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Grieving Becoming A Mother Made Me A Better Mom

July 22, 2022

I couldn’t attach well to my girls because I never grieved the old, childfree life I was holding on to. Once I let go, my motherhood journey got REALLY good.

Here’s the tea, I had to grieve for motherhood. 

You read that right. I grieved becoming a mother. 

A little backstory, When I was 17 I received my first infertility diagnosis and from that point on it was confirmed by leading doctors that children were not my future. 

I completely grieved the fact I would never have kids when I was 18. 

As life inevitably does, it reminded me how out of control I am when it comes to my future because when I was 19, I learned I was 5 months  pregnant with my daughter.

Despite infertility diagnosis, contraceptive, and “doing everything right” I became pregnant. 

Part of me was overjoyed at my miracle opportunity, but a bigger part was afraid of what my life would be like. I was growing very quickly in my snowboarding career, just earned my first World Championship title, and in true Paralympic athlete fashion I was very financially unstable.

I had a choice to make; Do I rise to the level that life is asking of me or do I give up and fall to my comforts of not going for more? 

I chose the first. I chose to work hard and figure life out for my daughter so we could live a life worth sharing.

Now, this is really where my motherhood grief really comes in. 

In 2022, 6 years after the birth of my first daughter, I found myself crying in my therapist’s office after learning about attachment theory in parenting(Parenting From The Inside Out is a great read BTW). 

I learned about a massive disconnect between me and my daughter and I was fighting everyday to be better, do better, provide more but all of this doing lessened my ability to just be. 

In my therapist’s office I forced myself to just be. For the first time in 6 years, since deciding to provide an amazing life for my daughter, I slowed down enough to realize I still held pain in the woman I would never become. 

I will never experience my twenties without massive responsibility.

I will never know what it’s like to build a career without juggling nap time, endless meals that never get eaten, and tee-ball in the summer heat. 

I will never know a life where my goals, my desires, and my time is the primary focus.

I needed to take a beat to see that I was holding pain around the person that will never become.

Even though I LOVE being a mother. I love my girls more than anything and I will always live to provide the best for them. 

There was a very real and raw piece of me that needed to sit in the pain of what will never be. 

I share this because this isn’t the first and will not be the last time I don’t get to experience the person I envision myself becoming. We think we have it all planned out. All mapped out. All perfectly curated just waiting for the world to catch up but it doesn’t always work out that way.

We lose jobs, limbs, health, loved ones, and so much more. 

The important thing to remember is just because your life looks different than you planned doesn’t mean it can’t still be great. 

Grieving who will never be is a huge part of my healing journey and ever since grieving the fact I will never be young, reckless, and child free doesn’t mean my life won’t be freaking beautiful and amazIng. 

What part of yourself are you holding onto? What would happen if you allowed yourself the space to be in the hurt, to be in the discomfort, to be in the feelings that you work so hard to avoid? Who would you be if you released this part of yourself and stepped fully into who you are now?

I can speak from my experience and say the minute I said goodbye to the childfree Brenna I was holding on to was the minute I stepped into whole hearted, present parent that FINALLY felt natural to me.

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