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In The Stillness

I turned the volume down on Alanis Morrisette’s peculiar throaty voice on the radio as I pulled in the driveway. I looked in the rear view mirror to see him tangled in his seat belt and buried under his belongings. Rough day at the office, I laughed to myself. I left the car running to let him sleep.

The aimless cold March air swirled in through the tiny cracks of the car windows and mixed with the with the heat that was cranked on high. It almost gave the illusion of a warm summer’s day – in particular when he had colic.

The witching hour started at seven at night and wouldn’t end until the next morning. Shawn and I would pack him up in the car at odd times like 11:30pm and just drive. He’d fall asleep and we’d sit there in that SUV we bought in the December prior when we found out we were pregnant – that cute SUV for that fresh new beginning for the happy new young family, with their cute hopes, and all that breathtaking dreamy bull crap they feed you in parenting books –  listening to the hum of the car motor and our hearts hurting so bad in a parking lot somewhere.

We were absolutely torn to shreds.

Not by him. No, he was beautiful. In his complete stillness of those morning hours, we would marvel at how absolutely perfect he was.

We would feel guilty that we had, only moments earlier, joked about dropping his screaming 7 pound 6 ounce flailing self on a stranger’s doorstep.

“This house doesn’t look too sketchy. We will pick you up in the morning!” my husband and I  laughed so hard until I started to cry along with our infant.

Our spirits were torn by the never ending – ear piercing – spine shrilling – screams of colic, the sleep deprivation, the arguing over unannounced visitors, folding washcloths four times over and stacking them in colour coordinated piles because my postpartum depression and anxiety said that’s what had to be done.

It was supposed to be the happiest time of our lives so said every signed copy of every Hallmark card from family and friends.

It was quite the latter.

Not one of them told us that it was going to be so damn hard.

Not one of them said, “It’s OK to not know what you’re doing because we don’t know either.”

We didn’t know that when one obstacle was over, there was another around the bend.

Teething, sleeping in a big boy bed, toilet training, eating anything, fighting demons in the dark, school…

That parenting is a learning curve and people will judge you and your actions more then they will support you.

No one told us that it was OK to say “NO” and to make choices that were right for us.

Parenting can be a challenge at every step but at the same time yo…

This boy has filled all the cracks in my heart I never knew I had.

I don’t know why some moms get postpartum depression and some don’t. Or why some will recover completely and some like me will go on to battle illnesses like bipolar disorder or general anxiety etc.

I don’t know why some beautiful kids are diagnosed with such big huge adult illnesses like OCD or general anxiety or other mental illnesses and why some kids do not.

Maybe it’s because the way they we are all put together in the womb.

A mix of faulty chemicals, genes, and DNA.

That all it took was a trauma like a pregnancy or being bullied by a jerk teacher at school to trip the mess of wiring in our brains.

Or maybe God said it was this one – “This one looks brave enough to handle whirlwinds of thoughts and emotions and all external catastrophes that I will toss at them.”

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

Why it was me or you or him or her.

But I do know that in the moments of stillness when he’s finally at peace, I am in awe of his bravery, his life, our life.

I am a mom.

His mom.

I fought to be here for these moment of silence, the moments of chaos, to learn to work through challenges together, to create memories so spectacular that we forget the not so good ones.

Motherhood is so hard and no one tells you that you’re doing a good job.

So to ALL you Mamas,

If no one has told you yet…

You’re doing a damn good job.

19 Comments

  1. Emily Emily

    Love this. Love your heart, your bravery. You constantly inspire me.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      You’re wonderful Emily xoxo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      xoxox

  2. I’d like to believe it’s because we’re extra brave and can withstand the storms.
    XOXO

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      YES!!!!!
      xoxo

  3. It is the hardest job on earth. It’s also the most rewarding “in the stillness”. It’s not often mom gets the recognition she deserves IMHO. My baby boy also had colic. I used to put him in his car seat and set him on top of the dryer and turn it on for 10 or 15 minutes. It was the only way to quiet him when the colic began (always at 5pm and last all night). OMG, that pic of Chunky Monkey is precious. Love this post, Kim. Again, you’re sharing a positive and honest message many moms will appreciate! xo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I used to do the same thing Lisa – I also used to lay right on top of the dryer with him…like I would curl up in a ball and have him tucked in my tummy with me. Oh the things Shawn and I did for 4 solid months to get him to stop crying. I remember when my one mom friend said that her son had colic and she pointed to her baby who was literally just moving and scrunching his face. She said “See that’s what he does all night. That” and I said very lovingly through clenched teeth,”I am so sorry you deal with that every night. That must be so difficult.” but in my head I was like “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!”
      Love you Lisa xoxo

  4. Robin M Robin M

    Ugh, all the feels. I can relate on almost every level of this. You’re dying a good job too, mama. 😊

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Thanks Robin. You’re doing a good job too Mama xoxo

  5. The hardest and the bestest job there is. For months Michael slept only in my arms, or in the car. I swear there were nights I wanted to run away. So much crying. So many screams. So little sleep. I was a zombie.

    Parents need to know these things, before the baby comes. They need to know about the bad stuff, so they don’t blame themselves.
    xoxoxo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I am so sorry that you had to go through that! I completely understand what you went through. completely. It was horrendous those first few months. I truly believe that parents need to know that it’s going to be hard and it’s ok to ask for help when they need it – and it’s OK to tell people not to come over. Oh my lord people would not stop coming over and they would not offer to help, they wanted to be entertained. It was the most nerve wracking time ever. You’re a good mama Deborah xoxo

  6. You are doing an amazing job. You always have. Promise.

    And…having heard similar stories about me as a baby, I’m surprised I wasn’t left on a doorstep somewhere. Truly!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      You’re the best Lizzi. Thank you xoxo

  7. This is such a beautiful post, Kimberly. YOU are doing a mighty fine job yourself. 😉

    xo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Thank you so much Lindsay oxoxox

  8. Oh my, how I feel for you and all those challenges. Things were different with our babies, but they have changed me in ways that are both difficult and wonderful. It is so hard sometimes. Thanks for telling me I’m doing a good job! 🙂 Love this post. ❤

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Yes it definitely is hard and it does change us. If I had to go through all of it again to be where I am now, I would. I love my kid. I just wish that moms talked more about the difficulties. My OB put me in a Mom and Babies class to force me out of the house while I waited to get treatment with a psychiatrist. All the moms claimed they were so happy and everything was perfect and it made me feel worse. It wasn’t until after the classes had ended and we carried on as a group at another person’s house that these women opened up and talked about how hard it was – bottle feeding, breast feeding, sleeping. It was so refreshing to hear that I wasn’t the only one.

  9. Sara Font Sara Font

    Being a mom is no joke, but is particularly difficult when you are not well. I hope your depression has lifted a bit (or a lot) and that you are feeling better.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      It definitely is not a joke. It is a tough job and it takes a lot of support to do it. I ended up being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder – so I have ups and downs and arounds and sideways. But I have a lot of support from my doctor and my family. It’s more open now then it was then. When I had postpartum depression I didn’t want a single soul to know because I was terrified of their reactions. Now I know that having a mental illness isn’t my fault and that it doesn’t change who I am. My kiddo has a lot of people who love him and I am so eternally grateful for that.

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