When Motherhood Isn’t Enough

God gave those little children to you, Mama -- to you.
No one else can mother them like you can.
You may have your work cut out for you, 
but you're the one cut out to accomplish it.

-Erin Odom

You have beautiful babies at home, and they are everything. You might have even fought to have them, like I did, enduring month after month of painful treatments, side effects from fertility meds, and every heartbreak of a negative pregnancy test. 

But now you finally have your baby, and it has been such a beautiful experience watching her grow. Watching his personalities develop, and her curiosities expand, has been awe-inspiring. Guess what? 

It's ok to want more. 

I hid my depression for a long time. I didn't know what caused it, I didn't know how to fix it, and I thought one day it would magically disappear. Not only did it not go away, but it affected my job as a wife, mother, and friend. I lost myself in motherhood. My entire life consisted of taking care of babies and running a household. Oh, and a day job - well, actually an evening job, which made for a LONG day.

I was exhausted and unfulfilled, and I felt so ashamed. 

I fought to have my kids. We went through 2 years of infertility, a miscarriage, and finally welcomed our sweet Annie. I thought all my other needs would go away. I thought all I needed was her... just to be her mom. I thought it would be easy... well, not easy, but I took care of babies for a living for God's sake!! Taking care of one baby should've been a cinch, right? WRONG!!

I was not prepared to be a Mom.

Sure, I knew how to take care of her, but I wasn't ready for how much she needed me, and I really wasn't ready for how much I was giving up. I'm not talking about Girl's Night Out, or impromptu trips to Vegas... going out really didn't interest me. The complete loss of "Me Time" was so hard. Sitting quietly and crocheting a blanket for a friend, running errands without having to rush back to breastfeed, taking a shower before 5pm...

I didn't talk to anyone about how much I was struggling. 

I was terrified of being judged, and being labeled a bad mother. That fear crippled me, and deep down I really thought I was a bad mother for not sacrificing everything for Ann, for wanting time away from her, and for not being happy. 

I didn't realize these feelings were all normal pains of motherhood...  I wasn't alone.

When was the last time you sat down with a close friend and talked honestly about motherhood? I'm not talking about joking about how your kid pooped in the tub. I'm talking about being really honest about how you're coping and sharing your deepest thoughts (the ones you're terrified to say out loud). 

If it's been awhile since you had a heart-to-heart with a friend, schedule a coffee date now! Without your kids in tow, of course. Side note: A close friend will listen, but a close friend with kids can truly relate. You two are sisters in arms, battling the same fears and you can learn so much from each other. The main lesson?

You are not alone so don't suffer in silence!

Most moms are plagued with the same guilt and shame, and yet they are still awesome moms. You can have deep fears, fight to keep up with your kid's demands, and still be a great mom. The key is to be honest about how you're feeling, share them, and be gentle with yourself above all else. Self-deprecating thoughts have no place here! They only foster more negativity, and no forward movement!

So where do we go from here? 

Now that you know nearly every parents experiences overwhelm, how are you going to lessen these feelings (because, let's be honest, they'll never go away)? How do you create more happiness in your life? The answers lies in the blog posts to come. Every couple weeks I will give you tools to help combat parenthood stress and find what YOU want from your life. I will share my own very honest stories, and what has helped me get through some difficult times.  I will also provide you with opportunities to truly bond with your kids (and partner).  I'm a mini Martha Stewart at heart, with a love of quilting, crafting, and cooking, and I will share how all of my projects help me bond with my girls. If crafting isn't your style, let's find something else you love that you can share with your family. 

Are you a preemie parent?

I've got you covered!  I'm a NICU nurse with over 10 years of experience and I've got tons of advice!  I've worked with hundreds of family and would love to add you to that list! I run an online shop, and most of my products are tweaked so they will work for any baby... whether they are in or out of the NICU.  We have adorable custom crib bedding that is completely adjustable! These fitted sheets fit your crib mattress at home, and any shape/size mattress in the NICU. Our NICU journals just launched last month and they are my pride a joy!! I hope you'll visit our shop and take a look around!

My goal is to be your safe place.

I want you to stop comparing yourself to unrealistic parenting "role models"... they all lose it behind closed doors, stop judging yourself, and enjoy being a wife and mother. There is so much joy to be had and I want to help you find it. Every couple weeks I want you to grab a cup of coffee (or tea!), visit me here, and chat. Don't censor yourself, don't worry what other people will think about what you say, just tell me what's going on.

If you don't want to miss a thing, sign up for our newsletter on the sidebar!

I'll send you a short and sweet note when the new blog post is up. You may get a couple more here and there when I have something special to tell you, or if I feel like I need to reach out and offer a little love and encouragement. When you read an email from me I want you to feel inspired to find joy in her life, motivated to bond with her family, and supported by me and the community we build here. 

Here's your chance! Comment below and tell me what you're struggling with? How do you cope? Tell me your biggest challenge, and your greatest triumph. If you don't feel comfortable sharing in the comment section, email me.

Sending you lots of love, and a nap.