Saturday's Note to Self
Much to my surprise the “Note to Self” post last week was a hit! I had no idea it would strike a chord in so many of you. So I’ve decided maybe a weekly or every other week “Note to Self” is in order. I can’t thank you enough for those of you who sent me texts, emails, messages, etc. telling me how much that post resonated with you. And it never ceases to humble/amaze me when you share my posts to your Facebook pages. You don’t even know. That’s so kind and generous of you. Thank you. Now, a note to self…
I mean, this face. Precious. Note the most annoying toy ever created right behind him. Chicken Dance Elmo. It still makes me twitch just thinking about it.
Dear 24 yr old self,
Look, I know you don’t want to but you really need to make some mom friends. Your 1 yr old can’t be the only person you talk to during the day besides your mom. Kyle travels all the time and your friends, well, they work “outside the home.” They do important things and talk to adults. You, on the other hand, feel like you’re becoming more socially awkward by the day. You have no idea what’s going on in the world outside of Sesame Street and Baby Einstein. (By the way, they proved later that Baby Einstein doesn’t in fact make your kid a genius. How many hours of our life was wasted watching a red ball roll across a black screen? Sigh.) Anyway, you need to know that what you’re doing matters. You are taking care of a little person. You keep him alive all day. It’s exhausting keeping someone alive. You feel completely unproductive because at the end of the day all you can check off your list is changing diapers, feeding the baby, and trying to make dinner. Other than that, you don’t know what you do all day. You don’t feel like you can talk about it with your friends that work and don’t have kids. They would think you’re lame and lazy.
Playdates make you cringe in all of your insides. Sitting around with moms you don’t know comparing everyone’s babies, or worse, comparing yourself to the other moms and feeling inadequate because you don’t breastfeed or make your own baby food. No thanks. I know they aren’t your thing but who says you have to play the comparison game? You could be the one to change the subject and talk about something else. Or better yet, you could be honest about how lonely you are. You could tell the other moms you feel like you’re on an island. With a baby. And no search party is looking for you. You could do this and maybe you would find out someone else feels this way too. By going first, you could give another mom the opportunity to say “Me too.” Isn’t that what you want? A “me too” lets you know you’re not alone on the island. A “me too” is hope. Allow someone the privilege to be honest.
Your 35 year old self is learning for the first time that being vulnerable is a gift you give someone else. It seems backwards but being vulnerable is quite powerful. It gives others courage to do the same. You won’t always feel like you’re on an island; it will get better with time and more children. I promise it doesn’t turn into a Lord of the Flies situation. Your life will be so much fuller when you realize honesty about where you’re at is better than being “strong” and silent. Being strong is only hiding who you are. You have wings that you don’t even know about and one day you’re going to fly.
Now go take care of that baby. Walk him in the stroller and tell him about your day. Make funny faces at him and talk in the funny voice he likes. He thinks you’re a riot. It sort of makes all the crying and spit up and dirty diapers worth it.
Your 35 yr old self
P.S. That little 1 yr old is now 11 and wears the same size shoe as you do. He’s got a thing for video games and knows everything, EVERYTHING, about sports. It’s like living with a Sportcenter commentator. He’s pretty great and still the sweetest boy you know.
Follow me on Instagram: @cpallen216
Can’t get enough? Click here. I’ll send these to your inbox