Friday, August 24, 2012

on leaving the house

I have been hanging on to the blog Rookie Moms for dear life. The idea of doing small "challenges" to get new moms comfortable with getting back to their pre-baby lives has been both scary and enticing to me, since I've been defaulting to staying in the apartment most days. On the need for Fearless Fridays in the first year:
That first year, however, my world was so small and my fears were so sharply surprising and unfamiliar, I was not able to look beyond my immediate surroundings. I could only focus on my baby and surviving my new role as a working mom. I feel ok about that now. I can’t apologize for it, and I fully expect to repeat that experience when my second child arrives this summer.

All over again, I might be afraid to leave the house, to nurse in public, to commit to a social engagement, or to wear anything that makes me look worse than I already feel.

So, in honor of Fearless Friday, I invite our newbie mom readers to do something that scares them. Whether it’s drive into the city with your baby, take a shower while she’s lying in her crib, breastfeed at a department store, mix up a bottle during an errand, or change a diaper in the trunk of your car.

Identify what exactly you fear. Is it that the baby will cry and you will feel guilty? You will feel embarrassed? The baby will be hurt? You will have forgotten something that you need? People will think you are a bad mother? You will feel overwhelmed and disorganized?

Once you’ve figured out what you fear, you can try to approach it with fearlessness.
Maybe it's a little too "rah rah motherhood" for some people (and probably for me prior to Linnea's birth), but right now, it's giving me some courage to take small steps.


Molly said...

Ah, changing diapers in the trunk. It took us over a year to figure this one out. It's the only flat surface in your car. Changing a baby on the front seat is ridiculous since the baby is sliding and rolling the entire time. Makes life so much easier.

I like this. I feel like I've had to do this now that I'm home with both kids, only now it's things like "take two small children berry picking" or "take them both to Gilroy Gardens" or even "go grocery shopping alone with both kids." Seems like no brainers to women who have always stayed home, but I still feel new to this. I'm seriously afraid to go do things with both kids, but every time I do, I realize I am totally capable of doing it. And doing just about everything. And I'll be fine, and the kids will be fine. There is wisdom to this post.

madichan said...

Exactly, Molly; things will be fine. I think I'm still feeling a bit paralyzed by the fear that SOMETHING COULD GO WRONG without even thinking through what that "something" is. I'm still tentative taking her places that are "normal" (as opposed to baby-friendly, like new mom support group), but am slowly getting there.

Juicy J said...

I have just recently become more brave about taking my daughter out of the house. It's easier to stay home, and we usually do just that, but when we do need to go somewhere I try to be as prepared as possible. It gets easier. The first time we took an outing just the two of us, I packed her in her stroller and we walked around the neighborhood. Even then all I could think about was what if she starts crying or what if I forgot something? I still stress out if she cries while I'm driving or if I'm in the shower but I've learned to relax a bit more.