Where I Am As a Mom Today...
Today, I woke up with a heavy heart and for three years, that has been the same way I have woken up. Why? Because for the longest time, I have felt that as beautiful as Mother's Day is, I always feel like I have not earned the right to celebrate it. I have a beautiful son. He's the best thing I will ever do in my life. He is full of joy and love and adventure. However, for the last three years, he has traveled between homes. Going to stay with my in-laws in San Angelo to having my mother-in-law coming to San Antonio and him staying with us. It isn't uncommon to have family help- and I am SO fortunate I have them (and that my mother-in-law and I are obsessed with each other). But the reason that Luke, my son, has had to learn to travel is because soon after having Luke, I found myself in crying and paralyzed in bed. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I went from tears of joy hearing my son's first cry to hearing him cry and crying myself because it was scary. I could barely hold my son without being afraid and breaking into an anxiety attack. For months, I would brush my teeth in the dark and could not even shave my legs. My husband went from settling into his role as a new dad to learning to juggle work, being a dad, and taking care of his sick fiance, at the time, and it was a lot for him. Fortunately, his mom was there to help him with the things I should have been able to do. For the first year Luke traveled back and forth and then to help my mother-in-law, he would stay weeks (months) in San Angelo and we would go visit on the weekends. We would cry and I would apologize to my husband for keeping him away from his son because, at the end of the day, we could not have him home because I was not well and it was my fault. Finally, after a year of being on several medications and finally getting the okay from my psychiatrists he was able to finally come home.
Now, here I had this little boy who was foreign to me and me to him. Adjusting to each other was hard and even more so when we decided to start planning a wedding and planning for me to get back into school. Again, the transition to being around was short lived when life got chaotic and my mental strength was weakening. Again, he was gone and it was difficult.
Three Mother's Day Later...
Three Mother's Day later and I am not spending it with Luke. I had finals last week and I knew that if I brought him home without giving myself a moment to breathe and rest I would not be able to care for him the entire summer. I knew that I needed to be mentally strong for my son so I decided to skip mother's day today. I have learned in my journey that for me, I need to be honest with myself. I need to tell myself that I do not feel okay, and I need to know that it is okay to say that.
I know that by me taking time for myself it is not selfish but necessary. In order to take care of my son, I need to take care of me.
Taking Care of Me
I traded the old shirts and leggings for actual outfits. I started making it a habit to (try) and do my hair and my make-up--even if it is just mascara and blush. I have found that my confidence and mental health starts with how I start my day and how I decide to look. If I feel confident in what I am wearing, I have decreased my chances of feeling anxious or insecure or sad. Fashion has helped me gain my confidence back. Feeling good about myself has helped me be a better mama.
Today, I challenge you to do your hair and wear that outfit that you normally wouldn't. I challenge you to drink a cup of coffee because you want to and pour that glass of wine tonight because you have earned it. Mama, you HAVE earned it. Feeling confident with yourself is so important. Embrace yourself. You are amazing.