Next year I won’t have him all to myself, except on the weekends and the holidays on a public school calendar. It’s a fact that use to, frankly, elate me. FREE CHILDCARE ALL WEEK!

Until it got closer to reality.

This year, I intended to put him in pre-k 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday. But then there was that tiny tugging in my heart. He’s only all mine for one more year. I’m blessed enough to be in the position to keep him with me an extra day a week, and I suddenly found myself longing to make the most of it.

Funday Mondays. We’ll have a different outing planned for each Monday. That’s what we’ll do.

That’s what we’ll have to do because if I don’t have a plan for the day and we just stay around here, well, it’s a struggle. I know this because I’ve been living this.

In the past, it’s been much “easier” to just stay home with the kids on days they’re not in preschool than to take them both somewhere because I wouldn’t have to deal with my anxiety beyond the confines of these walls. I didn’t have to worry about their behavior… or mine. But “easy” is such a bullshit excuse because really, I’m just trading excitement and memory-making for convenience… my own convenience.

Granted, this time last year, my anxiety was at a paralyzing level, and I’m dealing with it better and better every day, but I still have the urge to just want to hole up and not subject myself to the… inconveniences of it all in public.

OUT we went today (and last Monday, too). To the aquarium.

Leyna practically hugged the sting rays in the bay (where we were allowed and even encouraged to pet them).

Kendall excitedly pointed out every fish he recognized from Finding Nemo, and he asked question after question.

“Can I hear the ocean in that shell?”
“Is that a shrimp?”
“Where are the swordfish?” 

Tonight, for probably the 20th time since we left the aquarium, he turned to me as he got into bed.

“I had a REALLY good time today, mom.”

I can not remember the last time he said that to me, unprovoked, on a day that I was entirely responsible for his entertainment. I’m not sure that he ever has.

But I hope I hear it a lot more. It’s worth the anxious inconvenience.

18 thoughts on “The Anxious Inconvenience”

  1. Ah yes good old anxiety. Currently my anxiety is so bad I feel like it is choking me. I try really hard to keep it in check so that it doesn’t affect my daughter. I am just telling you this so you know that you are not alone. Thank you for sharing your story because now, I know, that I am not alone.

  2. How fun! So, I haven’t shared this on the blog but my job is actually Tuesday through Saturday. So I get Sunday and Monday off instead. I am actually really excited to have Monday with the whole fam (Naaman is off too) and do something each Monday together.

    We’re making memories, man. Sometimes it’s worth the stress of taking two kids out in public 😉

  3. This is fantastic. I’m slowly learning to venture out more with both. Madison and I were best friends. I took her everywhere and anywhere and then when I had two I let that be my excuse to not go anywhere. I’m trying to get out of that.

    P.S. We totally love the Dallas Children’s Aquarium. I wish it was closer! It’s just small enough and short enough to keep the kiddos entertained and not have it drag on & on.

    If you ever venture to Fort Worth the Children’s Museum is FULL OF ALL THE THINGS TO DO. It’s awesome.

  4. I hear ya. I hole myself (ourselves) up way too much due to anxiety, stress… well, really, it’s more the fear of anxiety, isn’t it?

    Because I loves me some blog wisdom, Kelle Hampton did a great post a while back where she talks about how “it’s always worth it” – these little adventures with the kiddos.

    I’ve held onto those words, and used them to thrust myself out into the world more. Not for me, but for FireGirl. Because it is always worth it.

    And your post today is another lovely reminder of that. It’s always worth it. It’s always worth that “anxious inconvenience”.

    1. You’re so right… it’s more the FEAR of the anxiety. Sucks that it has that much power over our lives sometimes that the mere thought of it paralyzes us. Good for you for getting out there more, too.

  5. I know that feeling all too well. I try to schedule outings for us at least once a week, and I often get questions (or even–WOW! I can’t believe you do so much!), BUT the fact is there. We HAVE to get out. Even if the stares from people burn into me (or I just think they do). Even if my “hands are full.” It’s always worth it.

  6. When I am snuggling with my boys each night at bedtime I always start with this question: “What was your favorite thing about today?” I hear a lot of responses about recess, Playdoh and playing with friends but the ones that most tug at my heart are when they tell me their favorite thing involved something that we did together. Some days it is as elaborate as taking all three kids (5, 3 and 11 months) to the Children’s Museum and other days it is as simple as having a “sword fight” in the front yard and letting them “get me”.

    My oldest started Kindergarten this year and I am finally starting to understand and accept the wisdom that all those “more experienced” moms had been telling me the past 5 years – it goes by so fast you need to do your best not to wish it away. It certainly isn’t always easy and when you are up to your elbows in poop, temper tantrums and a messy floor you have every right to wish for an escape…but now that he is gone 5 days a week I do wish I had done more of those “special” things with him when I had the chance.

  7. What a great post, Jill! I need to get over my inconvenience as well, and just go out with little E. Once there are two, our mommy daughter time will be limited and I will most probably regret not doing more things with her. Thanks for the push!

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