I’m going to a family gathering tonight over at Darling Husband’s parents’ place. Darling Husband will not be there because he is constantly working he has to work tonight.
I love these kinds of get-togethers, for several reasons:
I get out of the house
I get to have adult conversation
I love seeing Baby Boy interact with his cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and even great-grandparents
I get to eat dinner that I haven’t cooked
There is always dessert
They are thoughtful enough to provide caffeine-free tea for me
There is only one downside to these get-togethers: they happen in the evenings.
Evenings are tricky, and if you have a baby, you understand that. I get really nervous taking Baby Boy places after 6 p.m., because that’s when he starts to get tired and cranky. And I don’t want him to be tired and cranky in front of people, because … well, I want him to be cute and friendly in front of people!
It’s very touch-and-go, these dinners. Sometimes he’s an angel, and is smiling and happy right up to the 8 p.m. mark. Then he starts to get a bit cranky, and POOF! We’re usually able to leave quickly, and he is tired but quiet during the ride home.
Other times, he’s crabby from 6 p.m. on. He doesn’t want to play with his cousins. He doesn’t want other people to hold me. He just wants me. And by the time we are getting a ride home — Darling Husband isn’t usually at these dinners, so Baby Boy and I are riding with my sister-in-law or brother-in-law — he’s screaming off and on. I hate inflicting that on other people, especially in the tight quarters of a car. I don’t want my baby to be the cause of people getting a headache!
I know that we’re talking about family, here, and that they aren’t going to think badly of Baby Boy (or me) for his crankiness. But I still find myself wanting him to be in a good mood, for all of our sakes. I find myself thinking that if he doesn’t behave, it reflects badly on me.
I have learned, though, that I can’t control how these evenings go. All I can do is make sure he naps well during the day, is well-fed, and bring along lots of milk and toys to keep him happy. I’m going to try to stop stressing out about this, and reminding myself that HE’S A BABY. Babies cry and fuss. No one is going to be too bothered by a little crying, especially considering that we’re out so close to his bedtime.
Am I the only one who feels anxious when their baby “doesn’t behave” in public? I’m trying to stop, really. But … oh, I just want him to behave in public!
I’m Heather Laura Clarke. I’m a writer living in beautiful Nova Scotia, I have a 12-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter, I married my high school sweetheart, and this is the story of my handmade life.
I have depression and anxiety, and I fight like hell every day to keep them from taking over my life. Creating things helps.
Whether I’m writing novels, decorating a room, busting out my power tools to build furniture, getting muddy in the pottery studio, sewing clothes, or cross-stitching a swear word, I’m all about using my creativity to craft a life I love.
I’ve been writing this blog since 2009, so if you dig deep into the archives, you’ll meet a bright-eyed 25-year-old newlywed who was basically obsessed with having kids, buying a cozy house, and supporting herself full-time with her writing. (Spoiler alert: she got exactly what she wanted.)