Life has changed so much in recent months. I’ve made some drastic choices that will change my life and my daughter’s forever. I decided to do away with any/all social media, rarely check emails, and stopped writing so much. Why? My mom would always tell my sisters and me growing up, “Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente. (Eyes that don’t see, heart that doesn’t feel.)” Also, being so disconnected from the social media world has freed me in such a way to be much more “present”.
I’ll admit that I had a serious addiction with my phone and continually found myself comparing my life to the life of others. I felt like I had to put on a show about how amazing life was and make sure “que no se dañe le reputación de la familia (don’t ruin the family reputation).” Do you understand how exhausting that was?! Lying to yourself about how “happy” and “great” everything is, when you’re really just dying on the inside and struggling every single day to get out of bed. I can just imagine my extended family and friends’ amazement, when they find out about my relocation in a few months. I use the term “friends” very loosely, since disconnecting from social media has shown me who would remain in contact, if I stopped being the first to reach out.
In this process, I have been able to bond with my daughter in ways I never could before. That crippling depression and anxiety I constantly felt have (VERY slowly) gotten better over the past several months. I am able to really enjoy the smallest things about her – the way she giggles as she sneaks up to scare me, how she insists on cuddling every morning even if it’s just 5 minutes, or just getting to play with her and watch as her imagination runs wild. Not only has my anxiety decreased, but so has my daughter’s. My family would always say “Piensa primero como madre y después como mujer. (Think first as a mother and then as a woman.)” Early on, my therapist would talk a lot about how a healthy woman is a healthy mommy rather than what I grew up knowing. Mommies and Daddies reading this, you are the very best at parenting, when you’re able to first take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. It took me 3 years to figure that one out and really begin to apply it to my life.
By no means have these past couple months been simple, but they’ve been better since living a disconnected life. I have very few people that I come in contact with on a regular basis, and that’s okay. It’s allowed me to dig deeper into my books, get into summer service projects, and really find out who I can count on to be positive and uplifting. I have a renewed sense of strength and courage to make choices that are best for my daughter and me.
If you’re struggling with being present, I challenge you to take a few days off from social media and observe your child(ren). Get to really know their likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. What goals do your kids have? You’ll be surprised at their answers. My little one is only 3 and the things she says leave me amazed and breathless every time.
Grace and Peace,
P.S. – If you’re reading this, say a prayer for my baby girl and me. In a few weeks, life will be totally different for the two of us with our living situation changing and school starting at the same time. We are almost on the other side of this, baby girl, and everything is going to be just fine…