Everyone struggles. Some struggle more than others, but that doesn't mean we can't support other parents. If someone tells you about their problem, no matter how silly or trivial you think it is compared to your own, or what other people deal with, support them. Lift them up. Say you understand how hard it must be for them, and acknowledge their feelings.
You're processing the world around you, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. And as your mom, I'm doing my best to show you (and remind myself each day) how to bring light into this world each of those days. In the grocery store, at the park, in the classroom. We're in this together. We'll learn together. We'll fall together. We'll get up together.
I was trying to recall a day when I was a fantastic mom all day, where I managed to stay patient, positive and in the zone. More often than not, I flop back and forth between extremes like a fish out of water, I'm a fantastic mom, wait, nope I'm a shitty mom. It's incredible how quickly I can go from nailing it to absolutely shitting the bed.
Because my baby girl, you come from a proud line of loving, nurturing, loud laughing, often giggling, deeply feeling and wonderful women with curves who have been wounded by other people's aesthetic expectations and cheated by their own understanding of perfection. I want you to see me love myself for all the gorgeous, nurturing mamas that came before me.
During my pregnancy and right after birth there were a lot of "warnings" about the havoc my little monster would create. How I wouldn't be able to function without sleep. How I would have to recalibrate. How I'd need to discipline. Heaps upon loads of advice on how to keep the baby from inconveniencing my routine, at any cost.
One day I will turn around and you won't be sitting in the car seat behind me; you will be the one driving. That day is still far away, but this new path you are on is another step in that direction. Part of me wants to keep you close forever. I know this can't happen, but I feel the urge all the same.
Wouldn't that be nice? I don't remember being given the option. I do remember getting a weird look, being brushed off, handed a script and sent home. I can only imagine (fantasize) what rehab for postpartum depression looks like. A limo arrives at my doorstep and out steps Ryan Gosling. "Hey girl," he says. "We're going to PPD rehab."
I've experienced different kinds of neediness in my life: My professional contacts have reminded me since you were 6 months old how badly I'm wanted back at work. Your father has patiently waited for me to become a friend and a wife to him again. Your grandparents have always missed spending time with their only child. But nothing like this.
Not only is it important for mothers to talk the talk and help instill these values into their children, but they need to be prepared to walk the walk. Many mothers are so busy taking care of their family they neglect their own well-being. In order to be at your best in every aspect of life, you need to invest in yourself first!
Don't get me wrong, I love to do things for and with them, but I also want them to be independent and give them the confidence to know they have the capability to do these things on their own. It's not just their toys that need to be organized, other areas of your home can contribute to their autonomy as well.