Parenting with Social Anxiety

We are officially a Gymboree mommy and baby. We went to open gym yesterday and Punky had more fun. She was able to crawl around and cruise on all the different ramps and mats. She was able to get out of her shell and play. I just let her explore the gym and she one minute I am talking to another mom and the next, I look back and Punky is WALKING.

She just took off. I was so surprised. She didn’t get very far before she fell over, but I cheered for her and told her out great it was and she just smiled and crawled back to where she started.

This struck up a few conversations with some of the other moms in the gym.

This is where things got sticky, in my head. I have a self-diagnosed social anxiety, a quirk really. I haven’t been officially diagnosed, but I know myself well enough to know that when I am in a public situation, with people I don’t know, I start to panic. My heart starts to race and I start to clam up. I do take a small dose of anxiety medication, but really I don’t see a therapist for it. It’s just something that I live with and deal with.

However, in that moment, I had to reason with myself that I had already taken myself out of my house, to go somewhere other than work or Walmart. I went to a social situation and I brought Punky with me. If I was already here, and it was the second time, that I just needed to relax and let Punky have fun. Let myself have fun.

So we started talking. Usually, once I get to know people, I am pretty much alright. I just have to get to that point. I have to get out of my house and I have to make myself not to make excuses or re-schedule the events. When I learned about Gymboree, I made an effort to go because I wanted to allow Punky the opportunity to socialize. So, that’s the first step.

I have paid the fee and set up a commitment for the the next two months to attend 1 class a week. I reason with myself that I can’t waste my money with reschedules and excuses that don’t really exist.

Once we started talking, one of the moms invited me to their mommy group. They have play dates and mommy date nights, nights out. I was flattered that this woman was inviting me, and she seemed nice enough for sure!  The problem is me.

We are not the most conventional of parents. We are parenting without religion, we are parenting without gender roles, we are parenting as a lesbian couple. I don’t know these women well enough to know if they would be alright with these things. I don’t want to be the whispered about mom either. I mean, I am sure these women are nice and in the back of my mind, I know my fears are irrational.

I don’t really have mommy friends outside of work. I think it would be awesome. I want, so badly, to get out of my shell and do this. Not just for Punky, but for myself. I have taken the first step and asked to join the Facebook group. I will try and get to know these women in a Gymboree and Facebook atmosphere.

I don’t know these women and they don’t know me. Maybe once I feel them out in a public setting, I might get around to stepping out and actually meeting them at their houses or in a more intimate setting.

Like everything else, this is something I hope to work on this year. I want to get out and do things. I want to take Punky places, I want her to experience things and I don’t want my anxiety to limit the things she is able to do!

Beautiful Weekend in the Midwest

I had to work Saturday, so I didn’t get to spend that day with Peyton, but she had a blast with her Mama. We had some company stay the weekend, in the form of Kim’s step-sister and nephew. G is a little older than Peyton, but they played together just fine!

On Saturday afternoon, Kim took them all to Paradise Park. Its a great place for families to go for fun. Think Chuck-E-Cheez but cooler. We went there for the first time a few months ago with Peyton for my company family picnic. Kim has fell in love with it ever since. They have an arcade, bumper cars, a maze, and all sorts of concessions. I really enjoy the fact that they have a play place specifically for children who are not yet walking, or just learning to walk. 
This room if full of nothing but mats upon mats. Building blocks and a ball pit for the kids to play with. From what I hear, Peyton may still be too small to really enjoy it, but she climbed on things and knocked things over as you can see. 

There are all sorts of rooms in this Children’s Edutainment Center. This is the ‘dollhouse’ room. Its made up of all these wooden dollhouses and little pieces to play with. I didn’t take Peyton in that room the first time we had visited because I wasn’t sure the purpose for someone so little. It looks like its mostly just wooden blocks. I am sure she simply chewed on them.
That’s the other thing I love about this place. You can let your kid put anything in their mouth and when they are done, you put them up on a shelf to be cleaned for the next kid’s grubby hands and mouth. They are very sanitary conscious.

After the Paradise Park adventure, I hear the moms put the kids down for a nap and had a little time to relax. I got home after work and we had ribs for dinner, with baked potatoes and the fixins. I don’t care for spinach, but while feeding Peyton, I thought I might give her a little taste. She ate the crap out of it! After three small helpings, Kim told me to stop feeding it to her, because it would make her poop. And boy did it! The next morning, she had leafy green poop. Ridiculous!
In the morning, she and her cousin G played in the “Octagon” and watched Yo Gabba Gabba on Netflix. She has just now mastered the art of drinking out of a sippy cup, so she was very happy to drink all the Apple Juice that Mommy would give her!
When G and his mom went home Sunday morning, Peyton and I chilled out until the rain and the cold subsided. Then suddenly, it was a beautiful day! So, we went back to the park. Brace yourselves for the cuteness that is my daughter at the park. For the first time in the baby swing. She wouldn’t hold onto the chains on the side, so she kept toppling forward, but otherwise, she had a blast!

After the swing got old and the park started filling up with other people (Mommy is a bit stranger danger obsessed for herself. It’s an odd quirk. Can’t help it.) We moved back to the garden where we played last time and again, she was just as fascinated with the metal bench as she was before.

I can’t believe her hair is getting so thick and so light! She is so expressive and so independent  I still can’t believe she will be a year old in approximately 5 weeks! Anyway, after the park we went to the grocery store so I could get some quarters for the laundry. I hate having to do the laundry in the facility at the apartment complex! I swear they eat my money 95% of the time. 

She sure does love her Apple Juice and this is another sippy cup. She’s in love with her sippy cups and it makes transitioning away from formula so much easier. She is dependent on her bottle in some cases. Especially when we put her down for naps or bedtime, but for the most part, she is getting to eat puree or real food any other time of the day. 
Anyway, that was our weekend. We had a nice beautiful weather filled weekend. We spent time with family and hung out. We drove around in our new car and had a blast playing in the weather. I do so love the time I get to spend with her! At the end of this week, we will be making the 2 and half hour trip to my parents’ house and spending time with all our family on my side! 
They haven’t seen Peyton since she was approximately 6 months or so. Everyone is so excited to see her and I am excited to visit with them for the four days we will be there!
Take Care ❤
Rachael