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Mother's Day Reflection: From Breakdown to Breakthrough

Just a heads up, this note feels vulnerable and it's a little long. Consider yourself warned. :)

My oldest daughter turned 19 last week. I spent some time that day reflecting on my experience with motherhood and what a ride it has been. In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to share the tailspin that motherhood threw me into and how it was worth every minute.

I had always been someone who wanted to fit in, to be liked and to feel good enough. Having children heightened those desires to the nth degree and cracked open vulnerabilities like never before. I wanted to do everything perfectly. When I couldn’t, I was vicious with myself. My inner critic-that nasty voice that tells you how horrible you are-was in a near constant rage. I was sure that everybody was handling the demands of work, home and family without issue and I was constantly f’ing up. I’m not exaggerating, I was so cruel to myself. It (I) was making me miserable.

I was so afraid of people figuring out that I didn’t have it all together that I wore a heavy coat of armor and didn’t share much about my struggles. And when something did slip out I felt exposed, like an idiot for letting it out. Eventually I cut way back on socializing and hid out at home. At some point I knew I couldn’t go on beating myself up, so I got help.

After years of digging in and doing the hard work on myself, I can look back and see that I felt lousy because of what I was telling myself. I thought life was a damn Hallmark movie with perfect houses, relationships, kids, careers, friendships and a makeup artist at the ready. No wonder I felt like a fraud and never good enough! Once I could see that I wasn’t a total loser and started opening up, it became clear that everyone struggles. What matters is how we deal with it.

Now I really like who I am. I try to be kind, I love in a big way, I have great relationships with both of my daughters and my husband, I am more connected to female friends than ever before, I am in hot pursuit of my passion and I am really brave. Just putting all of this on paper feels courageous.

To all the mamas out there that are trying your best and struggling, you are not alone.

No one has a perfect life so stop comparing yourself to something that doesn’t exist.

For me, motherhood kicked off the break down which lead to the break through and I am so grateful. Without it, life would be very different today.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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