26 July 2006

Fear and Resentment

Being tired makes me emotional. Being a new mom makes me emotional. There are lots of good emotions: a love for Madeleine and Riley so intense that nothing could have prepared me for it. The joy of a glimmer of a smile from one of the babies. The comfort of a hug from GH. But there are some negative emotions, too, namely a lot of fear, resentment, and jealousy.

What do I fear?

I fear GH dying. This fear rules my life.
I fear being alone with the babies and not being able to handle it.
I fear being a bad mother (which is tightly tied to the previous fear).

I can't control GH dying. That one is completely out of my hands. I don't know what to do with that fear other than acknowledge it and allow it to be real for me. What else can I really do? I just hate the fact that it's an ever-present thought for me, always lurking around in my mind as I go about my day.

As for the baby-related fears, I can do something about those and I have been. I've been getting out alone with the babies and growing more confident. I've embraced the idea that crying isn't going to kill them and sometimes I can only calm one baby at a time. I think most if not all new moms worry about not being a good enough mom, and talking to other new moms has helped me with that. I am being as proactive as I can to quell the baby fears, and it's helping.

As for the resentment and jealousy, I'm embarrassed to admit what provokes them.

I resent the babies sometimes, for all the care they require and the complete control they have on my life.
I resent the fact that I do more than GH to care for the babies.
I resent the fact that I do more around the house than GH.
I'm jealous of the woman who go the job that I wanted at work.
I'm jealous of my best friend who has a healthy husband. Hell, I'm somewhat jealous of every woman who has a healthy husband!
I resent cancer for trying so, so hard to take my husband away from me.
I resent the fact that when I have 30 minutes for myself, I have to do things like fill out paperwork for my maternity leave or make calls about my student loans, things that even well-meaning friends can't do for me.

I could probably go on. I'm so ashamed of the first three. I love the babies so much, and they are just babies. I signed on for the job of caring for them, and it's my full-time job right now. I don't want to be resentful of that. And I feel awful for being resentful of doing more than a man who is dying. He needs to rest and take care of himself. He deserves to spend his time loving and knowing our babies, not taking out the trash or doing laundry.

As usual, the solution, as it were, is to ask for help. I can ask GH for help if I need it; he's a grown-up and he can say no if it's too much for him. We have friends who will bring us dinner and help around the house. I guess I just don't like not being able to do it all. I never have.

I feel trapped by many things right now. Cancer. My job. Our mortgage. I miss my family. I want to move back home to Oregon so badly, but cancer, our condo, and to a certain extent our jobs (read: health insurance) make me feel stuck where I am. Trapped. Scared. And yet bursting with love and emotion for our little family. The intensity of the love is a bit scary in and of itself. How can I turn that fear into a positive force? How can I use something that powerful to my advantage instead of letting it control me?

What I really ask myself all day long, though, every minute of every day is this: How will I ever survive without my husband? I could work through any of this knowing that I have him with me. But without him? I truly just don't know. And that scares the hell out of me.

7 comments:

weigook saram said...

I think resentment goes with the territory. It's good that you're acknowledging those feelings. It is totally normal and okay to feel that way. Yes, it sounds like you need help, and a break. If you don't have family/ friends to pitch in, can you hire a babysitter so you can get a couple of hours for yourself?

Leggy said...

You are just stuck in such an awful situation. This should be a happy, wonderful time in your life but you've got this huge overshadowing, scary cloud on the horizon. I'm impressed you've held up as well as you have.

Not much to offer here except support. I'm sorry you have to go through this.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Snickollet, I just started reading your blog a few weeks before your babies were born, and I just want to say that I think you are doing an amazing job balancing all that you have going on. I think your feelings are completely understandable, all of them.

I'm sorry you have the cancer cloud always there on the horizon, but I hope that for now you can bask in the sunshine that your beautiful babies bring into your life.

soralis said...

I wish I had something wonderful to say but I don't. One baby is hard work and 2 is double the work! (but double the smiles too, thank goodness!)

I can't even begin to imagine all that is going on in your head with all that is ahead of you. I think you are doing an amazing job and I am sure no matter what you will adjust. You do need a moment here and there for yourself though as sometimes the times get tough, so try to do that when you can. It does get easier and it does get more managable with two... the first few months were definately the hardest, hang in there

Take care... I wish we were neigbours I would love to come over and help out a little!

Yankee T said...

Oh dear, I wish I had been keeping up better and I hope you're still reading comments on this post.
Your fears and resentments are real and not petty or selfish. Having babies is such a difficult thing, as wonderful and love-filled as it is. They take, take, take, for the first three months especially. You're good to get as much help as you can, and just put one foot in front of the other when things bog you down. Oh, you make me wish we had never moved. I'd walk down the hill help.
Sending great love and many hugs!

lct said...

I'm here. I'm reading. Love you.

AMH said...

I've been lurking for some time now, and just wanted to say, I really admire your attitude and your strength in the face of what I am sure can be sometimes overwhelming. As a new mom, I can't imagine having TWO newborns. I also can't imagine having two newborns and a husband facing cancer.

I hope this doesn't sound hugely cheezy. I give you a lot of credit. You are one tough cookie.