I promise.

Dear me,⁣

I’m sitting here on our phone looking back at pictures you took. It’s January, 2016. You have just recently become a mom for the first time, and are six weeks postpartum.⁣

The majority of the pictures are of the babe your body created. You aren’t in many, and in those that you are, there is a purposeful effort on your behalf for the photo’s focus to be on anything else but you.⁣

But, I look to you anyways. Your face. Your hair. Your eyes. The layers that tell a story. Faint smiles, tangled curls in sloppy buns, dark circles and sleepy squints, a breast milk stained cardigan on it’s sixth day of wear. The story of a woman trying. Trying and tired, trying and unsure, trying and afraid.⁣

Ah, all that what would come in those months ahead. The countless hours of colic, the incredibly little, little sleep, the exasperation at the useless futility of everything you tried, the heart pounding anxiety at anything “gone wrong” that would envelope you in a bundle of trauma. The culmination of it all breaking you. Chasms laid wide, intrusive thoughts hungrily consuming the darkness now bare. An unspoken guilt that consumed you, perpetuating and furthering the cycle. Rinse, repeat, remorse and regret.⁣

It will be okay, I whisper to you. Gently placing my finger on your shoulder on the screen, as if it could be a hug that transcends time and instils in you the hope you didn’t have. You WILL overcome. The colic goes away, eventually. He sleeps, eventually. You get help from doctors, finally. It starts to work. The pieces come together. You find what he needs. You find what you need. Together, you thrive.⁣

You’re even crazy enough in five years to do it all over again, mental health reckonings and all. But, we figure it out that time sooner. ⁣She actually sleeps. She’s happier. She’s easier.⁣

Right now, though.⁣

It feels like you can’t breath.⁣

I know. I hear you.⁣

But, you will.⁣

We will.⁣

I promise.

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Today was not our day.

[I’m posting this because among all the perfect Christmas posts/photos you’ve seen these past few days, it can feel very easy to feel inferior or like you haven’t done enough. If this is you, I see you – I hear you – I am you.]

Today was not our day.

My body deciding that 4:30AM was a perfectly acceptable time to be awake. By 2PM I was running on fumes, which made it very hard for me to cope with…

A profoundly fussy, hostile and (slightly) soul sucking baby still feeling after effects from her most recent vaccinations. Literally un-put-downable, could only be with me and had to always be moving or nursing (when she let me) to abate her hysterics.

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A tired, overstimulated five year not use to all the gifts, the screen time, and the very many “inputs” of the holidays, but trying so hard to hold his own.

D was able to thankfully hold his own, however, despite having been up the majority of the night before with what we strongly suspect is restless leg syndrome related.

But, to top it off, the Chinese dinner we ordered in (we’re either honouring the half Jewish part of D or facing the realities of 2020, you pick) has left me wth a terribly upset tummy.

We were blessed to be able to open gifts with good friends of our’s over Zoom. But, the other stuff? UGH.

For now, I’m off to eat Reece’s in bed (sorry, tummy) and get lost in the most mindless possible drivel I can find on my phone before passing out in a sea of wrappers.

At least we got new sheets for Christmas?

Tomorrow is another day.

Thank freakin’ god.

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How far we’ve come.

I breast fed O until he was 17 months. Assumption dictated I would do the same with my daughter. When M was born, she latched perfectly. Hurray! Then she had to undergo blue light therapy in the hospital for jaundice and somehow, among it, she forgot how to latch. ⁣

It has been a HARD journey since. I’ve been trying many many many MANY times a day to help M relearn what she had lost, and then following it by hours of pumping so that I could feed her (while D gave her expressed bottles). She was often frustrated, I was often at tears. It felt like all hours of the day were spent on this effort. I was pretty much stuck at home, with my breast-pump as my ankle monitor. I read what felt like every single article in existence about breastfeeding, and my anxiety was a MESS. ⁣

(Exclusive pumpers and formula users, I have full respect for you. Please know that.)⁣

But, good news! After about three thousand attempts (no lie — I’m serious) and four weeks, M is finally latching and doing so consistently. It’s not perfect, and we both have some growing to get there, but, we made it. ⁣

Achieving this with M has been monumental to my mental health. Now, I figure out how to transition her fully to breastfeeding, while ensuring she gets enough and keeps gaining weight. This will be another journey of learning, but it is one I am prepared to embrace. Slowly and carefully for my anxiety’s sake, but in proud abundance of how far we’ve already come. 💚⁣ ⁣

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Goodbye to you.

I’m feeling this profoundly hard today, and I am making this public so I don’t have to answer (as many) questions later:

My broken, bruised and harmful relationship with my mother has reached beyond its inevitable breaking point, and I am finally having the courage to cut ties and walk away.

And, in time, hopefully heal…

“You don’t have to be a product of the inept, cruel parenting that was shown to you, and this starts with the brave decision that the cycle stops at you. People who do this, who refuse to continue a toxic legacy, are courageous, heroic and they change the world. We’re here to build amazing humans, not to tear them down. How many lives could have been different if your parent was the one who decided that enough was enough.”

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Keeping us sane.

Shout out to the biggest thing that is keeping me sane during this period of pandemic isolation: daily, morning walks with my kid.

They’re long, meandering, and not always with rhyme and reason (as I am often subject to a four year old’s whims), but they are making this experience survivable and pleasant.

Now, if someone could please help my kid realize that paths with pebbles are all good to walk on, and not the devil itself, I’d love you for life.

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