I have always dreamed of becoming a mom. I think every little girl fanaticizes about it at some point. I am not sure I was really prepared for it though. Once I was able to process the responsibilities involved, my late husband, Adam, and I took the plunge. There were so many emotions coursing through my brain when our sweet Henry was born. How lucky was I to have the most handsome little prince as my son, not to mention to see the pride and the pure love in Adam’s eyes when he held him for the first time. I was lucky enough to not experience any type of Post Partum Depression, although I have known people who did. I found out rather quickly, that I wasn’t as prepared for motherhood as I thought, but then again who really is. Okay moms as if going to the traumatic experience of giving birth isn’t enough… here comes sleep deprivation. Most of what I experienced the beginning, of course was self inflicted. I was so incredibly obsessed with this precious human, like most new moms, I forgot to take care of my needs as a human being. Adam would have to tell me to shower, brush my teeth, etc. He would even have to make me lay down. I look back on that now and just shake me head. Our family had grown by one and our hearts were so full. Everything was perfect until two years later…
Adam passed away suddenly and I found myself a devastated single mother. I had no idea what to do and how to do it. I was grappling with my guilt, sadness, frustration, stress, and about a million other emotions. Henry became my main focus constantly. Luckily with him being so young, he really didn’t understand the situation. Everything became a bit easier, with all the family and friends ready and willing to help in anyway they could. Although the situation was my worst nightmare, being a teacher and it being summer allowed me time to process and attempt to begin a getting new routine in place. Not only was our family dynamic completely changed, but of course, Henry was experiencing that lovely development stage…. the terrible twos. Well, in his defense he had been exhibiting them since he was eighteen months. With everything going on and my stress levels through the roof, I found myself struggling to be the mom that I felt I was supposed to be. Doubt and fear filled my mind and began second guessing all of my choices made as a mother.
To add yet another layer, it was time to get back to work. My job isn’t exactly easy or stress free… not to mention Henry decided to go through a sleep regression and become more aggressive in his behaviors. He was only sleeping 6-8 hours as day, waking up at 2 am and being up well through out the day. We as mother’s know, if the kid isn’t sleeping neither are we. I tried everything I could think of to help him get more sleep. I was becoming run down, irritable, short tempered, and many other things. Finally, it happened… I end up having a massive panic attack while at work. My blood pressure was dangerously high, and frankly I was really lucky to have been unscathed by the event. To be honest it really scared me. In that moment, I had an epiphany… I don’t have to deal with this alone. I reached out to my son’s pediatrician and we did a child psychology consult. Just reaching out in that way and hearing some encouraging things from people who had no idea who I was, brought me off the ledge. The comments like ” I like what you are doing” and “you’re doing everything right” made me realize that I am doing the best that I can.
Now the real adventure begins. We are still working to adjust to the new normal, and I assure you there are setback every days. With lots of prayer, meditation, and tears I live to love another day.
Remember being a mom isn’t who we are, it’s one of the many hats that we wear.
- K. Marin