When I was a teenager I used to work with a woman, MK. She was an older woman, maybe in her fifties. She was nice enough and did her job just fine, but everyone thought she was a little crazy. If MK was standing talking to you, she’d be swaying back and forth. She was forgetful, absentminded and she just never seemed like she was all there, if you know what I mean.
When my first was born, I was a basket-case. The first time we ever went for a drive with the baby in the car, I was out of my mind in the front seat; I was in an absolute panic. What if he needed me? What if he started crying on the highway? What if he got hungry? What if the 20 minute drive was too long for him? I felt like I was going mad.
When we were visiting people I could not bear to be in a different room than the baby and I actually got sick of other people wanting to hold him. I wanted to hold him – all the time.
The next time I saw my midwife I told her that I thought I was losing my mind. I asked her when these feelings of anxiety and panic over my baby would go away. She paused for a moment and said, “Never.”
Well, I’m not nearly as anxious as I used to be. By the time my second was born, I was okay when other people were holding the baby and I didn’t feel so much like I was in a panicked state all the time. My third and fourth were the same, but still … I catch myself standing, talking to a mum in the schoolyard, swaying (even when I’m not holding a baby). I am also forgetful, absentminded and I often feel … like I’m not all there, if you know what I mean.
This morning I got a phone call that set me off. My oldest son has been offered a spot in a new alternative school opening in our city (my three school aged kids were all on the waiting list). Back in the spring, when I found out that we didn’t get in, that we were on the waiting list, I was completely devastated. So today, when I got off the phone, after learning that my oldest got in and the other two had been bumped to the very top of the waiting list for their grades, I melted into a sobbing heap. I mean real tears. Over a school, people. Every time I thought about the school today I had to fight off tears.
It’s true, this school was really important to me for a lot of reasons, which I’ll write about soon. But still, I never used to be like this – this emotional, this frantic.
Am I really crazy? No, I don’t think so. And I no longer think that that MK was crazy either; I just think she was a mum.