Looking back over my pregnancy and Reindeer’s first year, I’ve been thinking about all of the worries I’ve experienced at different times. They’re many, varied and ever changing. Now that he’s turned one, that worry list has updated again. I’ve decided to share it here because I don’t know if everyone worries about these things, or just me.
1. Does he love me? I love Reindeer more than I ever believed possible, but I worry about whether he loves me out not. He clings to me and it is me he wants for comfort, but I don’t know if that is the same thing. I think this is a worry now because he’s developing language but isn’t quite there yet; I often feel that he’s trying to tell me something but I’m not getting the message and so he’s fed up/cross/frustrated with me. As an adult human my mind tells me this is bad and he probably thinks I’m doing it on purpose, but that would be if he was another adult, and he isn’t. So perhaps he doesn’t see it that way? Aargh! Also, at bedtime, we’ll have a bath, read stories then have milk, but he’ll then decide he’s ready to go to bed and squirm until he’s safely in his cot. He then rolls over and goes off to sleep. I feel slightly rejected as he doesn’t seem to want a bedtime kiss or cuddle now. Hopefully that will change back before long. Now I sound needy. Aargh, again!
2. Do we laugh enough? This last couple of days, Reindeer has taken to coming over to me, rolling onto his back so he’s resting against me and laughing. It’s a cue for me to tickle him or rraaagh, depending on his mood. He then laughs uproariously. This worries me in case he thinks we’re not having enough fun so he has to show me how to be more fun.
3. Do we need to get out more? I’m always conscious that Reindeer and I spend all day together and I don’t want him to feel bored, trapped or lack essential social skills as a result (being an introvert I don’t give him a running commentary of my day or seek out groups to spend time with). We’ve pretty much outgrown our baby group – he’s now the eldest and the only one trying to walk and play with toys outside our designated area. I have lots of ideas for activities but they largely don’t involve other kids and parents (they could do, but I haven’t really thought about doing that). Perhaps I should invite people along?
4. Am I doing enough? I love looking after Reindeer, but it is very tiring. Everyday I leave him time to direct his play and don’t interfere. He’ll often come up to me to show me a car or have a quick cuddle, but he then heads off again. Sometimes I’ll use this time to do chores, cook dinner and sometimes I’ll check my emails, but whatever I’m doing I feel guilty that I’m not giving him my full attention. Is that normal?
5. Is his health OK? Reindeer’s eyesight seems fine, as far as I can tell, but his eyes are slightly misaligned. I realise this can’t be checked into until he can answer questions reliably, but it concerns me. I’m also worried about his fake hernia. It was supposed to be gone by now and, whilst it’s a lot smaller, I can still see and feel it.
6. Have I already made some awful mistake that has ruined everything and I haven‘t realised it yet? Ah, the big question. I so want Reindeer to be healthy, happy and for our family to be close, that I worry I’m doing something wrong. Only time will give me the answer to this question, but that doesn’t stop it being on my list!
As I read this list back, I realise how fortunate I am that things like being able to feed us, clothe us, or put a roof over our heads isn’t included. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I guess I’m just trying to make sense of everything still.