High Anxiety

I don’t consider myself a very anxious person. But if I’m being really honest, I guess I am. I’m definitely a “Nervous Nelly” when it comes to my kids. I hate this about my parenting style. I can see it rubbing off on my older daughter as she stands at the top of a slide and hesitates, letting all the other kids go before her. That is totally my fault. I don’t necessarily want her to come barreling down the shoot like a torpedo, but there’s a happy medium. Like my positive BRCA result, I’m blaming this trait on genetics too. My nieces call my mom “Nervous Nana.” She has definitely done what she can to not put her fears on me. She encouraged me to take to the open road, driving on the highway while she prefers not to. There’s improvement in the generations. So by the transitive property, I’m hoping my girls will be even less anxious than I am.
I usually deal with my anxiety with avoidance. Let me be clear. Not denial, but avoidance. I don’t deny my fears but I do try to do things to not put myself in a position to be over-anxious. For example, I get totally stressed out taking my kids to a children’s museum during school break when I think there will be a ton of crazy rugrats running around being totally overstimulated. So I don’t go. I will take them later when I know it’s not busy. I’m avoiding the madness, but not the venue and stimulating environment altogether.
However, I’m not sure how to ease my uneasiness right now. I can’t go visit my sister post-surgery because it’s a 3 hour drive (total round trip) and I’m terrified of putting both my little ones in the car for that long by myself. On top of which, one of them has a cold so I don’t want to expose my sis to that either nor do I want to make my already uncomfortable child more uncomfortable. Although my husband is an incredible, involved and capable father, the thought of leaving him to juggle both girls for 7+ hours seems unfair. He works such long hours that he’s not used to taking both girls all day and he also needs down time on the weekend. He can do it and is on board with it so that I can see my sister but it means an anxiety filled day for both of us. But really, the main reason I’m feeling anxious right now is because I have no idea what she is going through. I wish I had gone first so I could guide her through this process. We are, as she put it to her surgeon, “knowledge people”. We would prefer to know exactly what to expect. Like an instruction manual for a double mastectomy.
I love instruction manuals. I have every manual for every appliance, kids toy and Ikea product we own. When I get a new cell phone, I read the manual cover to cover. It’s probably the enginerd in me. So where’s the manual for this journey? My sister and I would love to have it. Oh and while we’re at it, a parenting instruction manual would be much appreciated as well.

One thought on “High Anxiety

  1. Jenny,
    I love you, and your blog is off to a great start. I am proud to be your sister and don't worry, we'll create the manual together.

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