today, i am 33 years old. it feels good.
this day last year was one of my most vulnerable days on this earth. madalena and beatrice were just a few weeks old, and we were doing test after test at the hospital for one of my baby girls after she’d gotten a high fever in the middle of the night before my birthday (let me insert hear before getting any further that she ended up being totally fine, thank the Lord – but we didn’t know that going into our 2 day hospital stay). when i shared a little bit on my instagram after we arrived home, i was met with a lot of comments and DM’s like “you’re a terrible mother...” and “maybe if you hadn’t done [this or that]…” and also “you’re so tone deaf and full of yourself you can’t even see that this is your fault. she got sick because of you.”
while i’ve prided myself to never put much weight into the comments and opinions of others in general – because the over the top #goals and #you’rePerfect comments from others are just as dangerous and damaging to soak in as the #youSuck and #weHateYou comments – and you definitely cannot base your own self worth on what someone else is writing/saying/thinking about you, i wasn’t able to cope with it last year on this day. i was already thinking and believing all of these bad things about myself, and seeing them in writing just made it all the more real. i remember laying on the floor in the hallway of our apartment all by myself with this pit in my stomach repeating the words, i am a terrible mother to myself. i didn’t feel worthy of being anyone’s mom. i felt my kids deserved so much better.
it took me longer than i’d like to admit to pull myself out of that spot mentally. a really long time. like months where i still didn’t feel deserving of anything i’d been given but especially of taking care of my kids because i allowed myself to believe i wasn’t a good mom.
365 days later, here is my birthday once again. this year, in my head, it doesn’t feel as dark and vulnerable a place. i’ll still make mistakes in the coming year, i’ll doubt myself on occasion and it’ll be valid because i’m not perfect. people will still talk and comment crappy things about me, my mothering, my life, even my hair (lol, bless them). and because i’m human, i am sure there will be times where it’ll sting and i’ll feel crushed. but only for a moment. because at the end of the day, there is no longer any room in my headspace to give it much thought after that. because i’ve found a personal rhythm inside my head over the last several months that i have longed for in the past. where i’m not carrying things that don’t need constant carrying, where i love the strong parts of my body and the softer squishier parts, too. where the make up, the false eyelashes, the walls have come off and down, and i’m okay going out the door into the world without any of it.
i’m still working on a lot of things. i’m still evolving and discovering and learning so much. but this birthday already feels a lot better than last year’s, and that has nothing to do with today’s itinerary but everything to do with my own headspace.
cheers to these moments in life where you can finally look yourself in the mirror with the bedhead and no make up and tired eyes, with the extra baby weight still holding onto your gut an entire year later and not a single ab in sight – but you like what you see… because you have taken the time, the self-care, the self-love to get there.
33. i like myself. i know myself. i’m a good mama, wife, friend. i’m imperfect. i’m still learning. but i know what is important and what isn’t. i’m eating the donuts and i’m prioritizing skin protection. i’m cuddling my babies close and letting go of the dumb grudges. i’m finding confidence in my role as a daughter of God. i’m seeking out the comfortable shoe over the cuter one. i’m thankful. i’m happy. i’m trying. today, i’m 33.