I do my best to keep this blog positive. The downside to this is that some may consider this one-sided, always-happy story to be "not real". I feel that I can sometimes come across as a perfectly pulled together mother, potentially even as a "tiger mom". I talk a lot about how cute Iris is, about all the things she is learning, and I post a lot of pictures. I never talk about my frustrations with being a parent. I never talk about my self-doubts or about my own childhood. I never talk about our bad days.
This is partially because I don't want anyone to read this blog and think that I am complaining about my daughter, or whining about my life as a stay at home mom. I don't want to come off as selfish or as though I'm heading for parental martyrdom. I fear that writing about my bad days and my negative feelings may be loathsome or hurtful to read, not only for you but for Iris when she reads this one day. I read some mother's blogs and feel that they do these things. I've even had to stop reading a few blogs that I once loved because they became so profoundly negative and almost hateful towards their children through their writing. I never want to be that. I certainly allow myself my emotions - my anger, frustration, exasperation - but I don't feel the need to share that with the world.
A few days ago, I had a short spell of depression. I was missing Marius so much that it hurt. Iris was excessively high needs, cried all the time and wasn't sleeping. I felt completely overwhelmed with the fact that I am raising a child on my own, and that I am without a way to get around on my own (for those who don't know, I don't have a driver's license.) I hadn't been able talk to Marius much at all for the previous two weeks. I was so tired. I just wanted some time to myself. No child hanging off me screaming for milk, no house to clean, no nothing to do. I wanted to curl up into myself and hide away from my life. I cried for the first time since Marius left, almost two months ago.
I spoke to a friend and finally to Marius about it, venting my feelings a bit. Then, I cleaned the kitchen. As I cleaned, it dawned on me. These feelings were real, but they weren't accomplishing anything. They weren't bringing me to a place I wanted to be. Strong emotions, particularly anger, are often described as "consuming." What one must realize is that these emotions aren't who you are, as overwhelming as they may seem. I (the me that is not my emotions) have the power to choose my perspective at any given moment. I realized all over again, as I do shortly after being flooded by strong feelings, that I can choose to sink or swim. I can choose my own happiness or unhappiness.
I choose to hug my crying baby. I apologize to her for lacking empathy. I look down at my hands and am thankful to have them to hold her. I breathe. I enjoy the feel of my clothes against my skin; the soft whisper of the air against my face. I feel the beating of my heart. I choose to live in the moment. I choose to be grateful that I am alive. Then, I am unconcerned with the trying moments that life can bring because there is so much more to take pleasure in. I appreciate the dedication Marius has to his job, and I know that my patience will bring him back into my arms. I rejoice in the sound of Iris' cry; I know that years from now I will yearn for that tiny, weeping child to sweep up into my arms.
This is why my blog is a positive place. This lack of negativity is genuine. The downs of my life are cursory and insignificant in the face of the absolute excellence that is my existence. Why would I share such tiny pits of sadness when there is plenty of ripe fruit to savor? This is how I am real. I choose to fix this blog around the ever flourishing ups in my life. To those who consider such to be "not real," I wish the realization that they too could have such an experience of life, if they choose to.