I’ve decided that it’s okay to avoid situations that make me anxious. I don’t always have the energy to mind muscle my way through something just to “prove” to my inner psyche that everything will be fine.
Take showering for instance. But isn’t that supposed to be a relaxing, comforting experience? Not when you have young children, especially a new baby! Showering for me was a race to squeeze it in while my baby was napping and my non-napping toddler was otherwise engaged, or an awkward game of “stop pulling the shower curtain open” and “your baby brother doesn’t need his hair washed with toilet bowl water.”
While I could just have a shower in the evening when my husband is home from work, sometimes I like to be somewhat “fresh” feeling before he comes home, plus I generally prefer showering in the morning.
So, one afternoon I got the idea to put my (then a bit older) baby in his exersaucer with some Cheerios and let my toddler play on her own in a safe area of the house while I showered. Sounds like a sane plan… except that’s when the panic kicked in. I was showering a couple minutes when I thought I heard a little cough, and I had to leap out of the shower and run down the hallway naked to put to ease the mental images of my baby’s imminent DEATH BY CHEERIO.
He was fine.
(Of course he was fine!)
I was not. I was a mess.
“Why would I have a shower now? How could I put my son at risk by letting me eat without me watching him? What was I thinking?” (Plus other general thoughts that wound their way down the rabbit hole to the conclusion that I was a terrible mother.)
Really, it wasn’t worth it. So I switched to showering in the evening. But now in our new home, we have a main floor bathroom with a shower! Which is bizarre, considering we have two showers upstairs and one in the basement. When we first bought the place, I was adamant that I was going to pull the shower out and turn it into a linen closet. But I think I’ll wait on that…
I can keep the bathroom door open and keep an eye on my kids while showering! Who, I should add, were quite safely eating food cut up into minute size pieces while watching Paw Patrol. (Ryder and his team of pups “save the day” quite frequently in our home).
My sister-in-law was right. She said I might find the main floor shower useful. And she would know, after having three boys close in age.
It sure feels nice being clean AND have one less thing to worry about!
What solutions have you come up with to reduce anxiety in your life? Let me know in the comments!