I just love this photo of mine and my 2 yo daughter Alivia's foot. It is perfectly imperfect. She has the perfect little toes that I could kiss all day long (I'm pretty sure I'm going to cause my daughters to have a foot fetish by how much I kiss their feet!) and my imperfect foot is badly in need of a pedicure! #momproblems
Imperfections. We all have them. It may not be obvious from our Facebook posts or Instagram feed but they are there. Looking back, I am pretty sure I have had Generalized Anxiety for most of my life. I coped with it by relaxing, taking a nap, going to get lunch or dinner with girlfriends or my husband, or taking hours to walk around the mall and window shop. These activities relaxed me and renewed my energy. As you can imagine, after having kids the ability to use those coping mechanisms went away and I was just left with anxiety and the added stress of being a parent. I didn't recognize it at first but it became compounded with a job I did not enjoy.
Additionally, the transition to parenthood was a difficult one for me likely because my normal coping mechanisms were no longer (ie. I could no longer spontaneously decide to lay on the couch and take a nap to relax). However, from the beginning I have LOVED being a mom, more than anything, but I do not think I have ENJOYED it and I don't think Im alone in this. Say What? She said What? That's right. I said it. I don't enjoy the tantrums and fits and negotiations with a pint sized version of myself. I don't enjoy eating my meals cold or only getting one sip of hot coffee and having to microwave it 14 times. I don't enjoy the screaming in the car or in my house or having to speed race through the grocery store before someone melts down. I don't enjoy not getting to have a conversation with my husband without being interrupted. That's right. There is a difference between LOVING being a mom to the two most beautiful girls on the planet and ENJOYING raising emotionally unstable, defiant, irrational toddlers. BUT for the first time in 4 years I think I am enjoying this parent gig most moments of most days!
Four and a half years ago I became a mom and I couldn't have been happier! My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage while Bill was deployed and after almost a year from the time we initially started trying I got pregnant with Macyn. I spent almost 42 weeks growing her and was in love the moment that spunky little girl entered our lives. But no one prepares you for what's next and what's next was a rough transition for me. I had no idea how hard it was going to be for me to fall into this new role and enjoy it. You see... I am every bit of a Type-A personality. Things are planned, in their place, neat and organized. I enjoy organizing y'all!!! With the first child, after the initial shock to the system, I was able to still maintain some of these norms. I was able to get my hair done, make-up on, and dress cute AND do the same for Macyn. Boy did I have the cutest outfits for her!!! Little jackets and TONS of little shoes! EEEK! But then, as you can guess, we did it again! Here comes baby girl #2 and I thought "No big deal! I've got this under control!". Nope. This was a game changer for me. I remember a high school friend telling me to be easy on myself after the second one. I didn't really get it at the time but now I do. I lost all ability to cope with my Type-A personality. Nothing is planned, nothing is in its place or organized the way I would like it to be. Ali wears whatever clothes are clean and she has about 2 pairs of shoes (cheap ones!). I had to adjust to a new kid with a new personality who didn't respond to our tricks the same way her sister did. I needed new tricks. Who knew being smarter than a toddler would be harder than getting your Master's Degree! This is exhausting and hard but the love is rewarding beyond belief.
The reality check came after our last military move from Washington to Virginia, It was a rough one for me. The roughest thus far. Not only was it a cross-country move but it was the first move with kids which means a lot more stuff and a lot more logistical planning. Additionally, we spent about 2 months living out of suitcases between our parents houses until we could move into the house we were renting. Stressful was an understatement. Anxiety through the roof was a given. Any little thing was completely overwhelming to me. I was exhausted both emotionally and physically.
So what got me from overwhelming anxiety to joy? Prayers. Lots of prayers that the right person(s) would enter my life with the right advice at the exact right time and that is exactly what happened. A conversation between someone I speak to maybe every 6-8 months was exactly what I needed to hear. I call it a "God moment" because it is almost like she called just to tell me that or maybe that is just all I remember because it is all I needed to hear. Surprise! She was going through the exact same thing. Who knew? No one because its not something you generally talk about. This conversation was instrumental in the treatment of my anxiety and once that was controlled I had the energy and mental capacity to open myself up to the opportunities God had for me. He wasted no time as the right opportunity (SeneGence) presented itself at what I thought was the wrong time but it was timed perfectly.
You see... we all have things going on that do not show through in the perfect pictures that are placed on social media. I don't believe all people post those "perfect pictures" to cover up the imperfections rather I believe we all have happy perfect moments that we like to capture and share. Sharing our lives is how we connect and connecting is what life is all about!
~ x o x o ~