Motherhood: What I Know Is True

Motherhood is full of overwhelming love, frustration, pride, and exhaustion! It’s crazy, magical, hard, humbling, and yet it is still truly a privilege!!

December of 2008 I became a mom when my son Braxton was born, and 2 years later our family became complete when we welcomed our daughter Kenley. Raising them to be good people is my most important job! I fail at this “parenting thing” daily, but I’ve learned a lot over the last twelve Mother’s Days and I’m still learning. Let me share with you what I know is true!

    

PERFECTION ISN’T REAL. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR YOUR WORRY CHASING IT!

I’m dating myself here, but Pinterest and social media were NOT around when I was a kid. Our moms put out some paper plates, hats, and a store-bought cake and called it a party! And we were blissfully content!! Now 1st birthdays can be as elaborate as a wedding, and the toddler won’t even remember it! Now no judgement if that’s your thing, but if it’s not give yourself some grace because your kids don’t care. They just want your attention and some oddly colored sugar creation.

That being said, I do get the desire to be over the top. For me it may not be birthday parties, but homemade costumes are my thing! As a new mom I worked for days on costumes for my kids when they could care less, but I knew it was more for me! I mean look at those pictures! 🥰 Be honest with yourself, if you are doing something you don’t enjoy because someone else says you should, LET IT GO! Parenthood is hard enough without trying to bend to someone else’s impossible standards.

  

ASK FOR HELP!

You are not weak if you can’t do it all - in fact you shouldn’t do it all!! I have had amazing, strong, female role models: my mom, my grandmothers, my mother-in-law, and my friends who I can turn to for advice or just to vent. Motherhood is FREAKING HARD!! Admitting that doesn’t make you weak, it makes you HUMAN! Without these women to lean on I’m sure I wouldn’t have made it this far.

I love my kids.... but dang we all need a timeout - mom included - sometimes so everyone makes it to the next day! I’m joking…sort of… 🥴

    

YOU CAN’T POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP!

I don’t know of any mom who says that they don’t dream of at least some time away from “their perfect little angels”. And right now in the midst of quarantine as I write this, that has never been more true! For some reason, many moms feel guilt about even taking that time for themselves. It can be as simple as a long, uninterrupted bath, or as luxurious as a girl’s trip far away where spas and wine are the only thing on your to-do list.

I have NEVER felt bad about taking time away; I look forward to date nights with my husband and trips without the kids. It’s good for everyone! I remember the first trip I took after what felt like years of diapers and potty training and I got to the airport and texted my friend, “The only butt I have to wipe this weekend is my own and I’ve never been more excited!” 🤣 Crass, but true!!! Don’t get me wrong, traveling with my kids, especially now at 9 and 11, is so fun! I love experiencing new places through their eyes!! But I need time away to fill my cup too, so I can pour back into them. Give up the guilt, you deserve a break!

  

DREAMS OR MOTHERHOOD - IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EITHER/OR!

Parenthood is an incredible gift and one I don’t ever take lightly, because I know not everyone has the option to experience it, or they have walked a much harder road to get there. While it is my most precious role, I was a person with likes and hobbies before I became a mom. I think it’s a gift to my kids and totally ok to show them what it looks like to still have and work towards personal dreams and goals. Someday they will leave our home, and if we have done a good job they will be adults themselves with dreams of their own! Do I want them to live only for their kids?? Or instead show them love and nurture in them confidence and independence daily by their example. I’ll always pick the latter!

My kids see daily what it looks like to work hard, chase dreams, and build a business. I’ve heard friends say, “I’d love to do .... (fill in the blank), but I have kids.” Just like with any thing you are teaching for there are sacrifices, but I think you can work towards anything, even as a mom. Timelines and goals may need to be adjusted because caring for kids is your number one priority, but I built a successful business with little kids at home and no help. I found pockets of time before the kids got up each morning and after they went to bed at night. I followed a passion and filled my cup creatively, and that made me more fulfilled and better able to pour back into my family.

Your dreams don’t have to die! They can pivot and flourish if you are willing to find a little time for YOU!

    

THEY ARE WATCHING… always watching, listening, and repeating!

It’s fun to see our kids experience our new home area, adventuring along the water on a school night just because, or running for late night ice cream for no reason. Those are the things they remember, not the elaborate things we stress about!! They pick up on tension when I’m stressed, and they relax when I’m carefree. It’s a good reminder to not sweat the small stuff. I can remember my daughter being 3 in the back seat frustrated on a long car ride with her brother bugging her and telling him in her best squeaky, stern mom voice, “If you do that one more time to me I’m gonna have mom pull this car over!” It took everything in me not to bust out laughing! I learned a valuable lesson that day… they are always watching and listening! 🤣

Years later I’m still being taught tough, humbling lessons on a daily basis as my kids grow and enter new stages. But I don’t take myself too seriously and truly love this crazy, chaotic, love and laughter filled mom life.

    

So for Mother’s Day #12, here are a few of my lessons to live by:

- Hide the good candy and ice cream from your kids... Moms need a secret stash for sanity!

- Make them eat the peas on their plates but it’s ok to throw yours away when they aren’t looking 😉 I’m certain I don’t like them, they still need to figure it out!

- It’s mandatory for everyone’s wellbeing for you to have YOU time! I told my kids from a young age that it was a federal law that moms were off-duty at 8pm and I’d get a ticket, so they had to go to bed... It worked!

We are all PERFECTLY IMPERFECT and our kids love us just the same. ❤

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, step-moms, mom figures, and friends who make life that much more special!! Share your favorite advice that you’ve been given as a mom, or your best advice for others to navigate this wild ride that is motherhood. 🥰

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