This is their Childhood.

A little preface for those who are new to my blog.

                  I wasn't the girl who would dream of getting married. In fact I never even envisioned my wedding until josh and I were practically engaged and I though crap! I better started planning something. Same with kids. I never wanted to be a mom. Up until a few years into mine and Josh's marriage I always thought I'd be a career woman with no kids living this life with my husband and my husband only. I remember the day I told my mom I didn't want kids and she cried. She told me how much I'd be missing out on and how life is so much more fulfilling with them.

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When I became a mom and it all changed. I loved my little Copeland fiercely. I was obsessed with being his mom. But once I realized I was a stay at home mom there was so much of me that missed working. Being home all day alone with a baby can be hard, especially when you;re use to working full time. I missed having the responsibility of a job. Not that being a mom isn't a job but I missed my co workers, hitting monthly goals, being evaluated. Being a mom is hard, a lot harder than the job I had. But there definitely was a small nagging void in me.

When I had Finn is when life got 100x harder. I can finally step back and see that I was suffering with a mild form of PPD. I had a REALLY HARD TIME with prenatal depression as well. Like really bad. There's a reason why I haven't shared Finn's birth story and I'm trying to find the courage to share it.

After going through everything I had gone through during my pregnancy with Finn and the postpartum time, I wanted so badly to go back to work and to have an actual job. I tried pretending like blogging was my job but let's be real, if I didn't respond to an email it's not like I was going to get fired. I could feel myself slowly getting lost in motherhood. It wasn't a bad thing but I longed for something outside of being a mom. Something that made me feel validated. I was losing myself because I had a baby completely different from my first. I no longer had time to myself. If Finn happened to go down for a nap my attention was 100% focused on Copeland. If Finn was awake, he was most likely crying and I was unable to comfort him for the longest time due to his colic. I needed validation that I was doing a good job.

Being happy in motherhood is something I have prayed about so many times since having Finn. So many times I've prayed for help in being content with being a mom and stopping this need for wanting more. We passed the year mark with Finn less than a month ago. And since then a lot has changed. I've changed. I've grown. I've learned so much looking back on the past year and I wanted to share a little bit of that here. Because for me I feel like out of all of this chaos there did come a happy ending.

I think having Finley and going through what I did with his pregnancy, his birth and everything else I dealt with postpartum has been nothing short of a blessing. A blessing I needed to feel content in my journey through motherhood. Funny how a screaming baby can put things into perspective.

The past year has been overwhelmingly hard. Harder than I ever imagined. My marriage was put at the bottom of my to-do list (pun intended ;) ) and I found my anxiety became practically crippling. I literally felt like my life was falling apart and I had no control over it. Most days were a struggle to get myself out of bed but somehow when you're in that situation you do what you have to do for your babies. You're barely keeping your head above water. In survival mode, but you're there, doing it. Getting through life, barely.

Through all of these trials we have faced in the past year I'm finally seeing that having a such a high needs baby has made me realize just how important being a mother is. God works in mysterious ways, indeed. Just by holding Finn I'm able to comfort him. No I wasn't able to comfort him while he was sick with Strep/colic (our doctors are still in disagreement over what they think he had), but now if he's crying all I need to do is wrap my arms around him and the tears subside. It's all I've ever wanted to do. Comfort my baby.

I remember being in the thick of his strep/colic period and wanting so badly to just comfort my crying baby and rarely being able to. I felt so broken. I felt so useless as a mother. But now I'm able to make him feel safe, loved and cared for. That feeling of being valuable is there. When Copeland hugs me and tells me thank you for making him a sandwich at lunch time, it is the sweetest thing in my whole world! I'm needed in my home. Not at a job that I thought I wanted, not online as a blogger, taking photos (although when I have the time to, this is something I truly enjoy), but in my home. I'm not saying to lose yourself and your hobbies but for me I needed to take a huge step back from what I thought was important; social media. That was my hobby and it was destroying my ability to be a mother.

I'm needed in the messy, mundane duties of everyday life. I'm needed to wipe away tears, to change poopy diapers so my little one doesn't get diaper rash, I'm needed to get snacks for grumbly tummies, and to play Go Fish so I can teach the importance of not being a sore loser. This is where I'm needed now. This is where I'm valuable now. Someday my babies will be grown and their need for me will become less and less but right now I'm their lifeline. I'm their comfort and it's the most important job for me. Life as a mom is busy and crazy but it's seriously the greatest thing us moms will ever do. I still love IG and my blog and social media in general. And when I have the time to I love to post. I love sharing photos. I love sharing our daily happenings.

As my kids grow older and I yearn for more babies and I'm learning that I don't need a job to help me feel fulfilled. What I needed and what I've done over the past few months was to throw myself completely into my marriage, motherhood and God.

I think especially now more than ever with social media it's easy to think that being a mom isn't enough. You see so many women kicking ass at being bloggers, running businesses all while being an awesome mom but for me all I need is to be a mom. That's it and that's enough. Being a mom is enough. 

The other day my mom and I were talking about this and how difficult the past year has been. My mom has been by my side through all of this. I'm so lucky to have such a great mom! I can tell her anything without feeling judged or ashamed.

As we were talking about how hard it has been but how special it is now she told me something that stuck with me. We were at the park watching Copeland run around and Finn was waddling his way down the park path. They were laughing and squealing. My heart could've burst it was so precious. My mom and I laughed and she said while looking off at my babies, "Natalie, this is their childhood".

This is their childhood. These are their memories, their habits forming, their personalities developing. This is their childhood and they are still innocent little children who need a 100% present mom and dad.

The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your home.


Monica said...

Love this. Thanks for sharing!

Betsy Boyer said...

Oh my I just love you. You're doing awesome momma!

Chantal H said...

I am not a mother (and I dont want children - long story!) but I found this so appropriate to life as a whole; to be content with what you have and where you are in your journey. I love the quote at the end; "The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your home."

Thank you for sharing this - it has reached me in South Africa!


Shelly L. said...

Thank you for sharing this! I've been following you for a long time now, maybe even before you had Copeland. You're a inspiration of what motherhood looks like, and I love that you keep it all so truthful and honest. Thank you!! Keep up the amazing work and looking forward to any further posts when you have some time to share ☺️