8 Oct

I was anxious the whole time we were away.  Sometimes low level, is this place safe after dark type of anxiety, sometimes can’t sleep, why is Dickon’s mouth blue and should I be finding the nearest hospital type of anxiety.  There was always something to worry about.  From the lack of mobile phone signal on a flooded Western Australian road to the risk of malaria in Northern Thailand, it was hard to ever feel safe.

This is not me.  I’m not a person who worries about everything.  I’m known for being calm, sometimes too calm.  I gave birth without a midwife because she thought I wasn’t really in labour.  And I know that parents will always worry about their children, whatever the circumstances, but this felt different.  We chose to do this.  To step away from the NHS and cars with seat belts, and go to places where the hospitals regularly have no oxygen.  We deliberately put them at risk.  Again and again.  It was a very uncomfortable thing to live with.

At the time, it was hard to reconcile the beautiful beaches with the anxiety.  I felt like I should have been more relaxed, more carefree.  But the very real fear of danger refused to go away, whispering “bad parent” in my ear as my children slept.

As it turned out, we were very lucky.  No stomach bugs at all, despite having ice in our drinks and eating all the things you’re not supposed to.  No unexpected dunkings in the Mekong. No tyre blowouts in the scorching desert.  We did have a trip to casualty in Thailand after an altercation with a bike, but we’re not exactly strangers at St George’s in Tooting, so I can’t get too worked up about that.  Things could have been a lot worse.

People often say “I bet you had an amazing time” and we did.  We really did.  We rode elephants and slept in the jungle and jumped off waterfalls and snorkelled over coral reefs.  Maybe it’s not possible to have the good stuff without a bit of worrying.


13 Responses to “Anxiety”

  1. Julia 08/10/2011 at 3:59 pm #

    I think it is totally natural to have worries especially as a parent. When you add all the unfamiliar experiences you were having I would say it was perfectly to expected! I suffer with anxiety & sadly don’t need your sort of adventure to feel it! 😉

  2. nmaha 08/10/2011 at 4:13 pm #

    Wow! That was really honest. And yes, if you have any sort of family with you worrying is always a part if the good times 🙂 The good news, your kids will remember only the good times.

  3. Goodynuffmum 08/10/2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Yes, totally agree. At the moment I worry about ever taking my baby on a plane because it would be my fault for putting her there if it crashed. But that way madness lies. I have to work hard to control it though.

    • Little Brown Bird 08/10/2011 at 10:23 pm #

      My mum took me on a plane age 3 months. It’s no biggy. You have more chance of being in a car accident than a plane crash. Flying with a baby is all about timing and not as hard as everyone makes out. Really 😉

  4. English Grandma 08/10/2011 at 8:56 pm #

    It’s only natural to worry about our children, but you were behind them all the way and their travels will remain with them forever….such a gift!

  5. Little Brown Bird 08/10/2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Lovely blog. It’s natural to worry. It obviously hasn’t spoiled your enjoyment of your trip.
    I admire you for doing that


  6. Little Brown Bird 08/10/2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Goodynuffmum – My mum took me on a plane age 3 months. It’s no biggy. You have more chance of being in a car accident than a plane crash. Flying with a baby is all about timing and not as hard as everyone makes out. Really 😉

  7. 09/10/2011 at 5:16 am #

    I think it would be strange if you didn’t worry. I worry about my children all the time. What you did is incredible. What’s the alternative – wrapping them up in cotton wool?

  8. Kirsten & Tim Price 09/10/2011 at 11:39 am #

    It’s a good thing to worry, as it makes you more careful and vigilant at the same time. You all did an amazing thing by taking your kids around the world, you didn’t put them in any danger, you simply showed them what the world and life is all about and you did this because you love them and care for them! You ARE all amazing & caring! … and how have you all settled back in? How are the kids doing at school? Are they with the same friends as before they left on their wonderful trip? Are they coping well with the “stresses” of being at school, all day, every day? Are they healthy? Are they happy & not being bullied? You see, as parents you always worry about and care for your children, no matter what your background is, or where you are! Stay in touch
    Kirsten (& the other globalprices) x x x

    • Rachel 10/10/2011 at 5:15 pm #

      Absolutley agree – it’s not luck that nothing awful happened, it’s worry. You worried and adjusted your behavior accordingly. One day soon you’ll do something even more scary which will make that seem like a walk in the park. Believe me.

  9. The Mad House 09/10/2011 at 12:43 pm #

    You know what I would have been worried too. But you need the have that feeling to be able to care for your children. I am a firm believer in the fact the lows make the highs just so much more amazing

  10. Annability 09/10/2011 at 8:55 pm #

    I am so happy to see this update. It is so much fun to follow a family on such an amazing journey, but it is the coming home bit that is the most fascinating. Hearing your reflections gives insight to those who want to do something similar. Thanks for your honesty.

  11. Kerri @ Baby Monitors Online 11/10/2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Anxiety is a scary thing as when we worry about something, we start to believe that the thing we are worrying about is going to be true. I think it’s normal to worry about your children though, especially when we are away from home and the usual routine.

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