I use mantras and affirmations all the time for every situation. One particular that I seem to be using a lot more lately has been ‘It’s okay to break down’ or ‘It’s okay to have a bad moment or bad day. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad mother or wife or person. It’s okay.’
I remember the first time I got frustrated with Xavier. He was a newborn about two months old. I could not understand why after what seemed like hours of feeding him, he was still crying at the top of his little baby lungs. I then started crying so we were just looking at each other crying together. I finally woke my husband up and in all of my blubbering cryingness, I said I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I am a horrible mother and God is probably thinking making me a mother was a mistake. My husband held him for about five minutes and Xavier went to sleep. I instantly broke down even more because of course, he falls asleep with him. My husband told me you’re a great mother. He’s going through a growth spurt. It’s okay. He’s okay. Why don’t you go to bed? After ten more minutes of crying, I realized that I needed that cry. I needed that breakdown. For two months (minus the three days we were in the ER), I held it together. Being up all night, trying to figure out breastfeeding, feelings of loneliness, the overwhelming fear of messing up, barely eating, trying to stay awake to pump–I held it all together because I finally had this opportunity. I didn’t want to seem as if I wasn’t grateful. That night though, all of it came out and I can honestly say I felt better. I learned then that I shouldn’t put so much pressure on myself. Yes I have this blessing but it was hard. It is hard. Being a parent, particularly a mother is some hard ish. Every milestone comes with new challenges and checklists and emotions and rules and opinions. It’s not a sitcom where a problem arises, a clever anecdote is said, everyone hugs and then it’s over. They leave out the extra details like crying, screaming, begging and pleading and occasional biting. Yes. Xavier is in his biting phase. Hence why this post is about being okay with breaking down. Cassandra, it is okay.