Posted by: Angela | October 22, 2006

Our Father in Heaven…What were you thinking?

No, I am not mocking God, I really want to know.  I have wanted to know what he was thinking from the minute I knew I was pregnant.  The question has been and often continues to be, what about me makes God think I am capable of being a mother (other than all the right parts). 

Many people who know me know that my husband and I did not plan to be parents.  There are many reasons for me.  Many of them are selfish but a few aren’t so selfish.  Now what really scares me about being a mother is that I wasn’t totally wrong about it.  I would rather have been totally mistaken and misguided in my assumptions.

One of the top three reasons for God not to make me a mother was mental illness.  While many people talk about depression these days, I don’t often hear talk about what or how to deal with it as a chronic illness, something that doesn’t ever really go away.  Many women struggle with depression after becoming mothers.  For some it is postpartum, for others, it’s from giving up jobs to stay at home and the subsequent feelings of isolation from other adults.  Then there are those who are dealing with special needs children and the battles associated with that.  Rebellious teenagers, sick children, the list goes on.  But what about women who comeinto motherhood already diagnosed with depression?

As someone who was raised by a mother who was at times suicidally depressed (she hid that well from us) and struggled with an eating disorder, I just didn’t want to pass it on.  It’s in our DNA, it’s who we are in my family.  There should just be Prozac in the water.  Thank God for Prozac, it saved my mother, it has gotten her through things that she would not have previously had the resources to survive.  But did I want my own child to say such things about me?  No!

So I ask God, why would you give me this little girl to mess up?  I don’t play well, I often just want to be left alone (not something a three year old does well), I need lots of sleep, and when my brain is bored, bad things happen inside my head.  Add to that the constant anxiety that I am screwing another human being up and even I could see a possible disaster.  So I am left to wonder, why me? 

I don’t wonder why her.  Our daughter is a very cute, mostly happy child that most people don’t seem to mind having around.  She is reasonably polite and well-behaved in public.  She is rather neat and not given to taken things apart or destroying things.  It seems to me that God could have just created her for a better candidate for motherhood, someone who deserved her, my little blonde girl. 

But it has been over four years since the idea of this child arrived on the scene.  So she is here to stay.  Most would say she isn’t messed up and I think to myself, give me a few more years.

Most likely, it’s just one of those times in my life where things seem a little bleak.  I am standing nearer the edge of the abyss than I want to.  Darling Daughter needs a little more than I feel like I have to give.  These times come and they have for years.  I should know what to do, but now some of the old solutions don’t work so well.  I have to find new ones.  While I look for those things to help me not to slide off the edge, I wonder, really what where you thinking God?  You should really take these things into consideration.      

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Responses

  1. I think we all feel our kids deserve better at times. Thanks for the raw honesty. Depression is one of my toughest battles as well. There are many ways I battle it, but one thing that has helped me recently is to join fellow bloggers on the 3BT. It’s based on clare’s blog, “three beautiful things.” Every day you write down three beautiful things you saw or experienced that day. I’ve been keeping a separate blog just for that. It’s amazing how uplifting this can be. Hope you try it. Hang in there, I’ve often wondered if my kids (4) would be better off without me. But those of us who suffer from depression are also deep thinkers. We are very sensitive and filled with compassion…the world needs a lot more of that, don’t you think? the trick is to get our thoughts out of the darkness and focus our thoughts more deeply on the beauty around us. God knew exactly what He was doing!

  2. I am not sure about this, but I definitely think God has lead me to your blog! This entry just makes me want to cry. I have been wondering lately if I am depressed, or just overly tired. My daughter is 3, and my son is almost 8 months – and is still up between 3-10 times a night (not exaggerating), and I am just really struggling lately. I don’t feel like I can handle 2 kids right now, so I wonder why God gave them to me? I just constantly feel down, and would rather stay in bed all day than get up and do my motherly duties. It is just getting so boring to me. Yet I love them so much and couldn’t imagine life without them at the same time! They are so special and unique. If you would like, email me and perhaps you can offer me some advice!

  3. I have been diagnosed w/bi-polar and can totally understand your concerns…..my little boy is 9 going on 10 in a couple of days……I too, mostly like to be alone and need lots of sleep. Sometimes I feel like I’m letting him down and other times I see first-hand where it has given him more compassion toward people who aren’t “doing so well”…….yes, he gets frustrated w/me, which is why on days I feel good, I give him all I’ve got, so he can see that on day that I don’t, he doesn’t feel abandoned……he understands it’s just the way our life is. Thankgoodness for a super supportive husband. E-mail me if you like. Thanks for your blog…..and sharing your other entries on the MKS blog…..I’ve enjoyed “getting to know you” 🙂

  4. I feel like you are talking about me! I also would rather be left alone… that has been my whole life.

    Though not diagnosed, I am convinced that it’s been an undercurrent my whole life, very dominant during my early years right up to adulthood. I ask the same questions, worded VERY similar to yours, though I say, “God has found me worthy.” Like you, I don’t know how or why, but He evidently does and I have to trust that.

    I agree with Cindy, God knows exactly what he is doing. I agree that we, and who knows more than we, must focus on the beauty and not the darkness…. we struggle for it every day.

    You give me a lot to think about for my own blog, though it’s been there all the time… you know how the mind gets muddled!

  5. I hate when my comments get deleted! I will try to recreate it.

    I feel like you have written about me! Though not diagnosed, I am certain that my life has been dominated by depression. I don’t consider myself depressed at this moment, but it can change at any time; and, like you, I would rather be left alone, and try to find those times during the day. As you may have guessed, I had a very hard time of it after Gabriel was born. I won’t go into all the details here (though you can get them at my bio page), but I was certain that I could not have kids, I never believed that I could make a good mother… then WHAM! I was pregnant and already almost 7 months along. It was a whirlwind pregnancy and I/we had no time to adjust.

    I’ve often said that “God found me worth to be a mom”, though I don’t know why or how. However, I do agree with Cindy. God knows exactly what he is doing. We must focus on the beauty and not the darkness around us. No one knows like we do exactly how much of a struggle it is to do that. I believe that God is providing a helping hand when he gave us children. No matter how cliche-ish this sounds, I do believe that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.

    You’ve given me lots to think and blog about, though, it’s really been there all the time. You know how the brain gets muddled!

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments. I am continuly amazed how motherhood brings women together in such wonderful ways. I believe that by talking and sharing our wisdom we have learned along the way we will all raise better kids who will help change the world.

    SICKNPINK – Thanks for coming.

    Amie – check your e-mail. I am sending you a note.


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