As I walk down the street without a backwards glance, I can hear the continued screams from my one year old, in my husband’s arms, wanting to come with me. I push myself onward, fighting the burning in my eyes. The burn of sadness, guilt, and exhaustion. Sadness so strong that my every fiber wants to turn back and run to her, hold her, let her know that I am here. Guilt because I can’t bring myself to even look behind me. Guilt because I had just snapped at her precious soul just a moment before. Exhaustion. Deep, undiluted exhaustion. Exhaustion that I can feel from my eye sockets to the very core of my heart.
I keep pushing myself forward, down a trail to a little wooden bridge. A place surrounded by nature and faint rain drops splashing in the stream.
Here, I can forget about my worries.
Here, I can remember what the point of it all is.
Here, I can find grace and forgiveness. The guilt still remains. Only reconnection will heal that conflict within myself and my baby.
Here, I can fill my lungs with crisp fall air. I can look up into the sky and let the cold drops wash over me. Wash away my anger, my frustration, my resentment. Leaving behind a little girl. A little girl reaching out for her mother’s touch. Feeling her mother’s anger and rejection. Feeling like it was her causing it. I can feel how my baby feels. I need to feel her hurt, for without it, I can’t feel empathy.
Moments like this are a reminder to take care of yourself. Mothers. Fathers. Sisters. Brothers. Filling your own heart with joy, peace and nature will allow you to fill others with the same. When the walls are closing in and you feel like you can’t take one more breath without physically shattering into a million pieces, take that as your physical reminder to stop and take a break. To cut yourself some slack. To go outside. Surround yourself with the most basic and filling element in the world.
Remember that you are deserving and worthy of a moment to breathe.
You are worthy of being a parent.
You are worthy of loving yourself and forgiving your shortcomings.
You are worth it.