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Fear and Motherhood.

by Christine@TheAums on September 25, 2011 · 16 comments

So, along the lines of, “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s around to hear it…”


If a 35-year-old woman is stung by a yellow jacket (for the FIRST TIME in her life), while hiking ALONE in the forest, and no one’s around to hear her… does she make a sound?

YES! She…I mean, I, SCREAMED LIKE A BANSHEE, which if you don’t know, a banshee is a female spirit in Gaelic folklore believed to predict death by screaming loudly. And never having been stung before I had no idea whether or not I was deathly allergic.

{I’m still here!}

I immediately tweeted, of course. And then I texted my husband. Sometimes it’s the other way around. {Not usually.}

For the rest of my hike, all I could think about was fear and what I do alone versus what I choose not to do alone, especially now that I’m a mother.

A lot of people would say hiking alone is not a good idea. There are mountain lion warnings all around and well, yes, there are actual yellow jacket warnings, too. But they’re just a part of life. Kinda like earthquakes and living in California…the fear is not as crippling as people from out of state make it to be. I hike during what I consider safer times, I always say where I’m going, and I carry my phone with me. Also, I constantly go through the motions in my head about what I would do if I actually did run into a mountain lion, and believe me, twitter does not come to mind…immediately.

But back to fear. What I would be doing today, instead of writing this, is attending NBC’s Education Nation in New York City. You see, iVillage invited me on an all-expenses paid trip which included a 3 night hotel stay, food, and round-trip airfare.

Yes, you read that right…AIRFARE. That means I would have to get on a plane, BY MYSELF, and fly to the East Coast. Just typing that makes my stomach drop a little. When I received the email invite, I was, first and foremost, flattered that they’d consider me. Then, when I realized they were asking me to fly, I felt a familiar tug in my heart.

Leave my children for the FIRST TIME EVER and in a plane, no less!

Other than hospital stays to give birth, I’ve never been away from my Aumies. The truth is, I have a real fear of being away from them for long periods. I also have a real fear of flying and dying. There, I said it.

I’ve flown plenty of times, but it scared the crap out of me every time…and that was before having kids! The few times I’ve flown since have always been together as a family which, oddly enough, is acceptable to me because the thought of all of us dying together is more comforting than having orphaned children and a widower to worry about. {Please tell me I’m normal in the comments, even if you don’t think so.}

I marvel at my friends in real life who travel for work or plan vacations away from their kids. And what about all the mommy bloggers who travel for conferences?! I know I will have to get my feet wet at some point. If more opportunities come my way, I want to be able to put my fears and guilt aside and say, “Yes! Thank you for thinking of me! I would love to!”

As it turns out, once I saw the travel dates on the invite, I was relieved. I realized I would have to travel the same weekend that I was planning a big party for my brother’s 4oth birthday. {My single, very good-looking, guitar-playing, great with kids brother…I digress.}

I didn’t think twice to reply to iVillage with my regrets and very real excuse.

It wasn’t until later that I started giving it some thought. Maybe I should’ve thought twice before answering. The party could’ve gone on without me and my visiting relatives would’ve helped take care of the Aumies. How ideal would that be? Maybe this was the time to leave my children for the first time and check off another milestone of motherhood.

I do kinda kick myself for not thinking things through. As we all do. After the fact, I realized I missed out on some wonderful opportunities, including the chance to hang out with my my fellow iVoices. As I write, Brandi Jeter, Beth Engelman, Sharon Rowley, Celena Gill, and Angelica Perez are representing at Education Nation and covering the event on twitter, facebook, and live TV over the next 3 days! Even Liz Henry is planning on meeting up with them…now that is a real kick in the pants because when are two gals who live on opposite coasts and are afraid to fly ever going to meet?!

Time for a cliche ending here…

My brother’s birthday was “epic” in his own words, and I’m truly glad I was here to celebrate with him. Besides, the yellow jacket stings put me out of commission for most of the week and weekend, and it’s possible that I would’ve had to cancel last minute.

 

So, yeah, everything happens for a reason. Live life with no regrets.

I would love to hear from moms who can relate or impart some much needed advice to prepare for the next travel opportunity that comes my way. Please share your thoughts!

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole Jacobs September 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Just had to comment on your hand! Yikes! So glad it’s getting better.

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Christine@TheAums September 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Yay, I can drive again! Amazing what I take for granted…Aj’s been gone all day and he’s wearing my wedding ring on his necklace, so I’m anxious to put it on again. Oh, and hey, congrats on winning my giveaway, btw :)

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Nicole Jacobs September 26, 2011 at 7:31 am

Thank you! See you Thursday?

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Christine@TheAums September 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Yes! Hot chocolate?

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Jeanne September 25, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I, too, am afraid of flying— I’ll do it, but I hate to fly! And I haven’t flown since Anna was born. I actually shudder at the thought of it!

Also, so sorry you can’t meet up with the iVoices! You all are such a fun group of gals! Hope the east coast sees you sometime soon, and if so, I’m meeting up with you all as well!

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Christine@TheAums September 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm

That was definitely my attitude pre-kids: I’ll do it, but I hate to fly! Now with 4 kids, I was secretly really thankful that flying’s so expensive, makes it easy to choose roadtrips! I do feel like the East Coast is calling me though…especially Philly!

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Brandi September 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Oh, Christine!! Your hand…I am so sad that you had to go through that!! It would have been great to have you here, but I completely understand your fear. I have left Ayva (on a plane), and will leave her again in November. It is so hard, so very, very hard, and I think it gets more difficult as she gets older. Not because of my fear of dying, but because I don’t want to miss a day of her smile.

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Christine@TheAums September 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm

So sweet, Brandi…and so true! Missing a day in the life of my Aumies is just a hard pill to swallow. But I think spending time with good friends and women I admire (hint hint) will make it easier! My hand is almost back to normal, thank goodness! I can drive myself to work tomorrow instead of getting dropped off…oh and put my hair in a bun, and button my jeans…and open a jar…and TYPE!

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Julie September 26, 2011 at 2:31 am

I’m sorry you got stung Christine.
I really don’t like doing things without Alexis. I feel the same way as you do “if were together something happens it’s ok because we are together. ” I’m fearing a lot of things as a single mom. I mean she’s my life)! I just hope that my fears don’t rub onto her. I didn’t know that you shared some of the same fears. You would never know it.

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Christine@TheAums September 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm

You hit the nail on the head, Julie. I definitely don’t want my fears rubbing off on the kids. I’m glad you said you’d never know I felt this way because that’s what I strive for. Still, I’d like to live my life with a little less fear, stress, worry, hesitation, you name it.

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Stasha September 26, 2011 at 3:50 am

Feel better soon.there will be many other iVillage gatherings. You will see.

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Christine@TheAums September 26, 2011 at 7:30 am

Thanks, Stasha. Going to put my ring back on this morning and maybe even do my nails now that all the swelling’s gone! I will instagram update later :)

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Runnermom-jen September 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Oh my gosh…your poor hand!!! That is crazy-freaky!
P.S. You are completely normal…I’m the same way as you, never been away from my kids except hospital stays having MORE kids ;) And I hate flying, too.

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Christine@TheAums September 28, 2011 at 8:05 am

Jen, it was seriously not fun for about 3 days and I know I would’ve had to cancel my flight…IF I had booked one, haha! Thanks for just giving me a sense that I’m not completely crazy for having these feelings. I know I’ll have to do it some time, but until then…

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Heidi September 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm

You will go when you are ready…. Although, if you pass up another opportunity I might kick you in the butt! Jk, but seriously, I wonder if you didn’t tell me cause you knew what I would say! As a mom who took off that same weekend for 24 hours in Vegas for a concert….it’s always hard to leave… I get the fear on planes alone vs altogether…. Have thought about it many times! But, coming home to my children, refreshed and rejuvenated, if not entirely physically but mentally, is one of the best feelings in the world….the anticipation building as the moment gets closer….remembering how my life is just not fulfilled without them, gets me thru every trying moment, sleepless night, tantrum, etc…. When you are ready, you will go and be able to enjoy!

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Christine@TheAums September 29, 2011 at 11:49 pm

iVillage promises there will be more opportunities, so I’ll make sure to run them by you first :) Actually, now that I think about it, a video about moms traveling away from their kids, documenting my experience, would be cool! I better pitch them on this!

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