A lot of things change when we become parents. There are the physical changes of pregnancy, the physiological change in hormones, and the emotional changes from feeling a love like no other. Another change I’ve noticed in myself since transitioning into motherhood, is my desire to be the absolute best version of myself. Although, it is still a work in progress, this motivation started early on in my pregnancy, before I had even met my daughter.
When I got pregnant, I really started to examine my past and think about my own childhood. This caused me to face certain traumas that I had been pushing away from the surface for years.
I have never been more emotionally aware in my life than I am now. Thinking about my past has helped me come to terms with things that I used to just ignore. I realized that I was raised by parents who had unresolved traumas of their own and how it affected me. This motivates me to face my own issues head on and do my best to resolve what I can so that I don’t damage my daughter with my personal problems.
Seeing my parents as flawed humans who were facing their own issues has given me a lot of patience and understanding for any mistakes that they might have made. It has helped me accept where I came from and it’s given me patience for myself. I want to do my best as a mom but I know that I won’t be perfect either. When it comes to facing trauma, I’ve realized that the most difficult conversations are the most important ones to have.
I started facing my childhood traumas during pregnancy but then after my daughter was born I had to learn to face the trauma I had dealt with during her birth. It’s been almost a year and some days it feels like I am still processing everything that happened that night.
This is a part of parenthood that I didn’t expect at all. I had no idea that I would be so motivated to find peace within myself. In those first few weeks after she was born, I expected to feel a roller coaster of emotions, and I did. But when the fourth trimester came and went and I was still feeling a lot of anger I knew something wasn’t right.
When I think about how dependent and truly out of control my little baby is, I can’t help but hold myself accountable to create the absolute best life I can for her. So when I noticed myself having angry outbursts about something as trivial as having a messy kitchen, it prompted a revelation.
Finding acceptance/understanding myself better than ever
After a lot of open discussions and even a few sessions with a therapist, I feel like I have finally accepted my pain. It has taken a lot longer than I would have ever expected. My heightened awareness of my emotions that my daughter motivates me to have has helped me get to know myself better than I ever had before I got pregnant.
The kitchen is bound to be messy and life will always carry with it so many unfinished tasks, so if I let those things make me angry I will be living an angry life and life is too short to be wasting it in an angry state.
So, now that I’ve accepted my pain I’m trying to figure out what to do with it, how to manage it, and what I can do to have more control because I’m still feeling it. Will I ever stop feeling this pain or does some pain simply stick with us? What do we do with our pain once we’ve accepted it?