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  • Writer's pictureJaye Gaff

Motherhood | Wait, Am I Laid Back?

If there's something that oozes out of my every pore it is this -- worry. I am always anxious. Always stressed. Never relaxed.

I have learned to live with it but, since pregnancy, I developed extreme anxiety whenever I, or someone I loved, left the house. This has since been countered with medication and therapy and while the anxiety still lingers, like that childhood bully, it doesn't affect my day-to-day much anymore.

I am much better now at verbalising my issues. Much better at telling my head to fuck off because why would I listen to a moronic voice anyway? As B. gets older it's also occurring to me that I am the more laid back parent and I am struck with a strong sense of what the fuck? How did that happen?

B. wants to go to the newsagent while I am at the post office. I go to give her my credit card. The Husband frowns. No.

B. wants to wander around the shops while we wait at Starbucks. The Husband frowns. No.

B. needs to catch an Uber to school. The Husband frowns. No.

He has his own anxieties that he has to work through, that he tries to not let affect her too much. I try not to roll my eyes at him and think he's being uptight and weird. I don't get him. I don't understand why he has so many issues with letting her go.

Okay, that sounds bad... I do understand. All those creeps out there. I dealt with them. I don't ever want her to deal with them. I'm not trying to be lax or lazy but, also, I find him very stick-up-the-butty and boring, the human equivalent of long socks and sneakers, and I just... ugh.

He and I try to be respectful of each other, try not to drown in all that what ifs but I am seeing, so much, that I am less like a stereotypical mum than I ever thought I would be.

I never saw myself that way. I surprise myself everyday in just how many ways I don't give a fuck. How many times I see and hear parents say no (why would you tell your kid they can't be a vegetarian?) or create unnecessary work for themselves. Not so much about not caring for their safety but, more so, realising you have no fucking control and that's okay and it's fun and it's exciting.

My Husband can't quite do that and that's okay too. There's no judgement here - we're all going to parent in the only way we know how. In the only way we can. But there's also room for new ideas and deciding you don't care about what you're "supposed" to do or what a mum is "supposed" to look like and maybe you'll be judged and that's okay too because, at the end of the day, you're parenting the kid you have and that's all you need to do.

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