All dreams are healthy—even the bad ones. As moms, it’s not surprising that the everyday anxieties of parenting can build in our subconscious, resulting in sometimes bizarre dreams and even nightmares.
Ever wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, with a knot in your stomach, and the hazy recollection that your child just fell off a cliff? Maybe you’ve lost them in a sea of people? Or you gave birth and then watched them grow from a baby to five-years-old within minutes?
So what does it all mean? Meet Lauri Loewenberg, Certified Dream Analyst, syndicated columnist, author and popular radio personality. Loewenberg says that these dreams are normal and oftentimes can be connected to how fast time flies while children are growing up and still in the home.
While dreams can range widely among stressed and anxious moms, Loewenberg offers up a list of the five most common dreams that mothers have, and gives us insight into what they could mean:
1. The strange pregnancy dream. You dream your baby is born without a face, has a full set of teeth, can talk, or is a full-grown toddler. This dream is extremely common and is often dreamt by pregnant women, especially common for first time pregnant women. It’s caused by eagerness and impatience to see your baby. Questions like what is my baby going to look like and will it resemble me are begging to be answered! When you’re pregnant, you’ve never been so impatient for something in your whole life, and your dreams will be affected by this.
2. Your child runs off and into traffic. It’s totally normal to feel out-of-control at times. This dream is a manifestation of that feeling. Even as a new mom you can already fear the day your baby will leave for college. “The traffic is the fast flow of life,” explains Loewenberg. “Before we know it, our child will be fully encompassed in that flow, all on their own, without our guidance.”
3. Your child runs off and gets lost in a crowd. This is similar to the traffic dream, but tends to be more connected to a parent’s awareness that the child is beginning to be influenced by outside forces such as television, and their peers.
4. Your child gets kidnapped. The kidnapper is a metaphor for life itself, “slowly snatching our little munchkins away from us,” Loewenberg says. Remember, you and your child will forever be connected—no matter what!
5. Falling off a building or cliff. According to Loewenberg, falling dreams are most often connected to a fear of failure or feeling like you’ve made a mistake in parenting. “When the child falls away from us in the dream it is most often caused by our concern that we may have failed our child in some way, perhaps we did not discipline correctly, for example,” she says. As parents, we will all feel this way at some point in our lives…Did I discipline them right? Was I wrong to yell? Should I have taught them differently? Keep in mind, there is no such thing as a perfect parent.
6. Drowning. These dreams often stem from feeling overwhelmed in one’s waking life, Loewenberg explains. “This dream is especially common with daughters because water is also reflective of our emotions and the mother worries that the daughter will often succumb to her own emotions in life as she grows: becoming boy crazy, allowing her emotions to drown out her reason, emotional issues she will have to endure monthly, etc.,” she says.
Loewenberg says that our dreams “…keep us aware of how fleeting time is and how precious each stage of childhood is. They enable us to hold our children tighter and tell them we love them more often.”
What are the most common dreams you have about your children, and what do you think they mean?