Saturday, December 17, 2005

waiting for relaxation

I really want to wind down this evening, but my children keep calling me from their beds... " There's a mozzie in here" (there was), " I can hear a funny noise" (a bird outside cooing) and "I'm a bit scared" (due to said bird). I can feel my nerves coiled up like a roll of barbed wire - each strand caught up on another so that spontaneous unwinding is unlikely.

The thing about small children is they just hang around their parents 24 hours a day. You can't shake them. They're always there. Sometimes the relentlessness of caring for them is tough, but far worse than that is the constant worry. I suspect I worry more than some, so maybe others reading this won't relate. On the other hand, maybe I'm not as odd as I think.

I find it hard to ever fully relax, even when Louey and Ben are fast asleep. If they cough, I worry that they're getting sick. If they murmur or mutter, I worry that they're getting sick. If they nightmare, I hit the ground running to get to them before the dream monster does. And if they actually are sick, I worry even more.

I'm sure if I would just listen to a relaxation tape, take a bath, or listen to some soothing music, I would feel a lot better. But before I calm down enough to do that, I need to relax somehow.....

9 comments:

John Cowart said...

After more or less raising six kids, Ginny and I haved decided that all the higher animals eat their own young.

Motherkitty said...

Even after the children are grown and gone, a mother continues to worry. That's the nature of the job and it never ends. In fact, it only gets worse because now you are worrying about the grandchildren. And, you might have thought "worrywort" was named after a flower or weed.

Time to turn down the lights, drink a glass of wine, burn some incense, and ask Fatty for a nice massage.

Heather said...

First, what's a mozzie?

Second, I can totally relate. Although I have noticed that I am entirely more laid back with my second child. I don't worry about him until he has a fever or is bleeding. ;-) He is a tough kid, though. His brother is quite the wuss.

mackeydoodle said...

Ya, whats a mozzie?????

Motherkitty said...

Is it a mosquito???

Alice said...

Yes - mozzie is a mosquito.

Jellyhead - maybe ingnorance is bliss after all. As a doctor you know far more about illnesses than most of us do, and perhaps that's the problem. It seems that for you every fever is potentially pnuemonia but for us it's only a cold. We heal a cut or scratch with a bandaid but your mind visualises it becoming septic, with tetanus not far behind.

Children are astonishingly tough and resilient but that doesn't stop us wanting to save them from 'everything'. I'm sure there must be books available on learning to relax and enjoying your children? Maybe even Dr Phil has written one (he's written one on everything else). Actually, I like Dr Phil; I think he talks a lot of sense.

Jelly - you've just shattered my long-held illusion that parenthood must be so much easier for medical folk because they could identify and treat whatever ailment befell the children.

I'm sure you already realise that the worrying and tension is not good for you - and it's not good for the children, either. They are very good at picking up on tension, and perhaps blaming themselves for it. But apart from that, a major reason why you need to learn to relax a little more is that you are missing some of the joy that small children can bring. This is the stage of their lives when they will be closest to you; it passes so quickly and can never be reclaimed to the same extent later on. Other interests - school, friends, hobbies, and the wider world come into their lives, as they should, and we need to learn to 'share' our children with those outside influences. So, what I'm trying to say is, that it would be a shame if your anxiety for your children took away the pleasure and fun of having them.

jellyhead said...

Thanks, Alice for helping clarifying that a 'mozzie' (must be Australian slang) is indeed a mosquito.

And thanks everyone for your concern and advice.

Don't worry - I certainly do manage to enjoy my kids, and I don't often feel 'stressed-out' during the day. For some reason I do a variable job of becoming relaxed in the evenings - I guess it's that transition from being constantly caring for my kids to having some 'me' time. I know the things I should do to achieve more relaxation. I was just having a whinge! and being lazy, wanting the calm to come to me, with no effort required on my part!

I really appreciate all of your kind words and thoughts.

judypatooote said...

I was born into a worrywort family. But as my children got older, I learned that there are some things you can do nothing about.....With the first two, I would lay awake until they got home. And with the second two I went to sleep, and prayed for the best.....I have grandchildren and lordy if I stop and think, what I should be worrying about, I would be nuts......I have learned to put the scary facts of what could be, in my non thinking file....it's just my way of handling it...

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