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April 11, 2011 / Anna (NannyShare)

How not to relax

I have always been a great lover of massage.  I go for two hour sessions.  Yes, two hours. Because two hours is really the only acceptable length of time to cover your whole body, in my opinion. I love my massage not only because it feels awesome on my muscles, but also because for those two hours  I am able to escape into a completely relaxed mini-coma.  Half conscious, drifting between thought and dream, I can let my mind just flitter about indulgently without having to think about anything.

A couple of months ago, I went for my first post-pregnancy massage.  I was exhausted and so looking forward to that escape. But I remained conscious and thinking the whole time.  I assumed it was a fluke, until I went back again yesterday for another session.  Not only did I remain conscious, but I was seriously stressed. All I could think about was my baby.  Who was in the excellent hands of my husband.  But I couldn’t help but worry about everything.  Here’s a  ten second sample of my thoughts during my two hour “relaxing” massage:

I wonder if Alex is giving Max a bath yet. Its been a while since Alex gave him a bath, does he know that the he likes to lean over and lay his head onto the side of the tub now when he’s tired? Oh god, what if the baby leans over and Alex isn’t ready and the tub somehow topples over, off the bathroom counter and the baby falls head first onto the floor?  What would happen if my baby fell onto the tile floor? Oh god, he would crack his head open!  He could die! I have to stop the massage and call Alex and tell him. My baby is going to fall out of the bathtub if I don’t text Alex right now. Oh god oh god oh god.

And that’s when I realized.  I will never be able to fully relax again.  Because people with kids can never relax like people without kids.  Ever.  And maybe being a very new parent makes the worry a little worse than having grown children, but I know that it will always be there.  And, ironically, true relaxation no longer comes from escape.  These days it comes from holding my baby.

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One Comment

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  1. Liz W / Oct 26 2011 1:21 pm

    You’ve gotta be kidding me. I won’t relax during a massage? Why did I ever do this?

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