Abrupt Halt for Ellie-hood

It has happened. Sara had her Motherhood moment that all mothers go through. Sara realized that she was going to lose her cool, and Ellie would not understand, so she removed Ellie from the situation and asked for my help. That photo above? That’s the aftermath of a bottle and the remaining powdered formula knocked to the floor by a screaming Ellie in anguish because she was not being fed fast enough. A triggering moment for even the best of us.

I get it. I’ve been there. And from what I’ve heard from our Mommyhood Community (which we need a name for btw), you have all been there too. But I have NEVER been more glad for a hectic interruption because we are a team, and we can raise Ellie together.

I have been working on a bullet journal – nothing fancy or pretty – but it is my daily moment of Zen to create the page and set my intention. I got the idea from trying to apply a little less effort to my days. I have been working so hard at mother, employee, homeowner, wife perfection that I have been putting forth SO MUCH EFFORT without any return on my investment. Then I discovered this 6 minute meditation.

This can’t be what you mean? Applying LESS effort to my life? How will I ever succeed?

I tell you all of this because I went to enter what happened with Ellie into my “Less Effort” section of my bullet journal. I called it “Ellie Interruption” and moved to the next bullet point: Back to work. But I realized in that moment… There it is! I was so worried weeks ago that I was not interrupting my life enough for Ellie. “I have Lied to you,” I said, but there it was. There was my interruption that proved I was halting everything for Motherhood. And it wasn’t my crisis – it was Sara’s. Sara feeling the same way I had been feeling weeks before. Feeling like “I cannot do this anymore. Not this way.”

Less Effort section of my bullet journal (like a “I have accomplished today” section)

Truth – not hyperbole: “I cannot do this anymore” is not hyperbole. The truth in the statement is that “I cannot do this anymore this way.” Something needs to change because I cannot do things the way I have been trying to do them.

It’s always easier to see it when it is happening to someone else. Sara said “I cannot do this anymore this way” and, instead, took the wiggle monster to me. Her support system. We have each other to rely on while Ellie becomes Crymonster from Planet Shriekscream.

If Ellie is not calmer when I hold her, then I have a support person to back me up with the Crymonster (from Planet Shriekscream). I am overjoyed with my discovery that Sara brought Ellie to me, and I responded. I responded with calm. I responded with love. I responded with an “abrupt halt” where motherhood took precedence. Ellie’s childhood took precedence.

There’s a great quote by Muhammad Ali in a 1975 issue of Playboy: “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

We change, just as our children do. We level up as parents, as wives, as humans, as teachers, as designers, as puppy parents, as people. How often do we engage in reflection about our own growth and change? I see the changes in Ellie because she is such a focus right now (by the way, she’s 10 weeks old this week – ahhh!). I actively engage in a discussion and meditation on how different she is day to day. Maybe I don’t do that enough for myself, so it can be hard to see the ways I have grown for the better just like Ellie.

We are always growing, changing, leveling-up. Our circumstances require us to adapt. Seeking joy, seeking to be a better version or ourselves, even averting pain and unpleasantness all cause us to adjust and adapt ourselves and our worldviews. Every time we’re going through hell, we keep going, and we always come out on the other side different than we were before.

Today’s growth and the lesson from Ellie’s tenth week of life is that I don’t need to be isolated. Tuesday I wrote about the experience of other mommies in the world who know what I’m feeling and going through. Today, it’s a more intimate support system. It’s my system at home that Sara and I have each other. When we’re at our wits end, the other person can be there to be mom – be Ellie’s parent. When I was the one relying on Sara, I couldn’t see it as easily. When Sara came to me instead, I saw the support system we are creating for and with each other.

Published by @electrickduckdesigns

Eight days into motherhood, I needed a place to be myself again. Follow me as I grow into this new role.

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