I’m not used to this feeling so often. The feeling of being happy. Lately, even though I still struggle with depression some days, I also am starting to notice that the feeling of happiness is becoming a more common occurrence.
Sometimes I feel like I can be happy but sad at the same time. It’s kind of a weird thing to be but I didn’t really think it was possible until I became a mother.
For example, I woke up on Valentine’s Day to this lovely surprise from my husband. He’s given me flowers before but never like this.
He came in the room and placed them next to us on the bedside table. My daughter was just waking up and when she saw the flowers, her eyes became super wide and she kept smiling as if she knew it was a special day – her mama’s and papa’s anniversary.
And yes, we cosleep. In case you were wondering. (More on that topic another day)
The look on her face was priceless, and I’m so glad my husband caught it on camera as now I get to cherish this memory forever. But then, in a oddly twisted way, I was extremely happy but it also made me feel incredibly sad all at the same time.
Sometimes I stop and for a second I can’t believe this is my life. I can’t believe I get to wake up every day and live my life with these two wonderful beings. They are mine! I get to spend forever with them, or at least until the day I die. (Ugh morbid though…)
My daughter will wake up every morning staring into my eyes and a few second later she will crack open a big smile. Even though I know she cannot talk yet, I feel like I can anticipate what she is trying to say.
Good morning mama. I’m so glad to see you!!! I love you sooooo much!
And I know she does love me. I don’t need to hear it out loud. I can see it in her eyes and in her smile, and in the way she hold my finger tighter when she doesn’t want me to let go.
God, those moments kill me. At night, I usually set her down to bed at around 8:30pm. I will put her in the crib for the first stretch of sleep as even though I should go to bed earlier, I don’t. I stay up until about midnight so I can spend a little time with my husband if he’s home early enough or at least have a little me time if he’s not.
My routine is as follows. We side lie to breastfeed on the bed and then she normally falls asleep after about 15 minutes or so. During that time, I usually just stare at her and cuddle her close, belly to belly, as she drifts peacefully into sleep. Sometimes I stroke her head or back ever so gently as not to wake her up but enough to let her know I’m right there.
Then when I know she’s in a nice deep sleep, I will slowly get up and transfer her into the crib. 80% of the time she wakes up on the first try and then I have pick her back up again and rock her in my arms. 95% of the time she falls back asleep within seconds. I know she just wants to feel close to me and the feeling of being set down in a lonely crib is what woke her up. It breaks my heart every single time I do it.
The act of just leaving her alone in the crib for a few hours is so difficult for me. That is how attached I have become.
I read somewhere that in the first few months of a baby’s life, a baby has no sense of being a separate person from their mother; they ultimately believe that mom and self are one and the same.
Is it the same for mom too? Can I still feel like my baby is attached to me? Not on the inside of my womb but just a part of me somehow?
Because that is what it feels like. I never want to let go, but when I have to, I feel guilty and sad and just want her back again, even if she is driving me crazy.
But isn’t that weird? Feeling so happy but yet so sad at the same time?
Back to my Valentine’s Day Story. I know I get sidetracked a lot. I guess my style of writing is literally writing out my thoughts as I get them.
So my husband brings me these flowers. And mind you, he doesn’t just get them from the grocery store like most men do the morning of Valentine’s Day, but he actually gets them the night before all the way down in the flower distinct of the city (about 40 minutes away) and he hides them from me all night.
I mean, that is really special. Talk about taking the time to really think something out.
And all I could think about besides, how beautiful the flowers are and how happy they are making my daughter, is that I got to marry this guy. He is MY husband. This man.
And I love this man so so much. I am so lucky. I really credit it all to God for bringing us together.
But then as quickly as the happiness feeling came on, that feeling of sadness creeps immediately back in. But I realize, its not really sadness, but fear.
It is the fear of being too happy.
And it’s most likely because there is so much good in my life and I am so content with it all that I am terrified that something bad is going to happen.
Isn’t there that one saying? What goes up, must come down?
But isn’t that just something totally negative to think.
I don’t want to be negative or cynical. I don’t want to be that person that is always believing that just because something good happens in her life, something bad has to happen too in order to balance it out.
That is just a terrible way of living.
But yet, here I am, feeling sad/scared, whatever it is.
I get incredibly happy but yet I started to feel so scared that something is going to take it away from me.
That’s ultimately what is is. Fear of losing something.
I mean lately I find myself staring at my daughter and studying how she looks back at me and I just want to cry. I want to cry because I love her so much. Because I am so afraid of something happening to her. Or I fast forward and become terrified that one day she is not going let me hold her or cuddle her or kiss her anymore. I am so afraid of her growing up and one day choosing that she doesn’t want to be around me like some children act towards their parents. I hope not, but you never know. But the thought of it freaks me out.
And then I keep fast forwarding time in my head and my fear grows stronger. One day, it won’t be the same as it is today. One day, everything will change. All the people I love may not be around one day.
And I become even more scared. Worried that I have to make the most of it all before that time comes, before it’s too late. And it becomes this vicious cycle of sadness-fear-panic.
And I cry all over again.
Because I am so happy and yet so scared at the same time. Because I am desperately trying to hold on to everyday and everyone because I am constantly afraid of losing them.
Is this normal?
I’m not sure. I think it’s normal to some extent but maybe it is also some type of existential crisis or anxiety at the very least.
Well, I’m not sure but maybe the cure is simply just being grateful for everything. Not letting things to go unnoticed and pass by. Not taking advantage.
Knowing that every stage of life is temporary. One minute we are young children, and next we are holding our own young children.
Life is fleeting. It goes so quick that we don’t even realize it until it is too late sometimes.
So maybe it’s good to hold on too tight. To cherish our loved ones every minute of the day. To cast aside our worries about other less important things and focus on what really matters, which is who we spend our time with.
Maybe it’s ok to hold her for a little bit longer. To pick her up more than I should when she’s just waking up. To forget about what I was doing and just stare at her for a little while longer.
And that picture taken above, it will forever be etched in my memory and serve as a reminder of how simple happiness and love can be. And how important it is to live right in the center of it.
Mama with Grace
Crunchy Mama – Wellness Enthusiast – CBD Advocate