No Rain, No Flowers
Let me be the first to admit this: motherhood is the epitome of worry and guilt! In all my days combined I don’t think I’ve worried and guilted myself as much as I have during my short time (11 months now) as a mama. Now don’t be alarmed when I say this, but even with my lovable baby looking me in my eyes, I have often found myself feeling like I have nothing to look forward to- nothing to live for! Only tonight, just before writing this in my journal, I had a precious quiet moment to soak in the tub, during which time I realized exactly why I’ve been struggling with these feelings. All I do is worry! I worry about my daughter’s health. I worry if I’m being a good enough mama to her- because let’s be real, as a parent, it can be easy to lose our patience with our babies, forgetting that everything is still so new to the both of us! I worry about being someone worth looking up to for her. I worry if she’s safe from THIS harm or THAT harm… I think you get it- moms have the tendency to worry (and rightfully so!), alongside operating in caretaker auto pilot mode day after day, changing diaper after diaper, fixing bottle after bottle- and don’t get me started on the waking up all throughout the night- while also dealing with the stresses that sometimes just come with life! It can be both monotonous and overwhelming simultaneously! Let’s not forget constantly feeling guilty for wanting a break from it all, or feeling like we’ve been doing way too much but also not doing enough! (How the heck is that even possible?!) I think we can all agree that that’s enough to make a person question their sanity! Well let me tell you this: it’s most certainly MADDENING and we deserve to cut ourselves a hell of a lot of slack! Although it is still very much a challenge getting use to not getting proper rest or getting a break from always being on go 11 months deep, I can’t say I haven’t found a little bit of a flow. (We all eventually do if we have faith in ourselves.)The love and smiles my baby has for me is daily confirmation that no matter how much I doubt myself, I’m doing just fine in her innocent little eyes! That’s how I keep going no matter how exhausted I am. (And I do be tide!) In a nutshell, moms are typically no longer afforded the opportunities to become fully immersed in the simple pleasures life before motherhood had to offer us. This leaves us with the tendencies to overindulge in simple pleasures (when we get the rare chance to do so), making them become GUILTY pleasures! That’s when we see weight gain and even MORE body image issues come into the picture if said pleasure happens to be food or junk food, which it most likely is because it’s the most easily accessible, remotely enjoyable thing we get to indulge in outside of motherhood. (S.N.: I saw a joke that said “If you want a real freak, catch a single mama on a night she’s kid free” and I just thought that was the funniest thing ever!) Nevertheless, we somehow (because we’re real life super heroes, that’s how) manage to push all of our issues to the back burner and continue to love our babies and restlessly make those sacrifices to ensure our children’s happiness and well-being. The problem with not only mom life, but a busy and turbulent life in general, is that the chaos becomes a distraction from life’s simple pleasures. Without being able to recognize simple pleasures for what they are, we begin to believe that all we have is problems, so that’s really all we see and become magnetized to. The reality of things is: there is no bad without good, and no good without bad, meaning it really ain’t all bad! Our job is to realize that there is a balance to be had, and that tipping the scale in our favor is possible! Now the question is “How?”. We have to bio-hack (more commonly known as life hack) in order to integrate reminders into our daily lives to bring us back to a space of gratitude. We have to actively seek ways to improve our ability to recognize things worth being grateful for, or else we will surely succumb to our grievances, and ultimately depression- postpartum depression, in particular, for struggling mamas. Another integral part of coasting through the highs and lows is giving yourself grace and forgiveness through ALL of it! Have some compassion for yourself! Let yourself cry without guilt! Don’t beat yourself up, but at the same time, take that accountability so that you can evolve and not keep cycling through the same exact highs and lows! Having the space and ability to appreciate simple things in life is CRUCIAL and will ultimately help rewire us subconsciously to know that there’s still joy left to look forward to, there are ALWAYS things to be grateful for, and there is most definitely sunshine after every storm. P.S. Every day won’t be your best, but your best is ENOUGH every day! For all the mamas who didn’t think they could weather their storms.