We’re… what? 12 days away from Christmas? While I’ve had the urge to make ALL the things this holiday season, today has been the “oh shit” moment where I realize that I have 12 days to do it all in. Which is, really, more like 3 days considering during the week I have zero time to get anything done and I have to cram it in over the weekend. Everything feels absolutely, impossibly necessary this year for Declan’s first Christmas even though he won’t remember any of it. I know deep down I don’t have to do it all this year. Or next year, even. I have all these hopes and dreams for future holidays and it feels like it all rides on this very one. As if the homemade ornaments and new traditions will be less meaningful if I make them next year, or even the year after, instead of now.
Everything in general feels impossibly necessary for this little one. Not just holidays. Not just the ‘firsts.’ I want to do and make everything for him. I want to have all the holiday traditions. I want him to grow up with handmade gifts, homemade birthday cakes, and so much more. I have so many emotions tied to all of these ideas and I’m not sure, anymore, what is normal and what isn’t. I don’t feel like I know who I am anymore. When I look in the mirror I certainly look like me. But I don’t feel like I’m there anymore. I feel like I’ve been replaced with someone I don’t recognize. And I cry. A lot. It’s hard to explain and I’m not sure I could adequately describe what I mean if I tried. Adjusting to this new me has been, to say the least, hard. I think everyone around me has the idea that I’ve adjusted fabulously and that I’ve stepped into motherhood perfectly, and I guess I may give off that impression, but at least internally I’m still processing. Still thinking. Still trying to find the scraps of the old me and trying to find ways to merge them with this new life of mine. I always knew motherhood would be hard, but I expected it to be hard because you’re taking care of a helpless little baby – not because it throws everything you know about yourself into a blender and then you have to try to put the pieces back together.
I’ve had to, temporarily, stop reading a lot of blogs I usually love. The ones of other mothers. The ones who get to stay home with their children. The ones who make it seem so easy. I know life isn’t perfect, and I know that blogs are just a small snapshot and not wholly inclusive of all aspects of life. I know, I know, I know this. And, yet, I still manage to look at them and feel jealous and guilty and sad that my life isn’t theirs. And that’s not how you’re supposed to live your life – I’m not supposed to live someone else’s life. I’m supposed to live mine, and do what I can with it.
I need to focus on the things I have or can make time for, rather than focusing on my lack of time thanks to having to be a working mama. I need to let go of my perfectionism because I know ultimately it won’t matter if the handmade clay ornaments look awful: they’ll be precious anyway. I need to let go of feeling like I need to compete with other people, especially other moms. I need to figure out who I am under all these layers of new emotions, which feels like an impossible task right now. I don’t even know where to begin. Maybe I’ll never figure it out.