In honor of Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, I thought it would be an appropriate time to write an honest post about motherhood for me, in this moment of life. When I first started this blog, this was something I thought I would do a lot more of on here. Because I have always enjoyed writing and journaling when life has handed me difficult moments. It helps clear my head to sort my thoughts out on paper. And I personally enjoy reading other mama’s ‘real’ posts on blogs or social media. What we moms are doing is tough, but sharing our struggle connects us when we can relate to what we read and reminds us that we really are all in it together.
This post is something I have had in the back of my mind for a while now. But I have struggled to put into words my thoughts and feelings surrounding it. So bear with me here as I sort it out and maybe ramble for a bit.
If you have been following along with me for a while, you know that my family and I moved to Arizona from Southern California in December. Now nearly five months later, I am still adjusting to our new life here. It was just so much change at once. I went from working full time to full time mom, the city to suburbia, oh and then we found out we were pregnant with baby number three (you can read that story here).
Our life in California was crazy. Both my husband and I were working full-time, high-demand jobs. Although my work was admittedly very understanding of my time after I had baby number two, I still never felt like I was doing anything in my life good enough. I wasn’t there enough for my team at work, I wan’t there enough for my kids at home, I didn’t have time to keep up the exercise routine I once treasured, and my poor husband definitely got the short end of the stick with whatever was left of me after all that. My son was in preschool, my daughter at a separate daycare. We lived in the city where the traffic never stops. My roughly 10 mile commute home with 2 stops to pick up both kids took on average an hour every day. My husband’s commute was even worse. Our house was always a mess. We never felt like we had enough money or time to do the things we wanted to do anymore. We thought, there has to be a better way.
Neither my husband or I grew up in the big city. We both actually grew up in the same small town in Colorado. From a very early age I can remember feeling the pull towards big city living. My husband never had that same pull, but lucky for me he was willing to go along for the ride with me for quite a while. I have to say, despite all the crazy that was our life in the city, if it were up to me and me alone, I probably never would have left. But of course that is not our reality as a soon-to-be family of five.
I tell everyone who asks that we moved here for my husband’s work. Not that that isn’t true, but all of the above factors weighed heavily on our decision as well. There have been many times over the years when my husband and I have considered moving, to many different places, even before kids and at countless other times since starting our family. But all those times it just didn’t really make sense.
We finally just decided to take the leap with this latest job opportunity my husband had. Because the career I had built for myself was so specialized within my field, I knew wherever we went (outside of another, bigger city) I would not be able to find a comparable position. So the plan was always that if/when we moved, I would stay home with the kids. Not that I always dreamed about being a stay at home mom, because I didn’t (you can read more about my musings on that here). Still, I don’t know why, but I had visions of this idyllic life we had always dreamed about just falling into my lap once we got here. Maybe because everyone made it seem like it would. I could finally invest more time in this blog! I would have more time with my kids! We would do crafts together and laugh and play for endless hours! We could finally buy a house of our own to raise our family in! I could do all the cleaning and chores around the house during the week so that our evenings and weekends would be fun again!
Well, it hasn’t really worked out that way. The reality is that although we cut our expenses in half, we also cut our income in half. The reality is that my kids take up all of my energy all day long (good and bad) so I hardly have time to do anything other than make sure they are fed and relatively clean and presentable (if we are leaving the house). I can run some errands or do some chores, but at the end of the day, the house is always still a mess. Oh and it’s actually an apartment – that we rent. That house we are going to buy is still looming out in the realm of ‘some day.’ I have the same number of hours to devote to this blog as I did before, and they usually fall in the late evenings, when I can muster up enough energy to start up my computer. So in short, life isn’t any easier. It’s just different.
I don’t mean to complain, I’m just trying to keep it real. I know how lucky our family is to have all that we have. And I have always had the utmost respect for stay-at-home moms, even before I became one. I guess one thing this experience so far has taught me is that no matter how we do it, motherhood is not for the weak or faint of heart. It is hard stuff! It is all those things you always heard about but never really understood before you were a mother. Thankless. Exhausting. Relentless. But somehow still so rewarding.
I could go on about this topic, but I’ll save it for another future honest motherhood post. It’s a journey and I am continuously learning and growing as a person myself, and I hope I never stop. And even though I don’t run 5x a week and do yoga 3x a week like I once did, I am constantly working on myself and on finding my inner peace. My friend Stephanie of Modern Milk must have sensed this when she saw me the other day and she gave me this ‘namomste’ shirt. Such a beautiful and simple reminder to find peace in each of our motherhood journeys.
One final note about these pics. I didn’t take or share too many pictures of myself when I was pregnant with my first two because I am pretty self conscious and just prefer to be behind the scenes in most ways. But I think it is important to document these moments for my children so I am trying to be more brave. These are just a couple not-so-fancy shots we took with the camera self timer today.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there!