Parenting After You’ve Lost a Piece of Yourself.

I remember the day I found out I was going to be a Mom so perfectly. It was a rush I had never felt before, a crazy mixture between excitement and fear. Before I had kids I thought I had an idea of the type of Mom I would be. I would be so laid back, fun, understanding, the list goes on and on. On October 17, 2015, I had my son Jhett and my life changed for the better. I felt like I finally found my purpose; my reason for living. I absolutely loved being a Mom, my life had never felt so in place before. I thrived in every aspect of motherhood; the late nights, the lack of sleep, the diaper changes, the snuggles, the sweet baby cries that eventually turned into the sweetest giggles you ever heard. All of it. Any time I was struggling or needed a minute, my husband swooped in like some sort of knight in shining armor to thrive where I couldn’t.

Turns out I was most definitely not a laid back Mom, go figure. I basically bathed people in hand sanitizer before I would let them touch him, and if anyone came within a mile of him with a cough I lost my mind. I never left him with babysitters, or at a daycare. I literally couldn’t, I had so much anxiety if I was away from him for even a short period of time. So I never left him unless I had absolutely no choice or it was with my husband or Mom. Fast forward to two and a half years later and my daughter was born. They say with each child born the parent gets a little less crazy, and maybe I stopped sanitizing so much, but I was still crazy intense. I was more tired with having two children, some days I just tried to make it through the day without losing my mind. Sometimes being a stay at home Mom felt so mundane-but even on the hardest days where nothing went right, being a Mom was still my absolute favorite thing to do. I was never away from them for long that I didn’t miss them so dang much.

Every day I tried to give them all of me, although I constantly felt like I fell short, I still gave it my all. I rarely lost my patience, raised my voice, or felt like I didn’t know how to handle a situation with them. Everything I learned about being a Mom came from my Mom. She wasn’t a perfect Mom, but too this day I have never seen a Mom as amazing as her, and it’s nothing she had not been told before. She gave up her life to raise us, and we all owe a piece of who we are to her. So the day I lost her I lost a piece of who I was. Everything that once made sense in the world, didn’t make sense anymore. This, unfortunately, included being a Mom.

I am so thankful for my husband stepping in to take care of them for the first couple weeks after I lost my Mom. Especially when we got to the hospital, I never left my Mom’s side for 3 days, so he did it all on his own. I never even had to ask him he just stepped up and did what he knew needed to be done. I saw my babies for a few minutes here and there but that was the longest I had ever been away from them. The time at the hospital was was so surreal to this day it still feels like a bad dream. We had to explain to our beautiful and innocent children why their Nana was “asleep”, and would be leaving us here on earth to go live with Jesus. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out again. I wanted to get in my bed, close all the blinds, and never leave my room again. I wanted to hide and never talk to anyone ever again-but that wasn’t an option because I had two sweet, sweet babies counting on me.

Praise God I have them because who knows where I would be had I not had their beautiful innocent eyes looking up at me every day. I don’t really remember the first couple of weeks after she was gone, my husband thankfully took care of them for the most part. However, he eventually had to go home to go back to work and I stayed at my parent’s house with my kids. I tried to focus on giving them some sort of routine like we used to have. Thankfully my kids had their cousins to keep them busy so it was very helpful, but it was still hard. The joy I used to have in being a Mom left just like the joy I had in being alive had left. I didn’t love them any less or anything crazy like that but it took everything in me to just to get through the day. I rarely slept so my emotions were uncontrollable and I got onto them for every little thing they did that was typical of an almost 4-year-old and an almost 2-year-old.

On top of all the horrible parts of grief, I felt extreme guilt that I was failing as a Mom-and a lot of times I still do. I am no longer the person I was before so how am I supposed to be the Mom I was before. The Mom my kids are used to having around, and the Mom they deserve. I have to make a conscious decision what feels like a million times a day to be patient with them. To play with them. To check-in with them and see how they are feeling and doing. All the stuff that just naturally happened before. I have to make myself go to sleep so I have enough energy to wake up and be with them physically and mentally. They don’t understand why everything and everyone has changed, all they know is what they see.

I don’t want to look back and miss this part of their childhood because I couldn’t pull my self out of the darkness. So we will go to the parks, we will play, we will laugh, we will learn, we will love each other, and hopefully someday soon I won’t be just going through the motions of motherhood but I’ll be thriving at motherhood. I want the legacy my Mom passed on to be a good one. She deserves that, and so do my beautiful babies. So I will keep trying. Love, Sarah

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