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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.