Quarantine, Mom Guilt, etc.

Hi guys! I know that I have been MIA for a while now. I’ve been inconsistent and I’m hoping to change that. Currently, my house looks like it’s suffered the invasion of the Jumanji jungle. I’m so exhausted that I’m nauseous. My toddler has a birthday coming up and I’m scratching my head trying to figure out how I can make her day special.

We, like many other families, are transitioning into a new normal. One that we didn’t plan for, it came unexpectedly. Even though, this is only temporary, it doesn’t change the fact that we are all feeling the effects of it.

I’m not going to lie. There have been many good that has come out of it, personally speaking. I’m sure that my daughter would agree that I’ve allowed her to do more arts and crafts. I’ve become less concerned about the state of cleanliness, or so it seems. Inside I cringe at the mess that I see and keep it all inside until I can grab a broom and frantically create a space that calms my spirit.

Cleaning has become my coping mechanism. That and working out, singing, painting, listening to worship music, my “at-home” photo shoot, doing my daughter’s hair, binging Law & Order,  pretty much anything that I can do to make me feel productive and avoid being outside. Better yet, avoid feeling anxious. I’ve never been good at feeling anxious. I don’t like stress.

I can hide stress, I know how to act under pressure. I know how to hide, suppress and avoid stress. You see, I was taught at an early age to see and not react. I was trained to be seen and not heard. I can execute any role flawlessly on the surface but when it comes time to voice my concerns, problems arise. This is one skill I refuse to pass on to my children.

So you see, I have concerns like everyone else. I am scared of contracting this virus not because of what it will do to me but because of how it will affect my husband and children. I don’t want to be separated from my family. I don’t want them to be separated from me. I’ve got a 6 month old that I’m still breastfeeding. I don’t want to stop giving her my milk. I don’t want to miss any monumental event in their lives. I know how my girls speak and they understand me. I like us. I don’t want them to see this weakness and because I associated this anxiety as weakness I do all that I can to hide it from them.

So I make up for it by looking for crafts that my girl can do quietly.  I stay at home with my girls like a good citizen, avoiding the news, but staying up to date via the internet research. I find entertainment on social media. I try to hug my girls as much as possible. Most times it’s not to the level that I envisioned. I don’t sleep like I should, therefore I am tired. When I am tired I get cranky. I lose my cool way more than I would like. I’ve had to apologize more than I’d like to admit. I carry the weight of shame for not being the emotionally supportive wife to my husband and mother to my children, but most importantly, friend to myself. It transferred into mom guilt and has kept me from really being the blessing I was made to be to everyone including myself.

I felt guilty because I feared that I wasn’t creating a space where my girls could thrive emotionally. I felt guilty because I felt like I should know better and do better. I felt like I wasn’t being the “good” mom I believe my girls deserved. I saw myself repeating certain traits I saw growing up and I began to resent myself for allowing it to continue. I couldn’t understand why I would fail the same God who gave me these children and in turn fail them.

Turns out, I was wrong. My husband made sure to point that out.

I was doing my best. My best is good enough.

So wherever you are, whoever you are I hope you know that you are not alone. You are not feeling this by yourself. It’s normal to feel guilty. It’s normal to feel anxious. It’s normal for it to hit you like a ton of bricks a month after social distancing laws have been enforced. It’s totally normal.

So give yourself grace. Give yourself room to learn, adapt and evolve. You’ve made it this far being able to overcome every obstacle and challenge you faced up until now. You will get through this and you will be better because of it.

Speak life and forgiveness into your soul. Take a breath and note every single blessing you’ve been given at this time. Because believe me it won’t last forever and soon we’ll be back to saying “I wish I had more time…”

Some Days Are Better Than Others

I think it goes without saying that some days are better than others.

It’s true in life in general but when your hormones are trying to find their way back to normal, after housing a human being for 9 months. Let’s not forget, while functioning and being available to those who need you and rely on you for everything …

well…

It’s been a month since I’ve given birth. That means I have a 1 month old who needs my attention in ways she did not need before. I’ve got a toddler who needs me to be her mother and a husband who just needs me.

What’s worse is that ever since we’ve returned from the hospital, my toddler has now picked up a new habit. She now wets the bed. I’ve figured out the times at which this is likely to happen so it’s fixable but the problem is…I’ve got a newborn keeping me awake at night.

Talk about a transition for the whole family.

Although my husband has been extremely supportive and attentive to my mental health and it’s been a major blessing, there are things he can’t fix. Some of them are triggers for those rough days.

You know, the days when you just need a moment to yourself on the bathroom floor to cry out of exhaustion, shame and guilt. Those are the rough days I’m talking about. Today was one of them.

I woke up tired,

saw another pee stain,

do a load of laundry,

worry about how much the water bill will be,

ignore the whiny toddler who wants ice cream for breakfast,

make sure to pick the screaming newborn who suddenly remembered my presence is required,

get that coffee machine going,

ignore the dirty kitchen,

the leftover socks are still on the floor?!

when is my maternity leave benefits kicking in?

I lost it on the toddler, I have to do better!

Nevermind, everything is ruined…

When it gets like that, I just do nothing. I refocus my energy on being the kind of mother my babies need. Screw everything else. My husband knows this. Today he made dinner after work without hesitation. He knows. He’s that good.

Some days are better than others. However the day goes, we are a team. We’ll get through the transition together.