at my house. It's a good something. It's relaxation and fun. Something we've had before, but always in small spurts spread out too far apart. And it's all changing. This fun is coming out more and more. We are more relaxed - not just me either, the entire family (well, except for my dh, but that's another story altogether). This transformation is really blowing me away.
I wrote recently about a part of me that was slowly coming back to life again. This person inside of me that has been hidden for far too long. It would appear that as this person inside of me stirs and grows and pops out, there is a person inside my 2 year old stirring and growing as well.
It's hard to explain, especially when you haven't been around my 2 year old before. And you may be wondering what I'm talking about ... 2 year olds can't tell us these sorts of things. But they can tell us, just not in words, but in actions. My 2 year old has been flagged for anxiety before. She wouldn't even look in the direction of a stranger - choosing to instead look at the floor or bury her head in mom, or dad - whoever was closer. For a while, they even thought she was displaying signs of autism partly because she had this lack of eye contact. She has always been jumpy, has always been a bit high strung (you go to hug her the wrong way and she will break down in tears). But she's changing and she's growing and somewhere along the way, her anxiety has almost disappeared! I wouldn't believe it if I didn't live with her. Even then, I didn't believe it - maybe I was seeing things, maybe I wanted it to happen so much that I believed it was happening when it wasn't - there are so many ways I've learned to trick my mind. But, it's not just me. Others are picking up on it. Others are commenting on it.
I would have never in a million years have thought that the best way to help my child is to help myself. Because I believed that I had to help my children first before I could even begin to think about myself. Isn't that what being a good mom is? Putting them before me? But alas, it's not. I was doing her no favors, and in hindsight, it was merely a cover for what I was really feeling. It had nothing to do with being a good mom, or doing what I thought I had to do. I tricked myself to believe that. But in reality, it was that I was too afraid to do what I needed to do for me. I knew it meant that I would have to change. It meant that I would have to challenge views of the world that I have held since I was just a little kid. It meant that I would have to face those thoughts that I have worked so hard to bury deep down inside because I didn't want to face them. It meant I would have to learn to let me out and tear down this facade I have so meticulously built up to be my life. And that folks is scary. It's frightening. Thinking about it a year ago would have more than surely brought about a panic attack. Besides, I so cleverly tricked myself into believing, the kids have to come first. And I can't keep them first if I'm working on myself.
But, it turns out I was wrong. I had it all backwards. Sure, it is scary. It's scary right now! My heart is beating fast just writing about it here, because there is a part of me screaming in my head "You can't tell people that! They won't like you anymore! They will think you are a messed up freak who shouldn't be a mom! Stop telling them all of that! Delete and instead say that you had a fine and wonderful day with your fine and wonderful kids and life is fine and wonderful and do NOT tell them anything else!"
And I could do that. I could easily click on the little X up in the right hand corner ... Forever deleting what I've typed so no one else can read it (and I admit, I've done it a lot of times in the past). But not tonight. I won't do it tonight.
Tonight, I want people to read that I have become a better mom to my children by working on me first. I have made my children better because I have made myself better. My children will continue to bloom and grow because I will continue to bloom and grow. I will not hide behind my children anymore. I will not use them as an excuse to avoid my issues anymore. Because it didn't work. It just didn't work. And in a year's time, my family will be stronger than ever, and it will be because I took an hour a week just for me. And my kids haven't suffered from it. Instead they have blossomed and grown in ways I didn't think possible.
And that my friends, is probably the most important lesson I have learned in life so far.