Before having Julian I pictured the awesome mother I was going to be. Easy pregnancies, amazing births and no sleepless nights because we would do everything together. No television for sure just listen to classical music, stimulation the baby’s mind. I would make all my own baby food as I breast fed each baby for 2.7 years. We would only eat organic, no meat, no fast food ever. I had all of our afternoons playing in the park, going to museums and making tons of DIY crafts. Taking every class offered at Michael’s, Home Depot and at the library. We wouldn’t need the library for books because we have our very own on the second floor of our house filled with books that we all spend time reading every Sunday. We would laugh and share the story we just read at our fabulous Sunday dinner.
Soccer, violin, chess, physics, baseball, dance, yoga, long walks and bike rides in a new park each week. Oh my goodness, walls of finger paintings and rows of planted flowers to go around our garden full of fruits, vegetables and herbs that we maintain and take care of daily on our acer of a backyard. Swimming lessons, backyard BBQ’s with full decorations that everyone would want for sure. My hair and make up always on point and I would never curse or lose my shit. Homemade meals every night with beautiful lunches and little “have a great day” notes in the lunch box for everyone. Our green lawn that no one could figure out how we keep it so green. Kids outside, me and their father with them having picnics together, playing games and of course laughing to no end.
Amazing family vacations every year, a passport filled with stamps, no state unvisited. Girls getaway weekends that we go on every year, with time and money to spend. Date nights a few times a month, nothing but smiles, laughter and love. When we come home the children are all tucked in sleeping and we have a quite moment by the fireplace. Spontaneous trips, surprise anniversary parties, surprise birthday parties and amazing just because gifts. Never raising our voices or even having to because our kids are so well behaved, model children.
Now for reality!!! I had a few miscarriages before being given a chance to be a mom to Julian. My gratitude for this miracle, there are no words. My pregnancy was hard, labor and delivery even harder, ending in an emergency C-section which I would do all over again at any moment.
Julian slept for about 5 hours straight by his 5th week, allowing me to finally sleep for 4 hours. I had the baby blues and looking back I would say it might have been even more than that. When Julian was 11 days old I saw a maternal and wellness social worker who helped me understand wtf was going on. She told my husband that I have to sleep at least 5 hours a night/day and needed time alone. That lasted for a few weeks and then I was back on my own.
Home made food was replaced with store bought, although it was organic, well most of the time… some of the time. I did breast feed but most of the time it was pumped milk because sitting there while he fed gave me anxiety. I wasn’t sure he was getting enough milk or if he was sleeping or eating and I couldn’t sit through it so I pumped and stored the milk for when it was needed. I breast fed until I had to go back to work because I felt clumsy and unsure of myself to do it at the daycare. I went to the daycare at lunch time to see my little and got to see all the “perfect” moms breastfeeding their littles and for the first month it really brought me down until I realized – I am just not that mom. I also got to know the other moms and realized they struggled just like me.
I kept up with no TV for the first 4 months, okay 3 months. If I needed to shower I would put him in the swing or jumpy thing and put the TV onto something educational, eventually settling for PBS and Sprout. Once I felt the freedom of a shower I used the magical box to entertain while I cooked, made a phone call or went to the bathroom almost alone as my two Boston Terriers needed to make sure I survived the trip to the toilet. I did cook every night, organic, local produce and I still do, but there are some chicken nuggets thrown in there along with some hot dogs, both organic to make me feel better about going against my anti meat idea. We don’t eat fast food often but in a pinch chicken and french fries saves the day. We also order pizza once a week but pizza isn’t fast food .. right?
Julian plays soccer and has since he was 2 only because he doesn’t walk, he runs everywhere so I thought that would be a good outlet. He tried basketball which he stunk at, and I am okay saying that because not everyone can be good at everything. He is amazing at puzzles, mazes, and constructing things. He can make his train tracks into a wonderful town with many complex railways all from an idea in his head. He can take apart Legos that were put together with the instruction booklet and make them into something equally amazing. He gets frustrated but through mindfulness that I taught him he can settle himself down. We did yoga for a while, Julian made up his own superhero routine that we did up until my recent issues.
I curse, I lose my shit.. often and Julian sometimes reminds me to take a deep breath and walk away. That makes me proud, not only is he using what I taught him but he is giving it back to me to help remind me of my mindfulness. We have open dialogs about the words I chose and why I lost it. We talk a lot about anything and everything, but not as a family, just the two of us. We have a garden that grows in old tires I found and painted. The flowers I planted from the box of wild flowers from the dollar store come up every year and I don’t touch it. We rent a small apartment and live in close quarters and we’re good with that for now. Julian and I eat dinner together every night, sometimes at the table sometimes in the living room in front of the TV ::gasp:: so what. We have our community service Saturdays that get planned but not always executed, and that is okay because lazy day Saturdays are fun too. We’ve been to a few museums, all revolving around dinosaurs and filled pairs of socks with stuff for the homeless to give out along the way. Julian and I spend time at a few parks here and there, travel to Brooklyn or to NC to see my sister but no fancy family vacations on that private island. Although Julian and I went on a cruise once and I wouldn’t EVER recommend going alone on a cruise with a 3 year old and neither would the other guest.
I don’t have three kids or that loving husband either. That’s okay. I am the mom I am supposed to be. I am not perfect and chances are the women or family that you might be admiring isn’t either. Life didn’t go as planned and that is okay too. My marriage wasn’t what I hoped for but my son is more then I could have ever wished for. I am forever grateful for that man because without him I wouldn’t have my miracle. Julian doesn’t have an attentive or selfless father but that is okay because he has me and others around that appreciate the gentle soul he is.
It is okay to fail, just understand that you are not a failure. It is okay to be upset, cry, laugh and wish for something more but appreciate all you have in the moment because there is someone out there wishing they had all you have.
We have good days and bad days, you can’t appreciate one without the other and we learn from both. There are days I want to run away and just give up, but I don’t. I feel my feelings and move on. My little is always watching, he sees me mess up and he sees me achieve my goals. He sees me laugh and he has seen me cry.
I don’t have even close to anything these other moms have in my community and I am okay with that. I am an awesome mom that has so much love for my son and my life, turns out that is all we really need. We use our oils, practice what we preach, give what we can and love with all our heart. I might not be that perfect mom to the world but I am to the one that counts the most.