Sunday, July 14, 2013

What was I thinking?

I had this brilliant idea three months ago. I decided I would take some time off from work to go to an out-of-state church meeting in July. But the kicker is that I'd decided to leave the boys with my parents and go with a group of women instead.

"It will be so fun!" I told myself...

"The boys will have a great time with their cousins." I said...

"You'll have a great time being a 'girl' instead of a 'mom'." I convinced myself...

Well, it's almost here, and I'm starting to freak out a little. I've never been away from my boys for that long. At first I was just worried about how they would be without me.... now I'm worried about how I will be without them. I'm picturing myself huddled in a corner somewhere, rocking back and forth, mumbling gibberish like "Must....see.....boys....".

Deep down I know this will be good for them and for me. I'm just... I don't know....worried I guess. My youngest still has some separation issues since the divorce. He used to be so independent, but now he's very clingy and always wanting to keep me in his sights. So I know this will be hard on him, but good for him too. My oldest I think will be fine. He loves spending time with his cousins, but tonight in a moment of sleepiness he asked me if I really had to be gone that long. That about made me cancel the whole thing.

The truth is, I don't know who I am without them. It's been so long since I had any sort of identity that didn't involve being a mom that I don't know how to act without them. Even just this weekend I went to a beautiful wedding by myself... and I was lost. Utterly, and completely lost. I felt like I was missing something and was looking for it the whole time. Social situations are hard for me to handle, but they are even harder for me without them. It's almost like they are my social safety net. If I don't have anyone to talk to, it's ok, I can just go watch the boys. I'm not going to have that on my trip. I will have to be social no matter how awkward I am. That scares me to death.

Not to mention the fact that I will miss them like crazy. The nights they stay with their dad are good for me, I get a lot done, but by the next day I'm ready to see them again. I'm ready to hug them and be silly with them. I'm ready to have them back with me at home. So I'm just worried I'm going to get two days into this trip and start begging for a ride home, like a motion-sick kid on a carnival ride begging the conductor to make it stop so he can get off. I'm really afraid I'll be that frantic.

I need to just breathe, and pray. I keep thinking back and trying to figure out why I thought this would be a good idea. But I have faith that it will all be ok.

I just need to take it one little baby step at a time, and try to occupy my mind with other things while I'm there.


  1. I had the exact same thoughts this weekend. I am not a social situations kind of person and I know I hide behind the boys. We had a big crowd Sunday morning and I actually thought about how glad I was to have the boys with me so that I didn't have to talk to anybody while I was busy with them. Then the thought hit me that they won't always be needing me to watch them or sit beside them. I got really panicky at that thought. I don't know if I will still have the ability or knowledge to know how to carry on a conversation when they are past the point of needing me by their side. We can stand by each other then so we don't look hopelessly lost! Rachel

    1. That is exactly how I feel! They already don't need me around as much as they used to, and it's tough. I still find myself looking for them to see if they need me when I'm feeling awkward. We will have to help each other through this the older they get. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels this way.

  2. My prayers were answered, it went great! The boys were angels for my parents, and I had a great time with the girls! I still had lots of social anxiety, but the more people I meet the better that will get. I'm glad you all were there!

  3. Recently I read that the act of us introverts surviving prolonged social situations is "emotional labor." I totally agree with that idea. Labor is not bad, but it is hard, and we have to rest up (in quiet and solitude, for us introverts) in order to face the next round. It's similar to sleeping at night to face the next work day or giving our muscles a rest before the next workout. If that is true, the more we "exercise," hopefully the more stamina we will build up. :)

  4. Add prayer to the quiet and solitude part. :)

    1. I have noticed that the more social situations I'm in, the easier the next one is. I need to work out more often. :-)