For the past three years, I’ve written something in the days after Beau’s birthday to reflect on the preceding 365 days and I’m not breaking the trend now.
Last year I wrote because I was scared. I was one month out (to the day) from my c-section with Rebel Baby 2.0 (a.k.a. Rocco) and I was terrified that I wouldn’t have enough love to give to TWO babies.
I realize now that that’s totally insane but in my defense, even just ONE baby forces you to look inward for love in places you’d never even thought to look for it before. You give every single thing you’ve got. Where can you possibly muster up more love from to give to a SECOND child?!
Fast forward one year to today: March 15, 2017.
I have two babies now. One of them has been three for just a few hours and the other is celebrating his 11-month birthday today too.
Somehow, I’ve found the love – just like everyone said I would
Yes, I am super tired… Mostly because in addition to the never-ending meal preparation, the cleaning, the bathing, the changing, the chasing, the playing, the worrying, the reading, (the TV watching), the disciplining, the scheduling, the soothing, I never stop actively loving two tiny people – all day every day.
For me, love has been a very ACTIVE thing for the past 3 years. That’s what makes kids incredibly exhilarating, completely terrifying, and absolutely exhausting – all at the same time.
No wonder we are so wrapped up in trying to do everything right. We just want to love them in the best way we possibly can; but the tricky thing is that we don’t exactly know how to love them because we’ve never loved anyone quite like this before, so we learn how to love them, and because we’re learning, we look to other people; we see how they love, and from that, we form an understanding of what we think loving should look like.
It’s easy to be hard on ourselves. To think that we’re not doing it right or we’re not doing enough. But I’ve been in this game for 3 years now – I’ve been balls deep in my own shit AND in bearing witness to everyone else’s shit and I’m here to tell you right now that when it’s all said and done, none of us really know what we’re doing and while there’s comfort in that for some, there are those of us who find the idea totally disheartening (read: control freaks like me) – it’s a double whammy:
You have this thing, that you simultaneously spend all your time loving and being terrified of… and on top of that mind-fuck, nobody else who has one (or more) of these things actually knows what they’re doing either? Grrrrrreeeaaaaaattttttt.
They say, though, that you should “Do something everyday that scares you.”
I always thought that was the most bothersome cliché of all time. I mean, really. How ridiculous. If I did something everyday that scared me, I would be living in a constant state of chaos! I’d be a wreck! I’d be an emotional basket-case!
Well guess what? Every day that I wake up as a mother, I do something that scares me. EVERYDAY I’m faced with new challenges that might seem insignificant to some… but those “insignificant” challenges are constant. They don’t stop. I don’t get to leave and regroup. This “job” doesn’t allow for breaks and it certainly doesn’t allow for quitting
Needless to say, I understand that annoying fucking saying now.
Do something every day that scares you, exists in our vernacular because the fastest way to affect personal growth in your life is to overcome your fears – every. single. day. You wake up everyday, knowing that you’re about to be faced with a constant stream of new challenges, and you get up and do it anyway? That, my friend, is bold as shit and all of us who do it day in and day out deserve a goddamn medal.
But we don’t get a medal; luckily for us, what is get is an awesome friggin’ kid and if we play our cards right, we’ll get to enjoy that awesome kid for the rest of our lives.
Thank you for the challenges over the past 3 years, Beau – my first and most life altering baby. You’ve been a catalyst for change in my life like nothing else before you and I’m forever grateful for all of it.