I’ve had some incredibly mixed emotions lately. Little Bean is almost one and I can’t help but think back over the year it’s been. It’s been good but it’s also been bad. And those bad days are standing out more. But I am ending today focusing on Little Bean and her big sister because while the year has been a challenge, guess what, we got through it.
Every time I look at the baby who is no longer a baby I felt a pang of guilt, slight shame and remorse. Throughout her first year I have questioned myself, hated myself, berated myself and wanted to run away. Run away from myself, not my family.
At a time when I should be happy and reminiscing about all of the firsts Little Bean took – her first smile, her first laugh, her first word, the first time she waved, crawled, fell off, climbed, jumped on her big sister, fed herself – I’m thinking about the hard days, the dark days, the tears that never seemed to evaporate. I’m hating myself for focusing on the negative and remembering how difficult I found her first year faced with postnatal depression and anxiety.
But and there’s always a but.
I’m proud of myself too. I’m proud of how I conquered that Fricking Flamingo, how I pushed myself into being a stay at home mom, how I’m here for our kids and most nights have a dinner that isn’t burgers and chips for us.
I’m proud that I know my kids inside and out and have more good days than bad days with them. I’m proud that we laugh and dance together and can find the rainbow on the dirty days. But it hasn’t been easy. There’s usually a second but.
What in life is easy though. Little Beans first year has been a ridiculous challenge. One I’d like to think I didn’t need, but maybe I did. Maybe the pressure, the stress, the anxiety, the frustration, the hurt and the fear all happened for a reason. Maybe this year was meant to push me beyond any boundaries I ever knew before. Maybe with quitting work, staying home and starting a new career, I needed the extra challenge so I could see, when I eventually could see outside of my dark days, that maybe I am wonder woman. Maybe I am so strong and powerful and in control to be able to juggle everything and survive the day. Maybe, just maybe, Life throws us curveballs and if we catch them, we’re winning.
As I watch Little Bean fall asleep, a million memories, thoughts and feelings from her first year flood through my mind. But when I look at her, when I think about my family, our girls and me and Papa Bear, I know I’m winning.
Postnatal depression, anxiety, fear has a way of holding on to you. But the grip can be loosened and those memories will soon fade.
Happy Birthday Little Bean. I’m proud to be your Momma Bear. ♡♡♡