Reflections on motherhood...


Monday, March 7, 2011

Separation anxiety

Every night for the last week I've been having what I'm calling 'separation anxiety' dreams.  I dream, vividly, that Milkbaby is asleep in bed with me (even though we've only ever really been daytime co-nappers), but then as I come to the surface of the dream I can't find him, frantically searching the bed and patting down the duvet.  Last night when I couldn't find him, in some kind of daze, I went to his room to check he was in his cot.  Of course he was there, sleeping happily until I burst in.

The night before I must have been feeling a bit more blasé about not finding him.  I recall conducting my routine duvet-patting, but then instead of getting up, I assumed that he would be in the bed somewhere, and wanting a feed.  So I assumed the normal position for a lying down feed, boob out ready.  My husband, coming to bed a little while later, said, shaking me gently awake, "dear, why are your boobs hanging out?"  I mumbled something about Milkbaby being in bed but not, then did a few more duvet pats before getting out of bed to check that he was in his cot.

Even after seeing him in his cot I still had to do a few duvet pats upon returning to bed, just to be sure.  It's like obsessive-compulsive sleepwalking.

And if I’m not duvet-patting and sleepwalking, I’m dreaming that I’ve left Milkbaby in the car or somewhere else, happily asleep while I run a few errands – but the dreams all go awry when I am prevented from getting back to the car – a giant motorway springs up between me and the parked car, or, even more strangely, a crowded swimming pool and swimming carnival conspire to prevent me from getting back to him.

I am pretty sure that our old friend Sigmund Freud would have something to say about these dreams.  By strange coincidence I am currently reading The White Hotel, by D.M. Thomas, a novel based on a fictional patient of Freud’s – and a veritable cornucopia of weird dream imagery.

Since Freud is no longer around to provide an interpretation of my missing and neglected baby dreams, I’ve consulted Google and come up with the following possible explanations: 
·        Aunty Flo says: To dream of neglecting your baby (or a baby which is neglected) then this dream indicates that you need to pay yourself more attention. On the other hand, this dream can also signify that you need to protect your children much better.
·        The Dream Doctor says: Common dream among young mothers, reflecting literal anxieties about the responsibilities of motherhood. In more experienced mothers dreams of neglected babies may symbolize neglect of relationship with one's partner, (the fruit of the relationship). Also can symbolize neglect of oneself: Dreamer is not caring for one's inner child.
·        Dream Moods says: forgetting about a baby represents an aspect of yourself that you have abandoned or put aside due to life's changing circumstances. The dream may serve as a reminder that it is time for you to pick up that old interest, hobby, or project again. 

This has led me to the conclusion that consulting the internet for interpretations of your dreams is probably not a good idea.  I did find, however, that if a Beanie Baby appears in your dream this suggests “that you are able to adapt to most situations. Consider the animal or the name of the beanie baby. The dream may have an underlying message or a pun.”

I’m thinking that the underlying message might be “you need to get out more and spend less time with your collection of Beanie Babies”.


  1. I am coming around this Wednedsay to watch Milkbaby while you rest my love. No arguements. I'll see you at 9.30. Mwah xxx

  2. Having had this same dream, I think I agree with the Dream Doctor interpretation--at least for me the dream was stressful and anxiety-inducing, which was definitely part of what I felt when the twins first came home. Glad I'm not having those dreams anymore! Too funny about being ready to nurse and the swimming pool with carnival keeping you from your baby. Ha :)


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