Motherhood- the Beginning.
The whole thing that started this little journey. Only, for me, (and I'm sure for most) this journey is not so little. It has been life-changing.
I found out I was expecting during the beginning of Fall, 2010. My boyfriend and I had only been together for 3 months (scandalous, I know)..... BUT he was a great guy and stuck by my side and eventually even ended up asking me to marry him in the end (but that's not the end; it's only the beginning and a story for later).
Needless to say, 3 months dating someone, 22-years-old (young, yet viewed to be "so old" in "Utah years"), no idea where my life was headed, and PREGNANT.
This was not the plan. As hard as I tried to pretend it was, the truth was, it was not.
I've worked hard to separate myself from the stigma that is associated with being "from the trailer park"; I've often felt ashamed of where I came from and the circumstances that surrounded me growing up. In fact, I found I was quite literally "working my life away" trying to run from it all and leave that portion of my life behind me.
At 22, I had a "mid-life crisis" and found myself ready to live my actual age instead of working to climb the corporate ladder and prep for death before I had even had a chance to live. I quit my career in retail management and was excited to live out my dream of being a free-spirited, traveling hippie that would pay for the next adventure by teaching yoga around the globe. Only, the universe had something else in mind for me, something I thought would never be in the stars for me- a little boy with my hair and my stubbornness that would challenge me to grow in ways I didn't know were possible. And, at the time, I took it as a brutal awakening that my dreams were just that and I would be doomed to re-live my mother's failures and everything I had fought so hard to overcome (more on this later).
It sounds so selfish to say out loud, which is why I mostly kept these thoughts inside. I battled with these feelings of hating myself for feeling this way and the guilt of being a resentful mother because it didn't fit into my plans and I felt "stuck", the worst possible feeling for me- to be trapped. It was everything I had worked my whole life to avoid. So I pretended it was all in the plan and everything was perfect. After all, I truly did love this little tiny human and made sure I alwaysput him first; I could make it work, and I would fight to give this boy everything he would ever need.
But I carried on like I had been doing my entire life; I lived in survival mode. It was not a new feeling.
And then, something magical happened. Something I didn't even know was happening until it had already happened. Nixon taught me what love is.
He taught me what it is to live out of intent, rather than survival. And later I would learn that the experiences I felt "forced" to have were there to shape me into the best version of myself I could possibly be. Not only has Nixon taught me what love is, but he taught me how to find love for myself.
I love my son more than anything . Literally. Like, I didn't even know that was really a thing until I became a mama. That doesn't mean that everything has been easy. But it has alwaysbeen worth it.
To be honest, I needed Nixon in my life more than he will ever need me in his; I sometimes feel selfish because he is such an amazing, innocent, sweet soul, and I am a constant hot-mess. But I'm beginning to think this is a pretty standard feeling that most mothers experience.
The biggest struggle I have found in motherhood has been redefining who I am as a person. As a mother, you are constantly living for someone else and putting their needs before your own; this can make it difficult to understand your own needs and then actually figure out how to "meet" those needs or which ones you have to let slip through the cracks. I've found that talking about these struggles, all of the things I've felt so ashamed about, has actually helped me to connect to other mothers and, in turn, help me to overcome much of the internal turmoil I have battled for years, and become an even better mother. This understanding and openness has also led me to create a better relationship with my own mother, something that never seemed possible.
Loving yourself as much (or almostas much) as you love that tiny little human that was sent for you is just as important as the love you give to them. Your child is watching everything you do; they're learning how to love and how to feel about themselves from you. You MUST show them that it is okay to love yourself and take time for yourself. Show them that it's more than okay; it's vital to your well-being.
Realizing that it's okay to not feel perfect, to feel like you're doing everything wrong, it's all part of the journey. It's what helps us grow and discover what we can do to better ourselves. Having the confidence to battle these things and change for the better, knowing that it's not your errors that define you, but how you overcome them that speaks volumes about who you are.... THAT is what makes you a great mother.
So, friend, I invite you to be part of my Tribe. Whether you're struggling with insecurities of your own, you've got it on lockdown and have a story to share, or you just want to connect with other mothers to grow your own tribe, I would love nothing more than to have you along for the journey. Join me on Instagram here.