The transition into motherhood has not been an easy one for me.
Deep grief over the loss of my own mother bubbled up from places I didn’t even know existed.
Places deep down in my heart and body that I thought had been cleared of grief. Places that I thought were soft and open and ready to take on this new challenge. Places that I had already worked so hard to heal.
The newborn days were glorious. A necessary reprieve for what was about to come. For me, the newborn days were what dreams are made of. Me. My little one. Snuggled up on our cozy couch for hours on end. Basking in the divinity of newness and hope.
But at 5 months, when he started crawling fast and furious, I knew I was witnessing my new guru in action. A fearless little dude who runs gleefully towards crashing waves, speeding cars, and was “dropping-in” at the skatepark with the teenagers before his second birthday.
My giant unhealed fear of losing a loved one.
2.5+ years of night waking every 1-2 hours.
A c-section that never properly healed.
PTSD rearing her ugly head.
And me, in a brand new country with a brand new husband and a brand new baby, trying desperately to navigate it all.
It was all almost too much to bear. And, yet... I knew I had carried an even heavier load before. I had endured, persevered, and - eventually - began to thrive. So when met by adversity this time, I did what I already knew how to do - I endured some more.
The waves of grief came crashing so fast and heavy that for a while I did exactly what I knew not to do. I swam desperately under the surface where no one was looking. Where no one could see the wholeness of my suffering.
I mothered. I wifed. And, I did it well. Too well maybe.
Until one day (and I don’t know what day) I silently broke. I broke open wide enough to speak my truth as best I could, given how weak I was.
I started doing “the work” again.
I started making the conscious choice to practice what taught in my courses. I started eating consciously and staying hydrated again. I made time to meditate and practice postures. I made space to breathe. I sought out support; it wasn’t easy to find the support I needed but several months (and 3 therapists later) I found it. I remembered to be gentle with myself. I let some things go...
But even now, on the hard days, the negative voice still creeps in. It says things like:
“Who are you to do this work - when you’re going through it too.”
“What if he wishes he chose a wife without so much baggage?”
“What if my baby can’t sleep because he’s living in a soup of depression and anxiety and PTSD?”
But on the good days, the loving self talk comes back. It says things like:
“It is important that YOU do this work - because empathy. Because you get it. And, because you know from a deep sense of felt experience that this stuff really works.”
“I know he loves me for who I am and that he thinks my past gives me beautiful depth.”
“What if my baby chose me to be his mama because I’m everything he needs - exactly as I am?”
And, then I see photos like these ones. The shots taken between “the shots.”
And, I know.
That even though life is hard, it is perfect. And it is good. And all the hard work...it’s worth it.
Because of the way the little one looks at me.
And the way the little big one looks at me.
And the way I look at them…
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