Howell, MI, USA

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So I had a Nervous Breakdown at the Park

August 4, 2019

I never realized my general distrust of other people until I took my toddler to a public park...

 

 

It's so funny, because I have always prided myself on being the calm, cool, and collected Mom.

I don't fear germs. I don't WebMD all the weird things my toddler does. I don't sweat the messes. I handle barf and poop explosions like a champ. I don't worry that I could potentially lose her somewhere or that she could be kidnapped...

 

well, at least I didn't use to worry about that...🤷

 

I have never felt worried or uncomfortable when I'm out in public with my kid. We go shopping, go out to dinner, we tried a movie theater once (that was a total shit show, I don't recommend it)... I have no problem going anywhere with her and I never think that something might happen... So when my sister-in-law asked me to meet her and her kids at the park, I thought it would be a great idea. I had never taken my kiddo to the park before, and I knew that she would love it. I thought that I would love it too...

I imagined the park being this magical place of total relaxation....A total win-win for everybody involved. We would go there, and my kid could run around like a psycho and climb all over things while I watched from afar on a comfortable bench whilst drinking an iced coffee and talking gossip with the other Moms... In my mind going to the park was a dream. 

 

If only it was like that for me in real life...

 

As soon as we got to the park I realized it wasn't going to be how i expected. We entered the play area and I could feel anxiety and panic wash over me. 

It was like a freaking jungle... Rabid wild animals running all over the place. Both younger kids and older kids... The older kids trampling through the playscape, giving zero f*cks about the little ones around them. Parents were scattered around the outskirts of the play area, each honed in on their own kiddos. The line of sight from where the seating was situated was terrible. If I sat down I'd only have a fraction of the playground in my view. 

 

Olivia ran off with her cousin to explore. My eyes followed my kid so closely.. If I lost sight of her for more than a second I started to panic on the inside. There were a few times when I'd get up as nonchalantly as possible, even though I was FREAKING out on the inside, because I couldn't figure out where my kid was. I'm sure my sister-in-law thought I was nuts. We were at a park that was completely fenced in and only had one exit/entrance... It would be near impossible for our kids to sneak out without us noticing...Plus, I also noticed that the park had security cameras.. which I actually found semi comforting, but also concerning... Was there a reason they needed security cameras? Should I be worried?

 

To say that I was over thinking it would be an understatement...

 

This was NOTHING like what I had expected... This was supposed to be super relaxing and fun...I was supposed to make a ton of new Mom friends.. I even had my iced coffee... but it was not fun at all... Actually, if I'm being honest, it was exhausting and excruciating... I was so worried about EVERYTHING. What if my kid gets hurt? What if she got stuck in something? What if I lost her? What if she was kidnapped?

It still blows my mind that the park brought this side out of me... I have no idea who the Mom at the park was, but it was definitely not me... My poor sister-in-law probably felt terrible... I could tell my anxiety was showing... big time... I don't know how the she does it.. She takes both of her kids to the park all the time... ALONE. She is a freaking goddess, because if my one child was enough to send me spiraling into psychosis, I shudder to think what I'd be like taking two or more kids.

I held myself together as the kids played, and after about an hour or so, we decided to pack up and go home.. I remember getting into the car and exhaling the biggest sigh ever... almost as if I had been holding my breath the whole time we were at the park. I felt so lame. Why was something so simple, so terrifying to me? Maybe because it was the first time going.. maybe I'm just crazy...probably a combination of the two..  

 

I don't know if I'll be venturing back to the park any time soon.. I know my kiddo loved it so much.. but I need to be medicated to put myself through that again...

 

Can someone please ease my mind and tell me I'm not the only one who gets nervous at the park?

 

 

 

 

 

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