This popped up on my Facebook memories this week:
It’s Mila from three years ago. She wasn’t even a year old yet and she had already mastered the orneriest smile. At the same time, she could look right in your eyes and it felt like she could read all of your thoughts. There was so much going on in her head at such a young age — and if you are around her now, you’d still agree to that.
Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these blogs. Something that I need to talk about, but pushing it in the back of my head. I keep working on different things, but anytime I go to write anything else, this wants to get out first.
I have a hard time looking at my memories from early 2019. Even when it’s this beautiful little face smiling on my screen, I get a knot in my stomach.
Seriously, there were two before this that almost made me throw up.
During this time, I was fighting so many mental battles after all the nasty things he (her whatever you want to call him) had said about me and her. I was in such a cloud of anger and heartbreak, I know I missed so many small moments during this time of Mila’s life. Even though I was there every single day, the mental take over that was going on clouded what was going on right in front of me.
I’ll never forget when he asked why I sent a picture to him because, “she means nothing to me.” This wasn’t a normal response, it was to hurt me. Now, it hurts to see those pictures and think someone could ever say that about a child, my child. After that, I stopped sharing her with him.
Instead, I shared her with all of you.
I’m unsure if I needed the validation of someone else seeing her the way I did or what was going on there. She deserves to be shared. I know she’s always been important and just… Mila. She’s always loved her picture taken and asks me to do it now. Some part of me wonders if it was rooted during this time in our lives though.
Still… these memories are hard for me. My brain still blocks a lot of this time out. A mix of postpartum depression, grief from Jensen, and heartbreak tugs at my heart in all of them.
The hardest part is knowing I should have been a better mom at this time. I had to take care of myself and she deserved a happy mom. Like in other moments of my life, I wish I could go back and just take over for me. I would go back and birth Jensen for that Danielle and I would go back and take over for 2019 Danielle too.
I just see those pictures and wish I would have soaked them up more. Instead, I knew I had to snap those pictures, even if they brought up bad memories. I had to be able to look back at her toothy smile, those waves hello, and the chunky leg rolls. Believe me, I’m so happy I did and that Facebook has me see them every year.
One day I’ll be able to look back at all those moments and not be clouded by the hurt I felt while taking them. Every day I’m healing through so much trauma I face in such a short time. It takes time. One day I won’t skip over them or remember those hurtful words.
Today I get to say thank you for everyone that let me share her with them. You don’t know how much that helped save me. I am so thankful that Mila is surrounded by love and support from so many people. When she gets older, she’ll know her impact in our little space. Hopefully she decides to keep spreading the love that shines every time she smiles.
I also get to make a promise to myself. I promise to keep healing and to give myself grace. If I would have known better, I would have done better. Every day I try to keep bettering myself and realizing that smile isn’t so toothy, those waves are getting shorter, and the chunky legs aren’t so chunky anymore. Even when being a mom is hard, I try to remember that I’m still learning and growing just like Mila. Instead of taking in all the negative emotions and feelings, I promise to have a positive outlook on our life and always look back at this time as magical.
Deep down, I know I’ll be able to look back at those pictures and remember all the good emotions and things first. Because even though I had to take care of me, I’ve always been a good mom.
To every mom going through a trying or difficult time, you will make it through this. I promise you just have to keep holding on. There are so many people rooting for you.
What a beautiful post Danielle! I look back and wish I had done some things differently when my kids were young. I realize that I did the best I could with where I was and what I knew at the time. What precious pictures of your sweet little girl!!