Day 20: The Fear that Motivates Me
When I was a child, I would often dream about the day when I would finally become an adult.
Fast forward 28 years and here I am on my phone, head nestled against her little breathing body because it’s the only position that will keep her restless body asleep.
Some days I forget that she’s not even one year old yet. Tomorrow she will reach her first double digits for the first time. Tomorrow she will be 10 months old.
I’ve never truly allowed myself to enjoy her properly — this child of mine. Even during the pregnancy, my mind was often elsewhere and in constant worry about everything else. Work took over my life. My personal fears engulfed me. I was always worried about something else other than her.
Sometimes I question myself as her mother.
But I always made sure to take care of her, to eat the healthy food and do my research.
When I had my baby, my mind was not completely with her. There were issues latching. She was feeding constantly and I felt truly inadequate.
At two and three months, I spent most of my time making stock for the Christmas market. We needed the money.
At four months, I had to pack and sort out the house for moving.
At five, six, seven and eight months, I spent my time battling the new landlord, which within a few weeks of moving in tried to kick us out.
At nine months, the company I’ve been with for the past 5 years decided to call it quits and shut down. I had rushed back out of maternity for them. I knew they were making a loss and projects needed to be pushed out but in the end, it didn’t matter at all.
And here I am, on the eve of my baby’s 10 months, lying next to her on her floor bed wondering how can I properly make her my priority without all the financial and residential fears.
Officially jobless for the interim, I feel the dread that if this endeavour to create something fails, I will never have the chance to properly be present with my child. I worry if everything I’m doing now is all in vain.
As scattered as I am with my brain, broken into a million different directions with thoughts going at multiple speeds, I make myself mindful of her tiny little body curled up under my head.
While it’s not recommended that I treat my baby like a pillow, half the weight of my head is keeping her comforted and calm.
I was in the middle of taking a quiz as part of an application to a remote job when she woke. It was as if she was saying — mommy, stop, slow down and just rest.
It’s almost midnight and she’s forcing me to call it a day. She is the fear that motivates me to keep going but also the voice of pause and reason, even if she can’t quite say anything in particular yet.
Tomorrow will be another day. Until then, you win little one. I’ll go to sleep but next to you and not on you, since that’s not recommended and you’ll probably end up kicking me in the face somehow anyway.