Hubby picked up an extra night shift this week. He does this whenever he can. Overtime accounted for almost a third of his income last year. It’s a great way to get a head, but it leaves me in a cold bed in a scary old house more than I can handle.
When we moved here, and he started in this rotational position, I wasn’t sure if I could survive the night shifts. Here’s a little fun fact for you: I’m a wuss.
I talk a mean game, but I don’t always walk the walk. I would like to think that I could wrestle a burglar into submission with just what I have learned from watching UFC bouts, but we all know that’s unlikely. I would like to think that all those strange sounds are just the sounds of a sixty year old house, settling, but my mind won’t allow that when I am here alone with the kids. Those sounds are bad men trying to get in. They somehow know I am in here all alone with no hubby to protect me. They want to steal my flat screen TV or worse: hurt us.
I am typically a complete wreck on night shift night. I usually go to bed around 1 or 2am (with most of the lights in the house on) and then toss and turn until around 5am, and then sleep (with one ear opened) until hubby gets home around 730am. It’s absolutely brutal and it has been happening at least 2 nights a week for about a year.
No matter how much I get used to this neighbourhood, it still feels like a strange place to me, with strange people in it. No offence neighbors, but I don’t know you. Maybe that’s half the problem. I haven’t really made an effort to get to know anyone here. The crime rate here is ridiculously low compared to living in a city like Halifax where I lived for many years. I really have to loosen up. I am very aware of this.
So last night, I was thinking about my day and realized that it was pretty productive but very uneventful. I worked on catching up with everything that I skipped out on all weekend but I didn’t really bust up my comfort zone or do anything nice for anyone else all day. What was I going to do at around midnight on Monday night, other than watch my DVR of the Bachelor: Women Tell All?
Turn off the lights. Uh huh. I decided to turn off all the lights in the house and by doing so, face my fears of the dark corners of my house. Do you remember that feeling when you were a kid and you literally have to leap into bed from the doorway because you are afraid someone is going to grab your leg from under your bed? And then you hyperventilate into your pillow until you pretty much pass out?
Oh really? That never happened to you for your whole entire childhood? Oh.
Well anyways, that was me last night. I turned everything off and literally sprinted up to my bed. Jumped in and nearly lost my mind. I cried and hyperventilated a bit. I wished my hubby was there with me. Then something hit me. Not literally, thank god. I realized something.
My two little angels are lying in their beds, sleeping so beautifully and peacefully. Their little minds are off in dreamland, dreaming of lollipops and fairytale castles. They don’t have a worry in the world.
But why aren’t they scared like I am?
Answer: Because they trust me.
They trust that their Mama is going to protect and take care of them, no matter what. The thought of being in danger in their own safe and loving home doesn’t even cross their little minds because they innately know that their mother, “Queen of Killing Bugs and the Life Jacket Zipper-Upper” will keep them safe no matter what.
I sleep like that when Hubby is here. So why can’t I feel that safe when I am alone with myself? I need to start seeing myself in the same light that my children do.
A QUEEN. A PROTECTOR. A MOTHER.
It just doesn’t make any sense any other way. This is who I am.
As soon as I realized this, I knew it was over.
My “scared little girl jumping from the door to bed” state of mind was gone and I happily stepped into my role as QUEEN MAMA: Protector of the Princesses and their castle.
(Pretend I have a golden trident and I just slammed it into the bed, staking my claim as I stand on guard for them)
I slept all night. I am hopeful that this new revelation of “my role” will help me to sleep during all the other nights to come as well. There is no need to even deal with my own fears anymore. A brave Queen Mama has no fears. I need to focus on the reality of: You mess with my kids, you mess with me.
UFC moves? Oh yea, if need be…I got ‘em.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than one’s fear.” -Ambrose Hollingworth Redmoon