When my husband and I were first dating, we knew we loved each other, but it wasn’t easy. I don’t know if we had even envisioned us together going on 13 years.
Oh the beginning was so hard. We had LOTS of ups and downs. But we never let that veer us away (minus that one week….).
I also didn’t think we even thought about marriage…..or kids… In our defense, I was told kids were off the table for me naturally due to PCOS. I think we mentioned adoption or other avenues – maybe…MAYBE 3 times.
And then….we conceived our oldest. Out of the blue. Well ok then…. I didn’t even know how to change a diaper, let alone how to hold a baby. I was so worried about bonding that I may have just not thought about actual life with a baby.
And I don’t know if it was because of that, or possibly it was due to the fact that my super hero, my most favoritist person in the world, my grandma – was dying before my eyes.
Probably a combination.
But for the first 2 weeks of our daughter’s life – I did NOT bond with her. I was unable to form any sort of attachment. I didn’t understand why. So I went and saw a counselor. And with the help of my husband and counselor, I was able to finally start bonding.
But I think I missed something critical in that first 2 weeks. Maybe it was because I had immense guilt that I did not produce any breast milk. And that I was basically starving her for the first 4 days of her life.
Once we started actually feeding her, she was truly the easiest child ever. She really spoiled us. She slept 12 hours per night. Was happy, and free, and moldable. We were constantly on the go and she was so happy to go with the flow.
Let me just say, that I love my oldest more than anything. We have our own bond that we have patched together over the years. But I have had to, whether consciously or subconsciously, place my relationship with her on the back burner.
From the moment her little sister was born, life drastically changed. Our youngest was by far NOT the easiest child. She was so stubborn, and brilliant, and busy. She never slept. The husband and I had came to a critical milestone in our lives (we successfully overcame it btw). Actually…the husband and I have had to pass MANY critical milestones since our youngest was born.
But for the past 3 years, my intense focus was strictly on the youngest. I began losing my bond with my husband, with our oldest, with myself. I have felt nothing but immense guilt. Mommy guilt. And immense mommy guilt is not just something I am not proud of, but it is something I have been kept hidden deep down.
A secret so dark, that this is the next step on my journey to loving myself.
I have been thinking about what Gate #2 reveals, since the moment I understood the layout of what Gate #1 revealed. At first, I thought it was going to reveal money, but a few days later, I was sure it was going to be about repairing certain relationships in my life. I was so certain about each potential revelation that I, in fact, wrote entire (separate) blog posts via my inner voice.
But I never had the time, or found the time, to write about either revelation. Turns out, it was meant to be that way.
I have been realizing for the past 2ish weeks that I need to get serious about bonding with my child and truly expending the extra effort getting to the root of her super powers and finding the solutions.
I have spent many nights laying awake.
I have read more than enough research and tips and tricks.
I have joined countless support groups.
I have liked or loved or cried with or was angry right along side with – thousands of other parents experiencing what we are experiencing with Thing 2. For all of her super powers.
Now it is time for me to respect my oldest, and get to know her on a deep soul level. I need to connect with her. And help guide her through the trauma she has endured, helping her get to a balanced place in life.
Thing 2 will NEVER be cast aside. I have learned my lesson from the past three years. Seriously! I did! But all of that extra effort that has been expended over the past three years with Thing 2, is finally reaching a point that we can maintain. We are no longer struggling to keep up with her, gasping for air. We are now a nose ahead of her. Able to prepare for any upcoming triggers.
Thing 2 is thriving. Finally.
Now it is time for Thing 1 to thrive and soar.
As Gate #2 opens, it has begun to reveal my deepest and darkest secret that subconsciously and consciously, is holding me back in my ability to love myself.
And here are just some pics of my amazing kids that I honestly cannot see my life without.