I have a couple things weighing heavily on my heart this week. Even though I am striving in a lot areas of my life right now, my heart is heavy. There are very few things I want to succeed at in my life; one of my top two is my marriage and my relationship with my little girl.
As most moms want, I am sure; I want to be my daughter’s go-to for everything. Even though I realize there may be hard seasons where she wouldn’t want to talk to me. Most of all I want her to know in the depths of her heart that she is loved by me no matter what. That I will love her unconditionally until my very last breath. She is the love of my life. My goal in life is to be able to provide her with a life she can live 100%, whilst knowing I have done my best installing the values in her to make the best decisions with the circumstances she will be dealt with. I want to give her the wings to fly and always feel like she has a place to land, no matter where I end up in this world. My dream is to retire someplace warm so home might not be Calgary but my hope for her is that home is where my heart is.
I believe my daughter has a very emotional, vulnerable soul and I swear, with one look she can break me into a million pieces. I am so afraid of breaking her soul. While she is silly and loves to joke around, she deeply cares and she wears her heart on her sleeve. I don’t want to break her spirit. By nature, I am a serious person who does not love to joke around a lot. The odd here and there are okay but most of the time, if I can have it my way, I love peace and quiet. Sometimes I feel like the silliness gets to be too much and I worry that I will be that mom that stopped her from being happy if I keep telling her to stop!
My girl takes piano and she is actually getting to a point where she can just sit and play the song without me helping her. However, some nights practicing is a struggle and last night I yelled at her because she knows the notes on the piano but on the flash cards she has no idea where which note is located. So whom the fuck cares about the flash cards, right? If I ask her where notes A to G is on the piano she knows, so why am I so strung out about the flash cards? I yelled at her so loud that I shocked myself. I asked her to go to her room, not because she was in trouble but because I needed a moment to gather myself. I should have been the one to send myself to my room!!! My little girl broke down in tears and she was heartbroken. I was heartbroken. How could I have been so mean and so out of control?!
So, for the rest of the night I beat myself up over and over again. Telling myself how I don’t deserve to be her mother, she deserves to have better, she would be better off without me and on and on it went. I called her down about a minute after I sent her to her room and not only did I apologize to her and explained to her how nothing that happened was her fault, but that it was my fault and I should not have yelled or gotten frustrated with her, I kept apologizing over and over and over! Even the last words I said to her when I tucked her into bed was “I was so sorry!”
Next up is my soulmate! I love him with all my heart! I used to say he was heroin to me because I felt I could just never get enough of being around him. He filled me up. For the last month or so, I have felt so irritable with him. Every time he talked to me, I could not wait to have silence again. I went to see my therapist about how I was feeling and I was blaming my irritability on a possible oncoming of a depressive episode. That’s right, whenever you behave badly, blame it on depression! Seriously?!
We have had a few fights lately, not about anything significant, but it turned into huge arguments because of the way I talked to him. Significant! During our last fight, I said to him that I feel happy up until the point I come home. WOW!! He explained to me that that made his heart sank a little. That he will never say something like that to me even though that is what he feels like. That he always thinks about how he talks to me, mostly because he knows how sensitive I am. Is this not every woman’s dream to have a husband that actually think about how he talks to her and cares about her feelings? Instead, I annoyingly responded that maybe he should just say what was on his mind. Stop holding back and just let it out! Are you listening to what I am saying? I am telling my husband to stop being nice to me and just like me say exactly what is on his mind and not give a fuck about the other person’s feelings! What the fuck is wrong with me? What person have I become that I no longer care about how my words will affect the people I love the most?
I am not saying Dave is perfect, but I CANNOT treat people badly because I am frustrated about other things in my life, or even about him, because I have decided to bottle it up. Even if you have issues with someone, find a way to say it with care, because you can never take those words back. You can apologize but those words will stay there forever. I cannot imagine how I would feel if Dave ever comes to me, and says, he is happy all day until he comes home. That will break me and I will never truly know how that made him feel and still makes him feel. The way I speak to Dave has been a reoccurring theme is our arguments.
So many times I feel like our arguments are always caused by me, and that everything is always my fault. I have been doing a lot of therapy and sometimes I feel like, isn’t it his turn to go to therapy and fix himself? But here’s the thing, and I can’t remember who said this, but by changing yourself, you will also change others. My therapy doesn’t have anything to do with our relationship but everything to do with me. At the end of the day, I want/need to be better for me, so that I can succeed at the things that are most important to me. Change your behaviour towards someone and I promise you it will be reciprocated!
The last time I saw my therapist we talked about exploring my relationship with God again, so I opened my bible that same night and looked at Phil:4:4-7, which is also tattooed on my wrist, and it says:…let your gentleness be evident to all…” Then one night this week after I put my daughter to bed, I did my daily devotional study and the passage was on hope. Isaiah 40:29-31 “…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” In addition, the old faithful Luke 6:31 “and as you wish that others would do to you, do so them.”
I am not in pursuit of telling you to start believing in God. God works for me. He doesn’t have to work for you! He is my person and his words remind me of who I am meant to be. But listen, He is not going to fix my problems by me sitting around. I gotta get up and do the work. Since the last argument with my husband, I have made a very conscious effort to be kind. To approach Dave mindfully, from the place where I deeply feel for him in my heart. Not from the place of annoyance of the superficial things that bother me, but from the place he keeps in my heart. He provides me comfort when I need it most, which is so very often. He has been my rock with all my mental health struggles. If I allow him in, he will always listen to what I need to say.
As for the love my life, my little girl; we are so blessed to start every day anew! I pray for the patience and forgiveness of myself and for patience and wisdom with her. I know in my heart I am a good mommy to her, that she loves me, and that yelling at her is not acceptable! I make a conscious decision today and every day to let my gentleness be known to her. I have to stop blaming myself and going into an anxiety episode every time I mess up! Last night was probably not the last time I will mess up being her mom. Like Rachel Hollis says: “hope is not a strategy”, so I will not hope our relationship will get better, I will continue to pray for a patience and wisdom to do what is right. I will take action by continuously using my DBT skills, and planning for piano practice to change the structure to fit with her learning style.
Things that help me:
- The willingness, in these moments of frustration, to practice and use my Dialectical Behavioural Skills (“DBT”):
- be Gentle with others
- act Interested in others
- Validate others’ feelings
- use an Easy manner. Be light hearted.
- be Fair to yourself and others
- don’t over Apologize
- Stick to your values
- Truthfull – be honest to yourself and other
- Practicing my faith with intention. I read the book The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein, it is not a Christian book, but more a book of believing in a high power, but what I love about the book is the intentional practice every day to connect to your own higher power. Whatever that might look like. This is not a blog for converting anyone into any type of faith, but my faith is mentioned because of the power it gives me. God is my higher power and if I connect with Him, everything in my life just flows a little smoother. I have that sense that I don’t have to be afraid of the feelings that haunt me because God’s got my back.
- Intentionally striving for better every day. I don’t tend to compare or idolize other moms or wives but I idolize and compare myself to the mom and the wife I will be tomorrow. Tomorrow I am going to do everything just a little better than I did it today!