Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflections and Goodbyes

I cannot express how extremely happy I am that we are in the final hours of 2015. This past year has brought me life changes, tears, heartache, hopelessness, selfishness, a joy and love I never thought I could feel towards another person, amazing new friends and a diagnosis that I never expected.

But let's talk about all that bad stuff for a minute. I spent the first couple months of 2015 in tears. Every moment of everyday that someone could not see me, I was in tears. At times, hysterical tears. I once sat on my daughters bedroom floor while she napped in her crib bawling so hard I lost track of time, and before I knew it two hours had passed and she was awake. Yep, let's leave that in 2015.

Not only did 2015 start off in full blown tear sessions, but I felt hopeless. I never thought I would be happy. I didn't think I would ever find who I was in the new role I was given as a mother. I was scared I would live the rest of my life feeling uncertain and miserable. It physically hurt to smile, to laugh, to talk to someone about my baby when they asked....

And then came the extraordinary relief of validation. Validation that it was okay the I felt the way I was feeling. Validation that I wasn't alone. Validation that I wasn't the only one who had ever felt this way. Validation that there was a way out and that I would be able to feel good again.

I sit and write this to you, my wonderful readers, from the same couch I broke down on and told Hubs how I felt. The same couch I could barely move from the first two months of my daughters life. The same couch that I rested on to make that phone call to see my doctor. And now, here we are 10 months after that phone call was made, on this couch, the same one I sat on and read to my daughter this morning before day care, and the same one that tonight I cuddled her on before saying goodnight and putting her to bed.

Why, yes, 2015 has brought it's shares of struggles. But there was good stuff too.

I met this amazing group of women (my Tribe) that I talk to daily. I gained this ridiculous sense of self confidence and motivation. I became a Warrior Mom with Postpartum Progress and connected with other recovering and recovered mamas. I learned what unconditional love was through my recovery; my heart no longer hurts when I look at my daughter, but swells up with immense happiness and love for her. Because of her, I have found peace in the events that have happened over the course of the year and learned that it is not always about forgiving others, but about forgiving yourself and relieving the burden we tend to carry with us.

I don't have any goals for 2016. I don't think I need to make any. I don't think a date on a calendar should set the precedent for change to be a better person. I'm pretty sure no year could be more challenging or trying than this one, and I am ready to put that behind me. There are days I still struggle. I consider myself recovered now, but I am not cured. I am determined to focus on me, my family and my career, instead of living up to some unrealistic goal for myself that I must achieve within 365 days or else I will have failed the whole year. No.

What I can promise you though, is that I will never again let something rob me of the time I have here in the way that PPD did. I will not take for granted the people in my life I care about. I will never suffer in silence again, refusing to ask for help because of fear. I will trust that those I am closest to in my life have my best interest in mind and will not judge me. I will experience everything I can, take chances, and make a difference. I will be thankful for my recovery and strive to feel joy in each day.

And with that, I am not just saying goodbye to 2015, but I am bidding farewell to PPD: your place is in 2015, and in 2015 you shall stay.

My readers, thank you for sticking with me all year (seriously, huge props to those that have stuck with me since the first post). I am so excited for the coming year and the BIG things that are happening. I cannot wait to share all of these exciting happenings with you as they come. Happy New Year, and I'll see you next year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Why I Won't Teach My Daughter to Share

We've heard it our whole life: Share. You share with kids in schools and you share your toys when friends come over to your house and you share what you have with others because it's just nice and makes you a nice person, right?

I don't know about you, but after middle school I stopped 'sharing' things with people. Usually, they lost them or broke them. Typically, they 'forgot' to give it back and probably still have it to this day or pawned it for cigarette money. So I'm over sharing, and I refuse to teach my children to take part of this barbaric tradition we teach kids.

I think my passion stemmed from a story Hubs told me. He was doing pick up at daycare and P was sitting in the toddler room, which was pretty typical for that late in the day, and she was playing with a toy phone when a toddler came up to her and ripped it from her hands. Luckily, P is pretty chill and just rolled with it. Upon hearing this story, I got super Mama Bear. I asked Hubs if he yelled at the kid (I would have) and he explained that he just stared at him (trying not to push him over, I would assume). I asked him if any of the teachers yelled at him (they didn't). Umm what the hell. This, my readers, is not sharing. This is being an asshole. But the situation itself is not uncommon. How many times do we see a child cry because they want the toy someone else has? And more often than not, we tell the child to hand it over to the whiny one because it's 'nice to share.' Admit it, because we're all guilty of it. And we were all wrong.

I believe there is a difference in sharing (total bullshit) and playing nice. I want P to play nice with other kids, but not be told she has to give up a toy she is playing with and 'share' it with someone else just because they want it. I want a lot of things, but I'm pretty sure that if I cry every day about the Mercedes I wouldn't mind driving, that no one is going to just give it to me. P is not always going to get her way. P won't always get what someone else has, and in no way am I going to raise her to think that she is owed something just because someone else has it and she wants it too.

Maybe my toddler story isn't fair. Maybe a teacher didn't see him do it. Maybe they didn't think it was a big deal because Hubs was there to take her home anyways and obviously she had to be done with the toy because she was leaving. Maybe that kid really is just an asshole and thinks it's okay to rip toys from a baby's hands, but it stirred something in me. As much as I don't want P thinking if she asks nicely or cries enough for something that someone else has to give it to her, I also don't want her to think that if someone else asks or cries at her that she needs to give up what she has. That's not how the world will work for most of her life, so that is not how her life should work as a small child.

Now don't get me wrong, P won't be running around hoarding toys yelling 'MINE MINE MINE.' No, she will be raised to play nice. Play with others and play nice. Don't feel like you need to give something up if you're not done with it. You have just as much right to an object as the next person. Under no circumstance should you feel like you need to give something to someone for no reason simply because they wanted it too. Don't take from others. Wait your turn. Don't be an asshole.

It's simple, right? Stop sharing. (Unless you own that Mercedes and are looking to give it away, in which case, I'll take that).