Something I’ve struggled with, I do struggle with every single day, is forgiving myself. Even for the simplest of things I constantly find myself filling my mind with negative thoughts and beating myself up. Maybe it’s my past, maybe it’s just life.
My past isn’t pretty, in fact it’s really messy. I was a crazy teenager, I didn’t listen, I broke almost all the rules and I didn’t care about anyone but myself. One day I eventually got tired of being unhappy, because that’s all the lifestyle was bringing me, unhappiness, and I decided to get things in order. However it’s led to a long road of what I like to call, “the battle to self forgive“. Meaning, I have a really hard time forgiving myself, for my past, my present and my future.
This has only gotten worse since becoming a Mom. The other day after working a really long day I was pretty down on myself because I hadn’t spent a lot of time with Blake. You know, Mom guilt. I do this all the time, about everything. Constantly feeling like a failure and not giving myself the benefit of the doubt.
Today though, today I realized something, self forgiveness is key. For example, yeah I worked ALL day, what’s your point? I did that so that I CAN spend tonight with Blake, so that I CAN inspire her and provide for her. That’s not a good reason to be putting myself down. In fact, that’s a reason to be celebrating. Celebrating because I can work, I can provide and I can snuggle with my baby for hours on end when I’m done. It’s all about perspective.
The first time I cut Blake’s nails I got her skin, bad. She bled a little bit and let out the BIGGEST cry. I instantly broke into tears and thought, “oh my gosh, I’m the worst Mom ever!” I held her and loved her for hours after that, but continued to battle in my mind that I was a good Mom, that I didn’t just scar my baby for life and that I will get the hang of cutting her nails eventually.
That reminds me of another time, the first time I REALLY had a “self unforgiving” moment as a Mom. It was a crazy day, I had meetings, so much work and was a BRAND new Mom. Blake was only 2 weeks old, I was still totally getting the hang of this and she was screaming. I tried everything (so I thought), I rocked her, I changed her, I held her and she was not stopping. I called my Mom in tears. Then she asked me over the phone (in the sweetest voice), “Is she hungry?” I lost it.
OH. MY. GOSH.
I forgot to feed her. How do you forget to feed your baby?! Amongst all the chaos I didn’t even realize it had been four hours (she ate every 3 at that time).
I felt awful.
I sat there feeding her and picked myself apart. I was an awful Mom, I couldn’t remember anything, I didn’t have my stuff together and most of all I would never forgive myself for that.
Well, almost 8 months later I’m here to tell you, I’ve forgiven myself now 😉 However, it was totally a battle! And that’s what I’m talking about! Why can’t we forgive ourselves like we forgive others? In fact, if you haven’t already noticed those little babies in our lives, they forgive us almost instantly. When I accidentally cut Blake’s finger, she snuggled right up to me within 30 seconds after doing it.
We can all take a lesson from them.
Self forgiveness is hard. Oh it’s hard. But its key to our survival as Moms, wives, friends, sisters, daughters, existence. The moment we learn to forgive ourselves is the moment we really start living.