Today's edition of Heart Therapy... This is seriously refreshing. You should check it out, and link up if you like. This week is about fears and facing them... It's time my friends...
My first year of motherhood was filled with fear. Is she eating enough? Sleeping enough? Breathing? Am I doing this right? Am I doing this wrong? Why can't I make her stop crying???
So many fears and worries. The fears pushed me and beat me, and soon I was drowning. Looking back, I realize those are fears all moms have that first year. Were they valid? Yes. Crazy? Sometimes. However valid or crazy, I made it through that first year. We made it. My little Caitlin and I.
Today my fears are different. I still have simple fears and worries. These have more to do with heath and safety. To me they have become everyday worries. Except for one...
My fear, and it's a big one, is that I made my daughter sad, melancholy, if I'm honest. I'm afraid that all my fears and anxiety those first few months have worn off on her. Those first few months where I was overwhelmed by the simplest tasks, the simplest fears, and on the edge of failure, have coaxed her into her own shadow of doubt. Is it possible that she absorbed my sadness and isolation through osmosis? Is it possible her everyday struggles with separation anxiety and shyness are related to mommy's "baby blues". And when I say "baby blues" I mean, I should have been seeing a professional. That's a different post over here.
With every tear and every plea to stay home from school, I'm racked with fear and now guilt. With every declined invitation to play at the neighbors, I'm left wondering, "Did I do this?". By living in a fog for those first few months, I'm afraid I made it impossible for Caitlin to really enjoy and embrace the simplest fears in life. To go out on those limbs, and instead of falling, fly.
I will tell you that motherhood scared me, almost to death. Every aspect of it. I was so overwhelmed that some days I didn't leave the house. I was so afraid of failure that I stuck to the tasks I knew were possible, like feeding and diapering a baby, like showering (on a good day). I was also a prisoner to my own guilt. I couldn't leave my baby. She needed me, she wanted me. I had to be there, that's what a good mother would do, right? Well now I'm afraid that I've made her feel she can't be anywhere or do anything, without Mom.
This is my biggest fear to date. That my sadness and despair has led her on a preschool path of the same. Both my daughters have changed me, and I'm truly a better person and mother today. I don't discount my fears, because they are real. Like, sometimes I feel like my second daughter got the better mommy, because of the lesson the first one had to suffer through.
It's always hard to admit fear. Facing them however is always refreshing. Everyday I'm working on building happy well adjusted daughters. Daughters that will look their own fears in the eye and conquer them. Even if those fears are simply saying goodbye to Mom at preschool drop off. Sometimes the simple fears are the hardest to face, but we WILL face them.