By Marjorie Kershaw
Take it from me, every new mother can feel isolated, overwhelmed, and anxious that her baby will murder her with the sheer force of her psychic powers. When I welcomed my beautiful, flaxen-haired moppet into the world exactly nine months after every person in Midwich fell unconscious at the same time, it was the most incredible day of my life. My late husband Stewart and I were living our fondest dream, and despite the sleepless nights, the challenge of breast feeding, and Olivia’s cold hard gaze, we felt blessed.
But there’s a difficult side to caring for young children that leave mothers and fathers feeling as if they are the only ones going through frustrations, anxiety, and abject terror. My advice is to reach out to other parents. We often feel as though we need to put up a good front and keep cheerful (I can attest to that for those of us who live in the United Kingdom, stiff upper lip and all!) and that can give one the impression that everyone else is handling parenting with ease.
Remember, You’re Not Alone
I thought I was the only one who felt like my child was reaching into my mind with her eyes and trying to control me. I’d tell her no more cookies and all of a sudden I’d be about to stab myself with a steak knife. Then I confided in my neighbor Sarah, who has a boy the same age, and she mentioned that when she tried to go straight home from school instead of the park, she felt compelled to crash the car into a tree. Just opening up to Sarah made me feel much better.
Encourage Your Children To Play Independently
It’s good for children to develop their own social circle and learn to navigate relationships with other boys and girls their own age. Luckily, here in Midwich, there are loads of six-year-old children with the same exact birthday with whom to play. Little ones can be reluctant to leave mummy’s side, but once they warm up, you’ll be amazed at how well they walk around in silent groups together.
Do Things You Enjoy with Your Peers, Away from Your Children
It’s also important to take time for yourself and do things that interest you. Sarah and I started a book club, and it turned out to be a wonderful place to meet other peers and get a chance to stimulate our minds in a setting where we didn’t have to create a mental barrier to survive. I’d suggest looking for activities and groups in your local area.
It’s Not You! Don’t Take It Personally
Lastly, remember, you’re doing the best you can. Don’t take your children’s behavior too personally. Childhood is all about testing boundaries, like staying outside too late, or forcing planes to crash with your mind. Just remember, someday they’ll probably grow out of it, and then you’ll miss their little faces looking up to you with strange, glowing eyes that make you feel a chill down to your soul.