2 weeks ago my husband and my 3 sons went to the beach for the week! It was a much-needed and it was nice because it's hard to get everyone together with my oldest son Chris because of our schedules. It was nice to have everyone together, and many times during the trip I would stop and take a moment to realize how precious life is; how precious our children are to us. It reminded me of why I try so hard to fight and heal and be all the things I never had when I was younger.
My boys are growing up fast! Christopher is 21 and manages a restaurant and getting together with him and finding time is almost impossible. Ryan is 17 and heading towards adulthood. Nathan is my baby at 14, but if you ask anyone, he is 14 going on 20.
I had my first child when I was 19 years old, and have been married 22 years now. I wanted to be a mom at an early age. I wanted to redo my life in a way where I would be all the things I never had. I wanted to be a mom, give, love, care, and to never neglect.
The downside to being a mom at a young age is that I never got to heal from the wounds of childhood that followed me. I covered a lot of my pain and memories by being a busy mom, and put all my energy into that role, and it worked - for a while.
It wasn't until 6 years ago that I realized that being a mom to my boys was important - but something huge was missing, and I needed to heal what I was trying to cover. I knew that the role of being all the things that I had wished I had as a child was no longer covering the wounds enough and those wounds were starting to bleed through.
I started therapy and began my journey to healing 6 1/2 years ago, and my reason for showing up? My children, my husband, and of course myself.
It's amazing how much I masked my pain to be the good mom that I have been since 19, but there comes a time when taking care of myself is just as important as my children, because me getting healthy, makes them healthier. I am setting an example to my kids; an example of self-care and love not only for them but for self.
It's amazing that they are not little anymore. It's both scary and yet rewarding. It's both sad and joyful at the same time. Sad that I don't have the business of being a mom to young little ones running around and having that to cover behind, and yet joyful that I was able to get them to the point of being young men who were loved, cared for and never neglected of their needs.
Now that my boys are getting older, I have learned to put some of my needs first. When I show up to therapy and work hard to heal the wounds, I think about them. There are times that are hard when my kids see me going through a hard time in this healing process, but the one thing I never do is shut them out - I am always honest with them and they know my story.
So as I look back to my children when they were younger, and when I look at them now, I realize I did it for them back then by covering my wounds by taking care of their needs, and today I show up and heal for them - this is why I show up - this is why I fight - this is why I heal.