My heart has grown SO much since this little girl came into my life more than 3 years ago.
A little back story: After I was unable to exclusively nurse her as a baby, I had serious mom guilt. Like debilitating. When my third kiddo Ellie was born, she was a CHAMP at nursing, right from the get go. Just like her brother (my oldest).
I could feel myself loving Holland and Ellie just a little more than Alyla. Because… well, Alyla had to be supplemented with formula – my milk wasn’t enough, she has trouble gaining weight, she has tummy issues, I had low fluids during my pregnancy with her, I didn’t go into labor on my own, she fell as a baby and fractured her skull because I didn’t buckle her into her Bumbo… and all of this was my fault.
“What kind of mother am I?”
Did I do something wrong during pregnancy? Did I workout too hard? Did I drink too much pre-workout? Did I teach fitness classes too long?
Ellie was a few weeks old when my sister came to visit, and she made a fleeting comment: “You can definitely tell Alyla struggles with middle child syndrome.”
Then I read a book called Captivating and listened to the author talk about her broken relationship with her own mother. YEARS later her mother apologized and admitted that her daughter reminded her of her inadequacies, and she just needed to forgive herself. She was sorry she took it out on her daughter.
That was me. Alyla reminded me of all the reasons “I must be a terrible mother.”
And? I just needed to forgive myself. Alyla is a beautiful human. Inside and out. And she deserves my love. She did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. And I need to forgive myself. Or else? We’re going to have a broken relationship forever.
I am a wonderful mom. She is a wonderful daughter. And after those 2 God-given experiences? Of first my sister’s comment, and then shortly afterwards reading that book? I decided to forgive myself.
I decided to change. And my relationship with Alyla changed over night.
She now reminds me of strength. And love. And forgiveness. And beauty. And growth. And unconditional love.
I love my Alyla girl. She makes me better every day.
For more on this, listen to my podcast episode called “Grace with Our Mistakes.”
You are doing better than you think you are momma! Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Give yourself grace. And commit to doing your best to make today a great day. Each and every day.