I wrote this over a year ago with the intent to publish it but was scared to put on paper my struggles as a new mom when I felt like the world was closing in on me–– I hope you enjoy it.
Having a baby during a global pandemic sure changes a lot of things as many of you know. It changes relationships, how you thought your story might go as a mom, and who you become as a mother. I had a beautiful baby boy at the end of January 2021 and I never thought that part of my recovery physically would also be to recover my mind. My little guy spent a week in the NICU and I was desperate to feel “normal” and connected because my family could not possibly understand what it is like to be a mother in a pandemic AND have your baby not come home with you. I was the first of my major girlfriend group to get pregnant and have a baby and so they just didn’t understand how I was feeling. I really needed people in my life who understood where I was at in my journey and especially who understood the struggle of a NICU pandemic mom.
I faced not only the struggles of navigating new motherhood but came home with postpartum anxiety and depression. Bonuses I did not expect to come home with.
I kept telling myself I had all the support I needed though—I had my husband, my family, and friends. I realized over time that while these people were all great, they just didn’t get it! Being a mom that went through trauma it was so refreshing to have other women know and understand how hard pregnancy, labor, and NICU stays, and how hard being a pandemic mom truly was.
Flash forward two years and the pandemic seems like a blip in time. I am thankful for therapy, my immediate family and friends to get me through. I can say I made it! I made it through a time that was so very hard for me.
Whatever you are struggling with right now, know you are not alone. You can get through it and you might need some help along the way.
I have taken a much-needed break from writing this year. I went back and counted, and I only published a piece 3 times! Say what?? I know, I know, who am I? My 2017 was filled with things that needed to be written, that were required to be published. This year, I was busy, and I honestly felt I had nothing to say, but I am ready for a change.
Prepared to give everyone another look into my garden because there is a lot of new flowers filled with thoughts, new ideas, and new passions.
These last 60 days of 2018, have taught me more about what I want and what I need more than the whole year did. In 2018, I still experienced loss, pain and more negatives than I cared to enjoy. This next year, I am ready to be grateful. To be grateful for the positive energies. To be grateful for me.
So, are you ready for this? This is the 24 things the last 60 days of 2018 taught me (yes, I was inspired by “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande for this, but I don’t care).
Love yourself through the pain.
Try not to look at the negative factors surrounding your life. There is beauty in the positives, you just need to see that and not the negativity.
Look outside. Like really look. Appreciate the fresh, crisp air for a few moments because this life is a gift.
Be patient. Your time will come, and it will be awesome.
Don’t always believe all the “fluff” people tell you. If they aren’t genuine or entirely there for you, they aren’t worth your time and for you to hear the things that aren’t truly meaningful.
Compliment someone daily. That real and brief moment can mean everything to that person.
Smile, it looks good on you.
When you’re down, give yourself a pep talk and shake it off. You are better than that and have greatness ahead of you.
You are amazing and do not forget that.
If you are not happy about something, speak up. You will be better off speaking what is on your mind than keeping that in.
Surround yourself with people that mean something to you and give you the love you deserve back. Anyone else that doesn’t isn’t worth being a part of your life.
Do something for yourself at least once a month.
Remember, fear is made up in your own mind put your faith somewhere else.
Stop apologizing for being yourself or saying no to something that isn’t for you.
What others think of you isn’t really your business don’t put your worry on that– it isn’t worth the anxiety.
Meditate daily and stop thinking… even if it is for 5 minutes.
Just because you plan, doesn’t mean that is how it will turn out and that is okay.
Do your best and be okay with your best.
Eat the dessert. Life is too short to not enjoy the cake.
Listen to the rain and be grateful for the water to wash away your cares and worries. It gives us a new beginning, and there is beauty after the storm.
You can buy an outfit for every occasion. Reward yourself, you deserve it.
Sing at the top of your lungs and dance it out… this is a healthier way to clear your head.
Love yourself in the bliss, not just the pain.
Trust your heart.
Thank you for enjoying the new flowers of ideas and thoughts in my garden for 2019. I cannot wait to show you what my garden has to offer in this new year, and I hope all of your gardens bloom with beauty too.