When I first considered starting my own blog I tried to find some inspiration by reading other “mommy blogs”. I read and searched for something, anything to connect to. I had a few laughs here and there, found a couple moments that I would nod in agreeance to but honestly, I found myself worried that other women wouldn’t find a connection to my writing – that my thoughts, my opinions, my views wouldn’t be relatable. That’s because in most of the blogs that I read, fellow moms were expressing how stressed, overwhelmed, tired and even resentful that they felt. I just couldn’t quite relate. And when you read a blog, you want to find something you connect with, right? Something to keep you coming back because you had found someone who felt how you felt and you felt connected! So if I don’t feel the same way will anyone really be able to relate to me? I guess we’ll see….
In June of this year I became a mother for the first time and what an incredible journey it has been so far! The sleepless nights quickly turned into fairly restful nights, the constant diaper changes have yet to cause me annoyance, and the unavoidable changes in marriage that people warn you about? Beautiful! I have friends who tell me motherhood isn’t all they hoped it would be. I find myself completely disconnected when I hear that. I have acquaintances offer unsolicited advice constantly telling me “it’s ok to feel overwhelmed and take some time for you”. I don’t disagree. I know it’s ok to feel that way… I just don’t.
But let me be clear – it’s not like I’m some robot with unconditional positivity flowing through my veins. In fact, people who knew me years ago would tell you I was a pretty anxious individual with a realist-to-cynical outlook on a lot of life’s intended beautiful experiences. So what changed me? Isabelle.
From the moment she arrived my heart softened. I suddenly felt the desire to love harder, forgive easier, and give more. I knew what it felt like to find my purpose. It was like I had finally found myself. I had become what I was always destined to be – a mother. The pieces of my broken heart from years of destruction and loss were put back together in an instant. I immediately noticed beautiful changes taking place that could only be attributed to her arrival in my life.
There are many reasons that I don’t relate to some of the more common complaints of motherhood. The exhaustion? Sure, it has its moments, but the excitement of bonding with her gives me energy that wipes out any hint of exhaustion. The crying? Minimal. And even on the days that it’s not, it gives me such a sense of purpose when I’m able to calm her and bring her peace. The diapers? Expensive. But so worth it! The lack of time to myself? I literally have never spent a more valuable moment in my life than being a mother. No I may not have time to do my makeup everyday or get a pedicure as often but I found appreciation in the quiet moments during naps or while her daddy holds her. The stress? She taught me that it’s ok to let go, focus on what’s important and NOT stress so much. And I know what you’re thinking: ‘it’s only been a few months, just you wait.’ I don’t foresee this changing for me. But there’s a reason.
I became a birth mother when I was 17. One word to sum up my experience of adoption: BRUTAL. I used to always refer to that experience as a beautiful blessing but in reality it was the most painful experience in my life. I’ve been conflicted and tormented by “my decision” for 11 years. But the one thing I knew from the moment I held my first born in my arms – I was meant to be a mother. But after that experience I spiraled and my dreams of eventually becoming a mother slipped further and further away. Honestly, that’s another story for another time but there’s a reason it relates…
Even though I could give in to being stressed, overwhelmed, tired or resentful I don’t. Because what a blessing motherhood is! These tiny little beings that we created rely on us. We chose them. We owe it to them to give them our best selves everyday. We have the beautiful opportunity to shape them into incredible human beings who give kindness, patience, grace, and love. All of our shortcomings can become teaching opportunities. We now have the unique opportunity to see the beauty in all of life’s messes and to receive them in a positive way. We have someone looking up to us, watching every move we make and taking it all in like a sponge. So why not make it count? Instead of spending our energy in negativity why not brush off the stress of our busy lives, push through the exhaustion, and breathe through our anxiety and show our children our best selves?
I want to be relatable. But more than that, I was a be a positive force in my daughters life. Someone she will look at and be proud of, feel safe with, and aspire to be like. The person I was 3 years ago? Not who I want my daughter to see. The person I am today is a completely different story. Some of us take longer to “show up”, but when we do – we don’t just show up – we arrive. And that’s the me I want my daughter to see.