Motherhood and You

Motherhood is all consuming, a never-ending cycle of care, but don’t let it consume you. Don’t simply become “mom”, don’t lose yourself, who you are, in caring for your children. Don’t cling to them as they start to grow up and grow away. Being a mom may be the most important hat you wear, or title you receive, (however you want to think of that), but it is not solely who/what you are.

All too often, starting almost immediately after birth, we become consumed by being a mom. By taking care of a little human being that depends solely on us for EVERYTHING (daunting, so daunting), by trying to be everything for this little being, and all too often we lose who we are in the process. We become so wrapped up in that “mom” role that we don’t take care of ourselves (a post for another day), we don’t take care of our significant other, we don’t take care of our friendships.

These things start to fall to the wayside, and it isn’t until we are a couple years in (or longer for some) that we realize that we don’t know who we are anymore. We have become a mom, the greatest blessing of all, but we’ve lost who we are in the process.

This is a normal thing that just about everyone experiences to varying levels. That isn’t to say that we can’t get back to who we are, or avoid this entirely, I’m just saying that this is a normal thing to go through. In fact, even the most prepared parents (the ones who swear that parenthood won’t change them) go through a level of this. It’s a natural instinct when we have a child that our world changes to revolve around this baby and it’s a very sweet time in our lives (postpartum depression/anxiety/and other issues aside). That doesn’t mean that it lasts forever. Our children will grow, they will mature, they will become independent and need us as parents less and less. That change is why it is important not to lose who you are when you become a parent.

How do we handle this? How do we allow motherhood/parenthood to take over our lives, and still maintain who we are?

Little things. What do you like to do in your free time? What did you like to do before you became a parent to relax?

Did you like to exercise? Find a gym that has childcare. Have your significant other take over the parenting duties for a few hours while you hit up a workout.

Did you like to read, write, watch TV, YouTube, etc.? Great! Naptime and after Bedtime are great opportunities to do these! (In fact, I squeeze a lot of my reading time during naptime and after the kids go to bed).

Did you like to shop or explore new areas? Perfect, you can do that with baby OR if you want baby free time, have your significant other or family watch the baby while you get a little break.

The main takeaway from this is not to have time away from your child, although that is needed too, but to find time within your day to do what works for YOU. What makes YOU happy. So much of motherhood is spent tending to others (and not just your own children, being a mom turns you into everyone’s mom) and it is easy to lose ourselves in that. So so easy to be swept away taking care of everyone and everything else.

If that is what fills you up and makes you happy, perfect! Do more of that. BUT don’t forget to take a little breath for yourself.

Big things. Find time for you and your significant other to have a little time together at the very least once a month. Take care of that relationship or it will fall to the wayside. Check in with each other throughout the day, send that sweet little text. Have a moment while the baby is napping. Hire a babysitter when baby is a little older to get much needed date nights in (no matter what those actually look like).

Everyone says that one day your children will go up and leave and then what will be left is you and your significant other. This is true, but what is more important is the example that you are setting for your children. From the get-go, our children learn from us. They see what a stable relationship and family looks like from us, so water your own marriage and your children will see how to water their own (when that time comes).

Make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page as situations arise so that you can be a cohesive unit. Parenthood can help your marriage thrive and grow into new heights, or it can fall to the wayside. More than likely it will ebb and flow between both (again, completely natural), but the continual watering will help everything stay on a balance to continue to go towards success and happiness.

Ultimately, motherhood is a phase of life. For those of us who are mom’s (in any form) it is an all-encompassing blessing. It never ends and takes a lot of who we are. BUT it doesn’t have to be solely who we are. We were somebody before we were “mom” and while being mom takes precedence, don’t say goodbye to who you are. She is still there, and she should be able to shine as well.

Round the Kettle Ep 3: The Real Deal

I feel like whenever we have a coffee with friends, we always start with “So, how’ve you been?”  Seems like a good enough place to start these new posts, right?

So, how’ve we been?

***There is a reciprocal conversing bit to these posts, so tell me in the comments below how you’ve been and we can have a conversation!***

I’m sitting here, steeping a cup of a loose-leaf tea blend that I’ve really been enjoying lately called Fireside Plum, listening to a band that I’ve recently discovered called Imaginary Future. I really like their music and the duets they do with Kina Grannis. I would describe the music as alternative/acoustic/folk/soft love ballads (yep, it really took that many genres to narrow it down). The boys are tiring themselves out with loads of wrestling and playing, I can hear the giggles coming from our living room as I type. In fact, I should probably go check on them as giggles are more often than not a sign of something in the trouble realm…

Wednesday was Halloween. Quite the event for the kids and my least favorite holiday. I like the excitement that the kids experience and watching that, so that’s the good thing about it. This year the boys were Gecko from PJ Masks (if you’re a mom, you know) and The Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. We did end up going trick or treating this year, even though the kids are still a little too young to understand the idea (Colton is kind of on the cusp though). What were you or your children for Halloween this year? Do you do trick or treating or a party for Halloween?

Saturday, we decided to venture “into the city” and hit up the Zoo. The Zoo is always a big hit with our boys (and well really with anyone) and we definitely got quite the show from the animals. It’s really fun to watch the boys get excited over seeing the animals and we just enjoyed having a nice family outing. We get the luck of being able to attend The National Zoo off of a really pretty stretch of road (or at least the scenic route to the zoo is really pretty, going through the city is a different story…) and this was probably our last trip. One of our favorite bits about this particular zoo is the Orangutan Habitat. IMG_7742They have a “rope course” across the zoo where they can travel up in the air from one enclosure to another. Similar to how they would in the wild. It has got to be one of the coolest things to watch. When was the last time you went to your local zoo? Do they have a local attraction that you really love?

In terms of us and life, we are in an endless holding circle right now it seems. There are things that need to be done for our move, planned for, but we can’t as it’s either too early (seems crazy coming up on 3ish months) or we are waiting for other companies/people. It creates its own hectic/stress feeling and has to be the worst period of time when it comes to moving. We are both just ready to be getting to the moving and traveling bit (although I’m sure when we get to that part with two young active children, we are going to wish we were at the next part).

So, to combat that endless circle feeling, we’ve been trying to get out. Get out of our house, get into nature, different activities, go adventuring. Enjoy the parks and wildlife that we have around us. We’ve got a great park at the end of our street, a backyard area that is not only beautiful, but teaming with all sorts of creatures, and just generally in a nice area for the kids.

***Also, both boys are now at an age where adventuring out without a full diaper bag, or a huge bulky stroller is totally a possibility. It’s become a much less daunting chore to get both boys ready, fed, and out the door and we aren’t in such a rush to get back to the house, to meals, to naps. It’s made a huge difference to our days and our activities. So, if you are a mom who is maybe in the 2 under 2, or just have a really young child, it will get better. That stage isn’t very long and leaving the house will feel much easier soon!***

The great thing about having young kids is they are experiencing life for the first time, this means a simple walk in the park, which works wonders for me, captivates their attention and fascinates them! The colors have been beautiful, and it’s not been too chilly.

IMG_4692Fun fact: September through December is my all-time favorite time of year. We get the beauty of the leaves turning and falling, the crisp coolness of the early morning, gorgeous sunrises poking through the trees, hitting all of the vibrant colored leaves. Then everything slowly turns chillier, barer, until that first magical snow fall. It’s just such a wonderful and magical time of year. I’ve come to realize that Autumn just feels like my soul has been embodied by everything around me.

So, tell me, how’ve you been? I’m not really sure how these Round the Kettle posts are going to shake out (they definitely won’t always be this long or this “family update-y”), I’m sure they will take their own format as we go on.