Motherhood 11 months ago by Liz Adams

Balancing the Different Stages of Motherhood

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Motherhood, man. Such a personal journey that is guided by tiny humans who have complete control over us. Balancing the different stages of motherhood is a topic I have been thinking about a lot lately. How sometimes you’re surviving and sometimes you’re thriving and most of the time it is one step forward, 3 steps backwards.

For example, I was telling my friends that it feels like I’m living two different lives with my family right now. One life revolves around Charlie and Jack and one life revolves around George. I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, where maybe George isn’t so dependent on his routine and we can throw him into the mix more but right now, two separate lives.

And it’s hard. Especially when I felt like we were in a really good place with Charlie and Jack. We had a good balance, great childcare, we all checked our own boxes and spent wonderful dedicated time together. Then having George and moving and changing routines and dividing our time and getting acquainted with baby life again; we’ve sort of gotten into this new lifestyle of functioning chaos.

On one side I sort of love it. I feel content with the fact that it is the season of life that we are in. That our kids demand our attention and we are spread thin and it is a constant balancing act of attention. On the other end, I miss putting my energy into other things. Things like relationships, conversations, personal dreams, hobbies, general joys. I know what it would take to make those things available to me more often right now (more childcare, hiring more help for HAF, working out of the house) but I am also not feeling ready to commit to anything. I feel the divide but I also feel myself settling in to life as it is, feeling content with our situation right now.

I often get asked how I “balance it all” which is funny because I absolutely do not. But I think the biggest thing that has changed is my acceptance of motherhood. It is something that has grown with each child. Accepting the time, the energy, the emotions and the general demands that are required in motherhood has greatly allowed me to be at peace with the stage of life that I am in. Because my kids need me right now, and knowing that and accepting that means everything else takes a back seat. And sometimes that sucks but I remind myself what a gift it is to be needed by them.

And everyone in your circle knows that. That maybe you don’t have as much time, or you have to say no to the events, or sometimes you don’t want to get a sitter because you just want to crawl into bed at 8pm. They know. A reminder to surround yourself with the good ones.

So here is to all the moms out there, who maybe feel stuck or who can’t see the light, I promise it is there. At 6 and 4 years old, Charlie and Jack are getting more independent by the second and I see glimpses of moments when they won’t want me to read them a book or sing them a song before bed. Balancing motherhood never gets easier, we just learn to accept it for what it is (and I still struggle with this most days). A beautiful, messy, demanding, exhausting, honorable job. The hardest and must fulfilling job we will ever have.

You’re doing great.

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  1. Thanks for these thoughts! It was so freeing to read that you know what it would look like and what you need to do to start putting your efforts towards other pursuits but right now you’re accepting living in the divide. It made me realize I subconsciously carry a lot of guilt about not working, but when working feel guilt about kids not getting enough. Reading this while my 2 year old snuggles into my lap this morning. Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance ✨

  2. Your honesty is so refreshing, Liz.
    It’s so hard when you are in it because you can’t imagine what it looks like on the other side of it, but you know it will never feel the same. Mine are 6.5 and 3.5 almost, and I definitely feel the ease creeping in at certain points.

  3. You always have the best posts and always hit the nail right in the head.

    Thanks for always keeping it real, Liz.

  4. I so appreciate your perspective on motherhood! With a 2.5 yr old and one on the way I’m anxious about how our whole situation is going to change in ways we can’t anticipate, but striving to roll with it like you do! Seriously you are an inspiration!

  5. I so feel this! I have a 6, 4, and 2 year old. I’m just starting to feel like I can include our youngest more in activities with the whole family, but a toddler is always full of surprises lol. It’s a constant wonderment and joy at watching them grow together along with stress and crazy days. I try to stop myself from thinking, “When they’re older we can…” because that time will be here in the blink of an eye. Instead, I’m focused more on minimizing distractions and focusing on them.

    1. Your honest perspective is a gentle reminder that the struggle is real. I’m in the thick of the stages you mentioned – 8 yr old, 6 yr old and 5 month old- and while the chaos makes me stressed sometimes, I try to keep this season of motherhood in perspective and focus on counting my blessings and enjoying my family. Thank you for sharing how you feel with all of us experiencing similar feelings and experiences.