Anxiety Decreasing Strategies

I know our upcoming visit with Mr. MPB’s family will invoke anxiety for me.  These visits always do, so I’m kind of used to it no.  But, this visit will be our first with Baby MPB, so I’m sure my anxiety will be insane.

So, we have strategies to help control my anxiety and hopefully nip it in the bud before it becomes unbearable.

  1. No-one but Mr. MPB and I will feed Baby MPB.  As Baby MPB is formula fed everyone seems to think they an feed him.  Truth be told, feeding him is a massive challenge at the best of times.  He sucks in so much air that it’s become a bit of an art form to get him to eat without causing him pain.  So, no-one but us will feed him.
  2. Baby MPB will only eat fully pre-made formula.  The 100% fully sterile formula, which is also the most expensive.  We no-longer feed him this stuff at home, but I know my kitchen and I know everything is clean.  We will be staying in a house that will have lots of people staying there and there will be a big party with lots of people using the kitchen and the fridge.  So, I don’t want to even deal with formula prep and storage. I also don’t want to rely on others to clean things to my standards and I honestly just don’t want others “helping.”  So, pre-made formula it is.
  3. I’m going to start running again while we are there (hopefully). This will give me an hour a day just for me and allow me to clear my head.
  4. We are visiting my out-of-town family member while we are there.  No-one else is invited as I want to enjoy a special visit with her.
  5. The meet and greet party is being held in the evening.  We suggested this isn’t a good idea since Baby MPB goes to bed at 7pm.  We were told “he can just stay up late one night”.  Nope, not going to happen.  We are his parents and what we say is final.  Ultimately, keeping Baby MPB up late is not in his best interests, especially while traveling and staying outside of our comfort zone.  Quite frankly, his well being is all that matters and so does my peace of mind.  So, he will be missing the majority of his party and I am okay with that.  (As an aside, Mr. MPB tells me there will be blue cupcakes).
  6. We have a rental car.  We will not be relying on family to drive us anywhere or to lend us their car.  There will be no waiting should I need to escape, even just for a few minutes.
  7. Mr. MPB and I will make a point to talk every day without anyone else.  If we cannot get time alone, then we will text.  We have learned that its important check in and make sure neither of us are loosing our minds and if someone is how the other an help.
  8. I have a few food allergies which are usually ignored when we visit.  I am not taking any chances on eating something that will make me sick.  Also, regardless of any food allergies I don’t function well when I’m hungry. So, I will have granola bars with me at all times.  A well fed MPB is a happy MPB.

If you like this post, please feel free to share and please click the follow button on the side or return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

 

47 Comments on “Anxiety Decreasing Strategies

  1. You gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane in those early months! Especially when traveling, that can be hard.
    Maybe baby needs a different kind of nipple for his bottles? We had to try a few different kinds when my girl was little because she sucked in so much air with most.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we’ve tried every single possible bottle/nipple combo! He just seems not to get a great seal around any nipple. What worked best for your little girl, im always willing to try something new!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m saying this with love… You need to relax. You are probably creating anxiety just by thinking of all these rules, and then you’ll have more anxiety when they’re not all followed. I am a rules person too and I used to go through all of these motions, too, before seeing our families. Things always ended up more pleasant than I expected even with half the rules broken. Please remember that everyone is excited to see you and baby MPB. Let them be excited, and enjoy their enthusiasm. And try to not be so rigid. That’s my unsolicited advice… Being a VERY rigid person myself.

    Yay for blue cupcakes!

    Liked by 2 people

    • As per normal, you’ve got me thinking. Yes, I realize we are probably being rigid. And, I realize we may not do everything exactly on my list.
      But, we’ve learned we need these types of strategies to survive our visits. The most important is that we need to communicate to ensure we are on the same page at all times. Honestly, I’ve been burned so many times by his parents (i.e. kicked out of Christmas for not being a blood relative, specifically not being invited out for coffee because I’m not a family member, trying to corner one of us to get that person to agree to something the other one has already said no to, etc.) that I turn into a crazy ball of anxiety when we visit them. I’m on pins and needles the entire time.
      So, while they have been good to Baby MPB so far, they have basically never been nice to me. In fact, I’d say more often then not, they are mean to me. I used to try so hard to “win” them over, and I just cannot put myself through that anymore. Now, these basic strategies feel like a bit of a necessity for us to get through visits without me having a migraine or a nervous breakdown.
      That all said, part of me really hopes that it gets better now that Baby MPB is here. Somehow I think the pressure and focus will be off me because Baby MPB is the center of attention. But, my mamma bear will come out if needed. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had these types of issues with Brian’s family before Matthew was born. I mean, I would cry on the drive up because his mom and sisters hated me so much (his mom made it very evident). They ignored me or pounced on every word I said. They were very judgy while I was pregnant and up until Matthew was 6 months old and then I sent a, direct email telling his mom to knock it off or they won’t see Brian our Matthew anymore, and she did. You are right, the child becomes the focus which is nice, but if they make you feel bad, say something. Tell them that your child needs to see them being kind to you.

        I think the daily run will help a lot, and I totally agree on the kitchen thing – yuck. The other things, see how it goes.

        FWIW, my MIL and I am ridiculously close now.i never would have expected that given our wedding, etc. I attribute it to that one single email. Stick up for yourself… You deserve to be treated well!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think this is a great plan. Especially the use of a rental car. I went to Florida with my parents last year, we drove over 18hrs down and I didn’t have my own car. When my mom and grandma started fighting, I just needed to escape and couldn’t at all. I also like that you and Mr MPB have set up ahead of time that you’ll communicate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh, I could not do 18 hours with almost anyone in my family! You are crazy and amazing for surviving! 🙂 And, I figure boundaries wont hurt, because if nothing else they will keep Mr. MPB and I on the same page and will keep us talking.

      Like

  4. Ugh why do people think it’s okay to change a babes sleeping schedule?! That’s drives me nuts. Because the travel alone could change his sleep schedule (if not now it will down the road). We had family in our house for a week and that alone was enough to throw the kids off. So good for you, stand you ground, too bad for everyone else 🙂 Hope you have a great time otherwise!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually think the sleep schedule the night of the party isn’t a big deal. His sleep is going to be such a mess from the travel, that staying up the night of the party is not going to be a big deal. Just strap him to you in a carrier at 7:00 and enjoy your party!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Drunkstorks, I agree with you about the sleep schedule. We’ve only really started working on the 7pm sleep schedule recently and Baby MPB is a pro-star at it so I hate to mess that up.
        That said, I hadn’t thought of Courtney’s idea. Maybe a carrier will allow him to sleep on me and people can still “see him” while he sleeps. It’s probably at least worth a try. 🙂

        Like

      • Yes, the carrier says, “hands off” and makes it easy to just turn him away if people do touch him.

        Like

      • Yes we did the carrier thing too albeit with twins is a bit more challenging. And he’s young enough that he may just sleep through it all. And if he does, enjoy it while it lasts 😊 it’s one of my fonder memories being able to just pick up and go and do stuff whenever.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel like I say this a lot… I agree with Courtney. ☺️ I absolutely get that Mr’s family haven’t been the nicest to you in the past, and you have a right to feel miffed by that. But try not to transfer your personal anxiety to stuff to do with your son. They all have a chance to do it right this time and to welcome him to the family, so I beg you to give them a chance to do that rather than rule stuff out (even though it’s not exactly how you’d do it).

    I know I probably don’t have a right to say this as I’m not a parent, but I don’t think any of the things they’re suggesting are so terrible (staying up late, non sterile kitchen, etc). If you have to do that stuff, do it, and if it makes you feel less anxious then all the better. Just think on what Courtney said though as she put it better than me… Setting really rigid rules increases the chance of anxiety for me, because so much is outside my control. I agree with setting boundaries based on your normal life, but just make sure that you’re not putting *more* pressure on yourself for everything to be perfect. Because people aren’t perfect and if you set impossible expectations then they’ll always disappoint you!

    I would try and go into this thinking “This is going to be amazing… So many people want to meet my wonderful son and welcome him to the family!” – if you are at ease with them welcoming him in their own way (short of something really whacko like whisky chasers with every toast!) then I think you might be pleasantly surprised. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • You and I do tend to think alike, don’t we? I’ve learned with age (good God, I’m 40 now) to lighten up, expect very little from people, expect only reasonable things from myself, and do the best I can… while allowing others to do the best they can too. I’m much happier this way! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! I actually remember one of our first interactions was a “heated discussion”… I thought “Crikey! I’m sure we’ll be friends…” 😂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, I genuinely think the best people are the ones who challenge us. I would be so bored with only hearing the same views all the time. I love the fact that you are “further on” than I am (experience/parenthood wise), so I can think what I would do or how I might react to something, and you give me hope for the future (whilst also doing crazy stuff like running! Which I used to do so can just about remember!)… And you make cakes!

        I love MPB for the fact that she always makes me think of the big things that are contained in the little things, if you see what I mean. I like being able to offer my particular perspective (adoption and whatnot) and I know (hope) that we are already friends so it doesn’t matter if our perspectives sometimes differ.

        That’s what friendship’s about! Have you thought of… I didn’t think of it like that… Have you ever considered that… Etc. It’s awesome that we have access to this community of diverse and supportive people even though we are thousands of miles apart!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Great plan! And whomever said he will just stay up late one night is insane. Keeping baby on a schedule especially when traveling is so important!

    Like

  7. We were supposed to go to a family wedding this weekend (with the kiddo) and I was all up in arms because hello–BEDTIME?! My wife and everyone else were just expecting that we were going to hang out all night at a wedding reception with a baby. Um… how about NO? Never mind that the kid needs her sleep, but an overtired grouchy baby isn’t the kind of baby that people are going to want to fawn over. Thankfully, we are no longer going to the wedding because it turns out that the baby is not invited (misunderstanding between the groom’s mother and the bride). The family is all pissy that the baby isn’t invited, but I’m doing a happy dance! Anyway, point being that I totally get the bedtime issue. Any kind of consistency you can provide will help things go more smoothly than if you toss it all out the window. All that said, I hope things go well. I know how hard it is with in-laws. Mine make me INSANE.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds familiar “baby can stay up late for one night”. Nope, baby can not. People are so inconsiderate sometimes. We run into this with family all the time. When my parents visited for Easter they screwed Mackenzie’s bedtime routine up and she was up twice overnight because of it. Last weekend when we met my husband’s family halfway she didn’t get an afternoon nap and it messed with her going to bed. Stick to what works for you and don’t take crap from others. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hope your visit turns out better than you expect it too! As a mother of 4, grandmother of four and by personality I am pretty relaxed ( kind been, there done that, etc.) I just wanted to caution you on too many rules….my daughter in law has so many rules and restrictions that it has caused us to avoid being with our granddaughters. Terribly sad but in all honesty not worth dealing with her. Now I’ll bet the girls think of us as nice people but not special people in their lives. We also have grandsons who love us completely and we are an integral part of their daily lives. Hope you enjoy your time away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Nancy, I really appreciate your perspective.
      I should point out that the rules will NOT be shared with them, but rather a guideline to help my husband and I really to help my anxiety level. When we visisted with them right after our son came home, they played with him and held him the entire time, except during feedings and bedtime. So, I expect that will happen again.
      I also want to point out that these people have never been nice to me (in fact, I’d say on many occasions they been down right mean) so it’s a bit of a survival technique to help me keep my anxiety down.

      Like

    • THIS.. Nancy is 100% correct here. I know I keep chiming in, but I think Nancy speaks for every grandmother and MIL out there. I know that I put WAY too many rules on my family (not so much on my in-laws – but I was frosty in return to their frosty which only made things harder for everyone) and my parents are not as close to our kids as I’d like – and it’s mostly MY fault. I’ve lightened up so much and now the walls are breaking down and things are getting much better, but it truly is probably 70% my fault. I’m reading a lot of these comments and just shaking my head and feeling sad.

      Nancy – you nailed it. And just an interesting side-note, my MIL is named Nancy and has 4 kids and 4 grandkids, and if you didn’t say that you have 2 granddaughters, I would wonder if you were my MIL. 🙂 My MIL and I get on famously now (after a very rocky start), and I love her to the ends of the earth. I am so grateful that we both lightened up and decided to try to like each other rather than dwell on our differences. ❤

      Like

  10. Some people really don’t understand babies’ needs, do they? A sleep schedule is the most important part of keeping baby happy. My babies are so sweet and happy, most of the time, and it’s definitely due to consistent, healthy sleep habits. Making good sleep THE priority will always pay off. And as for in-laws, I’m sorry yours have not treated you well in the past. I agree that now more than ever is the time to firmly stand up for yourself. I struggle with mine now that the babies are here for different reasons – mainly, my MIL has NO CLUE how to comfort a baby, change a diaper, etc and just seems to want to piss them off with her incessant babble and constant over-stimulation! Drives me batty! Okay, rant over. I truly hope your trip goes much better than expected.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In your life, there has been so much out of your control. Now that you have your baby, taking control of all that you can, predicting plans and working things out in your mind ahead of time, and doing what you need to do to help your own anxiety and for baby mpbs needs, is a comforting way to proceed through ‘big’ situations. Good on ya, Mommy!
    I broke into a big smile to read the cupcakes will be making their long awaited entrance :). XO

    Liked by 2 people

  12. These are great. We have a…challenging relationship with my mother in law and having a visit plan is absolutely necessary. With the last visit we were in therapy less than 24 hours after she left. It’s a great way to make sure you and Mr MPB are on the same page with what is important to each of you so when a situation arises you know how to respond. I wish you the best of luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I so hope this goes well and that they respect your decision to put little guy to bed when you need to. Sending you lots of love, hugs, and positive vibes to get you through the trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s good to have a plan in place like this! It should make things go smoother. It’s a bit obnoxious to me that even though you told them that the baby’s bedtime is 7pm, that they wouldn’t budge on the party that is specifically for him. Makes no sense! I’m happy you’ll have blue cupcakes though!! I hope all goes well and you don’t stress too much while you’re gone!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. For those commenting about MPB being too rigid… she has just two rules that affect anyone else. Two. She and Mr MPB feed baby, baby goes to sleep at 7. That sounds pretty reasonable to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this!! I tend to agree with you and regardless for me right now what matters most is that anxiety stays under control through the visit. I feel rather strongly that if my anxiety becomes unbearable then everyone will suffer more.

      Like

      • Yes, it will! I say this as someone with a baby who suffers from anxiety myself (though for different reasons; I love my in-laws, but I’m a very introverted person who needs a lot of quiet time to not go crazy). I have VERY similar rules to you when visiting family. For example, my spouse and I try to go for a walk or jog every day for a little alone time (plus, exercise! Endorphins!). We also never stay more than four consecutive days at someone else’s house, and if we must, we plan a family-only day trip in the middle to get away. I spend 30 minutes after waking up each morning drinking coffee and reading my magazine before heading downstairs to the raucous family breakfasts – things like that. I also struggle with micromanaging my son’s day, though. I lost my older son, so it’s hard for me (and I recognize it) to not want everything to be perfect for my second son. It’s gotten better, but I do have a few rules that I still stick to to help me feel in control and calm (for example, I let me MIL put him down for his nap sometimes, but she has to sing him his goodnight song. It seems silly, but it’s also pretty little and it helps me manage my anxiety and “let go” and let her do some things.). Navigating family is hard enough without a baby and without anxiety! I’ll also note: if you were breastfeeding, rule #1 would be moot. So really, you just have one rule, and I still think it’s really reasonable.

        Like

  16. Wow, this thread has been super enlightening for me, especially Nancy’s grandmother perspective. My in laws live in another state, along with my husband’s siblings and their families. I echo many things youve said MPB about them not liking me etc. And for the six years since both my girls have been born, I’ve set up countless rules and restrictions (most are never overt) about the girls’ schedules, sleep, us having to eat all organic, non GMO, etc etc. I also suffer from major anxiety and am an introvert (his family are extreme extroverts) and so I always think that my rules will help me. You know what? They never ever have. And I haven’t learned my lesson. Luckily the grandparents haven’t given up on the girls (yet) because of my rules, but my husband’s sister sure has.
    Obviously, right now you need to test the waters as a new parent with an adopted baby, but if I can give you some advice from someone who has NEVER benefitted from my rules, then maybe I’ll know to take my own advice next time 😊

    Like

  17. I was just going to same the same as babylossmama! Most of these aren’t so much “rules” for other people, as they are simply a plan for the MPB family to make sure their needs are taken care of during what sounds like a potentially very stressful visit. You will need time to yourselves, and if it reduces your stress and baby’s stress to be the only one feeding baby, people should politely shut it.

    I’m on the same page with the sleep schedule thing, and it quite frankly irritates me that they planned a meet and greet for YOUR baby at a time you have made clear is very inconvenient for YOUR baby. It’s true that travel and being in a strange place can (and probably will) throw off his sleep schedule anyway, to me, that’s all the more reason to try to keep as close as possible to the routine he’s used to. I get a lot of grief from my family for not attending evening family gatherings, because my daughter’s bed time is 7:00 pm. I can’t “just keep her up one time” without repercussions that last for days.

    Liked by 2 people

Thoughts? I love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: