motherhood session

Motherhood Series Wrap Up

When I decided to work on a personal project at the beginning of this year, I knew I wanted to work with mothers. I wanted to hear their unique stories, take photos of them in their own spaces, and share their beautiful stories with others.

This project has been nothing short of amazing to be a part of. It has changed my perspective, and I hope it's helped change the perspective of my readers as well. Motherhood looks as different as each mother, and the stories are endlessly unique and beautiful. I believe that sharing different perspectives can help tear down assumptions, judgements, and break down molds of "shoulds" and "normal" because every person is different and every story of motherhood is different. I also believe listening to another perspective can help foster empathy, draw lines of connection, and help one realize that we are all humans and all in this together. The more we are present and connect with others who are not like us, I think the more beautiful this world will be.

I reached out and asked for a few mamas to interview, and I was blown away with the response I got. Ten beautiful mamas participated in this project, and I have had ten amazing experiences. I can't thank them enough for opening their homes and lives for an hour so I could peek in and listen. Friends, this sort of work is so beautiful and sacred to me. The "everyday" and the "ordinary" are so incredibly beautiful.

I couldn't think of a better way to wrap up this series than picking some of my favorite answers to the questions I asked each woman. So with that, I'll share some of the answers that stood out to me from each mama. Thank you for following along with this series and this journey. I hope it's touched you in one way or another.

xo

Hannah

 

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Tell me one thing you love about yourself as a mother?

“I feel like I’m very passionate and I have a lot of compassion.  I feel like, for the most part, I’m not quick to anger. I try and work through things many, many times with my boys just trying to take the moment and really help them learn from it, and not yell and send them to their room. Although that happens too some days. But just trying to really, maybe the better word is have empathy, and just kind of get in their shoes and try and see things from their perspective and take that step back. And be the all-giving mother - to step back and not yell.”

 

Lindsey

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What’s something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?

“When I make a new friend, I want them to come over when my house is messy. If we’re going to be good friends, then my house is going to messy. We always think that every mom is judging us for everything we do or say, but in all reality, they’re not. I mean, our kids are alive, and they’re happy, like I said before.”

 

Katie

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What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten about being a mother?

“So I consider Glennon Doyle to be my spiritual mentor. I just love everything about her and what she has to say. She is just it in life. And one of the things she talks about is her response when she found out that her husband had been cheating on her their entire marriage. She was obviously devastated initially, and then her next thought was to worry about her kids. Ultimately, she said she viewed that as an opportunity to help her children walk through the fire, and how in life, they’re going to go through fire-like situations, and that will continue happening for the rest of their existence on this earth. She said that any time her children feel like they need to step out, she’s tells them to get their asses in the fire and that she’s going to step in there with them and help them get to the other side. She said that if we don’t teach our kids how to go through tough stuff, we’re going to help them grow up to be incomplete people.

Her words helped me to invite my child into the fire with me and to teach him that we don’t shy away from life’s problems. I’m trying to teach him that we hit problems head on, together.”

 

Kristin

 

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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.” 

 

Erma

 

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How do you describe #thisismotherhood in your own words?

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful life. It’s all-consuming. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s exhausting, and it’s challenging. And yet, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

 

Colleen

 

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What’s something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?

“I think that it’s ok to take a break, and to have a messy house. Something I struggled with when I first started staying at home was thinking that it’s ok to still have a weekend. I felt like I needed to be doing something all the time. It’s important still to stop and be ok with not doing anything, and trying not to feel guilty about that. I think slowing down and knowing things only last for a certain amount of time, both the good and the challenging.”

 

Erin

 

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What makes motherhood beautiful to you?

“I love being the center of their world. Being needed is nice. Like when they fall and they come running to you to make it better - there’s no greater feeling than that. And as they get older, watching them master things they’ve worked really hard for, just the pride that rises in you is so unexplainable. But they’re my world.”

Pris

 

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What’s something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?

“ I think maybe self-love as a mom after kids. I think that’s kind of a topic that gets brushed under the rug based on expectations of how we expect to be perfect and bounce right back after having kids. And I was never real thin to begin with so for me it’s not as big of a deal, but I think just loving your body afterwards is so important. Because you’re going to teach your kids that. I’m big on that. I’m big on ‘It’s ok that mommy has cellulite and stretch marks, and it’s ok. This is your wonderful mama, and hopefully one day you’ll love a woman and you’ll love her for whatever shape she is.’ I’m not going to engrain in my kids that women shouldn’t look this way.” 

 

Cynthia

 

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How do you describe #thisismotherhood in your own words?

"The good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m not sure those are my own words, but it’s relevant. It’s not just those picture perfect moments, but it’s also not just the bad stuff. It’s the messes, it’s the tired, it’s the beautiful, it’s the when things go right, it’s when you’re kid has been having an attitude all day and that night tells you he loves you. It’s all of that."

 

Sharon

 

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What is one of the things you love most about being a mother?

“I love seeing the world through my daughter’s eyes. I love seeing the wonder in her eyes and seeing how she sees things at face value. She doesn’t have the background or hate of anything bad in the world. She sees everything for good, and I love that about her. And I love that seeing that in her reminds me that there is so much good in the world.”

 

Thank you so much to all these amazing women! If you would like to check out their stories, you can find them each here.

HannahLindseyKatieKristin  ErmaColleenErinPrisCynthia, & Sharon.

Pris' Motherhood Session

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,

Leah

 

Pris

Pris lives in Indianapolis with her husband David and their two children Noah, 3 and Emma, 1. She is originally from Orange County, CA and misses the beach and hopes to one day move back near the ocean. I asked her to message me an update since she started working full time after I had interviewed her, and here's what she had to say:

"I actually just started working today full time and it's a new journey for us. I cried to and from work but have been blessed with a good opportunity. I was blessed with two full years at home with the kids and I was ready to work. I'm looking forward to taking on a new chapter in our lives. If I had time for hobbies, I would probably take up quilting and reading again."

t was so beautiful to sit down with Pris. She has such an energy about her, and it's obvious how much she lives her life with passion and her everything. We talked all things self-love after kids, natural birth and co-sleeping, and how the journey towards parenthood and marriage looks different for everyone. I hope you enjoy her story below!

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Tell me a little bit about your journey to motherhood.

“I’m originally from Orange County, and David had moved from Indianapolis to Long Beach, so he was living in California when we met. I thought he seemed like a nice midwest guy, and I had never dated anyone from the midwest. I really liked him. He was really conservative and quiet, timid and reserved, but super funny in a discreet way. David and I met online and we dated for 10 months, and then we got pregnant with Noah, so our story is totally different than the traditional steps towards becoming parents. It’s been a rollercoaster. You’re fighting against the grain a little bit because you’re doing things a different way. You’re getting to know each other differently than “I met you, I fell in love with you, I want to have your children.” This is different in that you’re kind of becoming friends and lovers and everything else at the same time. It takes some work!

I always wanted to be a mom; like there is nothing in the world I wanted more. I met a guy who I loved, and when we got pregnant, even though it was a surprise, I knew from then on that Noah was going to be everything. Motherhood came as a surprise, but yet it was something I had been dreaming of.

We went through a rough patch after Noah was born because David went through some father’s postpartum depression, and he struggled knowing how to be a dad. So he asked me to move out 2 weeks after Noah was born. I had to find a new place and it took us about a month to find a place, but it didn’t matter because I was going to do anything for my baby. It was the toughest part of our relationship because I expected David to man up, and at that moment it was like he was pulling away. 

We then had to seek counseling, because after he asked me to move out, he realized he had made the biggest mistake of his life so we went to counseling for several months. I decided to give him a second chance, and we got back together. And I love him. And we have to have a lot of Jesus in our lives to forgive from that experience. Ultimately after counseling we realized that shockers like that happen - getting pregnant surprisingly and unplanned - and sometimes for either partner it can come as a big life-changing event, especially when it wasn’t something you were striving for. It took a lot of patience for me to understand that we didn’t have that mutual feeling in the beginning, but now you see David and it’s like ‘Wow.’ You don’t really realize how much you can love somebody and how they love your kids. Even though it started rough for us in the very beginning, it shaped us to be strong people. We love these babies so much.

All of my family is back in California and it’s very hard. I think that’s a hard part about being here. You take this leap of faith trying to move out here, but as a mom you need your village. So I constantly FaceTime my sisters who are my best friends. One is in California, but one got married and went to Texas. So we absolutely have to stay connected because I have to reach out to them for constant advice. They have kids as well, and they have been very supportive of my journey of breast-feeding, natural birth, and co-sleeping. When you have family that inspires you and also supports you, you have to really keep that connection, so we really work to keep connected.”

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What is one of the things you love the most about being a mother?

“I think I love how motherhood has shaped me. It’s humbled me, and it’s made me stronger. You have to be tender as possible with your kids, but yet strong at the same time. It’s shaped me to become a stronger person than I thought I was - from a natural birth, birthing at home, and overcoming goals and obstacles in motherhood itself like feeling I can’t get through one more day of nursing with chapped nipples, and then again the next day. Always thinking ‘We can get through one more day.’ So I think it’s taught me so much how to be strong.”

What has been one of the hardest things about being a mother?

“I think it’s feeling not crazy. The level and variety of emotions you experience in a 24 hour period can be so hard. From happy to stressed out, to rushing, to a moment of pure bliss in a moment of interacting and playing with them, to right back to frustration from a tantrum the minute you say it’s nap time. I think that’s been the hardest - not feeling nutty. I have two toddlers and I really have to adjust to all the emotions. I think that’s been the toughest. And then feeling ‘Am I ok to vent about this? Am I ok to share this? Do I sound like there is always something to vent about every time I talk to my mom and sisters?’ But it’s totally normal to feel this way, and you hear other moms talk about feeling this way too, and it’s totally ok.”

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How do you maintain a sense of who you were before you had kids?

“I listen to hip hop when I’m in the car alone, and I turn it up really loud, and it’s really inappropriate, and I feel completely normal for a quick second. I drink a lot of coffee. I have to ocaisionally go shopping to feel like that girly girl that I was before that was selfish in a way. That or getting my toes and nails done - all those ‘selfish’ things you get to really enjoy and take in before motherhood and then you realize it’s not all that easy afterwards. When I can and when it’s available, I’ll take up those things in a heartbeat.”

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What is something that makes your motherhood story unique?

“I think the fact that we really strived for natural birth. We had a natural hospital birth and then had a home birth with our daughter. I also have been extended breast-feeding for 3 years, and then we co-sleep two kids, so we’re a family of four in one big bed. I think that’s something that’s unique, you don’t really hear that too often. I love that David is so supportive of it as well, and that we are both ok sacrificing our very personal space for the sake of cuddles and time with our kids for as long as we can. That is a very personal space where parents retreat to after the kids go to bed, and in our story it’s not like that. So it’s very unique and very different, and it’s hard to explain to other parents especially if they haven’t been exposed to co-sleeping before.”

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What is one of your biggest dreams that has yet to be realized?

“Ideally and on a big scale, probably living by the beach again or owning some property and being close to the water and sand. Otherwise, I would say having a honeymoon with my husband once we’re done breast feeding and sleeping through the night and no longer dependent on me. Then I can definitely have a honeymoon with him. We were pregnant and had a toddler when we got married, so I think that’s dream for us. I just want to have a vacation with him, just the two of us.”

What would you say to your younger pre-motherhood self now if you could?

“Really enjoy sleep. And then not be so judgy towards other moms when you’re not a mom. You see that and you hear that, and I know I was like that. At that time before having kids, I would say do a lot of research for the choices you want to make, and for us it was breast feeding and co-sleeping. Parenting is not cookie-cutter, and you have to find what works for you. So probably not doing that side eye toward moms because you don’t really know what’s going on.”

In what ways has motherhood changed you?

“Like I said before, I think it just made me really strong. I was always loving and caring, but now it’s just about them and nothing else matters. I will sacrifice my all for the sake of keeping them rested and happy and fed. I think that’s how its changed me. I make it about my family now.”

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What’s something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?

“ I think maybe self-love as a mom after kids. I think that’s kind of a topic that gets brushed under the rug based on expectations of how we expect to be perfect and bounce right back after having kids. And I was never real thin to begin with so for me it’s not as big of a deal, but I think just loving your body afterwards is so important. Because you’re going to teach your kids that. I’m big on that. I’m big on ‘It’s ok that mommy has cellulite and stretch marks, and it’s ok. This is your wonderful mama, and hopefully one day you’ll love a woman and you’ll love her for whatever shape she is.’ I’m not going to engrain in my kids that women shouldn’t look this way.” 

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What is one thing you expected to be true about motherhood but turned out to be different?

“Probably the idea of ‘you can sleep when the baby sleeps.’ You hear that all the time and that only works when they’re really little and there’s only one. It doesn’t work when there’s two; it’s impossible because you can’t neglect the other one. So that really taught me the lie of that saying.”

What’s something about motherhood that you wish everyone would be honest about but maybe not many people talk about?

“I think that we all have bad days, and it’s ok to talk about them and it doesn’t make you a bad mom. Those bad days are ok. I think we need to talk more about that.”

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What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten about being a mother?

“When Emma was born and I felt like I was possibly neglecting Noah, I called my mom and she said ‘Honey, these kids have so much love from you, even if you leave to watch something while you nurse for an hour, he still knows you love him.’ I think just knowing that I was enough, and having my mom remind me - that was the best piece of advice.”

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What is your favorite way to wind down after a long day with your kids?

“So typically it’s a Friday or Saturday night. David puts Noah down and I put Emma down, we go lay both of them in the bed and turn on the monitor. We turn on Netflix and watch our show and I have a beer, and that’s our unwind on the weekends. It feels like date night, and it makes me feel good. If the kids are sick and we have to skip, it kind of throws off my week, because I love that time with my husband. I love being able to watch something and hold hands, and feels like adults.”

Tell me one thing you love about yourself as a mother?

“I love how I’ve been able to accomplish goals as a mom. So I’ve never been one to follow through prior to motherhood. I’d always say I would take a class and then never finish it, or sign up for belly-dancing thing and be totally into it and I would do it for a little bit and then be over it. So I love how motherhood has made me be someone that can actually complete things and accomplish the mini goals we have done. I have been able to follow through on things that I wanted.”

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Tell me one thing that scares you about being a mother?

“That’s a tough one. Because everything scares me. I get scared if I lose them at the park, or if a stranger talks to them at Target. But I think maybe emotionally somehow doing some damage. Like will I cause some kind of need for therapy for them in the future. But it’s something you have to leave in the hands of god and do the best you can, but I think that’s what scares me the most.”

What would you do if you had a whole day to yourself?

“I would probably, as tired as I am, and most people would say sleep, and I need sleep, but that’s not me. I would probably just go enjoy me and go get my nails done, watch a movie at the theater by myself, and eat sushi quietly by myself. Or a full daytime concert. :)”

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Who has been your biggest inspiration/mentor/go-to someone as you have journeyed through motherhood?

“I think my mom and my sisters. But as mothers we also have to reach out to other mothers out there. I had to join La Leche League because as knowledgeable as my mom and my sisters were, I needed a mom who was doing it right then and there in that moment in time. All moms have something to teach us, and it’s little bits and pieces here and there that can adapt to your family.”

What are ways you find time for yourself?

“I think in the evenings when they go to bed, because nap time is cursed and I don’t get time then. I get time in the evenings after bed, if they aren’t sick, and it’s watching a show and just relaxing, and it’s my time. Even if it’s folding laundry and catching up on my show, that makes me feel good and I feel recharged for the next day.”

How do you describe #thisismotherhood in your own words?

“Motherhood is me cooking while baby wearing Emma and having Noah trying to help me, cautiously trying not to burn him while the screaming toddler is on my back. I think that’s what motherhood is for me for now.”

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What makes motherhood beautiful to you?

“I think its when I allow myself to be present and really get involved with my kids and soak in all those giggles and fun that they get just from me being loving to them. I think that’s motherhood - when I really get to play with them on the floor, and they’re pulling my hair and I become a human jungle gym - but they need me. They absolutely want that attention and need me to interact with them, and that’s what’s beautiful to me about motherhood.”

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A huge thank you to Pris for sharing part of her story! You can find the other posts in this motherhood series here: 

Hannah, LindseyKatieKristin  ErmaColleen & Erin.

xo

Colleen's Motherhood Session

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,

Leah

 

Colleen

Colleen lives in Fishers with her husband Alan and their two sons Oliver (5) and Graham (1). In addition to being a mother, Colleen is a speech therapist, author, and world traveler.

It was so nice to sit down and chat with Colleen about her journey through motherhood. She has such a kind and calm presence about her, and it was a joy to hear her share.

Enjoy her story below!

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Tell me a little bit about your journey to motherhood.

“With Oliver, we had tired for a year and half, and decided to pursue adoption, and that’s when I found out I was pregnant. So that was really nice. We did just a little bit of medical intervention, but we didn’t want to do IVF with such a high rate of not working. So we were going to pursue adoption. My nieces are adopted too, so we have adoption in our family. But ended up getting pregnant, which was exciting.

So Alan is an only child, and we always thought we would just have one child. But after my niece passed away, and my dad was diagnosed with cancer and everything with my family, I didn’t want Oliver to be an only child and I wanted him to have a sibling. My husband agreed, which it took a lot to get him to agree. And so we had Graham, and I got pregnant with him a lot faster, I think it only took 3 or 4 months, so that was nice for sure. So that’s how I got my babies, my boys.”

What is one of the things you love the most about being a mother?

“I think that I just love seeing them experience things for the first time, which is so fun. Something I didn’t realize with Oliver, him being older, is that he gets to experience Graham’s first things too. Which is fun because even if I forget it’s his first time doing something, Oliver will say ‘Oh that’s the first time he ever did this or that!’ And it’s really fun.”

What has been one of the hardest things about being a mother?

“I just think it’s a never-ending job. You’re on 24-7 and it doesn’t matter if you’re sick or tired or any of the above, they aren’t going to change because of that. So I think the constant of motherhood is hard. My oldest loves to talk all the time, loves to be next to me all the time, so that can be exhausting for sure. The neediness and the constant can be hard.”

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How do you maintain a sense of who you were before you had kids?

“I think a big thing for us, even as a couple, is that we really love to travel a lot. So we still try to travel. I took the boys by myself to Florida, and flew with them back in January. So we try to do those things.

And then I also spend time away from them, and I still work a little bit, so I try to do a little bit of what I used to do.”

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What is something that makes your motherhood story unique?

“Maybe it’s not as unique now, but I am older. So being 40 with an infant is more unique. Although it is becoming more common now, and just when I feel like I’m the older mom, I’ll meet someone who’s older than me, which is nice. So that’s maybe more unique. But I also like that I had a long time to do a lot of things. I mean, there are benefits of being older; being more financially stable, just having lived a little longer. But also, I’m tired too.”

What is one of your biggest dreams that has yet to be realized?

“I would like for us to travel with the boys later on. So I think it would be dreams of what our family will do together when they’re able to be potty-trained and such and travel easily. And it will be neat to see what their interests are.”

*I asked Colleen about her and Alan’s travels since I had seen  a map with all of their travels pinned on it and knew travel was important to them.*

“Yes, we went to 5 of the 7 continents - we haven’t been to Antarctica yet - before Oliver was born. We were planning on going to Thailand but then found out I was pregnant with Oliver, so we postponed that until he was two. We were able to go back afterwards though and it was so nice. So traveling is a goal for us, and it will be fun to do it with the boys someday.”

What would you say to your younger pre-motherhood self now if you could?

“I think I would say that it will all work out, and it will all be ok. Just because I didn’t know if I would be able to have kids, and there was stress and anxiety through all of the waiting and worrying. And I think I’d floor myself knowing that I have two kids and I stay home, because that was not on the radar - kids and staying home. But it all worked out.”

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In what ways has motherhood changed you?

“I think it changes you because you’re not first anymore. I think just needing to be the primary person for somebody else, which is a good thing too, has definitely changed me. I think about my kids and my family before I think about what I need to do, which maybe isn’t the healthiest sometimes and sometimes it’s good to think about what you personally need. But it’s fun and good, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.”

What’s something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?

“I think that it’s ok to take a break, and to have a messy house. Something I struggled with when I first started staying at home was thinking that it’s ok to still have a weekend. I felt like I needed to be doing something all the time. It’s important still to stop and be ok with not doing anything, and trying not to feel guilty about that. I think slowing down and knowing things only last for a certain amount of time, both the good and the challenging.”

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What is one thing you expected to be true about motherhood but turned out to be different?

“I anticipated the relationship between my boys would be really rough and hard. Because Oliver was so needing of my attention, I thought he would be resentful of his little brother, but he continues to surprise me. He absolutely adores Graham, and he was so proud when he was born. It’s just been really fun to watch him interact with his brother. I mean, he gets mad now when Graham crawls and tears down things or pulls on his hair or clothes, but he really truly adores his brother. I was ready for it to be this horrible experience, but it’s worked out so much better than I could have thought.”

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What’s something about motherhood that you wish everyone would be honest about but maybe not many people talk about?

“Probably just the struggles everybody has. I think with all the technology of seeing Pinterest pins and Facebook posts and how everything seems perfect is hard. I had seen a post of someone who said to post photos of our dirty houses so everyone could see what they really looked like. I think that’s hard. We can get into our own mom bubble, but we need to remember that it’s ok, whatever is going on, wherever you are, and knowing there are others in the same boat.”

What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten about being a mother?

“I found a quote I really liked, and I probably don’t have it down exactly, but it was something like ‘It might not be as important what you do as it is who you raise.’ So I thought that was a nice quote to hold onto. This is valuable what I’m doing, raising a human who will hopefully grow up to be a good person. You don’t know where they will go or who they will influence, and if you feel like motherhood is the monotony of the day after day things, realize that you are still raising a person.”

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What is your favorite way to wind down after a long day with your kids?

“I think I just collapse. :) I think I’m winding down even before they are asleep. But I do like having tea at night, I like getting my cozy blankets and just having silence. Or else mindless tv, either of those where I don’t have to think. But I do fall asleep pretty easily and early. My college-age niece was here and we were going to bed, and it was late for us, it was probably closer to 10, and she was like ‘You’re going to be now?’ Uh, yes. Graham gets up by 6, and it’s just constant, it’s just non-stop. And I can’t even sleep in when we’re on vacation. I’m up so early and think ‘there are no children here to wake me up’ and I still get up. It’s nice to have a coffee and watch tv and not actually get out of bed, but I still get frustrated. I used to be so good at it! I used to sleep in so well. But not so much anymore.”

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Tell me one thing you love about yourself as a mother?

“I love when I just play and have fun with them, which isn’t all the time. Or I love when they do something new and they’re really proud of that, and it’s fun watching them and their little changes that I get to see, being able to be home with them. Because I did work for a year when Oliver was born, and so it’s nice with Graham to be here every day. So that’s nice. I like that.”

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Tell me one thing that scares you about being a mother?

“Messing them up, or doing something wrong. But yeah, it’s scary, it’s scary not knowing how things will be when your kids are older, just hoping they will choose the best and make good choices. But it’s scary not being able to control everything around them or their choices and just hoping that they are raised right and know what’s best to do. It is scary having them in the real world. We’re just doing the best we can and hopefully it’s somewhat right.”

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What would you do if you had a whole day to yourself?

“I would sleep, I would eat a great brunch. It would be great if I was out and traveling. It’s kind of funny to think about a whole day to myself. Usually in that case, we’re on vacation. I think I would enjoy my time, but then I think I would also want to do something with Alan. But it is nice to have some alone time though to recharge. I’m a much better mom when I’m not around them all of the time. We’re actually planning a trip now and it’s just nice to have kind of a light, or something that we can look forward to, something that will be fun. And hopefully later it will be something we can do with them, trips with them, but for now it’s nice to get away sometimes.”

Who has been your biggest inspiration/mentor/go-to someone as you have journeyed through motherhood?

“I would say my own mom has been absolutely wonderful. And also my friend Lindsey who is the same age as me but her kids are 10 and 14, so that is really wonderful to have. I’ll call her over sometimes. One time Oliver was being really hard and we were in this bad phase and I didn’t know how to get out of it. I didn’t really like him at the time, which sounds terrible, but I just was needing help to get out of this cycle of terrible behavior time. And she came over, without being judgmental at all, suggested things to try and it really helped. So she is my go-to for asking perspective questions, which is really nice. But I tease her that when she is an empty-nester I’ll have an 8 year old or 9 year old, so it’s very different from being the exact same age, but with different aged kids.”

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What are ways you find time for yourself?

“One of the big ways is that I signed Graham up for a Mother’s Day Out program when he was 9 months old. It sounds a bit young, but he loves it, and it’s just nice to be able to get a haircut or go to the grocery store alone, or have breakfast with a friend. So that’s been huge. Other times, I’ll have Oliver watch a show so I can think. We feel very fortunate that we have this big open space behind our house in our neighborhood between the houses behind ours. A lot of kids that are Oliver’s age live close, and he just plays back and forth and we have kids coming in here and then they’ll go out to other houses, and that is wonderful. I don’t really have to organize playdates, they just play and just go. It’s very free, and I like it because I don’t have to worry about him being in the front of the house or the street or somebody driving by. This way I can still see him, and as parents we just text if we don’t know which house the kids are at. That gives me a little break, and it’s been great.”

How do you describe #thisismotherhood in your own words?

“I would say that it’s different for everybody. We all have that commonality of having kids, but there’s such a wide range of what that looks like. For me being a mom is that I adore my boys, it’s exhausting but it’s fun and it gives me a different purpose. And it’s fun to teach them and watch them grown. It’s quite a journey, a rollercoaster.”

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What makes motherhood beautiful to you?

“Just the relationships I have with the boys and watching them and how much they adore their aunts and uncles and cousins. I also love watching the boys together, it just makes it all worthwhile.”

Thank you so much to Colleen for being willing to share part of her story of motherhood! You can find the other posts in this series here: Hannah, LindseyKatieKristin & Erma.

xo

Erma's Motherhood Session

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,

Leah

 

Erma

"I live in Fishers with my husband Brad and our two sons Gabe, 4 and Jude, 2. I am a stay at home mom (the BEST job ever). A few of my hobbies are cooking, baking, working out and eating. :)"

It was so great to sit down with Erma and hear part of her story. She is so easy-going and warm, and her home was so obviously full of love. I hope you enjoy reading along below! 

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Tell me a little bit about your journey to motherhood.

“So I was 33 when we got married, and we knew we wanted a family, so we went ahead and decide to try right away. So 4 months after we got married I got pregnant, and we felt very lucky because we didn’t have any problems getting pregnant. We got pregnant right away and it was awesome and such a blessing.

Not getting married until I was 33 and not having my first child until I was 34, by that time I was so independent that I knew it was going to be very, very hard. But I also knew so clearly that there was always a piece missing, and that was children, in my life. It makes me emotional thinking about it. Just when you know that something’s missing and something’s not quite complete; without a doubt it was the puzzle piece of children in my life.”

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What is one of the things you love the most about being a mother?

“I absolutely love, love watching the boys be buddies. They have a love/hate relationship of course, just like all siblings probably. But when we’re out and about, and when we’re at church and they deliberately find each other, it just melts my heart. I’ve always been close to my siblings, so I’m like ’My boys *have* to be close!’ So obviously I can’t totally control that, but it’s definitely my prayer that they will be close.”

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What has been one of the hardest things about being a mother?

“When I read that question, a million things came to mind. But the number one thing that came to mind is the fact that it is SO constant. So constant. And overwhelming. And constant. 

So even when you get away from them and you get some alone time, they’re still with you like, right here on your shoulder, in your thoughts and in your mind. It’s so constant. That word just keeps coming to me. And it’s beautiful and it’s great, but it’s constant. I think that’s one of *the* hardest things. There are lots of things obviously.

I’m one that has always needed a lot of space and I’m independent. I kind of like to do what I do when I do, and I know that sounds selfish, but I guess that’s just kind of a little bit how I’m wired. So to have two little ones constantly in need of me is hard. And it’s not even the laundry and the dishes and the cooking and cleaning. That’s hard. It’s just being needed all the time.”

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How do you maintain a sense of who you were before you had kids?

“First of all, I find time for myself. And I know that’s very hard. It’s a little bit easier now that Gabe and Jude are 4 and 2, versus when they were newborns in diapers - it was so hard. Time alone meant *maybe* going to the restroom alone, and that was maybe. 

Now time alone for me looks like getting up in the morning before the boys get up, and it might be 20 minutes or 30 minutes. Some mornings they get up at the same time. But just having that little bit of time. And then when they’re napping I always, I don’t care if the house is on fire, take a little bit of time for me. Just to sit and scroll through facebook or Pinterest, or whatever. But it’s so important for me to get a little bit of time.

And I also, once a year like to go on a weekend trip with my sisters and my mom. And Brad and I both strongly agree on this, but we try not revolve our whole life around our children. And a lot of it you naturally have to revolve around your children. They need you, you gotta feed them, you gotta diaper them - all that. But aside from that, not dote on them 24-7. Like maybe make them wait a little bit for breakfast because you’re doing something. Or not put them in every, every activity so early. We let them know they are obviously number one in our lives, but not number one *all* the time in our lives. So that’s how I keep that sense of who I was before I had kids. Erma is still Erma. I’m just a mom now.”

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What is something that makes your motherhood story unique?

“So Gabe is 4, and pretty much from the time I got pregnant with him to, well really over the next four years. Brad had dealt with a lot of health issues. And the timing was really horrible, and I say that joking obviously. Through that time, he wasn’t able to help the way I envisioned, and I felt so alone. It was extremely hard, and often, many, many, many times I felt like a single mom  - with a sick husband too, to help take care of.

I think that’s been one of the challenges for me in my motherhood. There’s always so many challenges. Just maybe not having that sidekick of a husband to help me or the backbone that I needed. But you know, through that, and I’ll say this until the day I die, God is so faithful. God is faithful to me and so good. I remember often being in the middle of the night feeding the babies and just thinking ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this.’ And every single time, and it was almost audible, I just felt like he was saying ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing great.’ He’s so faithful.”

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What is one of your biggest dreams that has yet to be realized?

“I don’t think I have that one big dream, but maybe a lot of small ones. I dream of traveling more, being debt free, and living the simple life. But I also dream of being an encourager and a mentor, especially to new moms. I’m not even sure what that looks like, but I’m so big on community and relationships, that it excites me to think about walking alongside new moms that maybe don’t have the support that they need. So that’s one of the dreams that I have.”

What would you say to your younger pre-motherhood self now if you could?

“I feel like I barley remember that person!  I traveled a lot, I was a business owner, I worked hard, I had a few jobs at one time. And then I played hard too; it was great! It just makes me smile thinking about it. But - I would never want to go back to that. Like I said before, I always knew there was a piece of the puzzle missing. And as a wife and a mother, my life is a million times better now. Even though I get much, much less sleep, and I have two little humans around me all of the time, I wouldn’t trade it.” 

In what ways has motherhood changed you?

“I think this was one of my favorite questions. It’s such a good question.  I can honestly say that I love more now than I ever have. It’s a deeper, more rich love. I just remember holding each one of the boys when they were born in the hospital and just sobbing. I remember the nurse running over and asking if I was ok. I was just engulfed with an unexplainable love like never before. And yet, our heavenly father loves us even more than that. And since having children, I’ve understood the love of god a little bit more. I’ll never fully understand it, but through that, I’ve gotten my identity in Christ - really just through my children. I’ve understand the love of God and my identity in Christ, and it’s been so beautiful.

And also, I judge so much less. We don’t know what the other person is going through. I’ve heard the saying ‘Be kind, that person might have toddlers at home.’ So being kind to that stranger when you don’t know what she’s going through; I definitely judge less. I appreciate the small things in life more, and my perspective in life has changed.

On the flip side of that, I’ve also become a much more anxious person. And I’m overtaken with the feeling of being overwhelmed. But as a whole, motherhood has definitely made me a better person.”

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What’s something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?

“The first word that came to me when I read this question was Grace. Just to give yourself a lot of grace. Motherhood is so hard. Just as being a Christian is hard, but God gives us the grace when we need it, and we need to give ourselves more grace. We tend to be way too hard on ourselves.

Also, don’t get caught up in the lies of ‘you’re not enough.’ All the lies that the enemy puts in our head like ‘You’re just a mom’ and the mundaneness of the day-to-day things getting to you.

Like I said before, finding your community, finding your tribe, so to speak. I really think we have to stick together, we really need to help each other since it’s such a hard job. And also self-care, and by that I do not mean going to the gym and being skinny. By that I mean mentally taking care of yourself. And again, when you have young ones, it’s really hard. It might look different when the kids are so young versus when they get a little older.

I find for myself if I’m maybe upset with something Brad has done, or I’m being grudgeful toward someone; all that affects my mothering and the way I treat my kids. So when I say stay healthy, check in with yourself. Why are you feeling grouchy? Why are things hard? And also, if you need help, get help. There are lots of counseling options and good resources that we have. I think, basically, if we’re hurting and dealing with problems, it’s going to pour over into motherhood, and it makes it more challenging.”

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What is one thing you expected to be true about motherhood but turned out to be different?

“I have lots of nieces and nephews, so I thought I somewhat had an idea of what motherhood would be like. But obviously nothing will ever prepare you. I expected it to be hard and time-consuming. I’m a quality time gal, so I anticipated a lot of fun and bonding time, and I say that with a little bit of sarcasm. But I didn’t realize quality time meant not using the restroom alone. I get it now. And it goes back to how constant it is. And I think nothing could have prepared me for that.”

What’s something about motherhood that you wish everyone would be honest about but maybe not many people talk about?

“For me it’s the loneliness. This sounds kind of morbid, but the dying of old self. And I mean, overnight you become a different person. I was Erma, and I’m still Erma, but I’m not the same Erma. So you really become a different person without meaning to, and it’s a good thing, it’s just hard.”

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What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten about being a mother?

“I think a few things. One of my favorite mom quotes is ’The days are long but the years are short.’ And let me tell you, the days are SO long, but yet now, I can’t believe my boys are 2 and 4. So the years are short. And then also, just embrace the moment and let things go that don’t really matter. And prayer - prayer to get you through the day, and also just to cover your family and children in prayer.”

What is your favorite way to wind down after a long day with your kids?

“Alone time. I’m a bit of a social media junkie, so I’ll get on my phone and go all out - I’m on it all. It sounds so lame. :) I think it’s because then I can cash out mentally, I mean I don’t have to think about anything.

Also, I love to go for a walk, or meet a girlfriend for dinner.”

Tell me one thing you love about yourself as a mother?

“Motherhood has made me a much more confident person. Much more confident. The inner strength that I carry is so empowering.”

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Tell me one thing that scares you about being a mother?

“My number one goal as a mother is to make little disciples; followers of Christ. And you know, then comes the doubt of am I teaching them enough? Am I setting a good example? Are we making the right choices for the boys?”

What would you do if you had a whole day to yourself?

“I love this question, it made me smile. I think it would start out with sleeping in, obviously. And sleeping in nowadays is until like 8 o’ clock because my body has gotten so used to getting up early. I’d go get some *really* good coffee, I’m not talking about just McDonalds coffee, but really good coffee. And then I’d go shopping, treat myself to a nice a lunch, maybe go get a pedicure. I’d find a nice park and just walk or maybe journal. And I think after that I’d want to meet up with my husband, or some girlfriends - preferably my mom or sisters - for dinner. I think that would be a really awesome day for me.”

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Who has been your biggest inspiration/mentor/go-to someone as you have journeyed through motherhood?

“My mom. Even though we live three hours a part, I feel like she’s been there every step of the way. She would probably roll her eyes and be like ‘Why? What have I done?’ And it’s not even like she’s done specific things, it’s just that she’s just been there. 

And also she is my biggest inspiration since there are seven of us. I often ask her how she did it, and she’ll just look off faraway and say she doesn’t remember. I think it’s so true, motherhood is so crazy that I think God allows us to forget some of the bad. As we journey on, we’ll remember the good things and not just the bad - thank you God.

And also, my friend Heather. I would consider her my 3am friend. She is my rant friend, so we’ll text each other in the middle of the day and go off about our kids and how horrible they’re being. So she’s been that friend to me.

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What are ways you find time for yourself?

“Some bigger ways I find time for myself are leaving in the evenings while Brad takes care of the kids. But also, for example, the IF Gathering. It’s a weekend kind of away, and also MOMCON (a conference Mops International puts on for mothers.) 

Brad and I will also take a weekend and go somewhere. I mean, I’m with Brad, but I don’t have that ‘constant’ from the boys. So those are probably the biggest ways I find alone time and get my cup filled up, so to speak.”

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How do you describe #thisismotherhood in your own words?

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful life. It’s all-consuming. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s exhausting, and it’s challenging. And yet, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

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What makes motherhood beautiful to you?

“Motherhood is beautiful when my 4 year old comes up to me and randomly asks me about heaven. Or when my 2 year old is in the other room singing ‘There is Power in the Name of Jesus.’ Or when I mess up, and they immediately forgive me, and I’m their number one no matter what. It is truly, truly an honor and gift that God picked me to be a mother to Gabe and Jude.”

A huge thank you to Erma! Check out the other posts in this motherhood series: Hannah, LindseyKatie, & Kristin.

xo

Kristin's Motherhood Session

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,

Leah

 

Kristin

 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!

 

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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. "

 

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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."

 

 

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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.’”

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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.’”

 

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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.”

 

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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.”

 

 

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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.”

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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.”

Thank you so much to Kristin for sharing part of her story! I hope you enjoyed reading along! Be sure to check out the other posts in this series so far: Hannah, Lindsey, and Katie.

Stayed tuned as we will get to hear from more mamas as they authentically share about their motherhood journey.

Have a beautiful day!

xo