Love and Motherhood

Love and Motherhood

This post is a bit different than my previous posts, but it has been a recent concept of exploration for me, and felt like an important discussion/sharing that someone else may need on this journey because mothering is so gosh dang hard, and even more difficult is finding a community of women who are sharing honest truths about this journey. So, here we go....

I was blessed to become a mother when our first son was born in 2014. Since then, I have pretty much been nursing or pregnant up until about a year and a half ago. Of course there were a few months in between where I wasn't, but I also wasn't some wildly fun, carefree, version of the woman I was before becoming a mother. Whether I was nursing or pregnant really had no baring on the fact that I was, and still am, a mother, and with as mothers, we carry these incredibly heavy burdens of navigating a new version of ourselves where we have to care for, and for all intentional purposes, keep alive, other humans. This is no easy task as many of you are fortunate to experience...and not the keeping alive part, that's somewhat dramatic after the early phases of fearing SIDS or choking on grapes, but more so keeping the hollow-legged snack machines fed and safe from their own dare-devilish behaviors. Our planning instincts go into hyper drive as we now also have to plan childcare, pack lunches, pay for field trips, help with homework, register for schools and sports, and navigate the tantrums for when you picked out pants and your 4 year old wants freaking shorts even though its LITERALLY freezing outside when you leave the house! 32 f'in degrees and you want to pick a fight with me about pants?!? And then on top of the additional planning, there’s also the constant state of worry, navigating work/life balance, fear of of the big decisions, fear of screwing up, fear in general, new routines, fluctuating hormones, and so much more. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my children with every ounce of my being, but if I am being honest, motherhood is like a house fire. It starts small in the kitchen, and before you know it, the fire catches the curtains, and soon the whole damn house is engulfed in flames. We start in that euphoric stage thinking we can be a mother and still hold true to the old version of ourselves, and the baby is beautiful, and the lack of sleep is temporary, and I'll get back to the gym soon, and blah, blah, blah. Then before you know it, 7 years have passed, you're still carrying extra weight, now both literally and figuratively, and your entire world is about being a Mom, but at the deep core of all of your frustrations and love, you just want to feel like "you" again. So, here I am, feeling like I'm suffocating in motherhood, while also loving my children deep, deep into my core and wanting to spend every minute snuggled on the couch with them, while also just wanting a few days without being touched. My mind is in a constant state of stress, and my body moves in an average speed of rush. We’re constantly being told to take care of ourselves, but how? When? Isn’t that just one more thing to add to my never-ending to-do list? What does self care even look like for me? What do I actually NEED? What else do I LOVE besides my family And the answer is, I don’t really know. The spa, the mall, the salon, that is not fulfilling some emptiness in my internal systems. Exercise makes me feel better, but also doesn’t feel like a joyful escape. So as I do with every question, I hit up the internet. I have started listening to podcasts on my walks with our dog, Jefe, and at first I was listening to business related content, but quite honestly, they were awfully boring (P.S. if you know any good ones, send them my way!). But, I stumbled across one episode by Glennon Doyle on Overwhelm, and OH MY GOSH, not only am I in love with the podcast, but I felt incredibly seen and somehow started to sort through my feelings! I have not read Untamed yet, although it sits in my Amazon cart along with a few others for when I finish my current book. But if Untamed is even an ounce as good as her podcast, I can't wait to start reading it! But, back to the point, her podcast is beautiful and authentic and relatable. She focuses on all the Hard Things in life (that's the actual title; We Can Do Hard Things), and through that ONE podcast, that I listened to while preparing dinner while my kids binged out on some TV, lit a fire in me to figure this thing out for myself. It was the jumper cables to get me going again, to navigate my place on this Earth on my terms. Through this revelation into my feelings, I discovered Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast, which started after she wrote Big Magic, another book I am planning to start soon! Her podcast is all about living a creative life. So, between these two incredible authors, I have somehow started some deep thoughts about myself, and I began thinking about what is L-O-V-E? How do we make space for our individual passions while also holding space for family? Does the amount of love we have grow for non-familial things, or does family just take up some of the space for the other things? I use the term "awakening" for this current state of mind I am in, because that is how it feels. I am very self-aware that there is an imbalance that I need to work on, I am self-aware that this imbalance is unhealthy for my relationships, and I am self-aware that I need more than my family to bring me happiness. I came across this quote by Genie Francis that read, "Being a wife and a mother is very gratifying, but it's not a creative expression and that's something I need to be happy." And gosh, if that's not the quickest way to say everything I just wrote in this post, then I don't know how else to simplify it lol

So having wrote all this, where do I go from here? Again, a big kind of IDK. Sometimes when going through the muck, you kind of start feeling a lot, thinking too much, and your mind gets the best of you, and the overwhelm gets reallllllly heavy. This is my current mental state, although I am also trying to put some new habits in place to help me grow beyond "just a Mom".

I have started getting up slightly earlier than I used to so that I have 15-30 minutes of time to create, whether that is painting, journaling, dancing, etc. I prefer to do this in the morning because my mind is mush by the evening. HOWEVER, if I hit snooze, I am making it a non-negotiable to find some time throughout every day to exercise my creativity.

I have been exercising 4 days/week for about 4 weeks, and have just increased to 5. While this has also been a mental struggle because I also think about that time that I could be using for creating, rather than fitness, but also recognize that my mental health is also tied to how I feel about myself. Being an athlete, much of my identity is tied to being in shape, and as a mother, you sometimes lose that for short (or long) periods of time.

Finally, I am trying to accept help. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with creativity, but it most certainly opens up some mental space for other things I enjoy. I have, and will probably always be, the "I'll just do it myself so I know it's done right" person, while also being a slight control freak. So accepting help sometimes feels like failure, but I am constantly evolving, and my hope is that as I release some fear of not being in control, I can find peace in other areas.

Hopefully this made you feel a little more human, and a little less alone.

Until next time,



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