Leaving the house is one of my biggest sources of anxiety these first six months with the bubbies. We have mastered going to the store with the babies, but the keyword is WE. I have not mastered doing this alone. We have made countless trips to the grocery store and often go to Target just to walk around. A couple of weeks ago we tackled a lengthy trip to the mall and even ate in the food court. That was kind of monumental in my mind because I felt like a normal person again. The anxiety is real. It could be because I never thought I would be a mother and prior to having the babies I would scowl at children at restaurants. I didn’t like the sound of babies crying and did not really have a desire to be around them. That may be why I have this fear of taking the babies some where, like a restaurant, and they will have a baby meltdown and ruin some other restaurant goers meal. I mean in the grand scheme of things that is not that big of a deal but in my mind it is earth shattering. Just over the weekend we went to the grocery store. For the first time in a very long time Noah had a meltdown in the middle of the store. Mind you its hard enough to navigate through the store with a shopping cart and a stroller, but I lifted him out of the stroller and was carrying him while pushing. In the middle of the pasta sauce isle he threw up all down himself and all over my hands and then started hysterically crying. It took every ounce of me to not push the cart aside and run out of the store. I made some rookie mistakes like not bringing the diaper bag in the store nor bringing a burp rag in, but I calmly found a bathroom to wash up. Of course, the bathroom had no damn paper towels but I washed my hands and just said screw it. It won’t kill the kid to sit in his spit up for an extra 15 minutes while we finish grocery stopping. Noah stayed upset most of the trip, but luckily I had Kyle there and he comforted him while we shopped. Kyle is usually pretty good at calming me down and has never made me feel bad about the anxiety I feel while we are out.
We have only went out to eat a couple of times since the twins came with them. The first time I was scared shitless. They were not even two months old when my dad came to visit and he had to go to Red Lobster for shrimpfest. I know he must have thought I was crazy because I was freaking out about going. I strategically planned the outing immediately after a feeding. At that time they ate every three hours so we had a very limited timeframe before we would have to be home again so they could eat. When we got to the restaurant it was a weekday at like noon so there were barely any patrons inside. I asked the hostess if we could sit far away in a back corner somewhere. She accommodated us, sitting us in the very back in a corner booth. The babies were of course very good. They slept the whole time. I am always worse than they are. I sat the whole time fidgeting, scarfing down my food. That same weekend we had a friend’s weekend. The trip to Red Lobster had given me confidence to actually try to take the babies to the wedding. We dressed them in the cutest outfits. I of course planned on going immediately after a feeding. As soon as they were done eating we took some pictures of them in their cute outfits and put them in their car seats. As soon as Noah was in his car seat, he projectile vomited all over himself. I had never seen him throw up like that. It was not spit up, it was large volume of vomit. I was horrified, crying. Not because his outfit was ruined but because I had never seen my baby get sick like that. So, we had to change him and by the time we got in the car we were already running late. The wedding reception was over an hour away, by the time we got there it was going to be time to feed the babies. I was already a frazzled mess. When we got to the wedding there was no where inconspicuous that we could feed the babies, so we went outside to feed them . It was hot, the babies were uncomfortable and wouldn’t eat. Needless to say we were only there for like another 15 minutes and we left. I was a freaking mess. I was crying and upset. I can’t exactly explain why I was so upset. I felt defeated, like I failed. I was a new mom and I couldn’t even feed my babies in public. But in reality and retrospect, I was a new mom. I was overwhelmed and I was just not ready for an outing like that. And despite what other people think that is fine. I was still in a very emotional time following giving birth. My hormones were still adjusting. I had no help besides my husband at that point. I was just damn overwhelmed and there is nothing wrong with that. I however felt like I was going to be a bad friend if I didn’t try to go to this wedding even though I didn’t have a person to babysit. I should have just explained myself, but no one really understands unless they are in my situation.
We didn’t try another outing like that for a very long time. Just three weeks ago we tried to go to an early dinner at a mexican restaurant. The bubs were in a pretty good mood that day so I thought why not. Getting to the restaurant we left them in their car seats and they played with their toys. Then Gabriel started to have a slow meltdown and quickly developed into a full meltdown. So, I took him out of his car seat and that only made it worse. I asked for a check and a box for the food and we left. Not that big of a deal. The situation in my head is always way worse than the reality. Later today we will be trying to take the babies to Pappy’s for some delicious BBQ. Hopefully it is a successful trip, but I don’t have many expectations. But we have to go on living our new normal at some point. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to just do what makes YOU feel comfortable. Screw what other people think. If you aren’t ready, you aren’t ready. No one will understand what you are going through unless the are you. Most people who don’t understand what it is like to take two infants out into public. People without kids have a lot of opinions. Don’t worry about them. And if you piss people off by saying you can’t do something, screw them too. They obviously have no empathy for what you are going through. Some day they may be going through the same thing when they have kids and maybe they will realize and maybe they won’t, but that is not your burden to bear. I am not embarrassed to say that I have so much anxiety. At the end of the day it is my truth and if I can talk about it and some one out there knows they aren’t alone that is enough victory for me.