Today I was so proud of myself!! My husband and brother in law were running in the Chester half Marathon. I was to drive in on my own with both the girls and meet up with my mother inlaw, sister in law and my lovely little niece who’s 1. I felt a bit anxious about it all. About finding somewhere to park, about the huge crowds of people, about pushing Amelia in the pushchair through those crowds whilst keeping Sofia safe beside me. I wasn’t looking forward to it at all.
I have to admit, I rarely venture out with the children by myself, unless it’s to the local park, or school run or generally somwhere where there’s not many other people around. I think of all the stressful things that could go wrong. I think of all the people who simply don’t have any spacial awareness and stop dead right in front of you, then proceed to give you disapproving looks when you inadvertently ram their heels with the pushchair. Well I’m not a mind reader and maybe I wish I’d rammed them a bit harder! I think of all the people who don’t look down and see my petite 4 year old struggling to hang on to the pushchair because everyone’s barging past her with enough force to move a bulldozer. And then I think of how easy it would be for someone to take advantage of my situation and take Sofia away from me. Slightly irrational, I know, but it DOES happen. The mothers always stating “she was right beside me then the next thing she was gone”. Gone into a sea of people that when ladened on my own with a pushchair full of shopping and my other precious child, I’d be powerless to do anything about. It scares me. So I completely avoid those situations if I can.
But today was different. Before today, I have tried going to the local market or modest shopping centre with the girls and physically have to psyche myself up. A big job. And every time, I survived but so glad to get home, that it was over and I didn’t have to experience that again for a while. Exactly what was different about today, I’m not sure. I went to bed last night with the familiar knots in my tummy, over thinking all the things that could go awry the next day. But when this morning came, I was surprisingly ok. Apart from the panic that I thought we were going to be late, it went fine. We parked at the park and ride, got on the bus, got off and walked to the finish line without a hitch. Managed to meet up with where the inlaws were and keep the girls happy. It helped I had cupcakes with me!
And then I surprised myself. It was fairly crowded where we were stood and I couldn’t get the pushchair near the barrier. Not wanting the girls to miss out on spotting their superhero daddy run past, I thought it be a good idea for me to go further up the road to see if I could find a better spot. So finally with adult support and I was willing to go it alone with the girls, into the sea of people to improve our view spot. And just a few yards down we managed to find a better spot and the family came to join us. I actually smiled to myself at my small accomplishment! It certainly helped the girls were good as gold today. Sofia was so complicent to everything I asked of her and Amelia was content at being in her pushchair, again, I had a copious amount of cupcakes!
We spotted Glyn run past. I’ve never heard the girls shout so loudly or wave so enthusiastically!!! I could have cried! And then I did it again. I set off to find Glyn. Glyn’s mum came with me this time, which I’m always glad of, but I can honestly say that even if she hadn’t, I wouldn’t have minded.
I really feel like I’ve turned a corner today. That something’s changed inside me. I wasn’t stressed in the least little bit. Perhaps that’s why the girls were so good. Perhaps in the past they have picked up only anxieties which makes them act up. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have gone out with the girls on a few occasions so it all felt a little more familiar, a little more normal. I think that it was me that made the difference in today. I accepted the challenge and rose to it.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. As today when so well, I feel filled with confidence for our next outing. I feel like I WANT to take them out only own again. That I can actually enjoy it instead of stressing over every little thing. This excites me. It broadens the range of places we can go, the things we can see and do. And this will surely enrich their lives and in turn, make me a better mummy for allowing them to have those experiences. All because I now feel I don’t have to wait until some else is free before we can go anywhere. The world is our oyster! Well maybe just stick to Chester for know. One step at a time!