Fear of Flying …because I’m a Mom

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Photo Credit: Ross Parmly   via  Unsplash

This is the week I’ve been waiting for! In just 3 days I will be boarding a plane, destined for Scottsdale, AZ for what will most likely be a weekend that I will remember for the rest of my life. A weekend that I will look back on fondly when I’m a little 90 year old lady, feeling grateful for having had friendships that lasted (literally) almost an entire lifetime.

A girls weekend. A MOM weekend. A TIRED mom/girls weekend.

And not with just any girls…

But the same girls who excitedly called each other’s Teen Lines when we got our first periods, flipped through the pages of Teen Beat together while eating Laffy Taffy, secretly teepeed the cute neighbor boy’s house at 1am, hugged each other when we were broken-hearted, stood up at each other’s weddings, …and every big moment in between.

I’m so excited! So so so so so so SOOO excited!

But… I’m also dreading it…

Because it means I have to fly! And in my crazy, anxiety-ridden mom brain, flying means dying. Seriously, FLYING MEANS DYING! Yeah. It’s THAT bad.

I’ve done some serious jet-setting in my life, so, to me, this fear is so far out of left field. It’s new. But, it’s so real, so paralyzing, so raw!

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I remember a time when I loved everything about flying! I loved the luxury of in-flight movies and cocktails, the view from high up in the sky, and the adventure that awaited me at my destination. What happened to me? What happened is that I lucked out, and have been raising this awesome little family of five. I cherish them all more than anything on Earth, and have a lot of fears about messing up this good thing we’ve got gong on here. 🙂

My fear led me to the interwebs, where I’ve done hours of research regarding: the best prescription anti-anxiety meds, good OTC drugs that’ll knock me out without getting me on the no-fly list, plane crash statistics, self hypnosis, and sooooooo much more.

I’ve found one common denominator in my research. MOST moms are afraid to fly. It’s not just me! And, it’s not an actual fear of “flying” that is scaring me. It’s several things, actually.

First, in my daily life, having control over the events occurring around me is key. I wear a lot of hats, from head chef, to child caretaker, housekeeper, gardener, counselor, chauffeur, not to mention my writing and blogging career. Control is key. I’ll just say it, I’m a control freak! (Just ask my husband)

With all of those hats, the biggest role I play is spouse and mom. These people NEED me. At least, I like to think they do. If anything ever happened to me, who would take care of my babies? And who would take care of my amazing, handsome husband? Some dingbat, 23 year old with a h…….. Wait, let’s not even go there.

I’m also afraid of dying. Not totally because of the actual dying part, although a fiery plane crash is a far cry from dying peacefully in my sleep at 97 like I have all planned out, but because I feel like I haven’t crossed everything off my bucket list yet. I feel like I’ve got lots of unfinished business left here on Earth. Like, I still need to raise my children, write a book, travel more, buy a houseboat, organize my closets, AND have a garage sale! Who would do all that if I wasn’t here? 😉

The last thing, and biggest, is guilt. I live for my family. I just don’t do things like this! I feel horrible for leaving. I feel like I’m abandoning everyone by spending a weekend away. I don’t question how good of a wife and mom I am, I know that I am…yet I can’t escape this guilt. The anxiety associated with the guilt I feel is amplifying my fears and translating them into a fear of flying, when it really has nothing at all to do with being on a plane. It’s about a fear of not being present for my family.

Examining my fears in a very blunt and detailed way is the only thing that has helped me to come remotely close to managing them. I needed to face what was the ultimate bad consequence of travelling, which is dying. I had to think of what would really happen if I’m gone, for a weekend or a lifetime. As bad as this may sound, life will go on without me. Whether I’m gone for 3 days, or forever. (Wow, dramatic much, Kelli?! Sheesh!)

Ultimately, there’s really no huge cure to this, other than turning my fears over to God, which can be hard! I feel like life is meant to be lived, not feared. Ultimately, I KNOW God is in control of my life and has a plan for me, and the statistics favor the fact that His plan isn’t for me to get into a plane crash & die. 🙂

I’ve been blessed with: a happy home, healthy children, the best and most supportive husband I could ever imagine, amazing girlfriends who are strong women of character that I’m beyond proud of and so excited to reunite with this weekend!

I’m going to put my fears aside, pray a lot, gulp a couple huge glasses of wine, get on that plane and enjoy my girls weekend like I’m 18 again! 🙂

Life is good! 🙂

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Are you afraid of flying? Do you have any fears that you’ve had to face head on? Share your comments below! (Email addresses will never be shared and are invisible to the public).

 

Photo Credit:

photo 1: Ross Parmly via Unsplash

photo 2: Agnes Wästlund via Unsplash

photo 3: Wil Stewart via Unsplash

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