Not only am I so blessed to be the mother of such a special little boy, but I’m so grateful to God for honouring me with the title of motherhood. Arjun is by far my greatest blessing in ways that I don’t even know yet – in new ways that I am learning about constantly.
I’ve never really written about what I’m about to go in to before as I’ve not felt comfortable to previously as a) because I didn’t want to plant seeds with my crazy thoughts in the minds of any one that reads my blog posts b) I guess (like most people) I’m afraid of being judged and perhaps being labelled. But now that I feel like I’m challenging my sometimes irrational behaviour, I feel I’m ready to write about it. More so now, because I feel like my son understands some of my fears and insecurities and is helping me to challenge them by leading the way. When I say leading the way, I literally mean leading the way by dragging me out of the house and giving me no choice but to face my fears!
So here goes … I’ve always been a little bit paranoid, and I don’t know what the root cause of it is, but since having Arjun I’ve become a lot worse – I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m hyper sensitive now that my motherly instinct has kicked in and it’s just heightened what was already there. Perhaps it was a particular burglary we had when I lived at my parents where someone broke in while we slept upstairs.
To most (if not all) people, it’ll sound so ridiculous but on a daily basis I struggle with so many irrational battles (I KNOW they’re irrational) – everything is quite a task. Every single action is meticulously planned based on my thought process which is embedded with my fears. Here are a few examples of the daily anxiety I deal with:
· Preetam has to wait for me to load Arjun in to the car and let me get in and lock the car doors every morning before closing the front door. I’m so worried about a random person jumping out of no where and the thought alone makes me feel panicked.
· I’m too scared to take Arjun alone to the park or for a walk because of all the scary things I see on the news. Even knowing that those things don’t happen more than they do, I can’t seem to process it rationally!
· I’m too scared to go in to our garden when home alone with him.
· Returning home from work is a military operation for me to be able to hold my laptop bag, my handbag, Arjun’s nursery bag, my house keys AND Arjun in one go to get in the house without having to go back to the car. Slamming the front door shut behind me once back is a relief. Especially if Preetam isn’t home before me.
· When Preetam used to go to the gym, instead of watching TV, the CCTV channel would constantly be on in our house.
A tad crazy huh?
Arjun’s come in to my life, and especially more recently since he’s become a proper little person, has distracted me so much from my normal. He’s only recently started calling me “Mama” and he has no idea how much power his little voice uttering those words so lovingly to me has on me. It makes me feel empowered, strong and fearless … ok maybe not fearless, but it certainly has made me want to puff out my chest, put on my big girl panties and deal with my anxiety and fears.
It’s amazing, although he can’t talk properly yet, and I don’t really talk about my fears often in the house enough for him to have heard, he seems to have some strange understanding of them. And it’s exactly that – an understanding. He oozes patience (most of the time) and his mannerism when dealing with me is quite different to how he deals with Preetam in those situations. He’s a lot more gentle and patient – he has no idea how much he has helped me deal with things. How does he know? He’s only 19 months old. His pace has been perfect – just right without me tipping over the edge. His confidence is endearing and inspiring.
He loves being outdoors, and the guilt that possessed me by not being able to fully support him in his new adventures tore me to pieces. His “support” coupled with my guilt, my desire to want to be by his side in everything that he does and never wanting him to sense my fear and as a result become full of fear himself has encouraged me to think less and face my fears of being outdoors alone with him.
He takes my hand and clasps tight – almost like he’s reassuring me. My little baby is making me feel safe. How strange. Should I feel guilty? I’m his mother, I’m his protector. It shouldn’t be the other way around. I now happily go for a walk with him, knowing he’s by my side. I do still find myself looking over my shoulder and wouldn’t dream of letting go of his hand but I feel a little more confident. We’re able to enjoy the outdoors more and learn new words like “tree” and “sky”. I still wouldn’t take him to the park alone.
I’m able to go in the garden with him – I don’t always feel 100% comfortable, but he doesn’t give me the chance to over think as he plays and calls me over in the sweetest voice to show me something new he’s stumbled on (usually a piece of grass!). I still have a long way to go to learn to live in that moment – that moment where that piece of grass is the most fascinating thing to him and where that’s all that should matter. Not the constant niggling feeling of being hyper sensitive to my surroundings.
We now play with play doh or do colouring when daddy is out without the TV on. And if it is on, it’s filled with bright and bouncing images as opposed to the dreary colours of CCTV. Bruno is always close by to ensure we’re safe.
I may not be as comfortable as most mummies, but I’ll get there and for me, the minor progress I’ve made is pretty major.
Thank you Arjun for making me challenge myself, for holding my hand as I face my fears and for always being by my side to cross hurdles that have resided in me for years – even before you were here. Thank you for being so patient and for understanding. Being given the title of “Mama” has given me a whole new purpose to life. I’m your biggest cheerleader and will continue to be your biggest supporter x
It all sounds so crazy, especially putting it all down. I don’t even know if I’ll end up publishing this blog post because of it. Sometimes people are quick to belittle fears and anxieties without realising the impact it has on the day to day lives of those suffering with it. To some, it’s irrational behaviour, to me, it’s being hyper aware of my surroundings. Finding a sensible equilibrium between the two is my challenge.
If I do publish this post, it’s because a) I’ve had a moment of madness or b) there is a chance (as with many of my other posts that I’ve been afraid to share) that others out there may be able to relate to some degree. When I started my blog, I opened up my life to you – that includes the good, bad and the ugly. I’m always really conscious of not filtering how I feel as I want to be open and honest – something I’ve always prided myself in with my blog.