Four days remain before Hope arrives. It’s been a really busy week. I’ve been staying up late writing, trying to finish the next chapter of my dissertation. I’ve been in FL for a couple of days for work. Things are blowing up at work, and it’s really like things are swirling around me. I’m looking forward to getting home tonight, getting a good 8 hours of sleep, getting some exercise and a good healthy meal and deep conditioning of the fro and getting back to writing.
I haven’t really had much time to be anxious since my last post. I’m too busy and too tired. I do feel like there’s some “stuff” I should be doing to get ready for Hope’s arrival, but I honestly don’t know what that “stuff” is except for having some quiet time to myself to rest and get my head on straight.
I also had a revelation a couple of nights ago as I was sorting through some data to write about…I am a bit stressed about getting this dissertation done but I have complete confidence that I will get it done and that I will get hooded in May. I am a bit stressed at work, but I am confident about the quality of my work, my expertise in my area and my ability to not just do my job, but do it well (Dear Dr. Beach—if you are reading this, I know I’ve blown that deadline though…I’m working on it!). I get it done.
So in a moment of exhausted dissertation writing and life pondering and conscious searching I asked myself whether I was confident that I could be a good mom.
Somewhere inside I heard a very small voice yelling, “Well, of course you can be a good mom.”
I’ve spent a lot of time losing my ish about all the things that could go wrong and how I could “break” Hope or just fail and somehow fail miserably. I know that I will still feel those things, but I can do this.
I saw a lovely little TinyBuddha quote today,
“There are no failures. Just experiences and your reactions to them.”
Folks who know me well, know I’m a fixer—not an Olivia Pope banging the married president kinda fixer—rather, I stumble onto a problem and I have a deep compelling need to fix it. Even when it’s really my problem and it’s emotional, I allow for some emotion and then it’s all about business to get that situation turned around. I’m a control freak and I thrive in environments in which I have some control in how to create the desired outcome.
Hope joining my life isn’t a problem—far from it—but her arrival ripples every corner of my life in ways I have zero control over. I haven’t had that kind of sustained life upheaval…well, not since I was an only child and Sister K was born (I totally freaked out when she came along. Terrible. To this day I have blocked the memory of her birth—I was 5! I should remember!)
Anyway at 12 Hope’s a real live person who has opinions, thoughts, beliefs and experiences all her own, but frankly she doesn’t have much control over her life. I have more control than she does, but my life is changing so much that it simply makes it hard to remember how much control this control-loving freak really will retain.
So in addition to just figuring how to adapt in a way that helps me regain some control, I have come to realize this week that it really isn’t about control as much as it is to how I react to what happens next with me and Hope. It’s scary. It’s a huge step into the unknown.
But I can do this. I can be a mom, and I can be a good mom (I’m totally writing this for my own benefit, here). I have confidence in these other areas of my life, I can be confident as a mom too, right? I can believe that I won’t mess up too much. That I won’t break her. That I will do my best. That I will stumble and that I’ll do some incredibly stupid things, especially in weak moments, and there will be weak moments. I will be miserable during the learning curve, which apparently never ends, but I will learn. I will finish raising an amazing young lady. And I will be proud of her and I will be proud of me.
I’m going to fight to be kind and forgiving to myself.
I can do this.
Just a four more days.