Eleanor just turned 17 months last week. These days can feel so long but the weeks fly by. During the week I don’t know what day it is and then before I know it it’s Sunday again.
There was a time where I spent 17.5 hours a week in therapy at the Alexis Joy center for women's behavioral health at West Penn. The center offers an intensive outpatient program that's 3 hours a day, 3 times a week so, between those groups, evening classes and one on one therapy.. my planner was full. I remember carting Ellie with me to West Penn sometimes 4 or 5 times a week thinking when will I get through all of this. When will I find the light. I kept thinking "I wish I didn’t have to work my play dates around this. It's not fair to Eleanor, but my friends were so gracious and always made it work for us. I then realized it was even more unfair for Eleanor to have a mom that wasn't her best self.
Almost a year later... it’s been such a different vibe! And it feels damn good. I feel level headed and confident as a mom (most days.) I guess I mean... I don’t get so frazzled when a cucumber drops on the floor when Ellie is eating her lunch. Or, it’s okay with me when she makes a (little) mess. That used to trigger me like you wouldn’t believe. Truth moment, I’ve gotten up from the dinner table to go upstairs because I couldn't handle the mess she was making. I struggled hard with feeding her anything other than crackers and dry foods. Lately, I’ve found myself with a packed lunch with messy foods at the park for her or even a week ago when she double fisted two pieces of pizza without a shirt on at a friends house. She's eaten watermelon (so messy!) with such joy on her face and it's brought me so much happiness seeing her try new foods without the overwhelming anxiety on my end. I’ve made positive strides and this one is to remind myself how far I’ve come.
It feels good to be so much more in control of myself and the emotions that used to knock the wind out of me. Ellie is a still a baby (to me). She’s going to make a mess and play around and explore and get dirty. It’s not her job to accommodate my feelings and be tidy. To understand everything I say. I’ve learned that that’s okay. I’m absolutely a work in progress still but I’m so proud of the work I’ve done. As a parent I want Eleanor to have good memories of her mama and not that she won’t see me cry or show emotion but I want her see me as an example of positive living. That mission alone keeps me going.
I hope this inspires you to take a step back and reflect on something you've come along way with. Weather in motherhood or in your day to day. Mental health is so important to give time to and it has so much to do with self care. Take that time for yourself even with the chaos of your life everyday. Find what fills your cup and brings you joy. I think by now, you all know what fills mine.
On another note, quarantine boredom got to us and we bought a new house!! I’ll return with updates on “moving with a toddler.”
Thank you for continuing to follow along, it means so much to me!