Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Need to be Needed

Tonight as I put the girls to bed, I was struck by a feeling that has become familiar to me, yet still feels foreign. And, as a mother, it feels as though I'm betraying the human race.

We all need to be needed, but often I find myself needing not to be needed; feeling resentful that I'm in such high demand.

I'm sure its partially residual from their infancy; the shock of going from one extreme to another: during my pregnancy constantly being reminded to take care of myself, don't walk too far, lay down as much as possible, sleep... to suddenly being in such demand that it seemed there wasn't one second where I wasn't needed in some capacity.

When I would breastfeed, one baby happily tucked against my body, the breast pump chugging milk from the other side, and often the other baby crying impatiently in her crib, it felt like some absurd parody of motherhood.

Nowadays, I will sometimes sneak past my sweet, innocent daughters while they are engrossed in their own four year old fantasy, lest they see me and instantly decide they need something from me.

It makes me feel selfish that I want to finish whatever I'm doing, regardless of how insignificant, without being interrupted to find a stuffed animal, referee a sibling brawl or relocate a spider outdoors.

I have this urge to be free from the repetitive obligations day in and day out.

I've alluded to this before.

Don't get me wrong - I have plenty of time away from my girls. They attend "play-school" four days a week, while I commute to the office. During those long days away from them, I miss their sweet faces, and will find myself simply craving their presence, staring longingly at their photos.

Like so many other motherly difficulties, it is hard to determine whether a feeling is caused by depression or the simple stress that comes with being a mom.

The feeling is usually fleeting, but often recurrent. After years of being told that I would "make a great mother", I finally believe it. Because even through the haze of postpartum depression and anxiety and my ongoing struggle with depression, my mom instinct is stronger than any other urge or impulse.

Besides, who could resist these little nuggets of joy?

Jaeda in pink, Tristyn in blue and their cousin Gia in purple. 
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