Here’s the skinny: Words are my jam.
When used with intention, words have the power to inspire, to motivate, to heal. They can cause you to pause and reflect on what you just heard or read and expand your original mindset. It’s amazing what words can do, and I have to say that back in the seventh grade, I KNEW I was going to be a writer. My English teacher at the time, Mrs. Zavertnik, wrote in my yearbook that she couldn’t wait to read my first novel.
Welp, aside from journaling and the necessary 2,548 essays I had to write the rest of my school career, I never did write a novel or a short story that wasn’t an assignment. I did however, continue to read, which is something that I must tell you is an absolute FAVORITE way to spend my time. Back in the day – you know – B.C. (Before Children), I would plow through books over the summer. I’d begin my reserve list in May and once school was over, I’d begin to read…and read and read all summer long. It was magical to me, getting to know the characters, being transported to their place and time and simply being a part of whatever adventure they were experiencing.
So fast-forward some years, and a couple of kids, and I find myself thinking about the words I’d like to share with you all. I hate to break it to you, but I have no secret parenting advice, or a magic way to get your child to sleep through the night. I don’t even know how I get through my days some of the time!
What I do know, however, is that us parents have to stick together. We all say, “It takes a village,” but boy, until you are walking around the house with a screaming baby and no sleep, wondering, “WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING, HAVING A KID?!” you never really know what it is to need that support and community.
I never, ever knew true loneliness until I became a mom. Crazy, right? Here I was with a miracle in my arms and I felt completely alone. My husband was there, my family was there for a bit, but when everybody went back to the status quo, my life was forever changed. I felt like everyone went back to being themselves and I was…different.
“Of course!” you say. “You just had a baby.” “You’ll find a routine soon.” All these preconceived notions that whatever I was feeling was absolutely fine.
Well, I hated it.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved my son. LOVED him. But it was as if the Megan that existed prior to his arrival had disappeared. I couldn’t read a book anymore. I was too tired. And forget about taking a walk. My C-section scars were too sore. All the things I loved to do B.C. were no longer applicable to Megan, the Mommy. I thought I had mentally prepared for these changes, but here I was, closing the door on all the things I loved because I thought that loving my son meant doing only for him.
My younger son is now four years old (four and a half in October, ya’ll!). It has taken me nearly 6 years to begin to fill in those Megan, the Mommy blanks. Parenthood is an amazing gift. There are some people who stumble upon it and others who strive for it with every essence of their soul, and one of these days I will tell you about my journey to get where I am now.
My hope is that through sharing some tidbits of my life, you can see some of your existence in there too. Between the hard days, and the most excellent of times, I want to show you that we all live in those moments, and are doing the best we can.
Moms and Dads, who you are, and how you perceive yourselves directly impacts your little ones. Let this be a place where we lift each other up; and instead of passing judgment, let’s be the ones pouring out compassion and understanding. I know that is who all of you can be, and certainly who we need to have in our corner as parents.