Today was a shit show. First furnace is broken. Drops to 40 overnight in the house. Even the animals are shaking. Second landlord isn’t answering. So I go to their house and walk up his mother in law. Finally get a call back. I’m at breakfast. Hattie eats all my food. She then throws her plate across the restaurant. It breaks. I try to find someone to come fix it. Takes calling over five places to get a guy to come out. Turns out it is not an easy fix. It’s about a grand. Then we grocery shop. I couponed for the first time. Stressful. Saved fifty bucks. Awesome. Get home. Husband tells me to get ready. Date night. Bowling. I suck. He almost gets a 200. I get less than 80. Shittiest day turned magical. I’m a lucky lady.
Sometimes parenting is joyful. At times dreadful. Rarely quiet, at least in this house. Whether it be the joyful laughter of Cheeks discovering a new way to chase the cat, or her cries of frustration. There is noise. Until there isn’t. The moments leading up to “NightNight” in our house are slightly frantic. We search for the cream to put on her tush, the diaper we swear we put right beside us, the perfect Jammie’s. But all too soon she and I are in bed. She is nursing, staring at me. Sometimes mumbling. Other times unlatching to gleefully say MAMA! But always, after a few moments that sometimes stretch into an eternity her eyelids flutter. They close. Her breathing deepens. She sighs. My nipple falls from her mouth. I quietly scramble to get out of bed. Eager to enjoy some grown up time. Yet, the silence when I go downstairs is deafening. We find ourselves wishing she was playing in the other room, or wanting desperately to show us something. But our angel is silent. And somehow, that’s louder than her most frustrated cries. In that instant I miss her, just as if I had been away for days or months. I feel like I’m missing a piece of me. And I realize. I left my heart upstairs.
Um, hi. I missed you. I’ve been MIA. A mommy in action. But in my quest to balance it all, I forgot myself. I’ve needed this. A release, no judgement. I’ve been lost. And it’s taken nearly all of the air out of my sails. So, let’s start over, anew, fresh. And let me tell you the story of me.
This is a story of forgiveness. This is a story of love. This is a story of trust.
In a strange way, I feel nervous writing this. I’m baring myself, and it feels so raw. I’m not comfortable sharing all of myself here. And I hope one day I will be. This situation, it was caused by someone else. But it has become a very introspective journey, it’s about finding myself. So let’s list the facts.
I am a mother.
I am a wife.
I am a sister.
But, I am not me. I have become a different person. A person I am extremely proud of being. I am a giving person, at times too much. I am a loving person. A trusting person. I am a better person.
But what happens when that person is forgotten? Not forever, but for any period of time. What happens when trust is broken so brutally that you feel you can’t go on? Before this, I would have had a million answers to that very question. Now, only one. Forgive. I forgive for myself, no one else. I refuse to hold bitterness in my heart. I only have time for moving forward, and not looking back.
And in a strange way, this has caused a chain reaction, forgiveness all around. I have forgiven myself for losing sight of what was important at times. I have forgiven my mother, for not being who I thought she should be. I have forgiven my father, for never being able to give up drinking. I have forgiven those whom I feel have slighted me. But most importantly, myself, for not being the mother I dreamed I would be. I’m not a bad mother, in fact I believe I am quite the opposite. But, as with all things, I could be better. For the past year, I blamed myself for not being better. Not being enough. But that is over.
The sands of time dull pain.
I intend on giving more of myself to my marriage, to my family, and especially my daughter. But I have realized the one person I haven’t given any of myself to, is me. And that, that has to change. I will be the best role model possible for my daughter. No matter what.
A weight has been lifted, truthfully I feel peaceful. That is, until Cheeks dumps the bag of pretzels on the floor, again. But now, now I can smile. I can revel in the glory of her experiencing her world. I can breathe through the fits of tears she explodes into, simply because she can’t express herself. I can be gentle. Not just for her. But for myself.
Peace, Love, and Cheeks