I am an anxious person. I’m extremely introverted and often socially awkward. When I talk to someone I don’t really know, I am continually reminding myself to make eye contact and not to fidget. My mom has gotten on me before for giggling too much in that middle school, nervous kid of way, but I’m not doing it because I’m an airhead or silly schoolgirl. I’m doing it because I’m legitimately anxious and would rather go run and hide and just be alone.
This is a trait of mine that I don’t like. It’s annoying to be awkward and to get nervous or anxious about the silliest things, especially because I know what I get worked up about is usually nothing to be worried about in the first place. It’s also selfish. The root of my anxiety is often the fear of what someone else is thinking about me when in reality, they probably don’t care what I’m wearing that day, if my baby cries when we’re grocery shopping, or if I say the perfect thing to them. It’s also rooted in the fact that I am a people-pleaser. Sure, sometimes this can be a good attribute, but other times, it’s just not. When I’m putting someone else first and doing something out of love for him or her, it’s wonderful. It’s rewarding for all involved. However, when I’m doing something for someone out of obligation motivated by a lack of confidence or fear of what they will think, I’m often doing it begrudgingly and without love and a servant heart for them. This leaves me with harbored bitter feelings, increased insecurity, and a false act of kindness. It’s not desirable.
Having a baby increases your awareness of your flaws, and I believe mostly because these are characteristics that you do not want to pass down to them. I want my son to be confident, easy to talk to, and care-free (in a responsible way, most of the time). And, if someday my son should choose to get married, (when he’s 75…) I would want him to marry a strong woman who is loving and confident and who does selfless things out of love for other people. I want to set a good example to my son of what it means to be a good and confident woman, a strong and loving mother and wife.
I have been thinking about this topic this week because Judah and I are leaving today to fly out to Boston to celebrate my brother-in-law and sister and the beautiful little life she is carrying. I have flown more times than I can count, but this will be Judah’s first trip. I am a nervous wreck. I’m not nervous about getting to the airport in time or missing our flight. I’m confident I’ll be able to carry my son and our luggage around the airport easily. (When you become a mom, you gain the magical ability to balance a baby and 72 other things in your arms). I have no worries about having had to plan a shower from 16 hours away and getting everything in place in one day once we arrive.
I’m worried about going through security. Not because I’m toting illegal substances and sharp objects. I’m nervous because I’m balancing luggage and a baby and I’m worried I will take too long putting our stuff in those cumbersome plastic bins and I will make everyone else behind me irritated because I’m taking longer than the average person to walk through the medal detector. I’m worried about Judah crying on the flight because his ears are popping and he’s uncomfortable. I’m worried because I don’t want to make everyone else’s 2 and a half hour flight uncomfortable.
When I sit and think about why I’m anxious about this, it’s ridiculous. I’ve been on flights before with babies and it’s not a big deal if they get a little fussy. Plus, it’s only 2 hours of life; in the grand scheme of things it’s not really an issue. And being slow through security, who cares? Everyone has to get there so early before their flights anyway to just wait around in a gate entrance, so what’s the big deal if they are held up for a few extra minutes in line? However, no matter how much I rehearse this logic over and over in my head, my insecure nature screams louder and louder.
I know my son, the little social butterfly that he already is, will LOVE the airport. There will be so many interesting people to look at and smile to. There will be so many new sights to for him to see and things to explore. Plus, we are flying out late, after his bedtime, so I’m sure once he gets his milk and realizes how overly stimulating the hustle and bustle of the airport is, he’ll be out cold once we take off. Not to mention, the white noise of the plane engine will be an added sleepy bonus.
I’m learning, albeit slowly, how to overcome my fears and anxieties. How to not be so self-centered and insecure and to just be confident in my ability as a mother. So, Judah and I will take our first flight together tonight and there is a possibility we will take forever in the security line. There is a possibility, in fact, almost certainty… that I will be a complete spaz and drop things, or get held up because in my panic I forgot to show our travel sized liquids. There is a chance his ears will hurt during takeoff and landing, and there is the chance that he won’t sleep at all during the flight. And, if this happens, I need to smile, be happy we are headed out to see family and to celebrate something beautiful together. I need to just GET OVER IT.
I will be documenting our journey as best I can, partially in hopes to distract myself. If you would like to see our first flight adventure together, you can follow me on Instagram (bethanyruthalcock). Wish us luck, and if you could, say a prayer for this mama to chill out.