The invasion of the ten-year-challenge on social media got me reminiscing about 2009-me.
Ten years ago, I was a new mom to twin girls and I was drowning. Drowning in cuteness, in bottles, in diapers, breast pumps, tears and drowning in isolation. I was in the middle of the struggle and I felt totally alone with two crying babies. Of course, I told everyone who asked…
“Everything is fine.”
Ten years ago, I was so tired, hormonal and hell-bent on not asking for help. I had a partner who was in the middle of the struggle with me. Though, as a true perfectionist, I told him “I got this”, which translated to “read my mind and jump in here where I need help, which I will not ask you for.” No, this doesn’t sound familiar to you? Well, good for you, but I was a complete mess ten years ago and not ashamed to admit it.
Ten years ago, I was in the deep blue ocean of mommy and the waves of baby were crashing over my head so often I couldn’t catch my breath. At the very same moment, I was so in love with these two humans I couldn’t see straight. Basically, I was hanging on to my sanity by the thinnest of thread known to human-kind. I couldn’t see past 3:00pm, much less a year or ten years down the road. I was most concern with keeping these humans alive for another day, making sure their behinds stayed dry and tried to “sleep when they sleep” as everyone preached.
Perspective, my friends, is everything. I didn’t realize that time was so brief, and though it felt like fifteen years had passed it had only been 4 months. I didn’t realize, asking for help didn’t make me a bad mom, but rather made me honest and sane. “Fine” was my prison and I willfully allowed myself to remain incarcerated for far too long. I pushed away my first favorite human (aka my husband) with my wall built by “fine” bricks and missed out on moments of peace instead of stress. All the while, from my perspective, I was doing the right thing and what was necessary.
Ten years later, I wish I could hug that new momma. I wish I could let her sleep for 5 straight hours without waking up. I wish I could tell her, this is but a blink of an eye in this mom-game. And I wish I could laugh in her face when I tell her this is the EASY part. 2019-me would blow 2009-me’s mind! If she had enough energy 2009-me might kick 2019-me’s ass for laughing and call 20019-me a liar.
Perspective – what a bitch! Perspective gives us blinders and makes us deaf, but it is also why we do what we do. We function on limited information we believe to be the truth. Perspective gives us passion while providing boundaries.
The exhausted momma in this picture just took her babies to get their shots for the first time. Laying between my legs and on my chest was only way those babies would go to sleep. I can still smell the sweetness from the tops of their heads. I remember this exact moment when my sister took this picture. I remember thinking “seriously, I look like hell and I just want to sleep. Leave me alone!”
2009-me was doing the best she knew how with the information she had. We can’t hold ourselves accountable for things we didn’t know. What we can do is better, when we know better.
Those babies are now in the 5th grade and still will go to sleep laying on me in my bed from time to time. The difference is today I enjoy the moment because I know better. My perspective has changed.