Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I need a CHILL pill.

At the tender age of 25, I gave birth to my first child. I was the first one to get married, the first one to buy a house, and the first to have a child. I had no girlfriends to walk me through the trenches of motherhood.

"Your life is going to change." A childless friend of mine explained at my baby shower.

Three kids later, I am wading through the trenches trying to stay afloat balancing all of the duties associated with motherhood. This. I can handle. Except for, MY trenches are filled with worries. Deep with thoughts. I can't seem to relax and enjoy the trenches for what they are. Instead. I. Worry. ALL THE TIME.

Two weeks ago, our sweet baby girl, slept an entire 12 hours straight through. Most normal parents would rejoice. I franctically ran to her room picking out her obtiuary picture in my mind. I kid you not. Cause, surely she suffocated last night. She was dead for sure, so I threw open her nursery door and slammed it against the wall. And. I woke her up.

On Sunday, my gracious husband took all three kids to the Natural History Museum. I was told to take a bath, shave my legs, and catch up with Oprah. I was completely relaxed the first hour. During the second hour I became a little more un-relaxed. During the third hour I became anxious, Oprah is good like that. I was alone for three and a half hours before I started calling. No answer. NO answer!? NO ANSWER!!??!!! OH, my gosh... NO ANSWER!!!! Surely, my husband lost control of my minivan and is stuck in an icy ditch. In one selfish afternoon, I have lost my entire family. Oh my gosh. They are all dead. I feel the lump building in my throat. I have to clear my voice to take his phone call fifteen minutes later. Note to self: no cell phone reception in the planterium.

Yesterday I prepared lunch for the kids and left them alone while I put Fifi down for a nap. I was enjoying my one on one with her, caressing her baby chubs, absorbing the smell of her delicious baby neck, and loosing myself in her baby blue eyes. "AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" I hear screaming. Terrible, horrible, incredible screams coming from the kitchen. Followed by silence. I toss the baby in the crib and run downstairs skipping every other step, yelling "BREATH! LOLA. BREATH." She has holding breath syndrome and frequently looses consciousness. I am picturing a lifeless child, like I have held so many times before. I reach the kitchen and come face to face with this....


"I got ketchup on my pillow! AHHHH!!!!" Lola sobs. I exhale.

And so my friends. My trenches are deeply filled with worry. For no reason. I am hoping that the worries lessen as my children grow older or hoping that amongst one of you is a licensed doctor. I need a chill pill. The biggest baddest chill pill on the market. Legal or not, I must have it.

I just can't seem to fully relax as a mother. Will I ever be the same?

62classy comments:

LunaNik said...

FIRST!!

Hahaha! My daughter adores her pillow and would also FREAK OUT if anything got on it.

Seriously, though, I'm the same way. I just can't fully relax now that I'm a mother. I wonder...will we ever, EVER fully relax again??

Lisa said...

I think along with the title of mom comes the title of "ultimate worrier" (is that a word?!?). I too worry about everything. Everything I tell you. I've actually had all of the exact conversations that you've had with yourself too....they don't warn you about all that when you sign up to be mommy, do they?
I entered the "trenches" early too though (25 when Goosey was born - almost 26), and am so glad that I did. I'm glad that I'm the "young mom" and that when I'm in my early/mid 50's (depending on if we do #3) I'll have kids graduating/in college and be able to enjoy their successes while enjoying my husband and a quiet house. And my worrying self also thinks about how I'll hopefully be young enough to enjoy my grandkids. Oh....what is wrong with me???

Lisa said...

PS - Get ready to follow Lola to the Oscars. That is an award-winning pout if I've ever seen one :)

Wendi said...

Oh, we two are so much alike. I am not sure there is a pill big enough for me and all my worries.

I have been in search of a support group for several years, but have yet to find one.

Let me know if you find the "magic" pill. I will pay good money for one. If not, I think there is a white jacket with my name on it!!!

Holly said...

You. Are. Normal. Really, worrying is part of motherhood. There's no way around it. I think it means you're a good mom too. And my recommendation for a chill pill? A long hot bath and lots of chocolate. Seriously.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Seriously, I'm the SAME way. I worry when Keeghan sleeps for more than TWO hours at a time! LOL And my kids have never and will never ride a school bus because the one time they DO either the bus will fall off a bridge, get into an accident, catch on fire or the bus driver will kidnap my child. I just know it. When Kennedy was diagnosed with Leukemia I was so worried about Kassidy and Kameron even though they were in the VERY capable hands of my mother and I had visions all the time of horrible things happening and me not being there... soooo it's not just you. I'm a freak out mom too! LOL

lattemommy said...

Hilarious! I can relate to your stress. I soothe myself by thinking that it's the high level of stress that makes me a great mom. If I weren't stressed, how would it all ever get done?

And, sorry, they took away my script pad when I took early retirement! *grin* Your hubby's a dentist - get him to hook you up! *kidding*

LaskiGal said...

My life as I knew it is over . . . as of August 10, 2007, when J was born. I freak out ALL the time. I thought is wasn't normal. Asked the doctor. Her reply,"You're a mom now. You have a new kind of normal." What? I want the old one back--the one where I didn't imagine ultimate tragedy and disaster at nearly every given moment. The one where I could sleep without a care in the world instead of peeking over to see if J's chest is moving up and down. The one where I don't imagine he has or will have every ailment known to man if I don't eat right, feed him right, play with him, engage him, care for him PERFECTLY.

Yeah, I just LOVE motherhood.

Melissa said...

Wow, you're supposed to relax as a mother..to think I've been doing it wrong all along.

Psst...I'll let you in on a secret, you don't ever relax, you'll always worry about your little ones. Even when they are big.

zoeyjane said...

i second everyone else. if Isobel sleeps for longer than three hours during naptime, I'm turning up the baby monitor (placed right above where her head lies) and listening for breathing. now, i'm going to have to look up this holding breath syndrome because Isobel has held her breath from day 21 when extremely upset, hurt and/or really very tired. so about once a week, she ends up passing out...i just thought she was, well, dramatic, but now you've piqued my curiosity.

Amy said...

I always assume the worst when my family is not at home with me. I have worked myself into a frenzy over many things that never happened. It is normal.

I think Lola's breathing condition gives you extra reason to worry. I would be a basket case.

carrie said...

When you find that magic pill, you are going to need to share with most of the mommies I know - including myself.

Mama Chill . . . sounds catchy!

Kristen said...

I totally worry too!

Shouldn't the pregnancy books tell you that worrying gets worse when they are born?

I have just come to grips with the fact, that this is the state of my life for the next oh, say, 60 years!

MamaWise said...

I, too, cannot stop worrying. All. the. time! I also sob like a baby whenever I hear or see anything about children in need or danger on TV. I was immortal before having kids, and now I am a introspective wreck who comes face-to-face with reality every minute of the day and night. *HUGS* I know how you feel!

andrea j said...

I do this too and I don't know why. Imagine the worst possible things that could happen. (until I'm sick to my stomach).

But I'm afraid it will get worse when our children become teenagers. We will have less control in their lives.

tricki_nicki said...

Ok, there's obviously something wrong with me. I'm comparatively comatose. Maybe you should come hang out with me for a couple of days. I think maybe I'm broken, but I'd probably rub off on you just a little...

FUN-ky Mama said...

Wow, what a scarey syndrome. My mom always freaked OUT when my kids would hold their breath for 2 seconds while crying! A kid like that would've done her in.
I still worry. It eases off as the years go by, and my happy pills help.......but worry is just a part of mothering for many of us. That, and guilt.

Jeni said...

When my oldest was born, I was a single mom, supporting my daughter, my mother (who cared for my daughter) and myself -working 60-70 hours a week to keep things going. When I married and then had my 2nd child, by the time he was two years old, my worry level had changed because my husband's alcoholism was building steam. When my third was born, my worry level changed again due to the alcohol, the fact I was working full-time as well as part-time, trying to keep the house functioning semi-reasonably. There were a few time when I did freak out over worry that was a bit irrational -although it didn't seem irrational at the time. But I had so many other things I was responsible for all the time, I didn't have time to really worry and be fearful over every little bump or bruise or other event that came down the pike. The marriage ended 28 years ago and that's when I really worried though! About how I was going to manage on the crappy wages I was earning, whether the support check would come in, could I afford to get fuel for the furnace, gifts for the kids for birthdays, Christmas, clothes, medical care when they needed it and I found as I scaled back and rearranged many things to just survive, I didn't always worry about the kids individually, but rather, collectively. It's been a long hard haul to where I am now- on social security disability at age 63, but babysitting my two younger grandkids because they, their parents and an older half-sister all live with me. Now I have time to worry about the things I didn't have time to stop and think and worry about when my kids were youngsters. The worry is still there, just changes with each set of events life presents to us. Sometimes it is a rational worry, at other times, irrational but it never goes away. My biggest worries today are not about what's happened today or taking place right now but rather how well my two younger grandkids will survive as they grow up, how well they will adapt to the disorder they both have -autism. I worry now that I won't be around to see them as adults, to know if they are ok or not. As I said, the worry remains, just changes in intensity depending on circumstances. It's not abnormal unless you are unable to take charge and regain the needed composure to continue on to the next event that will come along. If it comes to that, then you really have something to worry about!

WILLIAM said...

That was an awesome post. I know what you mean about the worry.

chichimama.com said...

The only moms I know who don't worry are those who I think seriously lack in the mothering skill department...

Happy Days said...

I can relate. When you find that perfect chill pill would you share? I am needing some over here!

Amy said...

i think worry just comes with the job, fortunatley and unfortunately!

carrieb said...

I do the same thing. As my son gets older, I get a little better, but I'm always picturing stumbling upon his lifeless body. I hate it. I can get so worked up over absolutely nothing.

suchsimplepleasures said...

i gave birth to my first child at 27...like you, i was the first at everything...marriage, buying a house, having a child, having a 2nd child and...divorcing!! i was the FIRST one...in the entire group of girls i hung with! i needed that chill pill, back then...but now...something stronger, please!!
xoxo...i've joined you, btw...at 30 somethings!!

Stephanie said...

Ahhh, welcome to motherhood. I tend to be the same way. My kids slept 12 hours by 4 months after some super intense training, but I still worry. I keep the monitors up so I can hear breathing when I put my ear to it. Otherwise, I'm terrified they will need us in the middle of the night. Our bedroom is on the other side of the house so it doubles my worry. I also worry about the little stuff, thinking it will more than likely lead to big stuff. For instance, Punky is waking an hour to an hour and a half earlier than normal lately, putting the start of my day at 6:30 instead of the usual 7:30. Instantly I'm worrying that she's getting sick, teething, or developed a habit I'm going to have to fix by doing more sleep training. She's always been a perfect sleeper, too! Anyway, hang in there...and your right, crossing your fingers really did work. ;oD

Steph said...

I have all the same feelings you do, I still go running when I realize the kids have been asleep too long, I think as time passes we chill a bit but I think being worried (A lot) comes with the territory.

Stella said...

I am the exact same way with
EVERYTHING! The husband is late coming home from work...obviously he must have crashed and lying in a ditch. I can't completely make out clear breathing on the monitor obviously the baby has stopped breathing. Everything makes me SO NERVOUS. I think it comes with the territory unfortunately....

Maybe thats why we drink

Kathryn said...

I am the same way. I constantly picture worse case scenarios in my head. It is horrible.
I agree with Stella. One of the reasons I could often use a Captain and Coke. ;)

GoMommy said...

You KNOW I feel your pain! I CANNOT relax! I don't think you ever stop worrying about your children.

Nat said...

Oh gosh, you should see what happens when my son goes to visit his father and I can't get ahold of him. It isn't pretty.

My son is ill right now and I set my alarm to wake me up four times last night.

He still sleeps in my bed.

Flea said...

Sorry, but I'm the polar opposite, If it's any consolation, it drives my Hunny crazy. He stresses about every little thing, while I always ask, "Are you bleeding? No? Then go play." Sometimes it drives my kids crazy, too.

You obviously love your children and enjoy them very much. Hold onto that!

The MomBabe said...

I HATE that! I freak out if my kids sleep longer than I think they should. And then I don't want to check because what if they ARE dead? I just couldn't handle being the one to discover them. But I can't NOT check because, let's face it, you can't NOT check!

It's quite a predicament.

Victoria said...

Such a cute pic there! I'm a nervous Nellie mom too. Hubs calls me Hover Mother - I worry constantly.

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Unfortunately, worry comes with the territory, it's part of the job description! I wish there was a magic pill that would take it all away. I guess all we can do is realize that some things are out of our control, there is no way to protect them from everything, try as we may. Somehow we al survived childhood, and they will, too. Albeit with a few bumps, bruises and skinned knees! :)

Lizzy

Nan Patience said...

Hi There! Just found your great blog!

It's funny, my husband and I were having a conversation yesterday that touched on this very subject: worry. I was telling him that although everything apparently seems to be going just fine and that we're very fortunate, in fact, things seem HARD and heavy a lot. I told him for me that it's the worry, worry that something could happen to the kids, worry that I'm not a good enough mom, worry that I'm doing things wrong, worry that we don't have enough, etc. It's very draining, and there aren't many guideposts or people telling me we're doing fine. There must be a way to worry less and have more fun!

Around The Funny Farm said...

Ahhh! That picture is so sweet! I love your little girl's face! lol

My advice.. a glass or bottle... of wine. It's legal.. and good for the heart!
;-)BEth

Jessica said...

I can totally relate to you.. I was also the first to do many things... marriage, kid, house etc....

I sometimes think that I need to carry a brown paper bag to breathe into to prevent myself from hyperventilating!

JUST BREATHE!!!

Mr Lady said...

Me neither, dude. Me, neither.

I actually had to seek medical intervention.

I think it comes with the stretch marks. :)

Maria said...

That is the most pathetic picture I ever saw! And you had your camera with you?

girlymom said...

I am sorry that I am laughing, but that pout is pretty funny! I worry all the time too, but I am 10 times worse when I am pregnant. Hubby is NOT allowed to send my calls to voicemail when I am pregnant...it doesn't matter if he is in some importnant meeting or not, he has to answer or I freak! 100 times worse if he has one of the kids with him and doesn't pick up the phone. Then I start calling anyone in his general area till I find him...but this is when I am pregnant. Other than that, I am much calmer. I still worry about things, but it doesn't seem to take over all of my thoughts. I can let my children sleep- yippee, quiet time for me! They are good sleepers though- xcept for the baby~ someday maybe....

Pennies In My Pocket said...

I'm so glad to know I'm not alone. Of course, baby doll is only 9 months so I have sooooooooo much to look forward to worrying about, huh? lol

I love how your childless friend explained to you about how your life was going to change....she had NO clue how much, huh? Man, I thought I knew a lot about babies and how they change your life, but I had no clue just how much it was worth it! ;)

Great post!
~melody~

Irene said...

Your worry sounds quite normal. At least to me! I am a huge worrier. The other day my husband went snowmobiling with a friend and I expected him home by 7:30 ish. At 9:30, he still wasn't home. I was sure I would never see him again. I even started thinking what would I do, would I move, or want to stay in the same house. I was getting a little traumatized, until he walked into the house and said they were late because they broke down.

And don't even get me started about how much I worry about my kids!

Jen said...

Worry and motherhood come hand in hand, I think. I know it's exhausting, but you worry because you love them.

I used to have holding breath syndrome as well, and my poor mother used to freak out all the time when I'd have one of my "spells." I'm all fine and wonderful now though :)

That picture of Lola is ADORABLE. Her little pigtails...

Miss said...

44th!! Ha!

BREATH OhMommy! BREATH!!

For reals. I do the phone freak out thing too. If I dont hear from my ex when I normally do on days when he has our son, I FREAK and get really anxious that something happened to him.

Amy said...

Worry, it's in the job description. I actually find it funny the things that I freak out about. But it's only going to get worse, I'm 4 months away from having a TEENAGER!

Ali said...

oh my god...your husband? amazing!! does he want to come over and take my kids out too? :)

Kelly said...

As a mother and a sufferer of generalized anxiety disorder, I feel ya pain.

Stephanie said...

I can totally relate....when my daughter sleeps that long, I also go check. But I have learned to slowly open the door now just in case (b/c it's happened so much). I can only imagine how my worries will grow with the more children I have!

david mcmahon said...

Parents always worry.

Kellan said...

I am a worrier too! It only gets worse - sorry! Great post! See you soon. Kellan

Karen said...

I must be the worst mom ever. I tend not to freak over many things. The biggest freak was when a doctor proposed a trach for my son. After that things were less freakish.

Mom Of 3 said...

Worrying is part of parenting I think. Thanks for sharing the post about Kristen and Chet, I sis stop by thier site and offer prayers.

Amy said...

Hi, I came over from Amy's and I'm another Amy...I'm in love with your blog...and your kids are so cute, and I live in IL, outside St Louis, but am from Ohio....where in OH are you? Anyway just wanted to stop by and say hellooooo!

Amy said...

oh and sorry, got carried away with my buttons...mine are 12 and 9
and I don't think you ever stop worrying, you just worry about different things as they get older...

Around The Funny Farm said...

Hey.. I took your above post.. I think we need to blog about this and get this lady some encouragement!

My heart broke reading her blog!

Beth

daryl e said...

Oh you need to meet my friend Onnie, she also worries ALL the time.. her sons are grown, moved away .. one is married .. the other divorced and she still worries about them all the time .. and when she isnt worried about them she worries about everything else .. you two really should form a support group .. :)

Sandi McBride said...

I saw a movie about you once. I wish I could remember the name of it...it was funny. I could watch it again after all you went through...but never mind, you entertained me...and that was the point. Wonderful post (a quick thank you to David for the invite!)
Sandi

Jenera said...

I have just one child at the moment but I cannot seem to chill out either. I constantly fear something terrible will happen. Every morning that I get up before him, I run to his room to check on him. When all is too peaceful in the house, I run and check on him. You'd think after almost two years now, I'd be a little more relaxed.

John-Michael said...

So much to consider ... Must decide rightly ... Heavy responsibility ... No time for the "necessary" worry ... How to manage it? I offer this simple device from a psychologist friend to a compulsive worrier. Make a DEFINITE appointment with yourself for a designated worry session. Begin with a frequency as often as required. Cary a card or small pad, or have such available, and when the urge to worry erupts, write the matter worthy of worry on the worry agenda for your next scheduled session with yourself. Then keep that appointment. Review all of the items on the agenda. Apply as much worry as necessary for each agenda item. Repeat with frequency of appointments reduced as felt possible... until realization that none help. (May take a while.)

Kash said...

OMG, that pic is too cute for words. and the DRAMA! KETCUP ON MY PILLOW! I wish that was the biggest problem in my life.

Melinda Zook said...

OMG, I am so with you here. I can't tell you how often I get these kind of panic attacks since becoming a mom. I have 2 and the thought of a 3rd scares me to death. I literally jump too whenever I hear a yelp. Forget letting my hubby take them BOTH out anywhere. I know that would leave me clawing the walls. If you get your hands on some of those pills, please share.

Kimber said...

Just found you blog and I am enjoying reaidng old posts. If you ever find a perfect chill pill girl--pass it on. worry all the time too! And I have 3 kids too!

Kim

 

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