I fully intended to post a blog yesterday, but I was too tired from my trip. Driving anywhere with a baby can be an adventure, but driving eight hours with a baby is definitely not for the faint of heart. We took a road trip yesterday, driving to see Daddy in a different city. While it wasn’t actually a terrible experience, it was exhausting in its own right, and not necessarily one I’m in a hurry to repeat.
My trip preparation went something like this:
- pack for me
- pack for baby
- double check what I’ve packed for baby
- pack the car
- repack the car
- unpack the car and triple check what I’ve packed for the baby
- repack the car
Anxiety had me adding things to the list and adding things to the car, and then the car was packed weirdly. I had to take everything out and repack. Then I realized I probably had too much packed, because it has to fit into my husband’s tiny car with all the things he had brought when he drove to this training in the first place. So I unpacked and triple checked for only necessities. Then I worried over what was ‘necessary’ versus what was ‘extra’.
Finally, the next morning we were able to leave – thankfully – on time. I left at four in the morning. I knew that my best chance at getting halfway through the trip before I really had to manage my son was to leave early, because I could drive four out of eight hours before he would be truly awake for the day. In theory.
The first pit stop on my list was three and a half hours out from where I left, but because there was no traffic at four a.m. we made it there in only three hours. I hesitated, but stopped there anyway, and woke the baby early. It was probably the best decision I made all day. The rest of my trip went like this:
- exit and find gas station
- get gas and hope the baby doesn’t start crying
- lug the baby in his car seat into the gas station restroom with me
- grab provisions for me
- change the baby
- feed the baby
- play with the baby
- return to the highway
- hope the baby doesn’t start crying
- repeat one more time (for a total of three pit stops)
The trip actually went incredibly smoothly for me, and I’m so grateful. My son is a really laid back baby, and it makes my life incredibly easy. For someone with such severe anxiety, babies can be really nerve-wracking. I have not often had this experience.
I had rented a car, because I planned on driving back with my husband. When I got there, it was during his work day still, and he couldn’t be there to meet me and take me back to the hotel he was staying at. So he sent his work buddy’s wife. This adds to the list of things that could have gone wrong and was something I was anxious over.
And it was yet another thing I didn’t have to worry about. It seems like, while he was stuck away from his family, all my husband did was talk about us. This woman seemed to know everything there was to know about me, and thank goodness, was so nice and helpful. She was sweet to me and willing to lend a hand where I needed it, which was exactly what I needed when arriving in a strange city with my three month old in tow.
These experiences, these things that can stress out even people without anxiety, are what I hold onto during times when I feel like I’m about to be overwhelmed. Experiences where, despite my anxiety, things went exactly right, and the people involved were helpful and pleasant to deal with. It’s things like this that give me hope that someday, I might be able to overcome anxiety. Until then, I’m blessed with a little one who eases my anxiety, and a loving husband who understands and helps me with it. And we take it all one day at a time.
– Monster Mama