My Adjustment Into Motherhood
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
I am taking a moment today to do a quick check-in on my mama mental health. Well not just my mama mental health but my whole being mental, physical, and spiritual health. Some days I feel really anxious. Overwhelmed. Stagnant. Being a mom 24/7 is tough work, mentally and physically. Some days I tell my husband I feel like I'm running marathons, like I am doing everything in a day yet getting nothing done. Do any other mamas out there feel like this? Our days are jam packed. Toddlers are busy! Making 3 meals and 3 snacks a day for a little human can be all-consuming, along with normal life stuff (house work, laundry, working out, paying bills, managing our family renovation projects, helping with my husband's job, clean-ups, health care needs and decisions, I feel like the list goes on...) But my problem is I get to the end of my days and feel exhausted, yet I don't have anything "tangible" to show for it. This is one of the greatest changes in my life. The work I'm doing as a mother inside the four walls of my home feels like exhausting, important work. Yet I don't feel the same as when I would return home from a 12 hour shift at the hospital. I don't feel like I've made the same impact... to be honest the isolation and loneliness from not going through a work day with other adults can make me feel a little crazy and invisible. I am working every day to challenge this thought in my head that I am not enough, that I'm not doing enough, that my work as a mom is not important or valid, that others will perceive me as unworthy because I am in a season of "just being a mom"... I am really trying to challenge that because I know it isn't truth. These are the lies that sneak into our head as we do this important work, as we make important changes, and we begin to live a life that puts our family's needs above our own. And these lies creep into our head whether we are working outside the home juggling motherhood, or staying home as mamas. I truly believe we all feel these lies. And we don't need to listen to them. We can free ourselves from this. There is truth deep within ourselves just waiting to be released, to be seen.
Adjusting to motherhood has meant so many things for me. I didn't realize how drastic the shift in my life would be. There are things that go unspoken as we prepare our hearts and lives for motherhood, that other mamas don't really talk about. It's almost a "right of passage" that we have to experience on our own in our own unique way. Having my baby boy meant adjusting our lives in so many ways... we had long agonizing conversations about budgets, made spreadsheets to compare child care costs vs. me dropping hours at work. We bought allllll the things, prepared our home, prepared my body during pregnancy, made decisions about doctors and how we would parent. When Weston came into our lives, everything changed. There was nothing that could have really prepared me for it! My mama brain was different. I was more protective, more instinctual, my capacity to love and multitask and think of a thousand things at once grew and grew. I let my instincts take over as we faced big decisions about his health care, my work, the pandemic that was closing in around us, and how we would function as a family. I never in a million years thought that I would stop working as a NICU nurse altogether, that I would decide to not put my baby in child care and stay home to care for him, that it would fit into our budget or my independent soul. I initially went back to work at the hospital and loved those days for myself. I felt like those were the days I could feel like just "me" again. Yet I found myself following my instincts and needing to protect my family during a unique time in our world. Weston was presenting with vision problems that we weren't prepared for. The words surgery and potential tumors and putting our 4 month old under general anesthesia all came at us quickly. During that time I was just finding my own voice and instinct as a mother. I knew that meeting with only surgeons who did the same procedure on all babies wasn't enough for him. I knew that mentally and developmentally he was exceeding every milestone. I KNEW my baby! I began fighting for better care, seeking out second opinions. All during the beginning of a pandemic that we did not anticipate. My loving, caring, and passionate husband encouraged me to stay home. HE encouraged me that we would be ok financially, that it would be best for us in the long run, that we didn't want to risk my exposure in the hospital as well as the risk of our baby's exposure in child care. We made the decision to sacrifice my job as a family. And it was the right decision for us.
I wanted to share our long story because I know that all mamas face decisions and struggles as they enter the world of motherhood. So much weighs on us as mothers. Some days we feel pulled in a million directions. If you asked me before I was a mother if I would end up as a stay at home mom, with a holistic pediatrician who does visits inside our home, and pursuing my passion of holistic healing, yoga, motherhood, and birth, I would say you were crazy... I loved my job, nursing is my passion and my calling, and I saw it all fitting in together. But ultimately the sacrifices I faced and the changes we made as a family are the best decisions for us, for our babies, and for the mama in me. We all face struggles. We all face decisions. We all have doubts. We all experience drastic change, and growth, and lows and highs throughout motherhood. It is a calling that keeps us grounded, yet stretches us to our highest human potential all at the same time.
We are all strong mamas. We share our good days and our bad. I would love to start sharing more of my struggles and celebrations with other mamas, to take the "isolation" out of "momming". We all "mom" differently, yet we share the same calling. Turn to a friend today. Share your struggles. Encourage another mama. Lift up a busy working mama you know. Reach out to a stay at home mama that you know, even if you can't specifically relate to her situation. We are all strong mamas who need other strong mamas around us.
So much love to you mama. Hold your head up high today!