Hello again. It feels like everything’s changed since my last post 3 months ago. (They say kids will do that.)
I spent the last three months in baby mode.
I wore mismatched pajamas (but didn’t sleep much).
I detoxed from email and social media.
I rocked and nursed at all hours.
I drew and played every day.
My 5-week old was diagnosed with hearing loss, and I spent days making appointments and doing my research.
I bought a sign language book.
My daughter started kindergarten.
I realized how big 3 and 5 years old is.
And I fell more in love with my family.
But I have to be honest, I also battled with myself for weeks to write this post. I figured that coming back would be like opening a book where you left off. Just pick it up and keep going. That’s not exactly how it went, though.
When I opened my journal to write, I just stared. Nothing was clicking. The words fell onto the page in an aimless ramble.
I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror.
Something was off.
I gave myself a few days to let it simmer, and when I came back to those pages, I saw that it wasn’t aimless at all.
I feel like I’m, floating, I read.
I feel disconnected.
I feel so much pressure.
Over and over, I’d written that I just need time. I’m not ready. I need to go slow. I need to reflect and restore myself.
That’s when I realized that I hadn’t just lost my place. I’d lost myself.
We tell each other not to do that, don’t we? Like it’s something you allow to happen when you’re not paying close enough attention.
Maybe it’s something that just happens, and when it does, we need to meet ourselves with so much trust and kindness.
Okay, I thought, EVERYTHING is different now. (Again.) How could you not lose yourself a little bit?
I went back a little farther in the journal until I recognized myself in the words. Statements of gratitude, optimism, and excitement gave me a warm welcome.
It was as if they said, “Hello again. There you are.”
I’m thankful for the space and freedom to write.
I’m thankful for the unconditional, unquestioning trust from my husband.
I’m thankful for my health. For a stable job.
I’m thankful for open communication with my brother.
I’m looking forward to the new baby. To my brother getting married.
I have permission to take all the time I need to make this a smooth transition.
And, here’s the big one, I trust that I’ll figure this all out when everything’s all dark and twisty.
I read through the ideas I had and everything I was excited about. I saw in my own handwriting steps I’d taken to support myself and others.
And my top priorities.
I remembered writing those quick thoughts in my little office before the day began. Unedited and forgotten until today.
Hello again. Here I am. I answered.
I guess you can’t always pick right back up where you left off. So why not begin again without the pressure to put things back exactly as they were?
Maybe you need to shed your skin to make room for everything new you’re becoming.
If it seems like I’m starting over again, it’s because I’m learning to fill all the space of this new skin.
If I’m going a little slow, it’s because there’s no need to rush the process.
And if I don’t know what to say, it’s because I’m still figuring things out.
But I trust that I am moving in the right direction (even when I’m feeling lost).
So, hello again. Here we are. The truth is that I’m tired. I’m distracted. And squishy. But good.
You’re allowed to do this, too.
You’re allowed to tell the truth.
You’re allowed to go slow.
You’re allowed to lose your place and take the time to find it again.
We left off at A Year of Happy with a list of ideas for the next year. I sent out a survey, and the results are in. Self-care, encouragement and compassion, and carving out a little time for yourself are on a lot of minds right now.
I’m right there with ya.
For this next year of happy, I’ll be talking to you about this part of motherhood. You’re not going to find crockpot recipes, cleaning hacks, or Disney giveaways. But we will talk about taking care of ourselves and bottling up the good stuff for rainy days and bumpy roads.
We’ll pick back up (slowly) in a few weeks with the Feel Amazing Self-Care Challenge. It’ll be 7 days of taking care of our whole selves (I’ve got a lot more than Netflix and chocolates in mind for this challenge).
Sign up for the Year of Happy Free Library for lots of goodies to help you take care of yourself and bottle up the good stuff for rainy days and bumpy roads. This is your happy place, Mom.