This is not to brag, because, trust me, my downfall is coming.

This is not to speak for other people, but, trust me, those who know me would say I have N O  F E A R.

Why, I’ve gone hang gliding, skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, rappelling, spelunking, soaring, sailing, and trekking in some fearsome places, but I may have finally met my match with flying solo as a mom.

Every new mom experiences fear.

The first venture out in the car alone with the baby is scary, no matter how much you love driving or how many nieces and nephews you have whose diapers you’ve changed—until you do it. When it’s over, you laugh at yourself. You laugh again when you’re scared to do it a second time. Then you laugh the third time, because you notice the gear’s getting lighter in your arms, the clips and snaps seem to close themselves, it’s smooth sailing, iTunes wailing (Beatles Songs for Kids), Honda, take me away!

I came to enjoy rides with baby so much, I made rounds to friends’ houses where they were holed up with newborns, too scared to drive. I said to one friend, “It’s just a matter of how badly you want to get out.” The moms I’m referring to have since, slowly, built up the tolerance for backseat dramatics and increased the lengths of their journeys out… And all are welcome to visit me!

Most of my travels were solo travel until I met my husband. I climbed Tungurahua solo. Ten days touring Guatemala solo. Nine days in Barcelona solo. Ten days learning to kite surf in Dominican Republic solo. Two weeks in Mexico alone. Of course I made friends along the way. I plunked myself down in Nicaragua in ’98 and stayed a year, the only gringa in Matagalpa. No hot water for 8 months of that year.

Why am I struck with bolts of fear contemplating flying solo as a mom for one week? And then another? And then another?

The first time I took a flight alone with baby, I was a complete wreck the morning of. Now I’ve flown twice alone with her and am contemplating a round-trip to grandparents’ retirement village during one of my husband’s assignments.

So, will flying solo as a mom get easier?

Today was tough. The niña didn’t nap. Not in the morning, not in the evening, and I’m bleary-eyed at 7:15, hoping she goes down easy for the night…

…so I can have my nightcap guilt-free and make it a double.

Landing strip outside Montreal

About MommyTheorist

Editor, writer, photographer, and new mom
This entry was posted in Journal, motherhood, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to

  1. oliarights says:

    Wow, beautiful and boy can I relate to that fear. I thought I was fearless too. I look back at all the things I was afraid to do with Isaiah only few months ago that I have overcome and I think, oh my, how crazy I was. But the truth is, I am still afraid of so many things of motherhood that I am not even fully aware of. Thank you for sharing, now I will be more vigilant. And by the way, I am one of those moms who tries never to drive with Isaiah alone. The last time I did it was to a baby class when he was like 7 months old. It was 10 minutes away and he screamed hysterically the whole time. I felt like I was either going to throw myself out of the car or have a nervous breakdown. He is much better now but the fear is still there. Ah overcoming fears. It never ends does it.

    • What I don’t enjoy are people telling me I should be more afraid; if I’m not a worrier, it doesn’t mean I don’t care, or that I’m uninformed. The power of social pressure is amazing to me. I’d like to let it wash over me, but sometimes it sways me.

  2. Kristina says:

    My favorite anagram is racecar.
    I’ve raced street & tuned cars on a track, on the boulevard, on the highway, with friends and with frenemies and yet I felt no fear in doing so because my collective experience (and probably naïvety) asserted my self confidence.

    After trading in my “fast car”, I get into the driver’s seat of my family-centric vehicle thinking to myself, “You are a Mom now”. However, I find my new found road fear is with other potentially dangerous drivers on the road. Since she was two weeks old, Hayden and I loved taking drives together. We sing in the car while driving around town but it less aggressive driving and more assertive redirection.

    When I pop into a friend’s “suped-up” car I don’t pull up to the other cars anymore with a friendly challenge no matter how much my lead foot weighs in my shoes. I do still enjoy my track driving though… with my helmet and harness. I hope that I can teach Hayden a thing or two when she gets old enough to drive.

    It’s funny how of all the hats we wear in our lifetime, the Mommy hat is the one that sits quietly below each one we put on or take off throughout the day.

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