Today was one of those days that started with good intentions and rapidly derailed into a series of unfortunate events. I’ve only been a mother for six months. And those six months have taken my ass for a RIDE.
Whenever I imagined myself as a mother, I always pictured myself snuggling a rosy cheeked cherub baby in his adorable little onesie while my husband looked on adoringly at this wife and his child.
What I quickly realized is that it more often looks like me holding a wailing infant, half naked, as I attempt to eat because I’m starving, as he bats food out of my hands and all over the place. My house looks like it threw up its contents, my clothes have all kind of unmentionable stains all over them, my hair gets washed if it’s lucky and the blacks under my eyes seem to pervade further down my face threatening to become my permanent facial complexion.
This is the NOT the shit I signed up for.
The first three months after his birth I was so heavily sedated by depression, I can hardly remember anything besides crying at every and all occasions, nipples that felt like FIRE, and feeling terrified imagining all the horrible things that could go wrong with my baby. Whenever I see a new mom smiling in her newborn pictures, looking beautiful holding her beautiful baby – I feel an immediate pang of envy and anger. That’s what I wanted. That’s not what I got.
And many times in life what I got, is not what I wanted. Sometimes, that shit happens.
I’ve spent years studying and practicing (often more like attempting to practice) mindfulness. Mindfulness was the small raft I clung to as my shit-storms tossed me around my life mercilessly. If it hadn’t been for this practice, drugs and alcohol would’ve seduced me far more than they ever did. And for a while, man, let me tell you – we had a thing going.
So, why share any of this?
Because on days like today, I remind myself that while I am a first time mom – I’ve survived a fuck-load of adversity and difficulty. I survived heart surgery when I was three days old. THREE DAYS OLD. I looked at Death and I said, “Not today Death. Not today.” I survived countless, gut-wrenching heart breaks. I survived betrayal and abuse. I survived divorce. I survived being penniless and jobless and riding on nothing but the good graces of others and faith. I survived more medical conditions. I survived moving constantly, feeling uprooted as I attempted to find a new “home” yearly. I survived separation, anxiety, fear.
And, I WILL survive motherhood like the badass, banshee, goddess that I am.
So, I turn to mindfulness practice and “wash the dishes to wash the dishes”. I reset my mind and turn to my spirit. I turn to my writing. I turn to my team of amazing coaches. And then, I find that I am rather blessed and with good company on my little raft.
This is my reminder, and, if you’re here – this is your reminder too.