It’s holiday season and there is so much to celebrate and be joyful about. I personally love to cultivate thankfulness as much as I can during this season because it truly makes me a happier, more joyful person.
This year, my family and I have moved to a new home and there is so much excitement about being able to host family and friends. We are very grateful and truly blessed.
But just this week, I found myself having a breakdown in the frozen pizza aisle at Target. (It was the first empty aisle that I could see.)
I kept thinking to myself, I have so much to be thankful for… a great husband, 3 beautiful and healthy children, and a new house with everything that we need.
Why in the world am I crying in the frozen pizza aisle on my birthday?!
“Vacations” at Target once in a while serve a few purposes for me… it’s fun to shop at Target for sure, but I also use that quiet time to process my thoughts and emotions. My Myers Briggs type is INFJ, so I need lots of quiet alone time to think and process. That doesn’t happen often in a home with 3 little people under 5 years old!
On this particular night, that happened to be my birthday and with the holidays in full swing… I found myself grieving the fact that my parents are gone.
I am not even 30 and both of my parents are no longer here for me.
The holidays ALWAYS amplifies this void… but with our move and my birthday it just snuck up on me so quickly.
I remember in the trenches of packing, cleaning, and moving our stuff, my husband’s mom said to him “Oh honey, you look so exhausted. You need some rest.” I thought to myself, “He sure is working hard… and I absolutely appreciate him… but man, I’m tired too and I wish someone would acknowledge that too.”
It was in this moment that I realized no longer do I have parents around to love me “unconditionally” like only parents can. To notice me first. To be a landing place when I am just spent. In that moment, I truly appreciated that my husband has those things… but simultaneously, I grieved that I do not.
My husband’s parents are amazing.
Seriously, I hit the in-law jackpot.
But they will never see me or love me like their own children or grandchildren and honestly, that is so normal and so okay.
But it is hard to feel like I am considered last.
I know that they love me.
It just stings to know that in this whole world, I will never be the first consideration for a parent again.
No one will ever look at me and say “Oh honey, you are so weary.”
My birthday won’t be the “greatest day” of anyone’s life anymore.
So that is why I bawled my eyes out in the frozen pizza aisle.
I am so very blessed, but I am also allowed to deeply feel the lack, the void, that not having parents on my birthday or in this holiday season brings.
I am filled with hope a joy during this holiday season. My heart is grateful.
I also feel so sad.
It’s so strange to feel both so strongly.
So, to you mamas who feel those voids and how they are amplified during this holiday season, my heart says to yours: “I see you.” If you wish your parental situations were different: “I see you.”
You are not alone!
Find your people and talk about it.
I have said and will always say that I’ve been given such good friends (that I totally don’t deserve) because I need them.
Here’s your permission: you can feel the joy and the sadness of this season all at once.
And dang it, go to Target and cry in that frozen pizza aisle if you need to.
Wander around and process!
Maybe we’ll see each other there.
Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive CRMB posts in your inbox. While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms Blog events and promotions!!