I have kids…..

…..but they only exist in my head.

I know.  Pathetic, isn’t it?  A 43 year old woman, goes to sleep at night thinking about ‘what happened that day’, with the kids that she hasn’t really got?

This is not the same as playing make believe, though.  Like, I don’t “play house” or pretend they’re there when nobody is around.  I am fully aware that it is only in my head, and I don’t see or hear them outside of that small space.  I’m not seeing voices or having schizo episodes.  I do have some kind of mood disorder, but I don’t think I’m categorically insane.  (Opinions vary, and the jury is still deliberating that…..)

I have started to do what I call feathering my nest.  As in acquire things for what would be the nursery.  Recent bargain finds include a glider rocker and foot rest in exactly the style I wanted and in excellent condition ($100), I have a barnyard theme layette set with everything; there are a few very small imperfections due to use, but hard to find ($100).  A Steelcraft highchair that looks to have NEVER been used even once (not a mark on it anywhere!) ($100).  A pristine jungle animal bouncy seat with toy bar ($20).  Deals just too good to pass up.

I go in that would be nursery and sit in the glider, close my eyes and rock and try to imagine rocking my baby to sleep.  If I fold my arms the right way, I can juuuuuuuuuust about convince myself for about two seconds…….

I would play with baby dolls in there, if I could find one like the kind we had when I was a kid.  You know, plastic heads with “real” hair and blinking eyes, half plastic/half stuffed fabric arms and legs but a squishy body perfect for cuddling?  yeah……they don’t seem to make those kinds of baby dolls now.  They’re all plastic, hard bodies and quite small, not realistic size.  Not very cuddly.  Not very satisfying.

Once again, I know……I know……a grown woman who would stoop to playing with baby dolls on her own accord.  But I would.  I always liked baby dolls.  I was ready for motherhood at quite an early age.  Maturity lacking, I was ready to take it on at 12, 13.  Easily.  I’m probably the only person I know who (when she’s able to be around babies) breaks her neck to change a shitty nappy!  Seriously…….no nappy blow out is too big to make me change my mind!   Show me the baby shit!

Anyway.  (Sorry, I get off track sometimes.)  In my head I have kids.  I have a boy and 2 girls.  I can’t actually envision them (aesthetically) clearly.  That part is very blurry.  But, here’s the thing.  They aren’t static figments of my imagination.  They’re not constant.   They actually grow, evolve, as people.  I don’t plan out what they did or said.  It just comes to me.  It’s like somewhere in my mind lives a person writing a screen play, except there are no edits.  Whatever they did or said?  It’s like real life, as in no do overs.  We deal with it, and move on.  Every night it picks up where the night before left off.  It’s like a soap opera with a rolling storyline.  My night time imaginings of that days events is different every day.  They grow and change, go through stages, get older and meet various milestones.  They have friends.  They have people they don’t like, people that don’t like them.  They have their strengths and weaknesses.  Their gifts and talents.  They are each their own person, with their own quirks and personalities, just like any kid.  Don’t get me wrong.  They’re not perfect.  I am not envisioning motherhood through rose-tinted glasses!  I mean, I “deal with” temper tantrums, PMS, attitude problems, notes from the teacher about talking in class, lying, smart mouths, and sibling rivalry.  They makes messes, they get into mischief, and can cause untold chaos if left to their own devices.  But, I also get lots of cuddles and I love you mums, weird and wonderful works of art to display on the fridge, the odd dandelion brought to me (head only, no stem, so I have to float it in a bowl of water!) as a gesture of love.  I’m under no illusion that parenting is easy, or always delightful.  I know the real deal.  Parenting will be hard.  The hardest thing I will ever do.  It will be infuriating, frustrating, tiresome, at times loathsome.  But it will also be the most rewarding, joyful, pride-building thing too.  For every up there is a down and vice versa.

But they’re not real.  They exist only in my head.  I have no idea how they came about, but it’s been going on for a while now.  It started when I was working in the city during the week.  I had nothing in the way of a life once I left work each night.  I’d go to the house where I was renting a room, catch up with my housemate, retire for the night, go to sleep.  One night, I realised that I had daydream/imaginary kids!  So I just……went with it.  It became my night time ritual.  My bedtime story, I guess.  I’d go to bed, spin that days episode, drift off to sleep.

(Typing it out, I wonder if maybe I’m not insane after all!)

But, I reckon it’s born primarily of my deep deep DEEP desire for motherhood, and so, until the kids are actually here……in the flesh……making messes, driving me crazy and making my heart explode in my chest with so much love for them, I have to make do with the ones that live only in my head.  I like to think I’m rehearsing, if you will.  Sharpening my mothering skills in theory, if not practical.  Sort of a……role playing exercise.

Why not?  Role playing exercises are used now in everything from job interviews to workshops for teamwork skills assessments.  Why not desired and hopefully impending motherhood?  🙂

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