Posted by: rocketbride | May 14, 2012

she’s a good baby

I think I figured it out. It took a crummy Mother’s Day to make the breakthrough, but if I have to hit bottom, doing it among Soma truffles, artisan soaps and gerbera daisies isn’t the worst way.

It’s this: I’m depressed. Not “anxious about being a good mom” or “worried about my child’s difficulties in school,” although those are definitely part of it. It’s mostly to do with the fact that I haven’t done any much-needed work on my divorce. For the first little while I was on medication, as I was afraid I wouldn’t have the coping skills to get through the shock of break up. I was on meds for almost a year and a half: wonderful meds that made me feel normal, so normal that I wanted to stop taking them because I didn’t feel like I needed them. By the time I stopped taking pills, I was deeply involved with Mason, and the trauma of his break up was centre stage for both of us. After that, it was just being in love, being together, planning a new life, getting engaged, surprise pregnancy, wedding, birth and now I’ve washed up here. It’s like I’ve been on a rocket sled, powering through four years of my life without having to worry about what I’m dragging in my wake. And now that the euphoria of starting a new family has worn off, the sadness remains. I’m terrified of fucking this up.

I’m also terrified of neglecting Blake. He’s been increasingly troubled as he ages, and I’m afraid that if we don’t get him the right help the scars from the divorce are going to keep him from being confident and happy. It’s hard enough that he seems to have attentional issues without seeding the ground with emotional mines for later. I guess what I want for him is the chance to fuck up his life all on his own, not just because his dad and I couldn’t get it together. And I don’t want Maggie’s memories of me to be ugly. So: professional help.

I can’t be the only one who had a crummy Mother’s Day. What made it the worst, though, was that Blake ended up blaming himself at the end of it. It’s not like yesterday was any worse than a regular day, but the added pressure of a holiday makes it seem that much more disappointing for him. I mean, I tried to convince him that nothing was his fault, that both of us need some help, but it was clear he found it easier to take full blame. Poor kid. He has such a hard time with disappointment as it is. We got our wedding album in the mail a few weeks ago and Blake is smiling in only a few photos but visibly agitated in many others. He loves his sister, but it’s clear he would feel less conflicted about loving her if she were his dad’s. (And I’m so far from healing that every time the Boy says hi to her it makes me cringe, which must be a wonderful thing for Blake to witness.)

I made an important discovery on Sunday. Someone at church (with no kids of their own) asked if she was sleeping. Instead of telling the truth (she sleeps most of the night and spends the balance in bed with us) I just said that she was a good baby. It’s the best answer because everyone is happy: the questioner thinks one thing, I know the reality, Maggie hears smiles and praise, and it’s the truth. It’s no one’s business how much she sleeps and eats or if she prefers to snuggle with me. She’s a good baby no matter what.


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