It’s been a long time since I’ve woke up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep. But this morning 4am here I am, laying wide awake. The thoughts coming up for me make me sad. They make me question myself and my actions because all I ever want to do is protect. Protect this little girl with everything in me.
Let me back up…
For well over a year my daughter has spent the majority of her time with me. Recently, as legal proceedings have begun finishing up, there has finally been a 50/50 agreement. Now, in the state of Arizona (I’m not sure how it works in other states) if there is a child involved in any legal matter, the adults have to attend a parenting class. When I attended the parenting class, I’m not going to lie, I felt I should’ve been teaching it. Nonetheless, they brought up very good points, highlighting that the best way to raise an emotionally healthy child is for the parents themselves to be emotionally healthy. I absolutely agree and feel good about this. The class also informs you that even if your child is an infant, they still will be and are affected by this process.
My daughter was 5 months old when me and her dad separated. Hard to believe she would really be affected by it emotionally anytime soon because she was so young.
Fast forward to today….
In our agreement each parent alternates weekends. So, this weekend was the first weekend she was not with me. When I picked her up from school I could tell immediately the need for comfort from me to just reassure her she was my baby. She snuggled up in my arms right away as we exited her school. I know what you may be thinking, “ok, and?!” But tonight, that’s what’s got my mind trying to take over. She has woken up twice calling out for me. The most recent time wanting to snuggle up in my arms to ensure I was really here with her. For a moment I begin to question, a tear runs down my face. It hits me, now’s the time that she begins to be affected by something she has had no control over. She didn’t choose this, and it’s not her fault.
But then I take a deep breath and I begin to coach myself.
Just like this is a part of my journey, this is now a part of her journey. As a parent we want to protect our children from everything bad that we possibly can. We want them only to experience the good in the world because we want what’s best for them. And we never ever want to be the source of any hurt for them. But, what if it’s ok? What if we are able to allow our children to have their experiences just as we had and have ours. That’s what life is about, isn’t it? What we can do is show up in a loving way for them. I get to love on this little girl and be there always, ready to support. I can’t change her journey – this is a part of her journey – but I can control how I show up in it for her. And that’s the best news ever! – until next time, give yourself permission to allow others to have their journey. KA