Sloane and I are on the same brain wavelength tonight. I hoped to go to bed early to catch up on the Z's as a result of Sloane's many developmental feats (which, of course, the baby brain best conquers at night). Instead I am now up blogging as my brain preferred to process through my own developmental milestones. And, once I've composed an excellent paragraph, I can't just send it out into the night and hope to find it again in the morning. So here I am.
This month has been especially tough and especially good. Tough, mainly due to the aforementioned sleep issue. Good, because we are learning and growing so much. Here are some of the big thought bubbles I've been chewing on lately...
- Confidently embracing my role as a mother. I believe this in my heart but have a hard time expressing this externally. When someone asks what I 'do' I feel the need to keep my motherhood spiel to a minimum and find other points to orient myself around: what I did before, what I will do next. I feel a deep purpose in my role as a mother and I want to be honest about that.
- Mourning and adjusting to changes in friendship.
- Processing the trauma of childbirth and newborn stage. At times when I least expect it, the fog of hormonal amnesia clears and I get a twist of panic in my chest when I think about these times. I am determined to keep rooting around in this experience at my own pace, finding the beauty in it, and confronting that which frightens me.
- No longer downplaying. We women are notorious for it and I'm tired of it because it's dishonest. When we use words like "just" and "only", and feel the need to minimize our experience or feelings. I fought the urge to do it in this very blog, feeling I should clarify my use of the words mourning and trauma. Here are a couple reasons why we need to kick this habit:
1) Those words accurately explain how I feel, and minimizing them no longer allows me to process my experience in a healthy, honest form. Inauthenticity and the masking of feelings is not productive to myself and it's not an emotional state that I want to model to others, namely to my daughter.
2) If I feel there is a sliding scale of 'value of experience', I am not only saying that there are those with experiences more significant than my own but also that there are people with experiences less significant than my own. That belief would move me in the opposite direction of grace, empathy and understanding, the very things I want to move fully towards.
So perhaps we're more alike than I realize. While she cries her way through painful new teeth, I do the same with painful experiences, hoping for something better, more productive. She conquers physical barriers and gains freedom of movement and a little bit more individuality, while I try to knock down mental barriers that keep me from living freely and loving fully.