If there is one marvel of motherhood, it is its pure resilience. It’s that maternal ability to shake off whatever has come before, regardless of how turbulent and upsetting, and face a brand-new day with a renewed vigour.
I guess it needs to be this way. You wouldn’t last long if you had the previous day’s woes hanging over your head, only to have a ton more added. You would soon be bowing down with the weight of it all, unable to function. I guess it is like labour in that respect. I know it is a cliché when people say that time is a healer, but with labour, it is; it is nature’s way of ensuring that we continue to reproduce. And I guess our ability to forget, to move past our previous failings, is nature’s way of making sure we carry on fighting to do the best we can as mums.
I have always been very good at gently packing away discarded emotions and events. Sometimes I slowly unwrap and examine them, but more often than not, I just leave them where they are. The guilt and pain I felt from my actions yesterday have not gone. They are still there. But they have been packaged carefully; neatly put away. I don’t need to kill myself with guilt; I don’t need to relive every second of what happened. I did that yesterday; and today is a new day. Today has to be a new day.
So, today has been good. I wouldn’t normally write about a good day (where’s the entertainment in that?), but I wanted to give my blog some balance; let you know that I am not really a knife-brandishing, crazy-eyed momma! Well, not every day, anyway.
Today has been normal. And in our over-stretched, stressful lives, who doesn’t occasionally welcome normal? My kids have bickered, but it was minimal. The sun shone, which was enjoyed. We went for a walk and then ate a burger, which balanced healthy, with not so healthy. It was just a nice, normal day. My kids went to bed with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts. Well, okay, not really; we’re not the Waltons. But there were no temper tantrums (us or them), and there was a definite “ahh, look at him” moment, as we gazed wistfully through the door at our six year old, who’d fallen asleep as soon as his head had hit the pillow. That doesn’t happen every day. There’s usually an apprehensive look towards the door, and a furtive sneak down the stairs, all the while praying he is not going to shout “mummmmeeeeeee…..”
And better than all of that, there is no guilt. None. I have not experienced one nasty whiff of the pesky thing. Today is a rarity. It is an unusual evening when I don’t sit here and reflect, wondering if I could have done something differently. But not tonight! The joy! The relief! The freedom! So exhilarating that I am overdosing on exclamation marks! I know I am being silly, but there is so much truth in how much relief I feel, that it is, well, untrue.
Yesterday’s post was sombre. I know it cast me in a bad light; but it was real. This is me, warts and all. If being a HSP has given me one thing, it is the ability to be honest. An open-book, in all aspects of my life. Very contradictory, given that HSPs do not handle criticism well (or at all), and bearing my soul leaves me open to that. However, although I have a strong desire to be seen in a good light, I much prefer being viewed as who I really am.
And the bad days make the good days feel so much better. They make your triumphant moments (however small), feel so much more deserved. One day, I know I will look back on all this, and that every single sad, mad or just plain bad moment will be forgotten. I know that the only things I will remember are the smell of their hair, their tiny faces, and their special mummy hugs; just as it should be. So, in some really kind of perverse way, I find myself almost enjoying the bad times; wearing the rough days like a badge of honour. Proclaiming to the world that I’ve survived to love another day.
And for that, I am eternally grateful.