Sometimes grief makes me a better Mom.
I see my beautiful children, so full of life, and so much like their Daddy. I cherish every moment that I am blessed to be their Mom. I adore every freckle and I kiss their soft warm cheeks. I know exactly just how fragile life truly is, and I cling to every moment that we have been given together.
Sometimes grief makes me an impatient mama.
I get so wrapped up in my own feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, exhaustion, and sadness that I need space. I crave moments alone in my bedroom where I can just be–either to process the thoughts and feelings that plague me, or to spend all of my energy avoiding the pain. Sometimes, I feel burnt out before I even get out of bed, and I want more than anything for my children to just play quietly and to allow me to have alone time. I feel more numb, and less warm than I want to be with the three little people who love me most.
Unfortunately, yesterday was one of those days. I felt myself shutting down and I really didn’t make much of an effort to stop. Instead, I allowed myself to emotionally retreat from life. Like always, my kids needed me for a million different reasons, but I gave them only the bare minimum. Of course physically they were completely cared for. They were fed, supervised during play, and disciplined when they fought with one another, but I didn’t connect with them emotionally the way I should have.
And though my mind was consumed with thoughts of RJ, I really didn’t feel connected to my grief either. The numbness took over, and I found myself feeling exhausted, apathetic, and lacking motivation. (Classic signs of depression–I know. Thankfully these days are fewer than they used to be, and I can recognize them for what they are.)
Ryan came home early from work. It helps when he is home. I let myself be less guarded with my energy. It helps to know that I am not the only adult available to care for such needy little humans. But as I watched my children climb into his lap and kiss his cheeks, and watched as he played and gave all of his attention to their made up little stories, I felt such overwhelming guilt.
They should have had that from me. I had wasted an entire day so selfishly. I had spent my time with my kids so emotionally unavailable, that I had missed precious moments with them– moments that I can never get back. Moments that if I were to lose any one of them tomorrow, would be regretted. I can’t afford to live my life with any regret.
So today, I am forcing myself to be present. My phone will be turned off while my children are awake. We will do chores together this morning, and then I am going to make an effort to connect with each of them this afternoon. I refuse to waste the time I have feeling absent from my own life. I will live today with intention, and hopefully, if I practice doing it enough, it will become easier over time.