I am a mom. I love being a mom. And I consider myself a pretty good one (despite my consistent ability to burn grilled cheese). I love my children with every inch of my heart. The ones beside me, and the ones that are not. But that’s not all that I am.
Losing my son, I’ve learned some hard lessons. One being that I’m stronger than I ever thought possible. I always firmly believed that I would crumble if I outlived a child. That I would retreat and tuck my blankets over my head and disappear. And when Killian died and that didn’t happen, I felt a lot of guilt. So I assumed that it was because I am a mom to two other boys. I had to get up. I had to continue our life. But I’m surprising myself again. I’m learning that my assumptions didn’t have enough faith in me. Im learning that I love this life I’ve been given, even when I’m in the trenches of an emotional war. I love being a mom and I love being a wife. But I love myself just as much. I have flaws and quirks and annoying traits, but I have strength and resilience and I have a lot to give and a lot to say.
I am not just a mom. I am not just a wife. I am not just a grieving mother.
I am a karaoke queen and a horrible dancer. I have anxiety (so much of it), and am a full blown hypochondriac (Dr. Google could be my profession). I have a dry and dark sense of humour that I love. I am very shy and at times so socially awkward that people assume I’m unfriendly when we meet. I’m learning my love of writing and am secretly hoping that maybe one day I will write a book. I think that I’m pretty in an unconventional way. I have emotional baggage, and I’m not just talking about a carry on, from a stepdad who did a lot of damage growing up.
I am the sum of my parts. But I can’t say that those parts make me whole. Because I’m still working towards that. I’m tweaking and learning and embracing those parts. Loving yourself means taking care of yourself. And we can’t take care of ourselves without acknowledging the good as well as the bad, and finding spaces for both of them to live. I have come to believe that the ability to love ourselves, flaws and quirks included, allows us the license to love ourselves through hardships and failures. I believe that fully embracing ourselves includes giving permission to break down and to fail and to acknowledge our short comings. To allow the undesirable parts of us to show their faces here and there. Because they also make us who we are, and I promise you, you aren’t alone in those dark times. To believe that even though sometimes we get dealt – or let’s face it, in some cases choose – a horrible card in a high stakes card game, we have earned our right to play the game and not to fold. We are worthy of self loving the shit out of ourselves and we have the right to make choices and to find the resources to allow us to live a unfiltered, transparent, honest and beautiful life. Flaws and all.
My Killian is teaching me so much, it amazes me. He truly is my fox, my guide.