Her blog, Raising Humans is about those parenting moments – the good and bad, the beautiful and sometimes ugly – moments when we realize that we are all growing together.
I collapsed onto the couch and tucked my feet underneath me, seeking comfort by curling into the cushions.
It was noon and I had not yet gotten dressed or left my house.
Just the week before, I had been up and out already. Just the week before, a group of women had commended me for getting up and out and making it to the new parent’s support group.
“She is two weeks old and you made it here?! Good work mama! Congratulations!!”
Their excitement had baffled me. On a normal day, I could successfully manage huge projects and teams of dozens of people. And they were congratulating me for getting dressed and driving 5 minutes from my house.
And yet here I was, one week further into motherhood, and regressing. The memory of their praise made me feel pathetic.
As I curled deeper into the couch, I noticed an intruder on my pity party for one. A stink bug, moseying along just inside the back door.
Determined to exert control over at least one aspect of my day, I got up to evict him. I stepped outside and pulled the door behind me, thinking I could push him out.
As soon as the door clicked into place, my heart sank.
I frantically turned the handle, back and forth as forcefully as I could, as if the fifth or fifteenth try would magically succeed. But it was locked. I was outside. My keys and my phone were inside.
She was inside.
I left my baby girl inside and ran from house to house in search of help. When I finally found a neighbor at home with their door wide open, I barged right in, barely stopping to knock first.
“I’m locked out! My baby is inside! I need to call my husband!”
I’m sure that only half of those words came out un-mangled. But they must have been the right words because the man whose house I had just invaded quickly handed me his phone.
Through a stream of tears, panic, and an unhealthy dose of shame, I called my husband.
What kind of mother locks herself out of her house while her 3-week old sleeps inside?
A mother fearful of being alone with her newborn. A mother who was starting to believe that she was not cut out for this. A mother who was failing.
As you read this today, my girl is three, happy, and healthy. She was fine when I finally made my way back to her that day. She does not remember the moments she spent alone in our house.
But I do.
I replayed them over and over in my head for months. For months, I tortured myself with those moments and the failure I thought they represented.
But now I know. I know that day was not a failure.
Because in these past three years, my girl and I, we have grown together.
She has grown from a tiny baby to a walking, talking preschooler. And I have grown to understand that I will make mistakes but those mistakes do not mean I am failing. Mothers, I have learned, can do superhuman things… but we are still human. Like our littles, we try. Sometimes we fall but we try again. And throughout it all, through each mistake and each triumph we grow. Together.
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