When anyone asks me how Motherhood is going; my answer is always “amazing, so so incredible!”. That is my answer because I genuinely mean it. This is unequivocally the most beautiful time in my life to date. However, if I were to think about it day by day, moment by moment, it’s not always so great. I mean lets me honest this shit can be really stressful. Considering the fact that, for the first two months of Ellie’s she would yell (putting it nicely) at Mike and I for a minimum of 2 hours a night, every night for a unknown reason (ah colic, you bastard). She has also been completely dependent on my body to survive, she has transitioned from sleeping in our room to sleeping down the hall, and let’s be honest unless the monitor has a “yes she is breathing, chill out” banner running along the bottom of the video feed there is always the nagging presence of fear in the back of my mind. But even with all of that, and the whole world turned upside down thing, this really is magical. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why that’s the case; I am head over heels madly in love with this gorgeous little girl. That love is so deep that it trumps every aspect that could have seemed overwhelming in the moment.
But you have heard this before, parents all over the world for as far back as you can trace have been saying these same sentiments. But my question is; how many parents and non-parents alike, feel that same way about themselves? How many people can say without hesitation, “amazing, so so incredible!” when asked what it’s like being themselves, and truly mean it? The fact of the matter is, most of us would have a tough time saying it, and maybe even hearing it from others. In the society we were raised in, self-loathing far out ways self-love, and it makes the general population borderline uncomfortable. But why is that the norm? Why do we celebrate the life altering, shout it from the mountain tops love that we have for our children, but the idea of speaking kindly and lovingly about ourselves is out of the question?
Now, ideally I could start a movement and be the face of the “love thyself” campaign, change the fabric of our society and strut off into the sunset like the boss my imagination is making me feel like right now. But in order for that to happen, I have to start walking the walk myself. Now, I can confidently say that I love myself a hell of a lot more than I ever have in my life, and I am damn proud of that, but there is always room for more love, more acceptance. The good news is, that I know it is possible. Because if I have the capacity to fall so hard for a little girl I just met a few months ago, I know I have the ability to do that same thing for myself. And I mean, can you imagine how wonderful that would be? Through all of tough and not so fun moments over the past 5 months, there hasn’t been a single second where I felt my love diminish for Ellie. That is because I do not love her conditionally. My love for her is not based on an outcome, or an idea that if and when she does x,y, and z, she will have proven herself worthy. Even typing that makes me uncomfortable. So it is about damn time that I show myself that same compassion. If there is one thing I know for sure, even as a newcomer in this parenting game, it is that I cannot give Ellie anything that I don’t have and that includes self-love and acceptance, and she deserves nothing less. So one foot in front of the other, releasing the conditions and the conditioning with every step. I will walk the walk, and it will be amazing, and so so incredible!