Sunday, February 26, 2017

Raw thoughts on Motherhood

After about a year and a half of being a mama, I've really started reflecting on what I have learned. Looking back on the past 17 months, it has gone by so fast but at the same time I feel like I've been Eloise's mama for years already. I feel like she's always been a part of our little family. Nick and I always joke with each other and ask "what did we do on weekends before Eloise?" We really can't remember our daily lives without her. I remember big moments, but everything else is really fuzzy.

Jumpsuit by: Not Perfect Linen

When Eloise was a newborn and we were still in the unknown stages of her heart and kidney, I remember thinking that she had an undiagnosed genetic disorder like down syndrome. Then as she got older, I diagnosed her with type 1 diabetes, hip dysphasia and a food allergy to dairy and gluten. I am not trying to be insensitive to families that have gone through any of this as a reality. In these moments, I truly thought something was wrong with Eloise (and thank God for Nick being understanding and not calling me crazy).  Looking back, I know I probably had a mild case of postpartum anxiety on top of my normal anxiety, but these fears were real and that's all I could think about. I regret not seeking help for anxiety, because I feel like I missed out on precious time when Eloise was a newborn, worrying so much about things out of my control.

Motherhood has taught me a lot. I have learned that my body is capable than more than I can imagine. It is unbelievable what a woman's body can do during pregnancy and child birth. I am not one of those women who loved being pregnant, and to be honest, labor and child birth was my biggest fear in life but I still think it's a beautiful, amazing miracle. Nick was ready to start a family years before I was. I had a couple reasons why I wasn't ready, but that was my number one. I cried in fear when I got a positive pregnancy test because I was certain that I couldn't make it through labor and delivery. Having a difficult end of my pregnancy with pre-eclampsia, being induced 3 weeks early, and eloise's kidney/heart stuff doesn't help my fears at's all too fresh in my mind which is why I am hesitant to have more kids. Of course it's all totally worth it  in the end, it's just something that I really struggle with and will need to continue to work through.

On a positive note, these difficult experiences lead to me believe I could accomplish pretty much anything. I never considered running half marathons before Eloise, and didn't even run before her... but I trained for and ran 3 half marathon's in 2016. THREE!

Being a mom has brought the best out of me and the worst out of me all at the same time. I can see my strengths and weaknesses as a person so clearly now, and have a solid reason to work on myself daily-- our children are always watching us and we are shaping who they will be with every single decision we make. But the most beautiful part about it is, we are not perfect and we are learning together as a family. I am not perfect. Nick is not perfect. But together we strive to show Eloise how to learn from mistakes, admit faults, be good people and show love to everybody around us.

I have days where I go to bed thinking that I really nailed it as a parent, that I had it all together  and things just went as planned that day. I think about how much I love and adore Eloise and how great of a kid she is. And then I also have days where I'm telling Nick how awful of a parent I was, how I can't do this parenting thing anymore and being a mom is too much for me to handle.

At no other part of my life have I needed to be so selfless and patient, and even though I sometimes feel like I don't have it in me to keep going, it's nothing a pot of coffee can't fix.... and  it is all so, so worth it. 

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