“Can you give me a hand,” my mother asked again as she moved frantically around the kitchen.
“I’d love to mom,” I said apologetically,” but I have the baby.”
“Oh, right.” She had forgotten the existence of her own granddaughter yet again as the chaos of Thanksgiving preparation ensued. So, what is it about the holidays that get us so worked up that we are rushing, hysterical, aiming to please? The guest list was simple: me, my mom, my husband, the baby, my brother in law and small family, and my sister in law and my nephew. Low key and quiet. The only noise was two rambunctious little boys who chased each other around the living room, flinging monopoly money in to the air. Our infant giggled in the back ground as she watched them play.
Multiple times throughout her hysteria, my mother ran down the stairs of the basement, leaving the door wide open. Normally this would not have been an issue, except my baby was running around in her walker. Each time, my husband and I rushed to close the door before our little one could tumble down the stairs. One small leap, and our nine-month-old could have severely hurt herself. The first time I exclaimed, “you can’t leave the door open.” I was met with an “I forgot.” She spit out the words so fast and without hesitation.
You forgot? The fact that she kept forgetting about her granddaughter stung and it made me extremely upset. I had already been frustrated from the night before because my mother had banged around the pots and pans until the early hours of the morning. The loud noise caused the baby to wake up several times. Lack of sleep and frustration swelled as I lost my patience with my mother. I was so upset that I had left immediately the next day instead of staying the rest of the week.
Yes, holidays are all about family gatherings and spending time with the ones we don’t get to see very often. Yet, it can be draining and exhausting, especially when you have a young child. That doesn’t excuse us from our bad behavior and negative attitude toward our loved ones, and it does nothing for our mental state. It only creates more stress.
I was so caught up in my own loathing that I had lost track of what Thanksgiving was all about. I spent the holiday annoyed, frustrated and angry. I allowed myself to get worked up which triggered my anxiety. I allowed one day of disorder to rule over my composer and I could not be more ashamed of myself.
In my mother’s defense, this wonderful woman adopted me was I was sixteen years old. So, although an expert of unruly teenagers, she was not too familiar with babies or young children. Instead of understanding this, I took her actions personal. Instead of being gracious to my mom for hosting Thanksgiving, I was bitter and disgruntled.
I don’t want my daughter to grow up remembering a mom that got mad during the most magical time of the year. I don’t want her to see a mom who is downright selfish during a time when we are supposed to be thankful and selfless. Yes, it’s true, the Holidays drive some of us a little crazy and we will always have those family members who push all the wrong buttons. That doesn’t mean we have to allow it to get to us and forget the magic of the Holidays, and that doesn’t mean we have to act selfishly towards our family members. Especially with our children watching.
Postpartum recovery isn’t just a journey for our physical health. It’s also a time for mental contemplation. Gaining control of our emotions is not always easy and sometimes it takes a whole lot to talk ourselves down. So, do what you need to do to remove yourself from the situation. If you are feeling overwhelmed during the Holidays, take a break. Go for a walk, find a place to regroup, take a minute and center yourself.
For the rest of the Holiday season, as well as future gatherings, I will try let go of all expectations. I’ll do my best to understand that schedules may get messed up during these times. Holidays are chaotic, but they’re also a time to enjoy every one’s company. I’d like to work on being a more composed mom for my little girl. As a parent, I know that I won’t always have it figured out and I will get overwhelmed, but at the same time, it is important that I leave my little girl with positive memories.
Today, I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself, both physically and mentally, at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Moms and Dads, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.
If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:
1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama”
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.
The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Saturday night
Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.
In case you missed it, here is the previous weeks Postpartum Recovery Link-Up, Eating Healthy During the Holidays
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*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.