Life · Motherhood · Parenthood

Let the calm come in

In the messy chaos and beauty that is motherhood for me, I think of these words.

I am still feeling the lingering effects of last night’s emotional yet beautiful moment that I experienced with Celeste.

Every morning I wake up and pray to God and ask him to help me be more patient, to not let my frustration get the best of me. Every morning I am hopeful of the day ahead and almost every night I think back on the instances I failed.

Last night was the same as every night. Elysse needing my attention while Celeste lay alone in bed, waiting for us to settle into prayer and then bed time. I knew it was going to be a long process when Elysse told me she was hungry while sitting on the toilet. Of course she was. She had refused to eat at dinner time. So I made her favorite snack and sat her in the kitchen when she was done with her business, and went to see Celeste.

As I kissed Celeste’s little forehead and said a quiet prayer I realized she sounded different. I asked her if everything was ok and she said yes. But a mother knows. So I asked what was the matter, if she was sad. And she said yes. I never expected what would follow.

She began to weep and tell me that her little sister always got all the love, that it made her sad that she had to sleep alone every night, that she didn’t get all my love. If it were possible, I would have seen my heart break into small pieces at that very moment. So I got into bed with her, knowing Elysse was in the kitchen eating, and held her close and felt her wet tears on my cheeks.

I reassured Celeste that they both had my love and that I understood how hard this was on her. I told her how good it is for her to share her emotions and feelings with me so that I can know and help and reassure her. I told her to let out the tears because that was good, that she can always communicate with me how she’s feeling because keeping it inside her little body isn’t helpful. And she said to me as she cried some more “it does help mami because I let the tears out to let the calm come in.”

And as I held her close my own heart ached because there is no way I can split myself in two and be there for both of them simultaneously. But I can take those moments and reassure Celeste of my love for her and let her know that letting her feelings out and sharing how she feels is good. Very good.

When I finally made it to bed I quietly cried myself to sleep. I woke up feeling tired despite having slept all night. So I followed my own advice and as tears rolled down my own face I shared with my husband my own feelings and moments of feeling hopeful and like a failure, and he reminded me what I already knew but needed to hear. That I am doing a great job and how difficult parenting is.

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