I have recently found myself going back twelve months as if all the progress I have achieved was just washed away.
I was planning my boy’s first birthday party and with every step, I was getting further and further into a state of panic, yet an obsession. I’ve found myself consumed by the pressure of importance and significance of this huge first milestone for my boy, although, truth to be told, probably more so for me than him.
I just wanted it to be special, memorable, vibrant, in other words perfect! The Obsessive Perfectionist in me had awoken before I had a chance to realise what had happened! I wanted this event to convey the significance of this day and deliver the emotions I had bubbling inside of me.
I love planning parties and events and I love hand making every bit of decorations. I completely handmade everything for our wedding and the baby shower, but none of those events could compare to my son’s first birthday.
MY SON! MY FIRST BORN! HIS FIRST BIRTHDAY!
I kept repeating these words in my head, unwilling to believe that my boy was turning one! I felt so overwhelmed yet I wasn’t sure what exactly overwhelmed me.
Was it the number of things I had given myself to do for the event? Was it the time frame? Was it actually the fact that my son was having his first birthday?
The mother in me, couldn’t put into words the feelings and emotions that I was going through. My mind was all foggy and all I was thinking was that my boy was turning one. I felt like nothing and no-one in this world mattered, so the mother in me quickly gave the reigns to the perfectionist I and this event became my all!
With the support and help of my loving and patient husband I planned it, I exhausted myself but I delivered and executed it all! Even though everything I had arranged was lovely, the passive-aggressive perfectionist in me knew, that if I had more strength and energy, I could have done even better.
The Big Day
On the day, my boy had a fantastic experience! He seemed so happy, so excited that I was beyond words happy to see that special smile of his!
The event was a success and everyone seemed to enjoy it very much! The perfectionist in me, retired at that point as her job was done!
Everyone was happy, apart from the mother in me…and do you know why? No! not because I was so exhausted that I couldn’t enjoy it. No! not because something went wrong, although lots of things did as they usually do when you host an important event, I was upset because I didn’t have one, not one picture with me and my boy on the day! I had a lot of videos, a hundred of blurred and smudge images but not even one of just the two of us which would be a good one! On the day, everything was going so fast; from mini entertainment to some guests arriving whilst others leaving (those with kids had to leave earlier), and before I knew it, half of the day was gone and I found myself chasing the time to have a moment with my boy.
He was happy! He opened presents, played with aunts and grandparents! And I was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I wanted to ensure everything went well, everyone was happy, everything tasted and felt good, looked pretty, everyone had fun… made sure my boy was happy, clean and involved…
Something didn’t feel right
I did all of those things…
But I didn’t have a moment with him to myself in peace and quiet.
That’s what it was, I just wanted peace and quiet.
I felt like something inside of me died that night, when everybody left.
I put my heart and my soul into this whole day. I waited, I planned it for 12 months or even longer…everyone was happy, everyone had a great time, especially my boy but the mother in me was disintegrating inside. Why?
I gave my all and I was left drained and exhausted beyond words. I gave all my creativity, energy, love and passion and was left empty. Because all my heart wanted was that one picture, with nothing in the background, just that one picture of me and him on his special day. A picture that would speak louder than words…and deliver the emotions we shared on this special day, even twenty years from now.
What really matters
That night, as I changed my precious boy into his sleeping clothes, he was standing on his changing table, holding on to me, I looked at him and I felt like I have lost a day which was so important to me. Tears were building up in my eyes. At this moment he reached out and gave me a hug he has never given me before. He wrapped his little arms around my neck and pressed his head against my chest till I picked him up and he wrapped his legs around my waste.
This was the moment my heart wanted all along…
My boy…my precious little boy, as if he knew what was going through my heart and he just did that! I felt ‘I Love You, Mummy and Thank You’ in this embrace and I felt alive again. For me in that moment time stood still and it has forever been imprinted in my heart.
I was far away in my thoughts when my mum snapped a picture of this very moment. How did she know, I didn’t mention my thoughts about the day to her, why did she walk into the room in that exact moment (she was watching TV in the living room), I don’t know, but she did and I thanked her endlessly for giving me a picture of the most special to me moment.
As my boy has marked his first birthday milestone, I have marked a milestone of my own. The excited perfectionist in me really wanted to throw the most amazing birthday party, whilst a mother in me simply wanted a moment with my boy. Whilst I have him with me most of my days, as a stay at home mum, there was something about this day so precious to my heart, that the perfectionist girl in me has failed to hear the mother in me.
I don’t regret doing all the things I did, everything was beautiful, I just know, that moving on, I shall allow the mother in me to be heard by my perfectionist self!
We often fail to hear our heart, silencing it with thoughts and actions. The voice of a heart is the one of honest and true love. This is our inner selves trying to reach out to our everyday selves. This is the only voice we should try to hear, as this is the only voice that speaks the true feelings and emotions of our own selves. It is our own voice. Wherever possible we should all try to listen to our hearts to feel our truest selves.