Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ok. Seriously Now.

I am terrified of something. It haunts me as I lay next to Lila during story time at night. It creeps up on me when she wakes up in the morning and wants to sit on my lap on the couch. It eats at me a song I like comes on the radio and she declares, "I LOVE THIS SONG"!!!

I am afraid that this is the most I will ever like my kid.

We're not talking about "LOVING" because I am pretty sure I would (actually do) subject myself to all manner of torture to ensure that she doesn't suffer. But LOVE is not the same as LIKE.

My profile pic says it all.


As many of you know, I started this blog because motherhood is sometimes hard and sometimes boring and sometimes frustrating and sometimes just sucks. I also had pretty severe post-partum depression and spent the first several months of Lila's life not "liking" her very much. She screamed 16 hours a day for 6 months and slept in 20 minute spurts and that meant that I slept in 10 minute spurts because it took me at least 10 minutes to fall asleep. Needless to say, I was pretty sure that my child was sent specifically to punish me for whatever the hell I did in my past life.

If I invented shit like this, I probably deserve it.


The other problem is that over the last 4 years, I have struggled with major depressive disorder and that pretty much makes you not like anyone or anything. I spent a lot of time just trying to stay sane, and having a toddler around (and then a preschooler) generally accomplished exactly the opposite of that. Although I absolutely adored her and knew that she was the most wonderful child anyone has ever had (and I'm not saying that because I am her mother, I am saying it because she totally is) and I wanted to enjoy spending time with her, kids are kind of a huge pain in the ass.

As you can see, age 3 was worse than age 2.


And then last summer, something happened. It all started with my nervous breakdown and a brief trip to a "recovery resort" (read: mental hospital). When I came home, I was still weak but something had clicked while I was away. I felt different. Suddenly I felt like I was really a mother. Perhaps it was just some delayed reaction or maybe it was the drugs they had me on, but I like to think it was because Lila had turned 4, and suddenly she was learning all these cool things and not throwing so many tantrums and actually learning that it isn't okay to scream in the house.

This feeling has been a constant since then. Lila is a really good kid. She is smart and funny and loving and well behaved (when she isn't at Grandma's). I find myself excited to spend the day alone with her where before the idea of it terrified me (seriously, I would have panic attacks). I love doing bedtime with her because she talks about the things she loves and always includes me. She likes whatever I like, wants to do whatever I do, and I know everything about her.

And that's when the fear kicks in. What happens when she goes to school all day? She will learn about things that I can't control. She'll make new friends and those friends will begin to teach her things that I don't want her to know and she'll start realizing that the things that I like are actually really awful and lame and she'll tell me so. What if I just don't like the person she becomes?

What if she thinks this ass basket is cool?

YES, YES, I know this is probably not going to happen like that. That I am ignoring all the incredible things that she will be doing and that in all likelihood, I will grow to enjoy her even more. But this isn't about being rational. This is about realizing that I lost time during my darkest periods and fearing that this happiness will be fleeting (by the way, I totally got all teary-eyed typing that last sentence and that is why I am would rather just complain all the time).

This is when I need to be assured that it isn't just my medication (because I don't trust that at all) and that at some point I will realize that it isn't just a fluke (at least until she hits the awful teen years).

3 comments:

  1. I didn't bond with my Spawn until he was 8 months and then spent all my time lamenting the fact that I missed out on his 'babyhood'. (He was also a crier and I suffered from depression)

    After that, he became my world and I enjoyed every time with this smart, funny and brilliant child.

    I feared like you, that all would be lost when he started school and now he's a huge pain in my arse! He's rude, quick to temper and a real smart arse. BUT he is still smart, funny and even more brilliant.

    External forces are always going to influence our children, be they peers, teachers or others in the community but they never stop being our babies, never stop being the core them, just as long as we remain present and constant.

    Damn! I should write a book. (not)

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  2. I remember vividly holding my daughter in the hospital and absolutely loving her with my whole entire being that moment. And then it hit me- what if she is 5 and I don't like her? I love the baby but what if I don't like the kid? She is now practically a teenager and gives me grief all the time.
    HOWEVER- to my relief, I never stopped liking her. She's different around her friends or me or her brother. She can switch her mood like a light switch. But I'm glad to say I'm still in love with her, and still like her. But my son is still my favorite. Totally kidding! Sort of.
    Enjoy Lila today. That is all you need to worry about. Then tomorrow, you will enjoy her for that day. and so on, and so on. We can't keep anticipating the future. Sorry about the rough start you had during your post partum. But thanks for sharing.

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  3. I have three kids, and I have gone through rough periods of time with all three of them, sometimes at seperate times, and sometimes at the same time, so I can definitely relate to what you are saying. There are qualities that they each have, however, that I like and don't like, so I guess it balances out, though sometimes they can all nearly drive me insane. It just depends on what moods they are in at any given time. When they are all crabby at the same time, WATCH OUT!

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