Super-Mom Betsy Parsons:
I expected motherhood to change me. How could it not? Everything was new. But what I didn’t expect was that motherhood would strip me bare – drop me to rock bottom – force me to face that I had lost myself – demand that I pick up the shattered bits of me and piece myself back together. It was all at once brutal and gratifying. I am grateful for all of it. I have learned who I am and how great my support system is. I learned how absolutely wonderful my husband is, what a fantastic dad he is, and what a loving and supportive family surround us. It’s not just me who is a super mom. It’s my husband, my mom and dad, and my mother and father-in-law who make up this super family. Each one of us plays an important role. Life is a tremendous gift, and we were all starkly reminded of that during the first six weeks of my daughter’s life. We almost lost her. The first six weeks of her life were spent in the NICU. She was a full term baby but a very sick one. After she came home, every milestone was carefully watched. She thrived. And I almost missed it because I was worried about what could be wrong. It was 9 months later when I started to splinter apart. She was walking and I was cracking – emotions needed to be expressed. I needed to feel again. Not surprising, but I hadn’t been taking care of myself. I was just trying to make it through a minute, then an hour, and a full day. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was sleepwalking. I rationalized that all of this was well within a first-time mom response (ha!). Eventually, I was diagnosed with PTSD and got help. I began to piece myself back together. It took another full year for me to hear the stirrings of my voice. It’s been over two years, and just recently I realized that I am whole again. I experienced such joy in finding myself. I had really missed me! But losing myself and finding an improved version had taken hold – makes me so grateful for the journey. It has allowed me freedom to be myself, to slow down and enjoy the moments of motherhood, to rely on my family to play significant roles raising my daughter, to trust, and to embrace the unexpected. It’s often what I need most! I’m so thankful for my super family – including my husband who is embracing his role as stay-at-home dad! Collectively, we’re a super team with a super daughter.