A little over six months ago I had a baby – ya know that cute chunky kid who’s in my E-Mails and insta posts? Yeah, he’s mine. Motherhood has been a wild and wonderful ride so far. I consider myself the luckiest to have such a healthy and happy baby.
From the first trimester, to delivery day and 6-months post-partum have, without a doubt, been the most challenging yet rewarding times of my life. I carried, grew and BIRTHED a human. Mind blown.
While the physical component of having a kid was incredibly challenging – and kind of unbelievable when I think about it now – the mental and emotional aspects were far more overwhelming. I think it’s something people don’t talk about much – we are so focused on the physical because that is what we can see. We see a women’s body change as she gets bigger and bigger – what we don’t see is what’s going on inside her head. The combination of hormones, physiological changes and the sheer fear that arises from the responsibility of keeping this tiny human alive in the womb and then out, is a lot to handle. For first time moms, this is combination can make for a real struggle and for me, it was and still is.
I’m six months into motherhood and I can openning say that I’m learning how to manage all the emotions and feelings of personal responsibility that come along with the role. I felt, and still feel, open and exposed. My child is my greatest joy and my biggest weakness. If something happens to him, it happens to me and deep down I hate that feeling.
As a woman who has always seen herself as strong, independent and self sufficient this is a shock to the system. On any given day I can go through the full specteum of human emotions; from pure joy to shear panic. I am pretty much in a constant state of uncertainty and frequently feel the need to ask for help. It’s a whole new world for me.
I feel vulnerable.
And this has been the single greatest impact of having a baby; learning how to be vulnerable. Never before have I ever felt more vulnerable than I have over the last year. In fact, it’s fair to say I didn’t know what vulnerability was until having Chase.
For any other mom out there who can relate, this Friday Fuel is for you. It’s okay to feel vulnerable. I’ve been working through it with a little help (okay, A LOT of help) from good friends and the amazing words of Brene Brown.
Brene Brown’s TedX Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability” was recorded in 2010 and has over 32 million views. Yes, that right, 32 MILLION.
Her message…“We need to lean into vulnerability” so that is what I’m trying to do – and not just as a mother but as a wife, a friend, an employee, a human.
My inability to sit with and accept being vulnerable is not a new problem – it’s just one I’ve ignored until now. No one wants to fail or get hurt, feel pain or discomfort. Our bodies are physiologically wired to run from these emotions and situations – our survival mechanisms kick in and we bolt; both mentally and physically. But when we bolt – we miss out on the opportunity to live.
This not only applies to motherhood. I can think back to many times in my life when I ran, ignored or didn’t acknowledge something or someone because it made me vulnerable. Instead of “leaning in” I chose to back off, wayyyyy off.
I’m learning that I need to live and love fully with zero expectations and with the understanding that this life has no guarantees. What we have today could be gone tomorrow – in very sense. I’m learning to express gratitude and appreciation for my moments of vulnerability because I am alive and that is amazing. And finally, I am learning to embrace imperfection and uncertainty and to talk about it with others (or write about it on a blog 😊)
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only women who feels this way – mother or not. And in some weird way, putting it out into the universe helps me own my vulnerability and make progress. I’ve got a lot of work to do but that’s okay, I’m actually excited about what this experience is bringing to my life and how it will help me live a fuller and more authentic life.
Thanks for reading and here for any of you that might be going through this too!
Embrace the day and all you the vulnerable moments that come along with it!