Mother’s Day was last weekend… and down the rabbit hole I went. I’m not sure when I’ll ever get to a family holiday and not miss Byron, not think about what should have been… I should have had breakfast cooked for me and spent the day irritated that Byron went to work even though it was a holiday. I should have opened a gift and given him side eye when he said he had to go run an errand knowing full and well he was going to go check on a job-site. The thing is we had HORRIBLE holidays. But they were OUR horrible holidays. And he’d make up for his workaholic ways later.
I listened to a TED talk yesterday given by Norah Casey where she said “the cure for grief is motion” and it made me smile because that’s exactly what I was on Mother’s Day… perpetual motion. The boys and I went here there and everywhere. From church, to necessary errands, haircuts for the boys (we’re blessed to have a barber who will stop by the barbershop on a Sunday to cut a few heads) to breakfast at Waffle House where they actually behaved and were so sweet and cute, to picking up my nephews and niece for a impromptu trip for snow cones… And finally home to get ready for the next day. And only then… did I allow my heart to catch up to my brain. I’d spent the day moving and thinking only in the moment. I ate sweet foods (diet be damned) and comforted myself the best I knew how. And I told myself that when I woke up on Monday I would leave Sunday behind me. And for the first time in the 4 years since Byron passed away I did it!!!
I woke up Monday morning and set about business as usual. I picked back up where I left off before the holiday and my goodness how good it felt to be able to do that. Holidays usually knock me out for at least a week if and if I’m being honest I can turn a week’s worth of self pity into a month easy.
I’ve been working hard as hell on being nice to myself… mentally and physically. I’ve been so critical and hard on myself and spent the last 4 years feeling like I’ve been failing at everything. It’s so unbelievably hard to be forced to do something you don’t feel you’re equipped to do (take care of a family, raise boys alone, maintain a household) and not second guess your every move. I felt I had to look a certain way (and failed), that if I was raising my boys correctly they’d act a certain way (they do not… they act the way their little personalities allow them to do) and that my home, finances, personal life etc should be a certain way (fail, fail and fail). I’ve celebrated small victories along the way but then erased them immediately by reminding myself of the million other things that weren’t right.
Then I finally realized that the only person I was fighting was myself. NO ONE (that loves me) was being that critical. My friends and family have been cheering for me and encouraging me since day one. The way we talk to ourselves becomes our inner voice. And my inner voice had become so mean and negative. I’m changing that. Part of that is being honest with myself. It’s okay and healthy to cry… to eat some icecream and let yourself feel whatever you’re feeling… as long as I wipe my face and move forward when it’s time. And I did it.
This Mother’s Day wasn’t great. But the fact of the matter is it was the best it could be. My boys told me Happy Mother’s day all day… every time one of them would remember it was Mother’s day they’d say happy mother’s day mommy and give me a kiss. I got so many kisses and happy mother’s days on Sunday. My mom gave the boys a card to give me when she came to town last week and BJ remembered to bring it down that morning so I even had a card to open. It wasn’t a bad day. Emotional yes… Bad No.
I love being a Mom. I don’t know where I would be if I wasn’t. I don’t know how I’d have made it through if I didn’t have two little ones to fight for. I never knew such fierce unconditional love was possible until I became a mom. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. I never knew what purpose I served until I became a Mom. There is nothing more important than raising my boys to be respectable, Christian, honest, emotionally balanced, hardworking men… whether I’m blessed to meet someone who wants to join in as a chapter two… or we cross the finish line just the three of us. We’ll do it.
I’m positive of that. Because I’m positive that there’s nothing I won’t do to make sure it happens.
This past month has been good for me. My focus shift has been healthy and I think it’s been beneficial for the boys… I’m less tightly wound which means there is less snapping and yelling. I’m more present and thoughtful and even a little more optimistic…
I can do this…