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Buckle your seatbelts.  I’m about to get personal.

This weekend was heavy.  It was full of disappointment and defeat.  I just felt defeated.  Like the throw in the towel, I give up, I quit, I’m taking my ball and going home kind of defeat.

This year marks the 9th anniversary of my mama’s battle with cancer. Cancer won.  She lost.  She never saw me in my wedding dress.  She never saw my first ultrasound.  She never met my baby.  She never saw my first home.  She missed the day I gave birth.  She missed my son’s baptism.  She wasn’t here to help me pick paint colors for my home or to watch the 4th of July parade from my porch.  She didn’t attend my bridal shower or my baby shower.  She didn’t help decorate the nursery.  She’s missed a lot.

Every year since her passing, I have joined forces with my family and friends and did an annual charity walk in her memory.  It started small.  Just the family.  We paid our $25, put on our sneakers and spent the morning together walking.  With each passing year, we grew a little.  Not much mind you but just enough.  We formed a team.  We invited friends to join us.  We printed up team shirts.  We fundraised.  We campaigned.  We made money.  We put on our sneakers.  We walked.  Every year has not been a rousing success but every year we tried.  Every year, we walked together.

nocc

This year was different.  This year, I committed to something that conflicted with the walk.  This year, I didn’t form a team.  This year, I couldn’t form a team.  This year, I was busy with a high spirited 9 month old who needed my attention.  He comes first.  He comes before everything else.  I didn’t know if I would be able to do the walk because of this commitment I had made elsewhere.  I passed the torch on to someone else to form a team.  Anyone really.  There were no takers.  No one formed a team.  No one registered to walk except two friends.  Not even my family registered to walk.  How sad is that?  Ultimately, my commitment fell through and I was able to walk.  I had no team.  I missed registration.  I showed up the day of the walk to pay my registration fee and walk.  Only a few of my family came.  Most did not.

nocc

Suddenly, it was no longer a day of celebrating my mama’s memory.  Instead, it suddenly felt like a day heavy with defeat and disappointment as I quietly celebrated the life and spirit of this woman I called my mother.  I looked at my own child and prayed that one day he would not become too busy to celebrate my life when I was no longer earthside.

nocc

This feeling of defeat and disappointment has been a lingering theme in my life for weeks, maybe even months.  There has been a huge learning curve to parenting and adjusting to the new dynamic in the household.  People say having a baby changes everything.  It certainly does but I don’t think it’s possible to grasp what that really means until you actually have a baby.  So here I am with baby in tow adjusting to this new life without any guidance.  I won’t lie.  It’s hard.  There have been days riddled with the feeling of defeat and disappointment as no one I talked to could relate to the sheer exhaustion I sometimes felt or the moments of crying from utter exhaustion.   Okay, I just lied.  There were a few people that related but there were more people that didn’t relate than did. There were a few weeks were I actually began to think I was suffering from post partum depression until I realized I was just tired.  Really tired.  Physically and emotionally exhausted from meeting the needs of my baby but also feeling the need to defend myself and my choices.  I don’t feel like explaining for the 90th time that my kid is a baby and babies don’t know how to just fall asleep on their own.  Or that my kid is breastfed and no, I can’t just put him in his crib with a bottle at night.  Or that yes, I did choose to stay at home and not return to work.  And no, we don’t have money to go to A, B or C or buy X, Y or Z.   Or yes, we are fine not having the funds to whatever it is that you think we should be doing or buying, etc.  The funny part is though that normally I don’t care what people say or think about me.  Adjusting to parenting changed all that though.  It was so foreign to me (still is).  There were times I was full of self doubt.  I needed guidance and some gentle reassurance but it was hard to find.  Really hard to find.  I had to look really hard and couldn’t always find it.

Then suddenly this weekend it dawned on me that I needed to change my mind to change my life.  I already know this.  I spent a decade telling other people this and yet somehow didn’t tell myself this.  What I was doing in my life wasn’t working for me, isn’t working for me.  I am exactly where I need to be doing exactly what I should be doing.  It’s time for a change.  Defeat and disappointment are so heavy.  I have this beautiful family and this beautiful life that I should be celebrating every day.

I changed my mind this weekend.  I decided to celebrate my life.  I decided to celebrate my mama’s life.  Essentially it all comes full circle.  I said goodbye to heavy feelings of disappointment and defeat and I welcomed in the feelings of love, joy and gratitude.  I am celebrating the simplicity of my life and learning to appreciate the beauty of my life.

xoxo,

boss lady

 

 

 

 

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16 Responses to “change your mind. change your life.”

  1. Mary Ann says:

    You know your boy is your world now as well as Michael is. This is now your family and you need to celebrate all 3 of you and your Mom and Dad will always be celebrated through your raising of Nolan. You will teach him everything you have been taught and more. Nolan is a very well loved boy by a Wonderful “Boss Lady” Mother and a Super Dad. I am here for you and I know the feeling of not having someone to call (or wanting to call Mom). My Mom was in a coma and passed when Saleesa was a month old, so I know the not being able to share such a glorious gift with her. She is with you Anna.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Your mom is with you always Anna. Every single event you mentioned she was there every step of the way. She came to me in a dream with my dad and they told me they held our babies before we ever got to meet them. She told me she held Nolan and she would release him to you when she was ready. She is ALWAYS with you. Talk to her and listen for her. She is in the sun light sparkles in your dad’s swimming pool, in that special song you hear riding in the car, she is in Nolan’s smile, in his laugh. She is even in your chick pea brownies!!!! Communication doesn’t end when our loved ones pass- it just changes.

    I wish I could have walked with you Saturday. I will walk with you next year, rain or shine, I will raise money with you. I will be on your team, be it an Ovarian Cancer walk or life.

    Don’t ever compare yourself to anyone. You are Nolan’s mom. God gave him to you! What makes you different is what makes you special.

    Life is never perfect but that’s what makes it funny and beautiful.

  3. Christina says:

    When mom diagnosed and the whirlwind began I spent my days – everyday- taking her to chemo, Webers – her favorite place to visit after chemo-or just sitting with her – running errands for her- grocery store, clothes, misc. I wanted to do everything for her and spend all my free time with her – at the time the rest of the family members had jobs , family obligations and other things – I was the one home with 3kids. Did I feel obligated- thought it was my responsibility to be with mom and dad – maybe – but it’s where i wanted to be. Mom would always tell me to GO live my own life -that Aaron and my kids was where I belonged. She accepted her illness and fate. She said she had a full happy life and was at peace. Her wish was that we have the same. She did not want us grieving or feeling guilty
    She knew she would miss all your firsts but knew you were strong and independent – you are your mothers daughter….my life is crazy hectic – I am so overextended – but I am always here. A text email phone call away.
    Xoxox

  4. My heart felt heavy for your sadness, but I loved the hope you had at the end of this post. It isn’t always easy to change that mindset and choose to live differently, but it is certainly better than giving in to despair. This was so well written! Thanks for sharing your heart!

    • superfreshbabypants says:

      thanks for stopping by! I feel better letting go of that which ails me and grabbing onto that which lifts me up. So hard, yet so easy :)

  5. Visiting from the newbie page on facebook and this was a beautifully written post.

    It is a mindset and I’m glad you saw that. Celebrate your life. She is there with you.

  6. lauren says:

    it must feel like a loss all over again in a weird way to see people moving on and not giving this one day to remember your mom, I’m so sorry for that. I am glad though that you are trying to change your outlook to help with the new circumstances. It is so hard to adjust to a new schedule and just being home, let alone a new little guy!!! Glad you have this outlet and community to help you out!

    • superfreshbabypants says:

      Lauren, you are absolutely right! It did feel like a loss all over again in some bizarre way. It is so nice to hear that someone understands!

  7. This post was open in my browser from yesterday, which must mean that I clicked to read it “for later” via the SITSsharefest. Oh mama. I am so glad to have found you. Our stories are so similar. I lost my mom to alcoholism 5 months before my wedding. She was there when I tried on my dress but that’s about it. She’s otherwise missed my big moments too- the shower, the wedding, the ultrasounds, the name picking, the births, knowing her grandkids. And you are so right, it feels SO SO lonely to be going through motherhood without her. To top it all off, my first born (who is now 4) was a TERRIBLE sleeper and a horrific napper. A lot of the times, he just wasn’t a happy dude in general and I really felt like there wasn’t a lot of people who “got” how rough it was for me in those days. I will tell you this… these days are HARD HARD HARD. But IT.GETS.BETTER.

  8. Jen says:

    beautiful. That was lovely and so true. People without kids don’t know and sometimes people with kids don’t remember. It is hard and so defeating for so many moments. All worth it in the end, I know, but so ass kicking on a daily basis. Thanks for being personal. and heavy. and honest.

    • superfreshbabypants says:

      thanks for relating. it’s an ass kicking day over here…simply meaning I am getting my ass kicked by my teething baby, broken dryer and wrong contact lens order…oh and doman issues! ha!! mental workout happening now.

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