Motherhood is many things, but one of the most valuable things it has been teaching me lately is to face my fears head on.
I’m a nervous nelly by nature, so it wasn’t surprising to me that I fall into the category of "moms that worry about everything". Although I’d love to be a completely chill and relaxed mom, it’s just not me.
Each day I pretty much have to overcome my worries though- because life is moving ahead and I need to move and adapt with it. Some of my recent worries have involved traveling with the baby.
Since our family is all out of town, I knew we’d be on the road a lot with Olivia. Seems fine in theory but once it was time to actually do it, I worried about whether or not she’d be comfortable in the car, would she poop the minute we got on the highway? If we leave in between feedings will she be screaming to eat when we are stuck in traffic? What if we are on a bridge and she’s hungry? How will she be when in a new place? Will she sleep? Will she nap well? (and so on and so forth).
But we’re not going to stay home all of the time- it’s so important that Olivia knows her grandparents and extended family. Joe and I made a choice to be together and as a result away from family, so this is the life we will live. We need to embrace it. And we have.
Visiting my Dad and stepmom in NJ
Visiting my mom,sister and nephew in CT
Visiting Joe’s family in Pittsburgh
Then there are the everyday fears. These may seem ridiculous to you, but they are real to me!
I worry sometimes that I will dress Olivia wrong and then she will be too hot or too cold. I did this the other day when it looked grey and cloudy and cold but was really humid. She ended up being very hot and I had to strip her down to her onesie. But the next day the weather changed again, and we suited up and headed out. This time I remembered to step outside first.
Both times I ventured to the new Wegman’s in town, Olivia has been in rare form. The first time we made it in, but she was very cranky and upset the whole time. Then earlier this week we went back and she was so hysterical that I had to put my groceries back and leave. For whatever reason, it wasn’t working. I realized later that I was going to the store during her nap time. It was over stimulating and she was getting upset. This time, I fed her, she napped and we went out when she was rested. Additionally, I wore her this time (another fear that I faced because I never put her in a carrier outside the house before).
I haven’t had much luck with babywearing although I really want it to work for us. I can’t get the Ergo quite right (I think it will be easier when she can spread her legs across my body instead of froggy), and she hated the sling, mei tai, and moby. I have a Bjorn Air, that was my sisters but I wasn’t sure about using it because there are articles about it affecting baby hips. However, Olivia seemed to like the Bjorn and it is easy to use. I see a ton of people using them and figured that 30 minutes once a week is not going to do anything to hurt her. So yesterday we went for it.
And she loved it. And we got the shopping done.
Being a mom is so rewarding for so many reasons and I love it. But one of the more unexpected upsides is seeing what I am capable of. From labor to the initial pain of breastfeeding, to the every day ups and downs I am getting stronger each day. And it feels really, really, good.