Confession: I rarely go out of the house with just me and Harper.
I see pictures that awesome moms post when they are out doing their grocery shopping (with coupons! and a budget!) with three kids in tow. I see moms who have 4 kids to get in and out of carseats each time they go anywhere. I have friends who are extremely competent and capable moms, and I know they truly "run" their household, doing what they need to do, hauling kids with them without a thought. That all seems terrifying to me. Ever since Harper was born, I haven't done much alone (with her), besides the (almost) weekly walks with friends. Luckily, Tony's usually up for us all going to run errands or just take a casual stroll through Target once he gets home from work. And sometimes if I need to do a quick errand, I will go out once she's in bed for the night.
At first it was the fear of a full-out newborn meltdown. Then that phase passed, and it was work alone just to be at home and make sure she ate/slept when she needed to and some laundry got done. Then that passed and she was fine to sleep if it was nap time and we were out. Then she started finding her voice and I was once again afraid of a loud baby annoying others. Then she got to the point where she does not nap if we are out - there's just way too much to look at. And what do you do? - push a stroller and hold a basket, or put the carrier in the basket (what if it doesn't fit with the other stuff you are putting it it?), and now she fits in the basket seats but she slumps because she's pretty little still.... You get the idea.
I'm the type of person who plans out errands based on location and avoiding left turns across traffic. I plan where to park and how to carry the things I need to carry. I overthink and micromanage. I'm a crazy person, basically. So usually, the thought of just going somewhere seems more trouble than it's worth. I'll just wait until Tony gets home and the details will work out better (I push the stroller, he pushes the basket, boom). I'm not a hermit by any means, or anxiety-riddled, I just am lazycrazy, I guess.
Honestly I think it's more so my mom insecurity - I don't want to seem like I don't know what I'm doing when there are others there to see. It's so silly, but if I'm struggling to get her in a cart and she's slumping over and crying and I didn't remember to bring a toy...I just imagine a veteran mom laughing at me in her head. Crazy, right? Like that would ever happen. I have one kid for crying out loud! And no one cares what I'm doing or what I look like doing it.
And Harper is a little clock - she eats and sleeps so very predictably these days. We got her on a pretty specific schedule from day one, which has been awesome for all of us, but sometimes it feels a bit restrictive. I want her to take her 2 hour naps in her crib, not fall asleep randomly in the car and be a mess the rest of the day because she's off schedule. You can predict down to about a 5 minute span when she will start melting down if eating/sleeping doesn't occur as planned. Since she eats food food now, that's even more awake time that's taken up and not workable out and about (well, it is, but it's so very messy! and she screeches between bites). We've gotten a million times more flexible about her schedule as she's gotten older (because she's so used to it, one day off doesn't destroy it all anymore), but it's still hard to throw that all to the wind.
Yet she's recently (finally!) dropped down to just 2, two hour naps a day (thanks to some unplanned (on her part) prodding from Janna), with a big awake time from 3 til bedtime at 7:30. To make that stretch a little better, I've been trying to keep her up longer than two hours around lunch time. So really I have even more time now to go out.
All of this rambling simply to say that I need to get over it. Today I did.
We went to Ross for a few things. She fit in the basket fine. And she hollered, but it was ok - there were literally 5 other small babies in there. No one cared. I dragged her into the post office, and instead of the usual trolls who reside there, there was a really nice lady who talked to us right away. Turns out her daughter was born two days before Harper.
Especially as the days turn nicer and she gets older and easier, I have to stop being afraid or insecure and get the heck out of this house. I'm sure once Kid 2 comes around, I won't care at all and will be out constantly, so I may as well get used to it now. Errands, no-reason Target visits (just window shopping, of course), playdates with friends who also have kids at home, playground trips, you name it. It needs to happen.
Anyone else crazy like this? Or any good suggestions on how to get over it?