The other day I watched a woman unpacking a baby from her SUV. Out came a bulky stroller from the back. Then the baby-seat, with baby inside, was attached to the stroller with no small effort. Then came the coup de gras that flipped my anxiety switch: She slung a massive bag over her shoulder.
I've detested purses and the like ever since I was a child. Every woman I knew seemed to be burdened by massive bags. I was allowed, even encouraged, to carry them in order to relieve my mother, and especially my grandmother, of the weight, but the contents were forbidden to me most of the time. As I grew older and came to understand the questionable purpose of all the junk women carried, I swore to myself that I'd never carry a purse. And I haven't. The only purse in my possession is a little black clutch for formal occasions. Everything I need to carry on my person is contained within a functional little plastic wallet that usually hangs around my neck, inside my clothes.
And suddenly, watching that unfortunate woman sling that huge bag around, I realized that one day soon that would be me, walking around with the straps of a diaper bag digging into my shoulder, pushing an equally heavily-burdened stroller toward the goal-of-the-moment. It literally stole my breath from me. Wanting a baby, having a baby, caring for a baby -- the enormity of what I was taking on -- symbolized by a silly diaper bag -- slapped me hard in the chest.
I allowed myself a momentary indulgence in my anxiety and resentment, reminded myself to breathe, and then firmly, but gently, told myself to get over it. Diaper bags and purses and so much more baby gear was soon to be a part of my daily reality and no amount of pouting on the part of my inner-child was going to change that.
Anxiety attack averted :)