I posted on Facebook yesterday about how my daughters horrible eczema feels like a neon sign across her body glaring and announcing all my failures as a mother. Despite all attempts at trying to get it under control, it always seems to return. The worst part is knowing that she is miserable and I can’t seem to help. I had a lot of wonderful advice and suggestions roll in from friends and I’m sure we will find something that helps her eventually.
God reminded me and quickly humbled me of my friend who is still driving back and fourth to the hospital daily to care for and be close to her three week old infant who is in the NICU post surgery. She has been the epitome of strength and bravery as I’ve watched her wade though, but I can’t imagine how she really, REALLY feels. I bet it feels pretty lonely. How much easier is my eczema problem knowing that there are moms out there dealing with some truly hard and heart breaking situations.
The truth that I’ve had to face (again) upon waking up this morning and thinking all of this through, is that I carry crippling insecurities as a human, but especially as a mother. If I’m keeping things REAL over here at Realology, this topic seemed heavy on my heart to sift and pray through…and share honestly about.
I can remember when I first had my son; after the hospital nurses and family members had all departed, it was just he and I up in the wee hours. Making any and all attempts at breast feeding, there were times I would have to get up in the night by myself to pump. It was terribly painful for me and I remember crying and feeling so alone. Those are never the stories you hear when women talk about newborns and breast feeding and new motherhood. I guess from day one I felt like I had missed the mark because I wasn’t having this euphoric and intoxicating experience. I was lonely. I was tired. Don’t get me wrong, I was in love with my baby. I would stare at him for hours it seemed, marveling at all of his features and faces he’d make. But I was always jealous of my friends whose mothers would come and camp out at their homes for weeks to cook and clean and BE there to guide…I imagine it would not have felt so scary and isolated.
If I think about how quickly my kids are growing and how instantly they will be consumed with friends, clothes, music and different things outside of our home it actually makes my heart sink and I feel sick. It is terrifying. I want to freeze time, so I can get it right before we move into the next phase. I want to freeze time so that I can savor each little moment. Every snaggle-toothed smile, every giggle, every snuggle. In real time it seems I take so much for granted.
In a perfect world I would have already ironed out these issues I have with myself, body, and faith. I would be the mother that I am in my head that has a proper schedule (that I actually keep) that makes proper meals all the time, that doesn’t let my four year old daughter run around wild in her pajamas till noon. I would be the mom who doesn’t give a blip or feel less than in my heart when dropping my son off at the school and notices all the women who have walked their kids to school. Wearing cute workout clothes and holding coffee cups. Visiting and chatting with each other, causing me social anxiety reminiscent of high school. I would be the mom who is ever present, never distracted or ( dare I say it out loud?) annoyed by my kids.
In the spirit of being kind to myself I’ll say that I know that I am trying my best and that my intentions are golden. My husband is amazing and encourages me daily, letting me know that he is glad that I am the mother of his children. My kids are doing pretty well despite my neurosis. I am only human and the beast of comparison will rear its ugly head again and again in my life. The hope is that I will give it less and less power in my head and heart.