When I was pregnant with my first, my husband swore I was different, and that I was crazy. I totally resented this. He had to be wrong. I mean, I was pregnant, and yes, that changes some things…but I was not crazy.
Then, a week after my daughter was born, I felt this “fog” lift from me. And I thought, “Oh, wow…I was crazy!!”
So now I just acknowledge it. I even felt the fog falling over me the second time. And kind of the third time. Though that was actually such a weird situation that I didn’t really notice as much as the second time.
Now…before I got pregnant, I really was very normal, in my own way. When we went out in public, I was, as most of us are, aware of the people around us. I wondered what they thought of me and I didn’t want to appear as a “bad mom.” So, even when my kid did something insanely stupid, I kept my mouth shut, pasted a fake smile on my face, and quietly steered us out. I did not want anyone to see me lose it in any way.
But since I’ve gotten pregnant, I’ve felt very…twitchy. Sometimes things really set me off. These are usually things that would scare or upset any normal parent, but which, in the past, I would have tried to pretend were not a big issue. For example, if my daughter ran off the second I turned my back. Before I got pregnant, I might have just waited for her to come back (in a small, familiar place) or gone to get her then quietly said, “Sweetie, stay with Mommy!” and dropped it.
Oh, but now….
“REBEKAH, WHERE ARE YOU?!” I look around and walk around with my cart frantically until I find her. I am yelling for her. I don’t care who hears me. I want to find my daughter, right now. When I catch her, I say, “You cannot do that! You must stay with Mommy! What if you got lost and someone took you? What if I never saw you again? Do you want to go home with some stranger and never see me again?”
In a small voice, she replies, “No.” She looks at the floor.
“Then put your hand on the cart and do not let go.” And off we go.
I no longer care what people think. I really don’t. I’m a parent, and it freaks me out if my kid wanders off. It upsets me if she dances around and smacks herself or her little cart into me, especially repeatedly. It scares the crap out of me when my son stands up in the cart and almost falls, especially since he usually does it while my back is turned for all of 10 seconds (and I’m standing less than a foot away from him). And if it freaks me out, I’m not going to inanely say, “Oh, sweetie, don’t do that!” and move on with my day. No, I’m going to actually parent them, right there in the store. Onlookers be darned! “Do not stand up in the cart! Do you want to fall and break your head open? You scared Mommy. You need to be more careful.” As I make him sit down.
I’ll admit there are moments when it’s not so handy to be crazy, such as when a child starts climbing me and I shake them off and accidentally knock them down because I’m freaked out about being touched for some reason. Or moments when I yell “EVERYBODY JUST STOP!” You know. Those are the not-so-awesome times. (Which don’t happen in public, I still have that much control!)
But maybe it’s not a bad thing. I mean, pregnancy allowed me to show my true feelings and parent my children and truly not worry about what other people think of me. And we could really all do with a little less caring about other peoples’ opinions, especially strangers.
Does pregnancy make you crazy? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done because of the “crazy?”
Top image by Neeta Lind