Hey Mom Who Cares Too Much What People Think,
Yes I’m the Mom who cares too much what people think. I guess I’ve been like that all my life and it’s something I continue to work on. I’d like to think it’s because I’m a people pleaser but then last Sunday happened. I had to scream inside my own head to stop worrying about what all of the other parents around me were thinking while I handled my anxiety ridden child.
Another beautiful Sunday started no different here, we went out to breakfast, grabbed our soccer gear and headed to the soccer field down the street. Reluctantly my daughter put on her shin guards and put on her team shirt. I opened up my chair and took a seat by the sidelines and watched my son play with his trucks. I didn’t want to watch my husband walk our daughter over to the other team members. Every time I watch, it tears at my heart that much more. She hates it. She cries and literally drags as my husband pulls her towards her team. All I could think of were all of these parents surrounding me. They must be thinking “why are those terrible parents making that poor sweet girl play soccer if she doesn’t even like it?” See the thing is she loves it. She loves playing at home and when all of the other teams are leaving the field after the game she is already asking my husband and I to play with her before we leave. I just wish everyone around me knew I’m pushing her because she has anxiety and it’s what our therapist told us to do. Simple as that. I’m pushing because sometimes the best way to conquer anxiety is to face it head on.
There are so many moments when I want to punch our therapist straight in the neck because she isn’t the one that has to watch her daughter cry by the sidelines as I watch her struggle with hating the position she is standing in. See the thing is I can relate. I have the same anxieties however, I’m pretty sure I didn’t have them at that age. It hurts me to no end to hear other parents say, “it gets easier” or “that’s how my son was at the beginning of the season and look at him now.” don’t get me wrong I appreciate the reassurance and parental support, but all it does is make me feel worse because it’s not getting any better, each week gets worse. We will be giving up soccer come the last game but I will not give up on my daughter. We will try basket ball, karate, horseback riding lessons, T-Ball, whatever it takes we will keep pushing her through this.
Pushing, what is that even all about? Why would I ever want to push my child? Well I don’t. I hate the idea of pushing her past her comfort zone, heck I hate being pushed outside my comfort zone. Again, it’s what the therapist is telling us is best for her, for us. Hey, to me it makes sense. A person afraid of heights must get out there and face that ladder! Realize that your not going to fall off the side of a high building and swallow that anxiety right? If it were only that easy for someone at the age of five.
I wanted to run from the field that day. I wanted to scoop my daughter up and just go home. My husband luckily stood strong and said we are not going home. I continued to look the other way as I saw a coach, another mother grab my daughters hand and walk out onto the field. Another Mom was taking her under here wing and I felt helpless. I wanted to take her under my wing, but sometimes it just takes other people. I sat and watched, my sweet girl needs other parental role models, adults, other people, she has to learn to love and respect others. That’s when I realized that I didn’t care what everyone else around me thought. I was seeing my daughter trust someone else, which is what she needs according to our therapist. I was watching her kick the soccer ball for the first time in 7 games. I silently hugged and thanked my husband for not allowing me to leave the field that day because I got to see the results of what the therapist told us to do. That day was the day I promised myself going forward I was going to stop caring what others thought. A day where no one else was important but my child.
My husband and I both wanted to thank that Mom. Someone who must understand what it’s like to have a child with low confidence and bit of anxiety. She was too far ahead of us as we walked towards the parking lot. Then another Dad walked by and said “Great Goal out there today!” I looked down at my daughter and saw the small smile that spread across her sweet face. I mouthed “Thank You” to the father. My husband and I packed up our car and as I was getting in the other Mom coach that had grabbed my daughters hand, drove by and said “Good work out there today Madison!” I turned around and mouthed “Thank you soooo much” to the woman as she waved. Some day I will pay it forward. Some day I will help another child by simply taking their hand.