After a long night trying to get our toddler to go to sleep, he apologizes to us by waking up at 7:00am instead of his usual 6-6:30am wake up time. He is officially forgiven for the strain he caused last night. I go into his room, turn on the lights, and give him a big kiss. “Good morning! Let’s get changed.” He’s up later than usual so I bring with me one of my homemade mini-muffins and milk so that I can get him changed while he has something to eat. I’ve got a half hour to get him dressed and out the door to take him to daycare and get me to work. But we hit a snag. I’ve given him the wrong milk cup. It’s not his green dinosaur cup, it’s his yellow ninja turtle cup. My mistake. And this mistake is the cause of the meltdown-morning we ended up having. Wow, it sure is amazing how things can go from good to bad so quickly in a toddler’s life.
My decision to go back on medication was not taken lightly. It certainly wasn’t a decision I made overnight. It’s been a lingering thought I tried to push back for months now. I’ve exhausted all my self-help go-tos and now I’m ready to admit to myself that I need to go back on medication. This isn’t the first time, and I don’t believe it will be the last.
I’m not sure why it took so long to make this decision. I’ve been on medication before. In fact, I’ve been on and off medication for the past 20+ years. This is nothing new to me. And while I want to be able to fight my battle “on my own,” the rational part of my mind is telling me enough is enough. I need help. Take the help. I’m ready to admit I need it.
On my way to pick up my son from daycare, I started getting ideas for my writing projects, and of course, I’m couldn’t write those ideas down. My anxiety started to build, but hey, I’m a pro at this by now, and I could handle this. Suddenly, like a sign from the stars who wish to cut me some slack, the school bus in front of me stopped to let off some kids, and I had a quick moment to jot my ideas down on the random Post-its I have in the center consul of my car. Thank you, Mr. or Mrs. Bus Driver, for giving me a break. You managed to settle my nerves for a whole 15 very welcomed seconds.
As I sit at the computer thinking of how to put into words to explain how my son has an anxious mother, my anxiety rises. I think of who will read this and what will they think of me. Will they skip to the end to see how it ends? Will they empathize me? Will they pity me? Or will they think I’m unfit to be a mother if I have so much anxiety? What will they think of me? I talk myself out of it and encourage myself to keep writing because it’s OK. Because hundreds if not thousands of mothers have anxiety.
I was ready to have my kid when I first got pregnant.
I was ready to have my kid after I felt it’s first kick.
I was ready to have my kid when I first found out I was having a boy.
I was ready to have my son after what felt like a long, hard, and painful pregnancy.
I was ready to have my son when he was due.
I was ready to have my son when he was ten days overdue.
And then everything changed.
I was ready to give up my son when he had his first non-stop cry fit at the hospital while I was still recovering from an emergency C-section and couldn’t calm him down.
My husband and I grew up very differently. We’re the equivalent of night and day, yet we work well together. There’s him, the logical realist who looks for solutions and ways to improve. Then there’s me, the anxious and high strung woman who seems to look for problems rather than solutions.
My husband is a fixer. Being the fixer he is, his nature tells him to step in and fix whatever problem there is. He racks his brain for solutions and Googles how to’s. He checks out online groups to see what other people are saying. He’s always looking for the best way to help. He’s a go-getter! It’s admirable and appreciated.
The clock strikes 6:33 and I finally convince myself that it’s time to get up and get the day going. I am not always as lucky to get up on my own terms, so I try not to take advantage of my luck. I get up, I let the dog out, and fix the boy’s breakfast: Cheerios and milk or yogurt and muffin? I run through the past mornings in my head and I decide that Cheerios and milk is going to give me a better chance at a happy morning. As I slowly walk to his bedroom, I take a deep breath and open the door, “Good morning sunshine”. And the day has officially started. He laughs, gets up, jumps around, and lets me know it’s dark. Thank you my dear sweet child, I’m well aware of the darkness in the room and outside as fall is here. But I appreciate his observation and repeat in a joyful manner “Yes kiddo, it IS dark”.