Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Kid Fears

I was listening to the radio the other day and they had one of those "dream doctors" on who will interpret your dreams. I wanted to call, but figured I'd just listen and see what other people called in about. Sure enough, someone called and said they had dreams of being chased by people. I ALWAYS have those dreams. Creepy people, murderers -- they've all shown up in my dreams.

According to the dream interpreter, being chased means that you're trying to let go of something and having a hard time with that. You're struggling with letting go, and it's chasing you. This made a ton of sense to me when I thought about the time frame that I'd been having a lot of chasing nightmares - like every night. They started right about the time that I started spending time with Chris' kids.

I can't remember if I said this on the blog or if I said it a lot in my head and never really out loud, but as much as I love Chris' kids, I did have a hard time at first. Not because I didn't like them or because they were bad kids -- I loved them right away and they are really good kids. Not because I didn't want to be with someone who already has kids or because I didn't want to be a mom -- the first one has never bothered me and the second one, well, if you know me AT ALL, you know I've always wanted to be a mom.

What it was was the suddenness of it all. I went from being a single person to having a boyfriend, which is a big enough transition. We dated for four months before I ever met the girls, so I at least had time to get a little bit used to being part of a pair. Then we added two more people to the equation -- and not just any people. LITTLE people. Who need lots of attention and care. So then I had to get used to being part of a family. To being a mom figure who has to think about what to feed these small people and how to get them to stay in bed and then get up in the morning and how to amuse them all day and teach them things and holy crap I need a drink but then again I suppose getting wasted in front of them isn't the sort of thing I need to teach them.

So I started having chase dreams. Because I was trying to let go of the idea that I only had to care about me (and of course the cats, but seriously, I have low maintenance pets for a reason) and all of the sudden I had to take into account things that affect the small people. I seriously think I was being chased by my single life. And maybe my independence and selfishness and the quiet evenings alone in the house. Pretty much I was being chased by the things that have been my life for the past five years - living alone on my own terms with no one to answer to but myself. And sometimes my mom, but that's a whole other post. Anyway.

I spent a lot of time being afraid that I was losing myself -- that I wasn't "fun" Amber anymore, but that I'd been taken over by "mom" Amber, who is considerably less fun because of the way she makes people eat their vegetables and not drink pop all the time and to go to bed at a reasonable hour. That all I had to talk about was the girls and what they said and did and how I didn't want to be that person because I used to be so BORED by those people and also? Your kids are never as funny to everyone else as they are to you. It's a fact, I know it, and yet? I STILL can't help myself. And because of all of those things, I was afraid that I'd be phased out by my friends who didn't have kids.

That was my biggest fear -- my best friends have been my best friends for 16 years, and in one case, 25 years. If I lost that, I'd be devastated. Apparently my mind glossed over the fact that we've been friends this long for a reason and I wasn't going to be phased out. I mean, they had a million other chances to phase me out - when we were much younger and stupider and fought more. I finally got up the courage to tell them my fears, and they said (I'm paraphrasing here) "You're an idiot. OF COURSE you won't get phased out." Whew. That was a relief.

So now more time has passed and I no longer have the chase dreams. At least not nearly as often as I did before. I have my mom to tell all the mom-related stuff to, not only because she is a mom (and a good one!) but also because she spends a lot of time with the girls and knows their personalities. And as their pretty-much-grandma, she finds the things they do to be as funny as I do, because really, that's her job now. I have my friends to talk about some kid stuff, but also the multitude of other stuff we can come up with. I'm still not totally comfortable in the realm of mom, but I'm feeling better as I learn more. It's not easy for the kids to have two different houses and two sets of rules and so right now our biggest job is establishing routines and creating stability. Also not easy, but TOTALLY worth it in the end. Because seriously, how cute are these small people?


Cheryl said...

Those are some pretty cute small people. And also, you shouldn't worry so much about being super mom. It sounds like you're doing a great job, maybe even better than the woman who gave birth to those small people. I can say that, right?

Um, I would just like to say that if you tell ME to eat my vegetables or stop drinking anything this weekend...well, I'll still like you. You're my cloneriffic word nerd.

Edge said...

I was in the same situation as you. Exactly, but it works out, just you have to establish a healthy relationship early. I think it might be easier for women and harder for men, we just aren't as relational.

But then again you were also the only person to play the breast support game correctly and I attribute that you your good irish blood. And you do have a nice rack. But that's not why we did that was it??? LOL

Thanks for playing Susan G. will at least get $2 to support boobs.


Mr. Fabulous said...

You are doing a great job. And all things considered, I think I sense a contentment about you that wasn't there before.

Jen M. said...

They are adorable! And I don't think most people could do what you do - and with such commitment. You rock! Hooray for no more chase dreams (I used to have them, too).

I'm Kendra and this is my blog. said...

There will be no phasing out of any kind. Ever. No matter how much I hate the fact that you won't be a 90 second drive away anymore, there's just no getting rid of me. And besides, we've gotten pretty good at our brunch dates. Who else would I order the Waiver Rancheros with ???