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To be an emotional wreck after passing during test

(41 Posts)
Baliali31 Sat 03-Jan-15 20:10:28

Passed my test recently, in early thirties and have 17 week old ds. I'd been trying hopelessly for years to pass but was really motivated to do it for my son's sake so I can take him to classes etc (live rurally).

I am really struggling with driving to the extent that I am constantly thinking out my journey, beating myself up about mistakes etc. to make it worst my car needed some work done by garage a week after I started driving (been assured it was wear and tear issues largely due to being 12 years old) so in my mind I'm not only a danger to others on the road but to the car itself!!!! Most of all I am terrified of causing an accident with ds in the car although rationally I know I'm a sensible driver overall.

Has any other MN passed driving test with young baby? If so, any tips to help? AIBU to quit driving and go back to a life of buses?

Baliali31 Sat 03-Jan-15 20:10:58

Should read driving test! First post, sorry

Iggly Sat 03-Jan-15 20:13:14

After I passed (pregnant at the time), I was on a high and drove a bit. Then stopped then when dd arrived I had to drive twice a week. Doing that, even though I was terrified, got my confidence up.

So you need to drive and drive regularly even for short journeys, to keep your confidence up. Not driving will a) waste the money spent on lessons and b) dent your confidence. So keep up!

Branleuse Sat 03-Jan-15 20:15:44

have you considered trying automatic instead of manual to cut down on the stress.

Also remember, youre paying a lot of money for them to teach you. Try and take an emotional step back from the learning. It can be overwhelming enough as it is without panicking about mistakes or what the rest of rhe world/road think

Branleuse Sat 03-Jan-15 20:16:33

obv didnt read your post properly, ignore what i said xx

nomoreminibreaks Sat 03-Jan-15 20:16:43

I passed my test while pregnant with DC1 and yes I was a bit of a wreck at first. There was no miracle cure, I just had to keep up my shortish regular trips out and slowly but surely I became more confident. The more I put things off the more nervous I was so I'd recommend just sticking at it. I think most sensible drivers go through a similar period where they 'really' learn to drive. smile

FrogIsATwat Sat 03-Jan-15 20:17:52

Yes i used to get very worked up. I would drive somewhere and have to do the return journey straight away (i would turn up at my parents and announce i was leaving) or the panic would set in.
Keep driving. I did a pass plus which helped a lot. It will pass. 14 years happy driving now smile

nomoreminibreaks Sat 03-Jan-15 20:18:08

Or there's always the advanced driving course if you feel you need more instruction?

FrogIsATwat Sat 03-Jan-15 20:19:17

Whatever you do don't stop wink

OriginalGreenGiant Sat 03-Jan-15 20:21:57

The only answer is to drive, drive, drive. Find a few routes to often travelled places...the supermarket/local shops/a friends house and drive it every day. Then branch out.

I passed my test when ds1 was 2 and I was pregnant with ds2 and I was terrified of taking ds1 out in the car at first. But it does get better and like anything, the more you practice the more confident you will get.

Hurr1cane Sat 03-Jan-15 20:22:41

I passed when DS was a very young baby. I announced during a phone call to my family that I would not be driving with DS in the car until I was experienced.

My dad made me go and pick him up that day grin

He's quite good at forcing me out of my comfort zone though because he knows my anxiety just rises instead of falling with these things, so best just getting it over with

Goodwordguide Sat 03-Jan-15 20:23:36

Definitely get sat nav - you can get it quite cheap as an app on a smart phone eg, co pilot. I am a terrified nervous driver, didn't drive for years and then re learnt when pregnant but still terrified. Sat nav has helped enormously, I just follow what it says, even when I know the way, daft as this sounds!

PonderousTortoise Sat 03-Jan-15 20:26:18

Well congratulations on passing! I'll be going for my fifth go soon, also in my thirties. I think being older and having kids are both things that can make you much more anxious and aware of risk so it probably is harder to be a new driver at this stage than people who passed in their teens.

Do you struggle with anxiety generally or is it just the driving? If former, maybe need to look at coping strategies/talking to someone. If the latter, I think everyone's right; trust yourself and just keep at it with regular short journeys. Remind yourself why you are putting yourself through the pain; it is so useful with DC to be able to drive yourself places. Good luck!

Baliali31 Sat 03-Jan-15 20:27:32

Thank you for all your replies, I feel a lot better knowing that other people have felt similar at times! My driving instructor couldn't offer pass plus/advanced driving course but I am going to keep it in my mind. I think the key is to keep going and hopefully my confidence will grow. Think it might be helpful to get a few hours during per week without ds in the car to relax a bit and try to enjoy

ZombieApocalypse Sat 03-Jan-15 20:29:01

Congratulations on passing your test! That's brilliant.

Don't give up driving, you just need to practice a bit. As others have said, definitely get satnav - it's really helpful when you're not sure where you're going.

My advice is drive as much as you can, even short trips, to get you used to it. There's nothing to panic about - millions of people drive every day and you will be absolutely fine. flowers

creamhearts Sat 03-Jan-15 20:29:01

I didn't pass with a young baby but I am not a natural driver and found the whole process very stressful. I passed 6 years ago and I am still nervous sometimes, especially on motorways.

I found PassPlus very helpful because you do different types of driving. Also the more you do it the easier it gets. I have started driving an hour or so on the motorway every week and while I hated it to start of with now it is ok, I find it easier. (I drive that distance for a reason btw not just for the sake of it!!)

Also ditto getting a satnav, they really help and take the stress out of driving.

Charley50 Sat 03-Jan-15 20:29:04

I passed when I was 40 and I was the same. I didn't by a car till a year after passing test and would get so anxious about even just driving half a mile. As pp have said just do it. Drive a bit every day. Drive in rain and in the dark when you feel more confident. Make sure you drive in the motorway sometimes too.

AnnField Sat 03-Jan-15 20:29:50

I passed my test just over a year ago and today for the first time ever I enjoyed driving and didn't get stressed about it.

Keep driving whatever you do. It may take you a while to be comfortable doing it but one day everything will click into place.

Charley50 Sat 03-Jan-15 20:29:59

Ditto ditto SatNav.

Princesspond Sat 03-Jan-15 20:30:04

I used to feel the same, just keep making yourself go out. The more driving you do the better you get and I was always over analysing every little mistake. In one way I think this is helpful, helping you to reflect and improve if it was your mistake. You will find it just gets less and one day you will drive somewhere without having even thought about it. I passed my test when I had two under two, but get the practise in before you've got squabbling kids in the car, so hard to concentrate then.

Baliali31 Sat 03-Jan-15 20:32:07

Ponderous I have suffered from what I think is performance anxiety I.e terrible nerves during tests/public speaking over the years. My next move had I failed my test this time would have been alternative methods such as hypnosis. In saying that, I think my anxiety has improved as I've reached my thirties but feel that I've regressed since passing my test!

bluecheque4595 Sat 03-Jan-15 20:44:17

If you got on well with your driving instructor, then contact him/her and say you want a lesson in your own car, just to consolidate learning and be more confident, it is your money so you could get them to plan a route with you that you would do normally, like ie a trip to the local shop or whatever in your head seems daunting. Do it once with an expert, heed all their advice then do it yourself.

In the early stages, try only driving in low stress times of day. Driving late at night might be good, for driving getting to know roads without the additional stress of traffic.

If you and partner usually drive to the shops and it usually takes ten minutes and they park by the front door of the shops, do NOT expect yourself to be able to do exactly the same, specially if you are prone to overanalyse your mistakes and do the shame spiral thing. If a trip would take an experienced driver ten mins then you set off with twenty mins instead. Take all the time pressure stress out of it. Dont hassle yourself to park right by the door of the shop. Go to a nice quiet spacious corner of the car park and take your time to park. Time pressure plus stress means you will associate that trip with stress and bad decisions, which erodes your confidence so you dread it the next time and so on. You dont want that.

If kids are squealing in the back, filter them out until there is a safe place to stop. Then stop, then deal with the kids. Make an effort not to let them distract your eyes from the road in any way.

Hope this helps! I am an ADI so have been happy to give pupils lessons post test. Personally it is lovely to see a formerly nervous pupil behind the wheel of their own car feeling good about their driving ability.

FrogIsATwat Sun 04-Jan-15 00:10:50

Good luck ponderous. I passed on test 5

Icimoi Sun 04-Jan-15 00:19:43

I found it considerably less stressful driving after I passed my test, just because I wasn't permanently conscious of having someone watching everything I did.

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 04-Jan-15 00:36:29

I passed years before I had DCs but hadn't driven for the three years immediately prior to DS being born so it was fairly nervewracking. I would suggest trying to get out 2 or 3 times a week for the next few weeks on your own, leaving your DS at home, just so you can concentrate without any distractions. Practice is all that you need. Good luck.

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