Dial N for Neuroses

When naively considering all the ways motherhood might change me, as a first-time preggo, what I never considered were the random, and admittedly even obscure, neuroses that would crowd my mommy brain.  I’m not worried about quicksand sucking us all down or alien invasions on my trip to crazy town but shadowy lurking perpetrators are part of it…

Are your neurotic ideas in here?

So after my uber-long post on Monday, and after yesterday’s historic #earthquake (where I learned a few things about myself..more on that later) today I will offer you a rare glimpse into the mind of my genius, or I mean, my neuroses sponsored exclusively by motherhood. Prior to children, the closest I’d come to considering the likelihood of improbabilities happening to me was when watching an action adventure movie with a friend, we concluded we are slow and not real thin, therefore we’d be one of the first to die in a horror movie.

Neurotic Idea #1: Don’t think I am Susan Smith

I travel the Bay Bridge all the time – my parents live on the other side of it. This summer it was rated one of the scariest bridges in the world. So how does a gal not worry about what would happen if her vehicle goes careening off the edge of a bridge and hurling towards the water with both of her children in the backseat. Does this thought have me flirting with crazy? Or am I just thorough and well-prepared?  Again, I am no Susan Smith. I am not thinking about driving my kids off the side of the road or bridge and into a body of water..but in the realm of wost-case scenarios – what do you do if your car goes hurling off the side and plunging to the water? And it’s all the more complicated if you have more than one child…I have two…but what if I had three….how do you get them out and safely? Who do you go for first? What does that say about you as a mother if you are picking one before the other?  Somehow conversation over July 4 dinner with my siblings prompted me to confess, for the first time, this five-year long fear that has been haunting me. And I sucked them into my crazy – are you sucked in? My brother-in-law oddly knew that we all should travel with this device to help crack open the windows of the vehicle (I think we know what I will be giving everyone for Christmas). My sister later emailed me a link to this page offering a tutorial on what to do in the event your car plunges off a bridge into a body of water…..so now I am prepared. Aren’t we all so grateful for the Internet and its ability to feed     calm our fears… Don’t think I won’t enjoy knowing that I’ve sucked you in though….

Neurotic Idea #2: Shadowy Lurking Figures

This fear has lessened since I’ve added to my brood, and since they’ve grown bigger and louder and more argumentative, but especially in those first few months of motherhood, I was totally terrified that someone would steal my kid. Particularly in the middle of the night when I was fast asleep. Again, now that they are feisty and talk-back and argue, this fear keeps slipping away because  – do you really want them? But when the babes were small and helpless and mostly quiet and made cute cooing noises, this fear was very real for me. I’ve also stopped watching 10pm TV so I have fewer crazy and paranoid ideas.

Neurotic Reality #3: Acts of Nature

So in the midst of the historic earthquake, I realized I kinda suck in times of crisis. My younger one was napping upstairs. My older one sat on the sofa and stared at me, nervously asking me what in the world was happening and what do we do. Now, I wasn’t quite to the shoving old ladies out-of-the-way and shouting “SAVE YOURSELF” panic level, but I was a little freaked out, and quite slow on the uptake regarding what the hell to do. I really feel certain the earthquake lasted longer than 45 seconds or maybe all of my thoughts were working in super slow motion but it felt like an eternity. I was slow to move her to a door frame (how are we really supposed to know what the hell to do when we live on the east coast? Here’s where you could argue that paranoid parents should probably consider all worst-case scenarios instead of just talk about them….) And then I was caught up in the dilemma of what to do about my younger one. Again – the crazy bridge diving fear coming back in another form!  Did I dare go wake her to save her life unnecessarily and then risk she not nap all afternoon? Or do I leave her up there while I saved myself and my oldest by standing in a door frame? But what is riskier? Waking a sleeping 2-year-old or earthquake injuries? See how this quake had to be longer than 45 seconds?

I remained in the door frame with my eldest.

So when the ground under my feet and my children’s feet starts to buckle, I learned that I just might suck when the paranoia becomes reality…..

What are your paranoid ideas sponsored by motherhood? I know I can’t be alone.

2 Responses to Dial N for Neuroses
  1. Asti
    August 24, 2011 | 6:55 pm

    I hear ya! When I drive over the Bay Bridge, I hold so tight on the steering wheel, that I cut of circulation in my fingers and I don’t leave windows open at night in DC’s rooms for fear of someone taking them.

  2. Bridget
    August 24, 2011 | 7:34 pm

    I have been wanting to get that windshield-breaker tool for SO LONG! I’m glad I’m not the only one who worries about this stuff. Add one to the list – I’m constantly worried that one of my kids is going to fall on the playground equipment and knock their front teeth out. I worry about this literally every time we go. It sucks.

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