I had my very first really terrible day of motherhood today. It was actually just a really terrible morning. I was not my best self. It all started with an expectation. I’m learning that expectations can make or break a day in the world of a stay at home mom. When I file “sleepless nights” into my list of expectations I’m not surprised, and therefore not the least bit bothered. However, when my 4 week old gives me two gloriously restful nights of sleep in a row apparently my expectations shift. That combined with a wayward alarm clock that woke the whole house at 5:30 and just like that I found myself in desperate need of an attitude adjustment. But before I could see myself clearly, I had to cry and really feel all the monsterous emotions that were welling up inside of me. I had to grumble that the tiny human who trusts me implicitly was fussing. I had to throw my own grown up tantrum about him pooping 30 seconds after I changed him and got him reswaddled and then another over our latch troubles that no doubt frustrate him even more than they do me. Here he was being the exact same baby I adore but I was oh so angry.
After the alarm heard round the world he screamed for around 3 hours; spiraling me deeper into my own despair with each wail.
There was a part of me that REALLY wanted to blame the alarm clock. Scratch that, what I actually wanted to do was blame Pen. I was doing that very thing, in fact, when I realized who else likes to blame her circumstances on the people closest to her.
I had fallen into a habit I didn’t even realize had been modeled to me my entire life.
But, I saw it. I saw it for what it was and snapped out of it. It was a crystallizing moment of clarity for me. I am experiencing triggers from my childhood, noticing the way my body stiffens at them and correcting the ingrained errant messages I received over and over again.
Motherhood is hard. Brutal, sometimes. I expected that. What I didn’t expect is that it would demand I be better in every imaginable way. And so I will.