My entire adult life, I valued my independence. I loved trying out new restaurants with friends, going to the movies, going camping/hiking, grabbing a cup of coffee, and occasionally going dancing. This didn’t change when my husband and I started dating, when we got married, or even when I got pregnant.
Everything changed when I had Logan.
I don’t know what happened exactly. Was it the exhaustion of being a new parent, the lack of opportunity for a daily shower, or the inability to get away from the baby without leaking breast milk everywhere? Whatever the case may be, I kept myself locked away in the house only very rarely leaving; most often when I could coax my poor husband to venture out with us on his day off.
I went from being an extremely self-sufficient and self-aware woman to being quite nervous about venturing out with a new baby and unnecessarily self-conscious about the extra weight around my middle. As Logan grew and developed acid reflux plus a variety of food allergies, I worried about colicky (embarrassing) meltdowns while we were in public. Or worse, the insane diaper blowout (in our disposable diaper days) that would inevitably happen when I was out and alone. We’d end our outing with me and Logan COVERED in poop while both of us cried. I figured what was the point of experiencing this in the outside world when it happened inside of the home already?
To make matters worse, we are a one-car family, and my husband works nights. I chose to let all these factors affect my social life communicating through technology instead of in person. I actively participate in mom groups online, but I always find reasons we can’t attend the meetings often worrying about interactions with other parents that I don’t know particularly well. I don’t know why I get anxious since all the ladies in my mom groups are awesome people, but I worry that somehow I won’t fit in. Some things never change even when you grow up.
Only recently, I’d say in the past few months, I’ve begun making it a priority to reach out to friends and actively make an effort for Logan to go play or go to the library. I know I need to work harder to socialize him. In an effort to remedy the hermit lifestyle I’ve created for us, I signed us up for the weekly toddler time at our local library. I’m excited to have a weekly Wednesday morning routines for Logan to look forward to. I have high hopes that my little man will enjoy himself and maybe conquer a bit of the anxiety we’ve noticed in him since his dental work two weeks ago. Plus, I’m going to try out a class at The Little Gym. If all of this goes well, we’ll get a membership and then I’ll work on enrolling him in swim lessons. Slowly but surely I’m getting us out of the house, helping Logan grow and develop new skills, and giving us an all-around happier life.