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Thread: Feeling so overwhelmed with going out

  1. #1

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    Dec 2007
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    Default Feeling so overwhelmed with going out

    I am not sure where to put this one..



    I am starting to get so overwhelmed with going out with my kids without DH.

    For the most part my children are good.. They will sit quietly and amuse each other for a little while, but I also believe they should be able to be kids and not have to sit still for me to have a coffee/lunch at catch up with friends (that is an awful long time for a little one). Now DS is quite mobile (on his feet, but not walking solo yet), the thought of going places scares me, so much so that I feel sick at the thought of it. I am happy to have catch ups at peoples houses, but not play centres, lunches at cafes etc..

    Am I the only one?

    I feel really bad. I was meant to go for a meet with some other Mum's earlier this week, but when the time came, I felt so sick in the morning, think I read more into the small signs of the children that they might be unwell, and didn't go.. Turns out we were all fine by lunch time.. I don't like letting others down, but then I feel so worked up about going and make it all seem so much worse..

  2. #2

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    oh hun, it sounds like you are sufering some anxiety atm x

    One way to overcome the anxiety is to take small steps.

    Maybe step one would be to take the kids with a friend to a small cafe/restaurant/playcafe when its not busy. An once you can manage to go there without feeling that huge anxiety, then go somewhere bigger, then go somewhere with the kids but without the friend, so you are doing it on your own.

    Baby steps usually works well for me x

  3. #3

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    take it one step at a time...could you take the kids out with your mum or a close friend who understand what you're going through? And just stay for a short time, a quick drink or morning tea, and then gradually extend it until you would have time to have a proper meal. Choose a cafe that is kid-friendly (have high chairs, maybe a toy basket for the kids).

    I worry about going out with DD, but I've enjoyed the couple of times we have had morning tea or lunch together at a lovely cafe in town. Even if I've eaten really quickly so we can be out of there before she gets sick of sitting! We went to a chinese restaurant when family were down here for her birthday, she was pretty loud and kept throwing food all over the floor (just great trying to pick up bits of rice off the floor! Lol), but you know kids will be kids and you can't shut them in a box, so I think as long as they are being pretty well behaved try not to worry too much, and even if they do throw a tantrum, it's not the end of the world

  4. #4

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    No!..Definitely not the only one!
    I dread it a bit too..it's hard work! My little ones aren't overly naughty either, but still having them out in a public place where they are confined really scares me sometimes too!

    Don't feel bad Having little ones close together in agecan be very stressful but it will get easier

  5. #5

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    No, definitely not the only one, especially indoor play centres. I actually didn't show up to a BB meetup a few months ago because it was at a play centre and I chickened out When it was just DS and I, it was ok as I could watch him carefully. Now that I have DD as well and she still needs alot of my attention, needs feeding etc, I can't keep my eyes on DS all the time. Every time we have been to an indoor play centre this year, he has hurt himself, fallen off something and now I just don't go to them. I am so paranoid that I'll lose him or he'll really injure himself. I much prefer catch ups at friends houses or just at playgroup, feels safer itms...

    don't feel bad about it! You're not the only one.

  6. #6

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    Is it worth going into it thinking that your kids may enjoy it (even if they are sitting still for a while)?

    Although it may be unusual, my DD loves coming out for a coffee with friends / family. She gets to have a babycino (frothed milk) and feels like she is so grown up. Perhaps you are feeling guilty about them having to sit still when they really wouldn't mind? Get them to pack some small toys / colouring books that they'd like to do when out and if they want to roam, let them within reason.

    Perhaps it's just because I only have one, that I actually find this time enjoyable, and DD does too. Just a different perspective, may or may not help.

  7. #7

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    hey darl, do you suffer anxiety? this sounds like agoraphobia, which contrary to popular belief, is not only the fear of open spaces.
    definately start with slow steps, get used to taking the kids out shopping on your own, maybe sit with them and have a drink etc, then try a play centre (where all kids are going feral anyway), and go from there.
    baby steps honey, i've been there too and know how annoying it is.

  8. #8

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    I haven't suffered anxiety in the past, but it does sound like it now.. There have been a been a few upheavals in my family of late (my parent separating after 40 yrs, and now my Mum and brother and family are moving 3000 k's away), so whether that is getting to me, even though my Dad is biggest support, and he is staying put here.

    I used to go without a hassle when I just had DD, and was fine going with both of them before DS was mobile as well. It has only been since DS has become mobile.

    They will both sit still for 15 mins or so, and that is a big effort for such little active people. I don't like letting them run around where they can get hurt or bother others like in a cafe. And when we go somewhere with a play area, DD wants me with her, and I don't mind that, cause I don't like not having her near me when we are out in public.. Suppose it is just hard to have to have 2 sets of eyes, and 2 sets of arms, to watch and keep both safe..

    In the home environment at anyone's house, DD is fine to leave me side, so obviously she doesn't like being away from me in public places either..

    But I will try and work on getting out..

  9. #9

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    hun, its sounds like you have had a lot of big changes lately, just go easy on yourself, try not to make a big deal out of this for yourself, just take it slow and take those baby steps xx

  10. #10

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    Big hugs. I agree with what everyone else has said... small steps designed to face your fears are the best way to beat anxiety, and it sounds as though you've had a lot on your plate lately so go really easy on yourself. Anxiety usually kicks in when we feel our ability to handle something just won't match the threat we're facing (or at least, the threat we perceive). With your parents' recent separation, it's really normal to feel your resilience is sapped and that you just can't handle what you used to.

    Can you have a think about what you feel scared of at the prospect of going out? What's the worst case scenario you're imagining? Sometimes just shedding a light on that and thinking logically about it is enough. If not, make a plan around how you would handle it in the (usually unlikely) event that your worst fears came true. Your munchkins sound fantastic... 15 mins of sitting still in a public place at those ages is great! (I would worry if they didn't have ants in their pants after that amount of time!!!) It's natural for your protective instincts to kick up a few gears when in public where you can't control all aspects of the environment (or watch their every move), and I think it's hard how as mothers we're constantly forced to second guess our instincts or ignore them for the sake of following what's considered 'socially appropriate'. Having said that, I think the feeling of anxiety can make us 'see' things that aren't there, like you mentioned about thinking your kids were getting sick. Definitely take it slowly but be wary of avoiding too much... I've found that gives short term relief but doesn't really help in the long run.

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