Hello friends! I hope you have been enjoying this series on motherhood I've been working on. When I decided to work on a personal project, I immediately thought of working with some local moms because I have a dear place in my heart for mamas. I wanted to use this space to hear different perspectives on what it's like to be a mom.
I'm involved with a local group for moms, and one of their hashtags for this year is #thisismotherhood. I loved that line so much, and have been honored to be a part of a group of moms who embrace their differences, embrace each other, accept each other just as they are, and our group is really a non-judgmental place for moms to get together. I reached out in my group to see if anyone would be interested in sharing part of their motherhood journey, and I was blown away with the responses I got. I have been able to start meeting with the moms who I'll be working with, and I get to sit down with them for an hour, take some photos, and listen to them share. It's been so beautiful and such an honor for me.
Because I'm sharing parts of the stories of different women who have voluntarily sat down with me, I'd ask that you approach reading these posts with respect and an understanding that these stories are sacred. Please honor this space. The moms I'm interviewing all have a unique and different story of their journey to motherhood. No two will be alike, and that is so beautiful to me. Please honor these women and listen to their story free of judgement, assumptions, or negativity. We deal with enough of that already, right?
Please accept these stories as parts of the bigger picture of being a mother and being human, and recognize how rich that makes this world. Thank you for taking the time to read and listen.
With much love,
Kristin is a proud Texan that ended up in Denver, Colorado where she met her husband Jon. Right now she is a stay at home mom. Before Kristin was a mom, she was an architect but is now thinking about becoming a math teacher in the future. Jon and Kristin, with their daughter Bexley, live in northeast Indianapolis. Kristin loves all things Texan, especially football and food, checking out breweries with Jon, reading, laughing as much as she can, spending time with her sweet little family, and trying to live authentically in this adventurous life God has blessed her with!
I so dearly loved getting to spend an hour with Kristin and Bexley. Kristin is such a kind person, has a beautiful heart, and was so honest and funny while we talked.
I hope you enjoy reading part of her story below!
Tell me a little bit about your journey to motherhood.
"It was not at all I as expected it to be but I feel like that's just how life is. I got married after 30 and we wanted to enjoy a few years as newlyweds before we had children. So now I am 35 and have an almost 2 year old. I guess I always thought I would have been a first time mom before I was 30. I also wasn't around babies because I think they scared me. :) So going into motherhood was a bit scary. I had a normal pregnancy but ended up being over a week late and got induced. The induction went really well but I ended up not dilating fully while Bexley's head ended up turned and would not budge. So I ended up having a c-section. I was not prepared for that at all and it was a very hard recovery. I think I was very naive about taking care of a baby and so the first few months with Bexley were a whirlwind. I was like ‘Oh I can keep a kid alive. Feed them, change their their diaper. That’s easy!’ Then she came and I was like ‘I don’t know what I’m doing! This is way harder than I thought!’ My family is in Texas and Jon's is in Florida so that has been hard. We moved here almost 3 years ago so we dont have very many friends and deep relationships that we have had in the past. Its been a lonely journey into motherhood. You know the whole ‘It takes a village to raise your child’ thing? We haven’t really gotten to experience that. I spent a lot of time calling or texting people and frantically be like ‘She’s been crying for two hours, what am I supposed to do?’ I feel like it would have been easier to have had more help nearby or someone to come over to help me in those type of situations. At the same time I can't even put into words how much love I have for Bexley. I love hearing her call me momma. I'm in constant awe that God somehow found me worthy enough to be her parent."
What is one of the things you love the most about being a mother?
“Just getting to see her grow up is fun. I didn’t plan on being a stay-at-home mom, it just kind of happened, so it’s one of those thing I don’t want to take for granted. I’m happy I’ve gotten to do that because I have gotten to see every moment and every milestone and everything like that. She’s a constant source of entertainment, so that’s been a fun thing. ‘Oh, look at you! You’re digging in the toilet, or going through the trash, isn’t that hilarious.’ I wouldn’t get to see all those little things if I hadn’t been a stay-at-home mom.”
What has been one of the hardest things about being a mother?
"The days are long but the years are short! The day to day routine has been hard. I am one of those people that kind of likes a set schedule/routine and I haven't quite figured that out yet. I have learned that I have to be more flexible with a toddler and myself, honestly."
How do you maintain a sense of who you are before you had kids?
"I try to practice and play out my passions that I had and still have but I have to do it in more creative ways. For example, I love to dance so now I have dance parties with Bexley and while I cook. Before, my friends and I would go out dancing but that isn't happening anymore! It has been hard because we had a lot of big life changes happen the year before we got pregnant and had Bexley. But I still feel like I am myself and the main thing that has changed is adding another title, mother, to the list. "
What is something that makes your motherhood story unique?
“Probably just being older, and not being around support people. Even though I’m not that old. :)”
What is one of your biggest dreams that is yet to be realized?
“I was an architect before I had Bex, and then about a year or two before we moved, I realized I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be and still do my job. I was traveling a lot, and working long hours. As much as I love architecture, the job wasn't fulfilling me and I didn't feel like I was making a difference in the world. I also didn't want to be a mom that had to choose between work and my kid. So then I decided that maybe I’d be a teacher, because my mom is a teacher, I would be on the same schedule as my kid, and teaching kids seemed just as challenging as being an architect but way more fulfilling.
Right after we moved to Indiana, I got a job as a teacher's aid and loved it. I then started taking classes to be a teacher about two weeks after Bexley was born, so that was another fun thing to do - take care of a newborn and sit there do homework at the same time. But the further I got into the program I felt God asking me to be the best mom and wife right now. I had tests to pass and student-teaching to do and it was just a lot to juggle with taking care of Bexley.
I am a planner. So waiting to see how I can live out my passions while being a mom or waiting for them to possibly happen when she starts school is challenging. Will I be a stay-at-home mom still, or will I become a teacher, you know, what does God want me to do with my life? How am I going to make a difference in this world? I'm trying hard to trust God and let Him lead me."
What would you say to your younger pre-motherhood self now if you could?
“I would say live it up! You could go eat out all the time, stay up late and have fun. We joke how lame we are now. This past Saturday we were both tired, and it was 7:30, so we turned off the tv and went to our room and thought ‘We’re the coolest.’”
In what ways has motherhood changed you?
“I’m a little bit more patient; I’m not as good at being patient, but I’m definitely better. I’m more compassionate, more loving. You just never realize how much you can love someone until they come into your life.
I also realized how strong I was, especially after having the c-section. I’m a lot stronger than I realized. I think I also realize where my limits are now. Before I would be like ‘Oh, I can do whatever, this or that, or whatever I want.’ and now I’m like ‘No, Mommy needs her rest. I’m going to have to say no to things and say yes to some things.’”
What's something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?
“I’m a big fan Brené Brown. I found out she is a Texan too, so that made my heart a little bit happier. So I was a reading one of her books and she said we’re just all trying to do the best we can. And I feel like that should be the motherhood anthem: don’t judge and everybody is just trying to do the best that they can. Every time I find myself judging myself, I think of that. Just try to do the best that you can because you’re a hot mess too.”
What is one thing you expected to be true about motherhood but turned out to be different?
“I’m not sure. There a lot. :)”
What’s something about motherhood that you wish everyone would be honest about but maybe not many people talk about?
“How hard it is. But also just how wonderful it is at the same time. You look and see how great it is, and you can’t always explain it to people. I look back at my mom now and I’m like ‘Oh my gosh, she did so much.’ I never realized how much she did. Birthdays should be about the moms and not about the kids. You gave birth to them, you took care of them. Celebrate the mom who kept her kid alive another year. :)
Everyone jokes about how hard it is, but no one tells you really *how* hard it is. My expectations of motherhood coming naturally or easily would have been more balanced, because I think I was very naive thinking I could handle it easily.”
What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten about being a mother?
“To relax, and that the kids only remember the good things.”
What is your favorite way to wind down after a long day with your kids?
"A glass of mommy juice, reading a book and/or watching tv in bed, and spending time with Jon. Some days he is the only other adult that I get to talk to in person so it makes me feel like an adult and I can take off my mommy hat off for a few minutes."
Tell me one thing you love about yourself as a mother?
“Doing it, and not completely failing at it. I know I’m not perfect, but just seeing how far I’ve come in the 20 months that she’s been here. I know more now what to do now. I remember in the beginning being on my phone googling what to do a lot more, and now I’m a lot more relaxed. So just trusting myself and seeing how much I’ve grown and changed. We’re starting to think about another one, and I really hope the next one is easy, especially since I know more what to do now. I hope I’ll be so much more chill with the next one.”
Tell me one thing that scares you about being a mother?
"Mainly just thinking that I’m going to raise her wrong, or that I’m keeping her from the best that she can be. Like if I miss something or I’m not disciplining her the right way or parenting her the right way. I think it’s an irrational fear, but it’s still there. I want to be the best mom for her and I want her to be the best that she can be."
That would you do if you had a whole day to yourself?
"I don’t even know - I can’t even imagine! That one went over my head. :)"
Who has been your biggest inspiration/mentor/go-to someone as you have journeyed through motherhood?
"Our moms. I realized that it’s been 30+ years since they have bee in the trenches like we are, but they’ve been there. Looking back and talking with them and hearing them share how they did it and seeing they survived. So I’ve had lots of conversations with my mom where she tells me how she would handle things when I was young, and I really appreciate that."
What are ways you find time for yourself?
“I’ve had to learn that nap time, now that she only naps once per day, it’s mommy time. I’m not going to clean or cook, I’m not going to do anything. I’m just going to sit here and read or watch a show, and just unwind. And I’ve had to let myself be ok with that, because as a stay-at-home mom, I feel like I always should be cleaning or cooking, or organizing. But no, this is my time. And Jon has been really good at supporting me in that and letting me know it’s ok to take a break.”
How do you describe #thisismotherhood in your own words?
“It’s a 24-7 job that’s the best and hardest job ever.”
What makes motherhood beautiful to you?
“Knowing that God has placed this enormous responsibility on me to care for and nurture another human from before they were born until the end of my life. It’s so weighty to think about, but it’s also so beautiful and such an honor to be that person, knowing it’s what God has called me to be.”
Stayed tuned as we will get to hear from more mamas as they authentically share about their motherhood journey.
Have a beautiful day!