Disclaimer: This is not a crafting related post, per say. But it’s one that feels important to me and given that I stated up front that this was a chance for you to join me on my journey from wayward to maternal, it feels important to share. It’s the most vulnerable I’ve been on this blog yet so I hope you’ll read and appreciate.
Recently (some time in the last month or so) I posted on a Facebook moms group about the feeling of constantly failing. My house is never clean enough. My kid is a bit of a bully lately. Two is hard and it doesn’t seem quite as hard for anyone else. My cooking sucks. Hell, I don’t even come up with my own crafts most of the time (thanks Pinterest! Love ya!). I expected the outpouring of love from fellow moms. What I didn’t expect was the overwhelming amount of moms who felt the same way and were struggling with busting their asses to #momsohard and never feeling like it was good enough. It momentarily quelled the self doubt but lately it’s resurfaced.
Then, today, I had an aha moment that started simply enough. I was tagged by my bestie in a post related to laundry. “How To Speed Up Drying Time” – to be exact – and I realized how much my life has changed. And how much further along I am than I once was. I’ll also report back if the laundry tip actually works.
My days these days look like domestic bliss or domestic chaos… either one. There rarely is an in between. I’m either killing it and my kid and I are skipping through daisies. Or, everything is a disaster, the house is a disgrace and my kid is truly trying to send me to an early grave. My days revolve around crafting, playing trains, doing endless laundry, making and serving food, making up songs to convince my kid to eat said food, brushing teeth and giving baths…. the usual mom stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary over here. Except for the fact that for me, all of this is out of the ordinary.
As I watch loved ones and friends struggle to find a way to overcome whatever personal challenges they’re facing I’m reminded of where I was not that long ago. This time 5 years ago I was living in government housing, was almost unemployable and was just starting to figure life out after having spent over a decade playing in the revolving door of psychiatric facilities. I was not a well girl, I was not a well young adult and I was not a well adult. I spent the majority of over a decade wanting to die – and taking some actions to speed up the process. I truly believed I couldn’t change. I wasn’t strong enough. I was just too sick.
Until one day the strength came. I got an internship with a parenting magazine and started showing up for work. From there, I got an actual paying job and learned how to manage in a company environment. I met someone. I fell in love. I made friends. I reestablished respectful relationships with my family. Slowly but surely everything changed and today I stand here typing this as my kid cooks play dough stew on his table while drinking milk and singing to himself. This is literally beyond my wildest dreams.
My life is alternately stressful, overwhelming, beautiful, chaotic, insane and just yesterday I spent part of the morning in tears to a friend because I simply can’t figure out how to stay on top of the housework, parenting and deadlines. It’s not roses and sunshine all the time. But I can honestly say I’ve blown myself away. I no longer want to die. I haven’t in a while. I have a beautifully imperfect life and I’ve worked damn hard to get it. As I watch my kid laugh at his banana (who knows why it’s funny, it just is), the work is suddenly worth it.
My message to you, everyone, is you can do it. Whatever you can’t handle. Whatever is making you feel like even another minute of living your life is too much to handle. Whatever it is that no one understands and maybe no one knows about. Whatever it is, you can overcome. I honest to God never thought this life was possible for me. I had resigned myself to either an early death or a life of depression and mental illness. Today, I cry over laundry and the pain I feel watching others suffer. And wow and I glad I didn’t give up.
It starts with a decision – at least it did for me. Make a choice. Get the help you need. And start dreaming of a life that is outside the scope of anything you currently believe possible. It can happen. It did for me.