When I was pregnant with Connor, I remember thinking of all the things I’ll accomplish during maternity leave. I had a vision of my baby laying in his swing giggling, while I cooked dinner every night before Jake got home. I told myself I would wake up everyday and do my hair and makeup, making myself feel “put together.” And I swore I wouldn’t be the mother that says she forgot to drink her poured cup of coffee from 8am that morning. Honestly, before I had Connor, I didn’t believe those mothers; they were being dramatic right?! How does someone “forget” to each lunch.
A naive first-time pregnant mother, I was.
Now that Connor is older, I’ve mastered folding a load of laundry, doing a quick makeup look, and eating breakfast all within 20 minutes while he happily plays. But I can promise you, I’ve come a long way from the days of Jake leaving for work, and me calling him at noon crying because Connor won’t stop crying, and I have yet to brush my teeth for the day.
It’s taken me close to three months (and still counting) to figure out an identity outside of motherhood. “Mom guilt” sets in almost daily, but I know that in order to be a better mother [and wife], carving time outside of playing peek-a-boo is important.
Even with the current state of our lives in quarantine, there are a few things that have helped me turn my day around as a mother, or just simply given me a quick break to focus on myself. Instead of finding an identity OUTSIDE of motherhood, I’m finding my identity in other ways, to help me in this new season of motherhood….
- I wake up and almost immediately make our bed. If I don’t put mascara on, or spend half my day with a sleeping baby on me, I feel like I’m in control of my house with a made-bed. I feel more put together as a human. Having a clean home makes me a better mother.
- I’ve also gotten into the habit of reading a quick daily devotion every morning. Being a mother and a wife are my priority, but I am trying to also remind myself that I won’t strive in either of those roles if I don’t put my relationship with God first. When I talk to God a bit more, everything else seems to run smoothly. Having a personal relationship with God makes me a better mother.
- Daily movement. Now that the sun is coming out here in Cleveland, we go on a walk (or two) everyday. Along with a nice hour walk, I’m riding virtually with Harness Cycle, in my basement. At first I really struggled taking this 45 minutes to myself while Jake handles Connor. But the high I feel after a hard sweat with my favorite instructors is exactly what I need, mentally and physically. For those 45 minutes, I feel my body transforming back to how it once was, and I feel strong. This time is so crucial for me and my identity. Moving my body makes me a better mother.
- Quality time with Jake. I’ve learned through our relationship that quality time together is one of my main love languages. Our evenings together after Connor is asleep may be simple; watching a show, sharing a snack, or talking about our day… but reconnecting with Jake makes me a better wife, making us a better team, making me a better mother.
- Lastly, this blog. In this season of life, I’m not able to write as much as I would love to. More times than not (like right now), I write entire posts on my phone, with a little boy who is boycotting all crib naps, on my lap. Right now though, this is the best I can do. My blog gives me excitement outside of motherhood. I can express my thoughts on life, trends, and my true love for bridal. I’m thankful for this outlet. Taking the time to write makes me a better mother.
I wouldn’t trade the title of “Mom” for anything. But I also don’t want to give up my other identities as well. I am a mother and wife first, but also a girl that loves quiet time in the morning, an organized routine, a really hard workout, and someone just doing the best she can; balancing life. In order to be a better mother, I must still find identity outside of motherhood.
What an honor it is to be celebrated this Mother’s Day by my friends, family, husband, and sweet baby. A title I don’t take for granted <3 XOXO,