Gas theory of freaking out. 

The volume of the gas is considered equal to the volume of the container…Gas particles are far apart and will fill a container of any size and shape.

So, gas will expand or be compressed to fill its container. I find the time involved in raising kids to be the same way. It doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 4, they will fill your time. All of it. 

Likewise, for me the amount of parental freaking out I do it inversely proportional to the amount of freaking out already happening. More freaking out by someone else, I’m good. Kids acting crazy and there is no one else around? Prepare for me to fill that container. 

I was reminded of this during our second trip to the beach this morning. Kid4 was being whiny and not having fun. But, I found myself feeling pretty zen. Then, I realized there was a grandparent behind me that had been flipping out at her grandkids over small things. They seemed to be well behaved to me, so I guess subconsciously I felt the freak out container was full so my potential freak out level was zero. 

You know that line from the Hulk? Maybe the key to less freaking out for me isn’t to try and be zen, but to try and empathize with everyone in the situation. Feel their stress, internalize their stress, be less stressed myself. 


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