I met a few lovely ladies and their babies and even got invited to a playgroup next week with this same group. I apparently was deemed semi-normal and not totally crazy. Ha. They have NO idea. What really struck me while I was there is that I feel like I am a complete mess when it comes to being out of the house with Noah. Let me explain. When Noah and I are home, we're in our groove. We have a loose schedule of when we play, when he plays alone (in his Exersaucer, and I am RIGHT NEXT TO HIM so don't worry, and please don't call DCFS), when he eats, when he naps, etc. I feel like I am doing a pretty good job and have it together. But when we leave the house...oh holy hell, everything falls apart. If Tim and I take him somewhere, I feel ok, but if I am on my own I have a hard time.
It's not that Noah is tough to take anywhere. He's pretty calm these days in his carseat or stroller and really only starts bleating and screeching if he needs something or is ready for a nap. This problem lies solely with me. My brain starts to fuh-reak out when we're out. I don't know if its the sheer pressure of remembering to put the baby in the car along with any bags or its the potential for me to lose something, like my phone or my wallet while trying to make sure I have the baby. On Monday, we went to Target, and it wasn't until I got home and four hours had passed that I realized I had left the 35 lb tub of cat litter (and it was on SALE) in the cart in the PARKING LOT. In my haste to get Noah in the car in the snow, get all the bags in the car, and get myself in the car, I forgot the cat litter. Or so I thought. I went back to the car yesterday and lo and behold, what did I find in the trunk? The cat litter. See? My brain does NOT function well when Noah and I leave the house.
And this was after the last time I was at Target before Christmas and the stroller tipped over when I took Noah out to put him in the car, breaking one of the things I had bought that was hanging from the handle of the stroller and dumping my diaper bag and all it's contents on the ground. Sigh. It was raining that day. Ok, so that brings me to yesterday. I felt like the other mothers had this well-choreographed dance they did with their babies. Putting the babies in the stroller with ease, no screaming, no twisted straps; getting their coats on without stuffing their arms into the armhole that the scarf was stuffed into and fighting against it; draping their diaper bags casually across their bodies without flinging a bottle or a tiny mitten across the theater only to spend ten minutes looking for it. How do they do it? And how come I can't? I have never felt this incompetent in my life.
I know that the other moms probably feel incompetent too, maybe not about this, but about SOMETHING. I can't be the only one. But this feeling is making it very hard to leave the house without a sense of impending doom. It seems like every trip out of the house, at least in the car, is fraught with anxiety. I am attributing a lot of it to the weather and my fear of driving in the snow with the baby. I know I didn't feel this way when it was warm out and I could get around on foot. It's weird to think I have regressed as Noah has gotten older. You would think it would be the other way around.
Anyhow, this is all to say that I need to work on this issue of mine before it gets out of hand and we never leave the house again. Recognizing the problem is a good first step, right? And maybe, just maybe, those other moms feel incompetent about something I am actually good at. I'll keep telling myself that until I feel better. Anyone out there feel this way too? Tell me.