FO·MO –ˈfōmō/ noun
1. anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website
AKA: Fear of missing out
What in the world could this have to do with being a mom? I could go into the whole, I don’t go out like I used to and I can’t leave the house on a whim. Hubby and I rarely, if ever, have date night. But that’s not what I mean. Of course those things were nice when I could do them, but I don’t necessarily miss them, except for the date nights. What I mean here is the fear of missing out on experiences with my children.
I had an epiphany as the summer was getting underway this year. I was missing out a quality time with my kids because of my own anxieties and discomfort. Let me backpedal a bit here so that I can explain…
Mainly what I’m referring to is my “problem” with water. I don’t like it. Never have and I can’t really explain why. I don’t enjoy being wet in any aspect. Whether it be rain, swimming, or even taking a shower. It’s uncomfortable for me to be wet. Again, I’m not really sure why I’m like this, but it’s just a weird sensory issue I have. I usually explain myself as being much like a cat and that the reason I shower is because, you know, hygiene. Don’t even get me started on baths! I also have a serious fear of drowning (not so unusual) and with all of the wonderful things that get shared on Facebook and the like, secondary drowning was now on my list of things to freak out about.
Back to that epiphany…
My kids LOVE the water. (Didn’t get it from me!) I want to make them happy and do things that they enjoy. So this year I told myself to suck it up and deal. I didn’t want my kids to remember their summers in the pool with mom getting irritated by splashing, mom not wanting them to jump in to her because she didn’t like getting her hair wet, etc. Writing that out actually makes it sound worse now. I also want to teach my kids that you can do things you don’t necessarily like and still have fun. So I put on my bathing suit and jumped in the deep end! (figuratively speaking that is…)
I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see the smile on Gav’s face when I started swimming next to him. I swear it was almost like he was in shock. He made a game of pretending I was a shark and I showed him how I could do flips and handstands. (Luckily I still can!) And I’ll be really honest with you, I HAD FUN! It was very freeing to let go and just be with my boys. As for the fear factor, I’m never by myself with them in the water so there are always eyes on them to protect them from getting hurt. Also, I found out that secondary drowning is actually rare and they have to aspirate the water, not just drink it. *phew*
This summer I let go of my own insecurities and anxieties and was able to truly enjoy time with my kids. I think I put on a bathing suit more times this summer than I have in 15 years, and I used to live in Charleston! You guys, I even went down a waterslide! I can’t say that like the water any more than I use to, but I’m certainly more willing than I use to be. Kids will do that to you…