It’s almost mother’s day and I sometimes can’t believe that I’m a mom. And I forget what it felt like before I become a mother. For the longest time I didn’t know if I wanted to be a mother. Or maybe I did and just never thought I could, or could do it well. Almost 3 years, and two kids, into this role I still struggle with how well I’m doing it.
Mothering is hard for me. I think there are natural moms. Or at least those that make it look for effortless. It’s not effortless for me. There’s a lot of struggle with my selfish self in motherhood, in anxious thoughts about how to do it ‘right’, in worry that they’re ok and going to grow up to be decent and nice people. There’s effort in making sure everyone is healthy and dressed, and not watching too much TV, and that dinner is made and the house is picked up. It takes a lot of effort for me that there’s little effort left over in this season for friendships and sadly my husband or even myself.
Mothering is also very physical work. I end most days right now exhausted from carrying babies and carrying heavy toddler emotions that there’s little left for the ‘non tiny-human’ relationships in my life. I lift and carry and squat heavy babies. I carry lots of bags and car seats up stairs. I do more things at one time than I should.
But maybe that’s how everyone feels. Maybe well feel just a little overwhelmed and not cut out for the jobs we have been given or the season of life we’re in. Maybe that’s where we grow and learn and become better people.
Mothering is hard and I love it. For me, it’s an all consuming relationship that I find hard to tear myself away from. I know this might not be the healthiest for me or the other relationships in my life, but it’s all I know how to do right now.
So excuse me to the other people in my life who are not tiny humans. I imagine I will have the capacity to get back to you soon. To have a conversation that doesn’t involve sleep schedules, toddler tantrums or whatever challenge comes next in this journey. To spend time with those other relationships that matter to me. To cultivate new ones. To spend an evening with my husband not consumed with toddler and baby schedules. At least I hope I will get there.
Mothering is hard work but it’s work I’m grateful I have been blessed with. I don’t know if I’m doing it well but I just know I’m doing the best that I can.
Part of me just wants to freeze time right now and keep my sweet family just the way it is. And the other part is so excited for what is to come and where our family is heading.
So grateful to have these amazing photos to help me remember where we are right now. In the beautiful and crazy and everything in between. Where it’s just the 3 of us and we have our own unique family rhythms and it’s all kinds of perfect (even when it’s hard). To savor these last few weeks as we are and as we are preparing to welcome another little one into our story.
With new baby coming soon I’m getting all kinds of sentimental (and anxious)…
As I’ve mentioned before I was a complete mess the first few months (Ok year. Ok more) after Jackson was born. Take a Type A person, mix in some hormones, and you’ve got a recipe for an anxious mess of a mom.
I still think I have a little but of PTSD and some nights I close my eyes at night and thinking that I hear crying but I’ve managed to get to a place where I’m more relaxed most of the time. I will always be a little more concerned about his sleep, illness, and if I’m spending enough time with him than maybe other mom’s and I’m ok with that.
But as I prepare for the next kiddo to arrive in a few short months, there are a few things that I will try to do differently the next time around.
- Relax more on his sleep – I STRESSED and over stressed about Jack’s sleep (still do sometimes). Was he getting enough (that’s when the brain develops, right); is he getting too much (don’t want him not to develop by sleeping too much); Am I teaching him how to sleep on his own or enabling him to need me to put him to sleep? will he ever nap longer than 20 minutes not in a swing or in my chest? I mean, I read books from just about every sleep speciality, tried every tool I could, and drove myself batty for most of his first year. And you know what, he sleeps great. He eventually ‘got it’ and falls asleep on his own, sleeps well most of the time and has developed quite nicely (despite not napping for the first few months of his life). So I’ll try to relax this time and understand that they’ll sleep when they sleep and ultimately will get enough and be fine ( but that doesn’t mean I won’t try and help him along with the process. I mean I’m still Type A, HA!)
- Ask for more help – I need to realize that I’m don’t need to be the only one taking care of him. That it’s ok if others help out and that doesn’t mean I’m being less of a mom or not doing my job. And I’ll also ask for help with things that I can’t get to because I’m busy holding a baby who won’t sleep.. 😉
- Give myself more grace when it comes to nursing – I was very fortunate in that nursing came relatively easy for me the first time. I appreciated being able to nurse my baby and give him all the nutrients and bonding that I could. But, like most things in parenting, I put too much pressure on myself to make it fully on breast milk until the 1st year.
I feel there is a definite emphasis culturally right now that nursing is the only and best way to feed your baby and you’re somehow less of a mother if you don’t. But this is so not true and there are many wonderful women who give their baby all they have but for whatever reason are not able to nurse, or to nurse as long as they want.
I was lucky that I was able to nurse my son fully for 10 months and then only had to supplement a little after that, but I hope to stress less the next time around if I end up having to supplement.
- Find more friends! I have been so focused on being a good mom, and feeling guilty for daycare and needing to balance that by spending all my time with Jack, that I lost touch with mom activities outside of the home for far too long. A year ago I joined an online fitness accountability group and loved the community it brought. Then in January I decided to become a coach on my own and it has changed my life. I’m still at home with my son most of the time but I’m able to connect with beautiful and talented women busy loving on their families and trying to help change people’s lives. Recently I also joined a MOPS group and get to fill my friend void in a whole new way. I realize that this is a season of littles and my job is to help raise them, but I also realize that I’m not able to give that my all if I’m not giving to myself first!
- Realize I’m doing the best I can and that he’s going to be ok and to maybe even enjoy the process a little more (even if he’s not a perfect napper, sleeps through the night by 3 months, eats foods in the correct order, doesn’t spend every waking moment with mommy, falls and hits his head several times a day, he has to go to daycare, uses a pacifier until he’s 5 or anything in between.
Celebrating the little (big) victories on my Beachbody payday today.
I never thought I’d want to be a stay-at-home mom, but after having my son I’ve struggled with the the fact that I was away from my son so much. I love where I work (and we need the income based on where we live) but I’m constantly feeling pulled towards being home with my boy and being overwhelmed by juggling all my priorities in the time I’m given. Since going back to work I’ve craved more time/space to to just enjoy being with my son and husband.
Last year I was given the gift of flexing my hours to get every other Friday off but I was still working a lot and still craving more space. So this year, with the looming prospect of two babies and changing work/daycare pickup schedules, I knew something needed to change.
So I’m super excited and blessed that this week marks my official time with a reduced schedule allowing me to be home EVERY Friday with my son! I’m lucky that I have a supportive team and supervisor that allowed me to do this, and even more blessed by my coaching job that is making this financially possible for us.
The Bacon’s have a short term plan and then bigger longer term plans. We know where we want to be in 10 years and are working towards that goal. Working out the details is the fun part and trusting that God is leading us in the direction of our larger family goals.
Think, where do I want to be in 20 years. What’s the person I want to be? and then do the things you need to do to get yourself there.
Have dreams. Set goals. and then make them happen!
Most summers for the past MANY summers my husband’s family has attended church camp up in Tahoe for the week. I’ve loved getting to partake in this tradition all but one of the summers since we’ve been married.
We went a few weeks ago and lets just say….Jack was BORN for Tahoe (or as it sounds like he’s saying “Taco”). Seriously, put this kid in the dirt, outside, with sticks, getting dirty, in the water, running around after the big kids, riding bikes and moving wood from a wood pile and you’ve just about made all of his little boy dreams come true!
While traveling with a toddler, and camping at that, isn’t exactly relaxing we had an amazing time (and ok ok we didn’t event technically camp. We slept in a house and just hung out at the campsite or lake all day and it was still dirty and exhausting and a blast)
Never in my younger self dreams did I imagine myself a big fan of camping but I actually really enjoy it and can’t wait to sleep at the campsite again (in many years still because I’m not doing it with anyone under at least 3!)
If you had asked me at 23 if I would love being a a. Mom b. mom to one, soon-to-be two BOYS c. who loved to go camping and let her son run around dirty and free …… I would have said you were crazy!!! Funny how God knows exactly what you need, even when you don’t! 🙂
No, just kidding! But for a couple minutes this morning we thought we were. No joke. We went to the Dr for our 16 week check up and the machine was playing tricks on us! It must have had a mirror image issue because when the Dr. switched to a different machine there was only one happy growing baby. But…there’s still a tiny part of me that thinks “What If?” What if there are two little babies in there?!? Stranger things have happened I know, and it would be a huge blessing, but not sure this anxious mama could handle that!!
We’ll find out for sure in 4 weeks when we have our big ultrasound.
But in other news, we’re having a BOY!! We found out a couple of weeks ago but haven’t shared it broadly yet. While the thought of having a sweet little girl is tempting I’m just so excited that our sweet little toddler is going to have a baby brother to run around in the dirt with!
Heaven help me with the chaos and mess and noise that these two boys are going to create for this introverted mama, but I’m going to just love it. 🙂 I’ve been working on telling myself to mellow and relax (Ryan even commented this weekend how easy going I was – that’s a first! HA!) and I’m sure God is giving me two wild little boys to really drive this point home for me. I’m not in control.
My mama heart is just so full right now seeing all that God has blessed me with. A healthy amazing little boy and another (or two) on the way!
Oh my! How quickly the years have passed (and how slooooowwwwllyy some days had passed too!) Looking back now it seems like we blinked and the tiny, sleepy baby became a talking, running, ball full of big emotions and lots of love!! I know everyone comments on how fast it goes but you don’t really realize it until you go through it.
Our sweet boy is 31 lbs and 80% for his height, weight and head size!! He’s talking in full sentences and all the time. His favorite phrases right now are, “what’s mommy (or person he’s with) doing?” “What’s that noise?” ; “What’s this kind?”
He’s obsessed with lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, all things tools and cleaning and ‘monkey george’ books. He’s a sweet heart and still mostly a great eater but we can see snippets of his ‘toddlerness’ coming through. He’s showing big emotions and knows what he wants and likes to test his boundaries. (and his testing mom and dad’s patience as well).
We are excited that Jackson gets to be a big brother in about 6 months and know he’s going to be such a great one!! We are certainly blessed with this sweet and fun spirit and while he keeps us on our toes we wouldn’t change a single second of it!