vent sesh: honest motherhood

January 15, 2014

Tried to Carry the Weight of the World...

It’s been a little while since the last Vent Sesh here, and with good reason: I’m now a mom of two (meet our boy). He’s such perfection. Yet, totally, talking honest….being a mom is hard. There’s no way around it.

I nearly hit publish on a Vent Sesh when our now nearly two-month old boy was just two weeks old called “overwhelmed.” The term overwhelmed felt nearly laughable; I was drowning and exhausted, just focusing on getting through each day.  I’d tell people he was doing amazing, we’re all doing amazing, when in fact, that was kind of a lie. I was nearly at a breaking point.

But, hindsight — and sleep! — has lead to clarity. Those early days are brutal for nearly everyone. I deleted that old draft post in exchange for this one. I’m really happy, particularly when I came to terms with what’s reasonable for me to accomplish now. The reality set in that I had been trying to still do it all, the same as before, when I wasn’t fairly factoring in the time, emotion and reality of taking care of our sweet little man. There’s absolutely no way to do it all, to do it the same, when you’re adding in something monumental like this where you want your extra moments to be with him. I want to spend the time cuddling with him at night, but that means whatever I was previously doing at that time (likely blogging) has to get sidelined. Something has to give.

During a particularly stressful day I heard the lyric, “I tried to carry the weight of the world, but I only have two hands,” (song) and it resonated on so many levels. This is me before our new guy, but even more so now. It’s impossible. I do only have two hands. I’m only one person, with so many hours in the day, and I can’t do it all. All moms are the same. I say this quote to myself with shocking frequency. I think not only can we get wrapped up in the insanity of our own lives, social media creates added challenges. From DIY and recipe insanity thanks to Pinterest to 700 of our closest sharing happy, smiling photos of their kiddies. It’s just not reality.

Still, being a mom can be difficult. Let’s be honest moms. It’s challenging, not often thankful, life altering and draining. It’s also intensely fulfilling, loving and a hell of a lot of fun. I look in awe at both my children every moment I get. During the holidays, I got to hang with my daughter more so than I had in long time, and despite a few stressful moments, we had the best time. We saw Frozen (twice) — and proceeded to sing it at the top of our lungs ever since. We went for lunch dates, to the park, for a manicure, to get her a big girl bike, and also simply cuddled on the couch reading books and watching movies. I am enamored at the girl she is becoming each day.

I’m also still adjusting to being a mom of two. There’s been highs and lows, for sure. I recognize I’m a bit of a selfish person. Ironically, I typically put others before myself in nearly every situation, and often how to remind myself to sometimes do what’s in my best interest. That said, I like my time with my husband, to make an impulse run to Target, to get a mani, to want to start a book or magazine, and definitely to work on my blog. It’s not bad selfish in my opinion; I’m someone who likes a little time, ok, and likes control over how the time will be spent.

I expected a change when our little guy came — we’d even chat about it here in great length since I typically work on TAGG once our daughter goes to sleep — but the change has been more dramatic than I envisioned. Part of it is that due to owning my own PR business by day is that I didn’t get maternity leave. I absolutely love what I do, and we have had such tremendous success lately that I’m really excited about, yet I’ve been ‘trying to carry the weight of the world,’ and realizing that weight is leaving me physically and mentally drained. I just want to go to sleep, or watch mindless reality TV. Some days, my level of coherent thoughts would certainly make for interesting content here!

I’m still learning how to get everything done I want to, and I’m sure I’ll always be working on that. In the interim, I’m trying to remove self-imposed guilt when I don’t post here and focusing on my top 2014 resolution, being present with those around me, particularly the family.  I’m soaking in our little guy’s emerging smiles, big blue eyes and the way he grabs my finger when I’m feeding him. And, I’m trying really hard to give myself some slack instead of giving myself my “bad mom syndrome” as we discussed here a year ago.

I just think a lot of moms, working or “not” (hell, I don’t know how I’d pull off being a stay-at-home mom; it’s the hardest job with the most demanding hours that never ends!), envision others with this perfect or better or easier life, and I promise you it’s not the case. Be it on social media, or here on the blog where I show you parts of my life I chose, it’s not the whole thing. If only you saw what I was wearing right now, how many times I got interrupted and my non-glamorous surroundings while this post got written…well, wow.

Thanks for listening! Being a mom is certainly an adventure. Hope this post doesn’t sound negative as being a mom is such a gift. I’d love to hear from you about your ups and downs, any tips you have, and anything else you’d like to share.

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  • http://www.pennypincherfashion.com/ Kimberly

    Aww, I feel for you girl – I don’t know how you manage to juggle all that you have and keep those balls in the air! You are right, being a mom is the hardest job – sometimes thankless, but always rewarding. Hang in there and give yourself a break…you are AMAZING! xoxox

    http://www.pennypincherfashion.com

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      OMG, it’s such a rewarding job! I love the fun and rewards that come from my day job but it really can’t compare to being a mama. I love it.

  • Melissa

    Thank you for being so open and candid. I remember feeling this way *only* after 1 child when I had to jump back into work 2 wks after a C-section and tried to muddle through life at full speed fitting everything in. I looked around thinking all these other moms had it so ‘together’ and I was such a mess. And then I realized we’re all just trying to push through and figure it all out, even those that make it all look easy!

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Hahah, you are so right! Everyone puts on a face (now so more with social) and we’re all crumpled in a mess at the end of the night hoping for a break, and maybe a glass of wine. :) I had the same challenges after one child, though at least I had 8 weeks to get back into it. It’s nice to know we’re not alone in these struggles!

  • Dianna

    You’re awesome. Whether you post once a day or once a month; in a mommy-chic outfit or in stained sweats. You put your heart into it all — blogging, entrepreneurship, motherhood — and that’s all that matters. So glad you’re settling in to your new normal & enjoying those precious times! xx

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, DIanna. Definitely a new normal… so true, and all you can do is your best. Would you like to see me in spit-up stained sweats?! :) Could be the new trend!

  • Abby

    I’m sorry, but I have to be a little harsh here. Kinda annoyed that you just got this huge blessing of another child and you’ve already found a reason to complain. You have your health, your physique, a nice husband, a nice house, a business, and two beautiful healthy kids. Roll with it, and keep your mouth shut! You’re amazingly lucky compared to a lot of people!!!

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      HI Melissa, Really appreciate you taking the time to comment as I’m so sorry to hear you understood my post this way. I’m eternally grateful for all of the good fortune in my life. I see it daily. The goal was to simply share that it’s not easy and it takes work, more than luck. I know a lot of women who feel this struggle too (based on conversations), and others without children that hear it’s all roses. I think it’s important as women that we honestly share all of it…. the ups, the downs. Four years ago I didn’t have my health, this second baby or a job. And, I didn’t even know if I’d walk, have a job or a baby. With sharing the ups of how fortunate I feel for how far I’ve come, I do think it’s important to share honest struggles that I’m facing… I’m human, and it’s impossible to all be positive.

      • Abby

        I do understand all of that…I truly do. But these are good struggles. Your earlier struggles weren’t. You got a second chance. Not everyone gets a second chance. Not everyone gives birth to healthy children…especially nowadays. Not everyone is able to adopt a healthy child…or even an infant. Most of those available now seem to have many special needs. Those things didn’t come from work…Anyway…I’m gonna let it go.

  • AvgGirlsGuide

    Ha, totally agree! And, it all comes together. These are feelings each of us has and put out there in the moment, at this time of our lives. We do the best we can.

  • Nora

    Everything you’re saying rings so true. As a first time mom I’m grappling with all this now. My son was in the NICU for three weeks and I told myself while he was there that once he was home I wouldn’t complain about any of the hardships of taking care of an infant. While it’s the most beautiful gift in the world it’s exhausting and feels a little isolating at times. I’ve been trying to get to Target for days now, even a little trip like that can be so rejuvenating.

  • littleblacksweats.com

    We added our third child to the family this past summer, and are just now seeing the light at the end of the no-sleep tunnel. We have a saying, “what happens after midnight, stays after midnight.” I am also de-selecting work and “play” that makes my life harder. While I love being a mother, and my children are a dream, motherhood has brought out the very worst in me at times. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts on motherhood. Sometimes we just need to let it out, so that we can move on… NOT be reminded that there is always someone worse off!

  • http://shabbychicandcheap.com/ Marissa

    Many hugs for you. Your boy is sweet and so is your daughter. Just take things one day at a time, there will be good and bad days but looks at those sweet faces. So worth it, right? :)

  • Lauren Lifeimagined

    I have felt exactly the same since adding our second child to the family last year. Helps to know I’m not alone in feelings of not having enough of me to go around. Thank you for the new mantra.
    Lifeimagined.org

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