Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I'll attempt to describe my emotional condition today.

For those who have taken swimming lessons, when you're learning how to tread water and you're not quite proficient yet, but you aren't drowning either, you tend to move around while you tread. You are so caught up in trying to stay afloat that you can't tell whether you're treading toward the shallow end or the deep end, but you're running out of strength fast. You really hope that you're in the shallow end and that if you give up the bottom is only a few inches below your feet. But you dread sinking so far that you never hit the bottom and have to find the strength to come back up to the surface and then swim some more.... enough to get you to shallow water if you can find it.

Now the logical answer is to do some kind of a backfloat or a dead-man's floaty thingy, but you're too panicky, so take that option out of my emotional metaphor.

Now - despite how horrifically depressing that all sounds, I am not horrifically depressed. I'm just feeling a bit panicky. I think I'm just having some doubts about my ability to swim. I'm not sure how strong I am and boy am I going to be attempting some feats of strength.

I think part of it is the reality of pregnancy sinking in as my tummy grows. I don't have strangers asking me when I'm due yet, but my husband and I can sure tell! This little person is going to have to grow and grow and grow and then come out somehow! Eek! Part of me wonders why they can't come out while they are small enough to fit nicely. That's just a selfish wonder, and it is always quickly retracted.

The other part of it is the lack of organization in my immediate future. We're tentatively planning to complete our move into my parent's basement this weekend. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever as to what that is going to entail, or how that's going to change our life, or whether it's going to work out at all. BUT it will only be temporary. The problem is that the part that comes after that is even more blurry. Sometime in the course of the summer we will have a baby and move to Philly, but the logistics of merging those two exciting events is oh so very messy all of a sudden.

I watched a PBS documentary about Eleanor Roosevelt last night (while I was half-heartedly also watching the Golden Globes, but this was more interesting) and learned that after she and FDR married, FDR's mother ran their entire life. His mother bought two side-by-side townhouses, gave one to them as a present, moved into the other one, and had doors installed connecting the two on every floor! Talk about a lack of privacy! Can you even imagine such a Mother-in-Law? Eleanor didn't have her "own" house until after FDR was already a well-established politician, and even after that he continued to live in the house with his mother instead of with her. I know that their marriage was all kinds of complicated anyway, but solely based on those conditions my heart went out to the woman.
On a much lesser scale thisdescribes my concern about our plan to move into my parents basement. ( I realize we are way too far into this to turn back and that no matter what happens I will just deal with it... but these are my concerns nontheless) I do know for certain that I will be sacrificing a bit of my autonomy, and not having my own space while dealing with nesting impulses, and then while adjusting to a newborn sounds a little bit precarious. I know I will be asked to help with my younger sibling's homework, which is mostly okay, but what about the days when I don't feel up to it? The days when if it was my own house I would order pizza and veg? I suppose this is selfish on so many levels, but oh well. I know that I cannot, in my current condition (nor in the condition I anticipate I will be in during the coming months) live at the same pace as the rest of my family who will be living in that house. I especially know I cannot live up to the self-depricating standard my mother lives by and I worry she will expect it of me. I will not be able to stay up late to help with homework, I will not be able to drop everything to be a chauffeur, I will not have tolerance for the antics of The Disaster who is my brother, and I will not be a happy camper when drum practice and trumpet practice are simultaneously happening at 10pm. I will not want my little sister hanging out in my room every day (as much as I love her I expect to be highly hormonal and need a lot of space to myself) and most of all - I will not be fun all the time, or even a lot of the time. In fact my energy levels are expected to be far below par and I will likely be a grumpy pregnant lady a good chunk of the time.

(Side Note - I really want to be a happy, glowing, angelic pregnant lady, but so far it's not looking very promising)

So, I rather feel like I'm taking my last long clear breath of air before letting myself sink, and hoping that the bottom of the pool isn't so very far down there.

1 comment:

hairyshoefairy said...

My husband and I took that plunge last summer. Our housing contract ran out in May and we weren't moving to California until August. Both our parents lived close by, but my in-laws only had one child at home and a huge house (they have ten kids in all). Thankfully we had our own kitchen and pretty much ruled the entire basement the three months we lived there. I'm just afraid my MIL thought I avoided her at all costs cuz I was working ALL THE TIME and was never home! It really wasn't bad at all and they gave us space. Keep in mind, though, I was not pregnant at this time. I do think, though, that it would have been easier for me had we been in my parents home simply because, even after three years of marriage, I'm still more comfortable there than at my in-laws.

I guess all I can say is you can make it! Soon you'll have another shoebox all your own far away from family (which may be necessary after living with them for a while). Just a thought, to let you know it is possible to remain sane and still married after this time passes.

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