If you know me, you’d probably say I am a pretty relaxed mom. Not overly helicoptery……I let my kids duke out their own fights, I allow a generous distance during playtime, and, I wait at least like 6 seconds before running to their aid when they fall and scrape their knees. I know. Talk about a long leash…..
All this is true by day. By night, I am a neurotic, anxious mess. Especially at 2am when I can’t sleep. At 2am I worry about my kids. I worry about something bad happening to them, mom-guilt surfaces, and I can’t sleep. What-ifs swirl in my brain. What-ifs that I can’t even bring myself to write because I don’t want to believe that they could actually happen to one of my children. At 2am I seriously contemplate putting my children in a bubble for the rest of their lives.
This picture was taken yesterday – all my boys in my bubble.
All was right in the world with my bubble intact.
And while these are crazy days, I am thankful that my kids never stray far from my bubble….. they go about their lives in my shadow (literally)…..always within an arms reach. I never pee alone, but I am okay with that. I know what they have eaten, what they are wearing (and how many times they’ve changed their outfit), what they say and what they do, and I am most grateful for the fact that I know they are safe in their beds every night. But I can’t maintain this bubble forever – heck, just yesterday I registered my son for kindergarten (more on those feelings later)….but I’ve come to realize that while I can’t prevent everything, I can at least be proactive and prepared. Here are things I do by day to help me sleep a wee bit better by night.
1. My husband and I sleep with a fire extinguisher next to our bed. Nothing shall come between the lioness and her cubs – not even fire. If there is a fire separating me from my babies, I will be so thankful I have this. (Note to self: Figure out how to use it.)
2. We bolted every single chest/dresser/armior to the wall. My oldest son NEVER closes his dresser drawers. One of my biggest fears is that my baby will climb in a drawer and tip the dresser. Bolt them now or buy these.
3. I have a stash of Benadryl on me at all times – my children don’t even have severe allergies that I know of…yet. But you never know if they will have a reaction to something. I keep antihistamine in my bag and at home – always. I developed exercise induced anaphylaxis at age 25… I know, you’re thinking, “What is heck that? Allergic to exercise?” Yes, it is a real thing. If I exercise after I eat gluten I go into anaphylactic shock. Freakish, but real. So benadryl is always nearby.
4. If I go to a pool, I bring a mother’s helper so that my children have someone watching them at ALL times. I have a love/hate relationship with the pool. I love it because my kids are in heaven in the water, but hate it because it terrifies me. I have one semi-swimmer and two non-swimmers. Two eyes are not enough. Even new swimmers need 100 percent supervision – they can tire out easily especially if they are constantly treading water because their feet don’t touch the bottom. Yes, a mother’s helper costs money, but an investment I will never regret.
5. I never leave my kids in the car….. anymore. One time, a long time ago, I left 2 of my sleeping kids in the air conditioned car in our driveway to run inside for a few minutes. You know, because why would I wake sleeping babies to just run in my house? When I came back outside, the air conditioner had completely broken and the car was sweltering. This is the biggest source of my mom-guilt at 2am in the morning. My kids were totally fine and thankfully it was only a few minutes, but I will never, ever leave them in the car to run inside again. No matter what. No matter how short of a time. Ever. This is why I avoid picking clothes up at the dry cleaners like the plague.
Okay so now that I have totally freaked you out, what tips do you have for me so that I can have even more 2am anxiety? What else? What else do I need to do???????