But What If?
Well, let me just wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Valentine’s all in one here, since it’s been like a minute or few since we’ve talked! Don’t we all feel like that right now? (lol) It’s weeks like these that I’m thankful for a grace filled space to “fall short” of the goals I once had of such beautiful, consistent posting. (lol again) You guys are totally judging, right? ;)
Welp, we spent Christmas in my hometown in Connecticut (aka dreamiest place to spend Christmas). We got PLENTY of gorgeous snow, which my 2 year old was promptly terrified of. My 3 year old LOVED it though, probably because he’s like 10 inches taller, so we’ll give the younger one a year or so to be equally enamored. :)
The boys got RSV over Christmas, giving it to one of my brothers, who developed pneumonia from it (oops. Sorry bro). My dear friend Cindy legit rescued me and answered my text on CHRISTMAS DAY so I didn’t have to go to the ER (thank God) while the nurse line and all walk in clinics were closed, since it was, of course, Christmas. We finally got home and I’m just now feeling like I’m getting my head a little bit above water.
Before I head into what I want to chat about this time I wanted to preface it all with this -
I know a good majority of my mom friends who keep their pregnancies secret for a good while, until around 13 weeks or so. For some, it’s totally just because it’s fun to have a sweet little secret between you, your hubby, and a few close friends and family. Other friends like to just tell people in person, so it takes a little bit longer. And others, it’s because it’s what they think they’re “supposed” to do. To not share until they’re in the “safe zone.” I’m not here to say what anyone should or should not do. That is anybody but my business. You get to decide when and who you tell. Full stop.
For Brennen and I, we chose to announce right out of the gates, because for us, if something did happen, I wanted to be surrounded by support. I wanted my baby’s life to be known, seen. That they existed. That they were real. I wanted to let other people form an attachment with the child, whether or not they survived.
So all that to say, suddenly I found myself in an entirely different, yet similar scenario this past week.
Some of you know that I’m going back to school this semester to start the process of achieving my RN, then will go onto nurse-midwifery after that. This has been a pretty hefty decision for me and for our family (obvi going back to school and doing a 180 career change is no small feat with 2 toddlers + working full time), and to be real, I’ve been pretty petrified and insecure through this whole process.
I had been superrrr selective over who I chose to tell, and I never really had a great reason. In fact, in my mind, it almost looked wise- because what if something happened? How embarrassing would it be to say, “oh, never mind, actually that’s not happening.” Who would I be letting down? How many questions would I have to answer? How much more compounded would be my disappointment be?
Welp. All that was fine and dandy shoved way deep down where I couldn’t see or hear it up until I was sitting with a student advisor the first night of classes telling me someone messed up and I was put in the wrong class on the wrong campus. All while I was supposed to be going to my first class ever. Well while my heart went all sorts of somersaults, and tears started to prick my eyes, my mind raced because I had already jumped through about 13 hoops to make that class work into my schedule. Now, I was going to have change everything. And lawwddd if that didn’t put all my sensors into distress.
So there I am, trying not to sob uncontrollably in the bookstore, and I see the chick next to me losing it. Her classes got dropped and she had to change her schedule, but she was spiraling pretty quick. That was my finger snap back to reality.
I realized- hey, I have something here. I have peace. I remembered I can access peace at any time, anywhere, and it’s not dictated by my circumstances, no matter how big the disappointment or potential embarrassment. So I took a deep breath, made a hard choice, and left to have tacos and a margarita with Brennen. And you know what, I cried later. And had to rearrange my schedule, again. And that’s ok, because it’s not over for me.
So back to this thing of being afraid. While I’ve been processing the disappointment, I realized I’d been holding this whole process of going back to school at a super safe distance. It didn’t necessarily harm me, but what did happen was that I realized if I HAD given up, my circle of support could have been so much bigger than it was. I realized there was a conflicting value for me- that if my education was a baby I was hiding it. I was afraid to show it because I was afraid it would die, and it would be my fault.
I have a group of women in my life who don’t back down from supporting me. They're a tribe of people who will keep me accountable to my goals and dreams, but if things (seemingly) crash and burn, they’ll hold me while I grieve. These relationships were not easy to cultivate, but they have been so worth it. Those relationships were fed by revealing the scary dreams. The things of stepping out and uncovering something we weren’t sure was going to make it or not, and sometimes, they didn’t. By pressing in when we wanted to put walls up because things freaking hurt.
So here I am, announcing my non-human school baby to ya’ll.
And I’d like to ask a question of you mamas - what are you afraid of sharing with the world because you’re afraid it will die, and it will be all your fault? What places could you have a much larger circle of support, but because you’re afraid, that circle looks much smaller?
I’ll keep asking myself that question, and let’s keep asking each other.
Onward to thriving together mamas.