m hopeful my dr. will be able to prescribe something to alleviate my heart-palpitations in my children’s absence. I just hope my fellow travelers don’t mind the crazy lady doing the ugly cry at take-off.