Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Feel Good, I Feel Great, I Feel Wonderful

Going on a vacation is stressful. Isn't that ridiculous? But, for me it is true. Not only is there the house to clean from top to bottom (I want our mothers [who are watching our boys] to think we ALWAYS live in a sparkling clean home even though I'm sure they know better), the groceries to stock up on, all of the laundry to do so the boys have plenty of clean clothes while we are gone, the routines to review with the grandmas, the medicines (the boys [and me] are fighting colds) to go over, and the lists of instructions to write, but I also have to contend with some deep seeded anxieties.

I am a worrier. I worry. It's what I do. I try not to let it rule my life. For the most part I appear to be a fun, carefree person. But, ever since becoming a mom the worrier in me is really hard to reign in.

No matter what I am doing with the boys I picture catastrophes. If I am cooking in the kitchen I picture a big pot of boiling water falling on the boys' heads even though the pots are on the back burners with the handles turned in. If I'm driving in the minivan I am on constant alert for any driver that is speeding, weaving, not paying attention, or that might miss a stop sign. If we are at the park I picture one of my boys falling down the metal ladder and breaking his neck. Or, falling off the top of the slide and paralyzing himself. Or tripping up the steps and bashing his teeth out. Or, any number of things. If we are playing baseball in the backyard I constantly hover over the boys as they swing the bat to ensure no one gets knocked in the head, falling to the ground, unconscious. And, ya know what? The bat is plastic. If we are playing out in the front yard I listen for cars that are blocks away and quickly estimate the rate of speed they are going in order to rule out the possibility that they are a drunk driver that will zoom down the street, jump the curb, and take out my entire family. It is awful. This brain of mine. I just can't help it.

So, as I pack my bags to head to the Keys with the hubby my brain is in overdrive. The pictures are even more vivid. The accidents the most severe. Only this time I'm not with my children in these sick little nightmares. I am all the way across the country sipping drinks and relaxing. Relaxing while my child's life hangs in the balance from falling out of a second story window (why this would happen I have no idea).
I hear that mothers often do this as a way to prepare themselves for anything that could possibly harm their children. A kind of mama bear instinct or something. I don't know if that is right or not. My mom seems to think that because my sister died at 9 years old I grew up knowing that death can happen to anyone at any age. No one is immune. And so it is always running through my mind. The possibility. The worst case scenario. I'm not sure that is right either.

I know I can't prevent bad things from happening to my boys. But at least I can be there if something does happen. This weekend I won't be here, and it freaks me out. I've had a headache for three days now. I can imagine why.

Ugh. I don't mean to complain about going on a vacation. What a knob. How about some whine with my cheese? {insert eyeroll here} I really am very excited about going on a romantic getaway with the hubby, just the two of us. Truly, I am. And to be honest, we really need it right now. I just wish life came with some guarantees.

I am sure that once my toes hit the sand tomorrow afternoon, and I've made the first phone call home to check on the boys, I'll be able to relax and enjoy my time in the sun. I'm sure in a few days I'll be writing about how wonderful the break was and how I can't wait to go again. I know the boys will be just fine and will be excited, happy, and healthy when we return.

Now, if only I could find the OFF button on my brain.


wright said...

So true! I am a worrier too. I have never left my baby for more than a few hours (and only with family). I am hoping to get away this summer on a romantic trip with my hubby, but I'm not sure I can stand to be away!

I'm sure everything will be fine and you'll have a wonderful time on vacay! Have a fruity drink with an unbrella for me!

Tonya said...

Oh I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one that has these awful thoughts. I did just read in my Bible study that said the brain can not simultaneously produce fear and thankfulness. I am learning to start being thankful when I start to fear/worry things. I hope it has helped me when I realize the fear/worry that is.

Dawn said...

I'm guessing you WILL have a wonderful time...and so will those sweet boys of yours while they spend time with their grandmas. :)

Anonymous said...

We all do it Kat. I promise. And, I'm banking on the OFF button being at the bottom of a drink in Margaritaville.

Momma said...

A little bit of worry is a perfectly "Mom" thing to do, but it sounds like you've had some events in your life that caused you to switch into overdrive on the worry meter after you had kids of your own.

IMHO, it would be really good for you to reign that in. Talk to someone about it. It could be bad for your kids to have you hovering, especially since most of us put ourselves in imminent danger all the time when we were growing up, and we made it out alive.

The truth about control? You can't have any. There are little things you can control, sure, and it sounds like you have that well in hand. But the big things? Like who lives and who dies? No control, sweetie. None of us have that. That kind of control belongs to God and God alone.

I wish you peace and relaxation on your vacation. Turn to the man next to you, give him a big smooch, and remember how happy you both make each other...Peace - D

Mom24 said...

Good luck. It is hard, there's no denying that. The first time we really left our kids (in almost 23 years) was this January. We went on a cruise--stupid, stupid. I swear I cried at the airport, and as soon as the ship started pulling away from the dock, I totally freaked out. I really lost it. I felt very bad for my DH. It was bad. Fortunately, I got over it and we had a wonderful time. I won't be doing that again anytime soon though--I'll take my trips (if I ever find someone to stay with my kids again), closer to home.

I hope you have a great time. Your kids will be wonderful being spoiled by their grandmas. I totally share your pain though. I lost my brother when I was 15, and I know it's left me with the knowledge that life can change on a dime.

Elaine A. said...

I will pray that you are at peace while on vacation. You and your hubby both deserve it and the boys will have a great time with your parents.

Let us know if you come back from your vacay with a little souvenir (wink, wink!) : )

Motherhood for Dummies said...

Im a worrier also. But hey you adn your hubby are gonig off alone for a vacation! Now that is relaxing!

Kristen said...

Hang in there! And remember that you can be back home if need be, BUT there will not be any reason for you to go back.

I worry too. I think that is part of the x cromosome. But, remember that the "grandmas" raised you guys and they know what they are doing. That is at least, what I always try to tell myself.

I hope you have a glorious time, and enjoy a MUCH deserved break from the stresses of life. :)

Sandy C. said...

If you can find that mental "off" button, please share. I'm sorry you lost your sister at 9yrs old. In some ways, I can believe worrying could have stemmed from that. My extreme thoughts resemble yours, especially after becoming a nurse.

That being said, once that warm Florida sun kisses your skin and your toes sink into the sand (and you hear the sound of your boys via phone), your vacation will be AH-mazing :)

Wishing you safe travels!

lime said...

oh honey, i do pray you can find that off button long enough to unwind and relax and enjoy. deep will be ok.

MamaGeek said...

Me and you both. I worry about my worrying. How sad is that!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have a fantastic time! Safe and happy travels my friend!

Jewelgirl said...

Have Fab Trip Girl!
Time for some R&R for you both!

maggie's mind said...

You are a good mom, and so you worry. Plus some, probably because experiences shape us. I bet I'd be the same way since I'm already like that even without babies. You are leaving them in such safe and careful hands, though, the safest and most careful, really, so relax and enjoy. You deserve it!

Family Adventure said...

You will have a great time, and the boys will, too. Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy!


High Heeled Mama said...

Ah, worry. What a horrible monster. But you will have a wonderful trip. Deep breath and have fun!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I'm the same way. I hope you enjoy your time away! : )


Kelly said...

Have a great time~ you DO deserve it!! I"m the exact same way as you though. I tend to over-worry about everything! Traveling makes me a basket case b/c of everything I need to do leading up to it. Once I hit the road, it takes me a few hours to take some breaths and finally relax. Your kids will be in good hands, enjoy yourselves!!

Lisa said...

I do the exact same thing. Hubby says I'm morbid - I just think I'm a mom who has an extra worry gene!

I'm guessing since Todd is a lawyer you have a will written up along with who would care for your kids, right? That helped me to relax a lot more when Hubby & I went to Vegas this past winter. To know my wishes were in writing.

Know it's good for your boys to see you & Daddy as a couple who do things for your marriage. It will help them when they are grown men in their own marriages!!!

Enjoy the sun, sand & have a fruity drink for me - it will be fabulous, I promise :)

Wisconsin Mommy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your kind words! I am also thrilled to find another Wisconsinite.

Have a wonderful time on your vacation - I know just what you mean...but try to relax anyways!!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Remember several years ago when all anyone could talk about was the g-spot? I couldn't get past that when you talked about the OFF button in your brain... I just dragged your post Into the Gutter, didn't I?
Have a great, great trip and make sure to pad the walls before you leave-- unless they're still selling plastic body bubbles at the local dime store? ;-)
Oh, and I love this song-- I was considering putting it on my playlist this morning! I so like you... *hugs*

painted maypole said...

I'm so sorry about your sister.

and that worrying? a bit extreme. I hope you have fun and relax!

Laski said...

From one worrier to anther (man can my brain conjure up some ridiculous images) . . . RELAX. The only thing to worry about is running out of sunscreen.

Have a safe (from the worrier side of me) and WONDERFUL trip!!!

EatPlayLove said...

Have a great time! I can't imagine going away with my hubby and not my girls..Someday. I hope.

CC said...

Hugs! It will be great! I wish I could say I've felt the same...but I've got no one to leave the kids with to even try!

Brittany said...

Have a great time!!!!

Just Joni said...

I do the same thing! When my kids started driving my brain would invent these terrible images of them along side a road somewhere and now when it happens I try to shake it must be a maternal thing which might be a good thing so that when my daughter has kids she'll understand why I freaked out when she wanted to drive long distances!

enjoy your vacation ~

Hilary said...

A little worrying is a good thing as it keeps you on your toes. But a lot of worrying consumes you. I fully understand why you do it though. My thoughts echo Mammas.

I suspect though, as you said, that once you've touched base, you'll relax and enjoy fully. I wish you a wonderful time.

just jamie said...


This one TOTALLY nails me too. Thank you for bringing me peace as I continue to worry. The teeth. I'm ALWAYS worrying they'll knock out their sparkly white baby teeth. The boiling water, same fear although it's tucked to the back of the stove too. It's a Mommy thing I suppose.

I'm on vacation too. And to add to the worrying, I worry that something will happen to us while we're away ... you know the feeling? I just want to get home to my babies (and relax on vacation). I usually hide a letter to them somewhere in the house.

Thanks for sharing sentiment with me.

the dragonfly said...

I'm paranoid about my son too, a feeling strengthened when we were in the hospital for five days when he was just two weeks old. I'm getting better...but I'm pretty sure I'm always going to be a worrier. I think it just comes with being a mom.

susiej said...

I ditto everything you said!! It's HARD!!!

Anonymous said...

And then I think to myself "Someone else is probably more likely to keep them away from second-story windows than I am."

david mcmahon said...

You'll be fine, as soon as your toes hit the sand!

Cyndi said...

Hey, I just found your blog and wanted to say hey.


I hope you are able to relax on your vacation.

ConverseMomma said...

Oh honey, you are so riding the anxiety train. But don't feel bad, I a totally the conductor of that train. Stinks, doesn't it?

Laura McIntyre said...

Im very much a worrier to, relax and enjoy yourself bet you have a great time

DysFUNctional Mom said...

My meds help me with those freakish worries!! ha ha
I hope you have a wonderful time in the Keys......we're going in September. I can't wait to see pics!

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