I never thought having a kid would make me a better person. Not in the sense of I-am-less-selfish-and-can-appreciate-sleep-now kind of person… just more stable and satisfied. Who knew? I don’t even like kids!
When I was single and even when I was married, I still had time to obsess about me. Not to say that people who struggle with anxiety and depression are just “selfish people”. Not at all. I think the most creative and beautiful people have to pay for their brilliance by being plagued with anxiety and depression. Sometimes to the point of medicating. Thankfully, I’ve never had to medicate, but I have a history of low level depression and just plain discontentment.
Having a kid gives your brain a huge focus and a goal–a relationship that is cemented for the rest of your life…whether you like it or not. I said I don’t like kids. I feel the same way about dogs–I like them on an individual basis. If I get to know a child or a dog personally, then that’s an exception. Otherwise, I don’t know what to do around unknown children. I sort of freeze up and try and reason with the small person. But, I digress…
It took a little while before I warmed up to the idea that I had a person growing inside of me. Then I panicked that I would be a make-up free “sweatsuit mom” who thought her child could do no wrong–to the chagrin of the general public. And then I assumed I would have postpartum depression because Im predisposed to that sort of thing. Then Vi was born and… surprise! I’m still me. What a relief. Only I’m a little more mellow, and more stable. How can that be? I was stressing about missing out on my career by not pursuing my masters. Occasionally I still do, but then I agree that too can wait for bit because I know I would rather not be missing out on the sweet smiles of my baby at home. And we don’t have the money…but never mind that. Having a kid narrows my options, and it gives me relief. Even if I had the money, I couldnt (wouldnt) possibly handle the workload with a kid. Thats why moms who do school and/or have full time jobs astound me.
Second, I don’t have the time to think about my daily well-being. I’m too distracted. I cherish the quiet time at the end of my day with Eric so much, it makes my selfish thoughts rather secondary. And on a morbid note, I used to worry that if Eric died (prematurely), I wouldn’t have much to live for. It sounds really cliche an dramatic, but he and I are so well matched, I would be out of luck if he kicked the bucket. Now I have Viola: a piece of him I couldn’t possibly leave behind. Ok. I can live with that.