It’s 7:30 pm, and as I currently type this, everyone is in bed. The whole house is quiet, the dishwasher is humming, lights are turned off, dogs fed, toys put away, but if you told me it was midnight, I would believe you. If you walked into our house right now, you would feel peace and calm. If you walked in eight hours prior, not so much. Our days start early, and my body, my back, and my head have never felt more tired. That #momlife is no joke. No book or schooling can quite prepare you for the journey that is motherhood. You feel it all. This tiny person who grew so snugly in your womb is now such a big piece of your heart you can’t imagine life without them. But there are the growing pains, the messes, the learning, the teething, the constant mama’s. It is one giant beautiful mess.
We are about to jump back at the beginning, and I am 100% scared to death. I said to John just last night, “I am not ready.” But ready or not, here we come!
Pregnancy is complicated. There are a lot of really gross and annoying things that happen. Anyone else who relates to that? The constant comments, the stories, the how far are you the comparisons. I do not love that part of pregnancy. Watching my baby move in my belly, feeling his little hiccups, seeing him at our ultrasounds, all of that I adore.
How grateful do I feel to be celebrating this Thanksgiving with our little man running around and the little guy who is kicking fiercely in my belly? Beyond! We found out we were pregnant with Leo Thanksgiving 2017; I still remember that morning, we were hosting John’s family that year. Keeping it a secret was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do! And holy cow, two years later, we are back at it and about to welcome another sweet baby boy. Time is moving so fast around here.
I will be very transparent in saying that I find pregnancy to be challenging. This pregnancy is identical to my one with Leo, but it is wildly different regarding the time dedicated to reading and savoring the little changes each week! If I didn’t have an app, I would have already lost all track of time!
I am also chasing a 15-month-old around while eight months pregnant, that is no joke! I see mamas who have five and six children, and I know God has a very special Texas-sized tiara just waiting for them! I do not know how they do it! There are days when I feel like I am breaking, my body, my mind, the lists, the chores, the emails, the blog posts running in my mind. All the things that I need to do, and I’m not as I sit on the floor and play blocks or read the same sweet book for the sixth time in a row!
But that is the definition of being a mom. You pour everything into this role. It is messy, beautiful, and when you hear that mama for the first time, it is overwhelming. When you walk in the room, and their little faces light up, or they run to you with arms wide-open, everything else in the world just magically melts away. The lists, the vacuuming, laundry, phone calls, emails, it all fades into the background.
If I could tell all the new mamas, one thing it would be to take it slow. All of a sudden, you go from what the hell did we do? To begging time to slow down. And there are the hard hellish days and the fabulous ones too. It is a delicate balance. I laid in bed last night with a heavy heart and feeling extremely anxious.
Anxious because deep down, I wish I didn’t know all that lies ahead, the late-night feedings, middle of the night pumping sessions, worry, sleeplessness, all the spit-up, and the recovery. But I also know that it all happens in a flash. I was looking at photos of Leo from Thanksgiving last year, and he was just three months old. Trust me; moms savor the time the great moments and the hard ones too!
My word for 2019 is Trust. Oh, how that word has been on my tongue the past 330 days. I repeat it out loud constantly, in the shower, while driving to doctor’s appointments, while trying to sleep with a pregnant racing brain. Pregnancy and being a mom require so much trust in yourself, in your partner, in God. I am so grateful that word has rung true for me day after day.
I recently asked what topics you would like to see the most on the blog, and I had a repeat pattern appear “How to be a healthy & happy stay at home, mom.” I so wish I had the magic answers for you because damn it is not easy. Some days I feel overwhelmed, and I stand in the shower and just let the water wash over me and tell myself it is ok, you can do it. Every single mom feels this way.
Over time these are small things that I have found helpful:
- Get out of the house at least once a day. This task is big for me. A change of scenery, fresh air, and it takes time away from the day. More than anything, it makes you feel alive. I will grab Leo and run to do something super small like drive to the bank or grab a Starbucks. Just get out!
- Try to schedule a little me time if it is after your husband gets home from work or on the weekends. Just doing something for you makes a world of difference. And yes, running to the grocery store alone totally counts! So does picking up dinner, mailing a package, catching up with a friend. It does not need to be a significant event. Heck, even just going to another room to clear your mind or watching Bravo for thirty minutes makes you feel better!
- Get dressed. I find when wearing real clothes, even my maternity jeans and a tee, I can manage the way I feel so much better. Pajamas make me feel like I am a mess!
- Put on makeup and brush your hair! I have found that it makes a big difference in my day when I feel presentable! It also makes it easier to get out and get going!
- Take it slow. Remember, you are one person. I am a go-getter, list-maker, Enneagram 1, and I have to remind myself when Monday morning rolls around, it all cannot get done. Take it one day at a time. Ask my husband this is my biggest challenge in life as a wife, daughter, and now a mother!
- Ask for help. I struggle with this one. Boy, do I wish I could do it all and do it all on my own! I am particular, and I like being independent, and more than anything, I like things done the way I like them done. (Okay yes to the Enneagram 1 again). I heard about the dreaded mom guilt before having a baby, but it is a genuine feeling. I have to say not breastfeeding anymore, and being able to leave knowing Leo is ok has been huge for me. He needs the separation, and I need to know everything won’t fall apart without me! Which it won’t!
- Remember, you are not alone. I think we get in our heads a lot of the time, and knowing that others are out there kicking butt and juggling it all makes us compare ourselves and feel down. Don’t do it. Some days scrolling on Instagram or seeing others’ success sends me in a downward spiral, and I have to tell myself I am doing all that I can with the resources I have. Try to remember reality is not all that you see on social media. We all have different circumstances. I happen to have a very involved husband who gives me so much support, and we currently watch Leo 100% of the time. My mom has also been an enormous help and flies to Minnesota whenever she can to help us! I know we are going to need even more support when number two arrives!
- Set realistic goals that you can easily crush! I made one small change in how I manage my time with the blog, and it has helped how I see my workload and how I manage everything I can do as a party of one. I do not have a manager, full-time assistant, nanny, photographer; I try to juggle it all, and some days, all those balls come crashing down around me. That is okay. Someone once said to me, oh, so you do the blog, and you watch Leo; do you do anything else? I think my mouth fell open, but they do not know what that path looks like, they are walking theirs! Just do what you can and forget what others think because it doesn’t matter!
Most of all, remember, there are hard days, days when the house looks like a bomb went off, days when I can feel my neck and shoulders so tense that I could cry. The silver lining, there are more of the sweet and beautiful moments than anything else. Moments that are just mine to treasure and savor. Take a time out when you need it and know that asking for help or even just calling a mom friend to talk is good for the mind and the soul.
These days will be fleeting, and when I watch him walk across the stage at his high school graduation or marry his wife, there are so many tiny moments I want to look back on and remember. A brief time when it was just us, and I will never regret having those stored up for a lifetime.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the gift of being a mom, the joy of having a second baby on the way, my husband, who is my confidant, best friend, and makes our world a much better place, our home, and our families. I am blown away daily by all the support that has been shown by so many of you. Support through the blog, through messages or emails and texts. Trust me when I say none of it is wasted on me. I am grateful for all of it. 2019 has been quite the ride, and I can only imagine what is in store for 2020!
IMAGES // TIPPY JORDAN