I love the giggles, the tiny hands and feet, the way that time slows down and I feel completely present to a moment in time that will never happen again. She grows and changes so quickly, I really cherish those moments of suspended time where I get to take in the wonder of childhood and this beautiful creature I made.
Then time speeds up again. I can never do as much as I used to and the pain of that still stings. Finding balance for myself, for my partnership and for our family feels impossible. The chores pile up, or the self-care does. I never see my husband enough. We have to put so much more attention on making our relationship feel good, on me feeling good. Motherhood asks for so much time and attention that I used to take for granted. I had no idea. I’ve sometimes longed for those days when everything felt like a lot to handle, but it all got done any way.
And now, my daughter is off to preschool. She was ready, I was ready, and I was really pretty excited. But as it got closer, I noticed that I was really panicking inside. It made no logical sense. We researched schools, we got into the one I wanted. It felt great, and I knew she was in good hands. It was difficult anyway. I did a lot of crying. The first day she was gone I just laid on my bed, exhausted and overwhelmed. I knew I was relieved to have the space to myself, but I had this body anxiety that wouldn’t let up. I started going to my therapist again. I hadn’t realized how much support mother’s need. More than ever before. I think as a culture we’ve really done a disservice to this incredibly tender time for new families. I’m slowing finding more and more support in my new life. It’s necessary, and we all deserve to have it.
Kyla Kelley is a Healer, Coach, Mother, and Fashion Student.