Hello December, I’m filled with both excitement and a bit of sadness as we start this festive month. This morning I was excited to shower treats upon my baby and my fur baby! Jacob loved the things Elfonzo brought and Jasmine was very intrigued by these boxes of treats first thing in the morning that we were all very excited to show her!! Treats before breakfast and gingerbread are currently her favourite parts of Christmas!! Jacob was excited when he noticed a Purdys Santa beside his lunch. The Purdys Santa is 100% something Mom did for me as a child on December First! December lost most of it’s magic last year when Grandma got sick and left us and I want to honor her memory and my memories of how hard she always tried to make Christmas special by doing my best to bring back the fun and magic of this special month. 🎄🎄🎄⛄️⛄️⛄️🤶🏻🎅
The night Muffin left me. The night my heart broke. Ive tried so many times to write but the words don’t come. Losing my Mom and my fuzzy best friend in a four month span gutted me in a way I can’t even explain. Ive been left feeling alone, feeling an urgency of my own passing years. Forced to face my own mortality. Forced to recognize that these events don’t come with complete closure.
The memories play over and over when I close my eyes. Sometimes they bring comfort but more often they make it hard to breathe. The leave me feeling that cold chill you experience when the sun goes down and day creeps into night.
I swore I wasn’t going to get a puppy. I couldn’t. I swore I didn’t have the patience. I didn’t think I could get past the feeling I’d somehow betrayed Muffin. Everyone told me to wait. I met a few rescue pups and it left me feeling like I’d gotten punched in the gut. Those pups were all sweet but they didn’t give me that feeling. I wasn’t ready to commit but the house felt unbearably empty and cold. Coming home in the mornings after taking Jacob to school gutted me day after day. Never in my life had I experienced feeling so alone. Never had I felt such emptiness.
At the urging of one dedicated dog rescue friend I went to meet a pup. A pup with big flappy ears. Special ears as Krista calls them. I didn’t expect this meeting to go much differently then the other pups. Some cuddles, a face lick and me leaving in tears.
But this meeting did go differently. This little long legged flappy eared pup cuddled up to Kevin. She ignored the other pups and took cover in my lap. She looked at me with the saddest eyes. Her eyes held the same alone feeling I was feeling. Her eyes held a story. A story that in her short life she’d been through so much fear and confusion. For this lil pup had been born in the streets of Mexico and thankfully rescued by amazing people and nursed back to health before being brought to Canada. With that gift of a new life came her losing her “Mom” multiple times in her short life. She lost her birth Momma, she lost he foster Mom in Mexico to come to Canada and on the day I met her she was about to lose her Canadian foster Mom. In that moment with those big sad eyes looking at me I couldn’t let her keep losing her “Mom’s” because I know exactly how it feels.
Now she’s ours and we are hers. Now she feels safe enough to not cry and panic when I go to work. Now she knows this is her home. She’s learned all the people in this crazy full house love her. She has learned that Emma brings her home chicken nuggets and French fries after work. She’s learned Ella is the littlest but makes her feel safe. She’s learned uncle will take kisses when no one is looking. She’s learned Ej gives the best ear scratches. She’s learned Grandpa’s bedroom door is easy to push open for a quick visit. She’s learned there is nothing like have a fuzzy cousin to wrestle with. Shes learned that somehow in this life the stars aligned and her fur brother lives a few blocks away and she gets to play with him! Shes learned Auntie gives great cuddles and usually has treats handy! She’s learned the green grass in the backyard is an amazing place to lay and watch your world. She’s learned that Jacob is the most loving big brother she could of gotten. She’s learned that Dad gives the best tummy rubs and is an absolute lover of puppy cuddles. She’s learned that this house has a box of toys that are all hers and a basket of treats that is never empty. She’s learned this house has the most amazing collection of blankets and she’s welcome to every single one of them!
And she’s learned that this Mom is her forever Mom. That this Mom needs her love. That this Mom wants to give her all the treats, all the toys, all the cuddles. She’s learned this Mom cries sometimes and holds on to another pups collar. She’s learned that those are the best times to quietly position herself next to Momma and offer quiet support. This pup has learned what it’s like to feel love and to give love.
She has learned she’s home.
Bandit is the fuzzy twine that wrapped all the pieces of my broken heart back together and is helping me through the darkness. The question really is who rescued who?
With Mother’s Day fast approaching and all the love and fun that comes with it there is also sadness. Sadness for those who have lost their Mom, for those who never knew their Mom, for those who long to be a Mom, for those who long to feel the way they did before they were a Mom. Sadness for those who experienced pain at the hands of the one they call(ed) Mom. For those Dad’s who also have to act as Mom. For those Mom’s that suffered loss and long to hold their babies one more time.
Motherhood changes a person. It made me both stronger and softer. It made me both ferocious and timid. It made me feel love in a way I didn’t know existed and it made me feel anger in ways I wish I didn’t know existed. Motherhood has made me feel both full of love and full of terror. It’s made me marvel at my ability and long for a taste of the freedom I once knew. Losing my own Momma recently has made face my own mortality. It’s made me see things I missed my entire life. It’s made me wish for 5 more minutes to tell her things I should of said years ago. It’s made me understand the demons she was fighting and see the fears she faced. I spent my whole life near her and only truly saw some things for what they were once she was gone.
Being a Mom is hard. Being a Mom is exhausting. Being a Mom means giving up part of who you are so you can help your kids be who they are. Being a Mom is an amazing journey. Losing your Mom is a journey of a different sort.
To all the Mom’s out there…. I see you. I walk beside you! I’m here to help hold you up. I’m here to tell you those feelings and frustrations are ok. To all those who lost their Mom…. I am you, I hold a membership card to that club we didn’t ask to join and I cry with you.
To all the Aunts, Grandmas, friends, sisters, Dads that help stand in for us Mommas when we are sick, tired, drained, broken, or when we just need a minute…. Thank you.
Look… parenting is hard and I’m the first one to stand up and admit all too frequently I get it wrong. This morning tho, I got it right!
I’m a huge advocate for mental health and treating ourselves with grace. So this morning when Jacob woke up and called me into his room to make a case for missing school today I didn’t skip a beat. As soon as this usually excited for school seven year old told me he was tired and a bit sad I said ok. He continued to plead his case that he’s not sick he’s just tired/sad and I sat down on his bed and said “J you don’t need to convince me you need a mental health day” .
Let’s be real here…we could all benefit from the odd mental health day here and there and because I’ve realized the importance of this in my own life I 100% support it in my child’s life! I was so thankful this morning when even J’s teacher was enthusiastic and supportive of him having a mental health day!
I grew up with parents from a generation that all too frequently ignored mental health. A generation that championed pushing themselves to physical and mental exhaustion. Don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for work ethic but I also have mad respect for anyone willing to set boundaries to respect/protect their health, both physical and mental! The past two years have been hard but I’ve learned so much and I know what’s important to me. Nurturing my child’s mental health is just as important as vaccinating him, feeding him well, and keeping his body healthy!
Feeling safe, loved, and heard is so important. Today I got it right and J definitely felt all those things.
We called it a mental health day…Now he’s in great spirits. We just got home! We walked, talked, had breakfast, played at the skate park, watched the ducks, practiced our dance moves on the stage at the amphitheater, laughed, and his favourite part was when I gave him a $5 bill to hide at the skate park for someone else to find and help brighten their day! Side note…it’s actually international Random act of kindness day!
During our morning adventure we talked about the importance of filling our cup and the importance of doing little things to help others fill theirs when we can! We talked about how it’s important to feel our feelings, how it’s ok to be sad sometimes. We talked about making sure we rest, play, work hard, and honor our feelings!
Now we’re cuddling on the couch and he just paused his screen time to tell me this was the best morning he’s ever had! And with that he made my cup overflow. I got it right this morning friends 💙💙💙
Everything went wrong today that could of went wrong!
Our day was rough. My Dad’s memory/dementia was giving us all hell. Kevin is still really under the weather, I’m still coughing so much I’m physically sore. Important paperwork went missing (thanks dementia). I realized I’m dangerously close to missing a very important deadline. Amazon lost Jacob’s birthday gift. My lunch order was full of chicken not the tofu I ordered. Purdys is having a peanut butter daisy shortage. I could go on.
But I’m not going to dwell on it. Im going to look on the bright side! Today I managed to get out and find Jacob an amazing birthday gift, bought him a huge Pokémon balloon bouquet, then the best thing happened… Jacob came to me excited to spend tomorrow together for his birthday. I reminded him he has school tomorrow and he adamantly informed me his birthday would be a family day just as it has been every year since he was born! And in that moment I realized how right he is and how much we both need the day together. It made me happy that this sweet child realizes that I’ve made sure to take the day off work for his birthday every year. It makes my heart full to know that he wants that tradition to continue.
I’m thankful this sweet child is mine!
A quiet Sunday of grocery shopping, pizza lunch, bike riding, baking, and cuddles!
A perfectly good day and yet I still feel like I’m screaming into the nothingness.
I’ve got a lot I should update about but I’m not ready. I’m sad and grief is absolutely unmapped territory.
So instead I’ll share some photos from today. Our day was quiet but productive. We got groceries, I hugged a friend, I drank coffee sitting down, I left the house, I ate yummy food, I wore my festive pants and I felt all the feels. A friend dropped off lovely flowers and fun Rae Dunn things to cheer me up. I thought a lot about my friends who are checking in and showing up. It means the world to me.
This morning I crawled out of my warm bed to take Muffin out to pee. I was hit with cold air upon opening the door! Cold air I haven’t felt since early last spring! I rushed Muff along and upon returning inside took a moment to crawl into bed beside Jacob. His barely awake warm self instantly embraced me and we cuddled for a solid 10 minutes before going about our regular before school routine. Now as I sit here reflecting on the morning I realize how much those ten minutes changed my day. They made me feel loved and relaxed and that put me in a great mood. I had more patience with my parents this morning and generally find myself less stressed!!
I hope our cuddle had the same effect on his day and I hope he never outgrows Momma cuddles! ❤️
I’ve spent the last 8 months in therapy and I’ve learned so much. I however still have not mastered the ability to not let my anger and irritation skyrocket when someone does something that disappoints my child. To be honest I don’t think it’s a skill I will ever master.
Now I fully acknowledge that in life we all get disappointed sometimes and that’s just something we need to learn to deal with and I’m doing my best to teach Jacob how to handle these situations. With that being said im not talking about the little disappointments like not getting the cake you asked for or not getting to stop at the park! I’m talking about the hurtful disappointments. I’m talking about when a friend or family member breaks a promise or once again ignores your feelings. When a person constantly shows their favouritism by leaving you out. The list goes on.
So while I’m all for teaching my child that disappointments are simply a part of life I’m also right here to teach him that his feelings are valid! I’m here to teach him that allowing someone to continue to bring him hurt and disappointment with their actions and behaviour is not something that he or any of us has to tolerate.
Honor your feelings and give yourself space to actually feel them and work through them.
If you find yourself constantly tired trying to fill a void in a relationship maybe it’s time to evaluate that relationship. Maybe it’s time to have the hard conversation with yourself and really figure out if the way this relationship makes you feel is truly worth what you get out out of it.
Never let someone’s excuses convince you that their actions and excuses aren’t hurtful if they have in fact hurt you or your well-being.
Not everyone is going to like this…. but here it is…. Your mental health and well-being are more important than your job, than your career. More important than your deadlines, your to do list. Bigger than that event you said you’d attend. More important than your size. Bigger than money. More important than other people’s moods. If taking care of your mental health means letting someone else down than let them down. You’re mental health is more important than other people’s opinions of you. Its more important than status. You cannot be successful unless you take care of your own needs. Expressing your emotions and feelings is not a sign of weakness. Doing your best doesn’t mean pleasing all the people all the time. Do the things you need to do for your own well-being. You’re more of an asset to your family when you treat yourself with the love and respect you need and deserve. Fill your own cup and love yourself ❤️