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Yeah…Immaeatthat

Sep 23

3 months as a mom of 2 kiddos.

Around 4 weeks postpartum I was at an indoor play place with the girls and another mom, who I didn’t know, asked how old Ella was and I said, “2 months!” and then I was like, “wait, no, wishful thinking haha. She’s only 4 weeks.” The other mom got what I meant by “wishful thinking” and asked how it’s been going with a little laugh.

I love so many of the moms I meet when out and about. I love how within a minute of talking we’re sharing details of postpartum bleeding and the toll newborn life can have on your marriage. Motherhood is such a cool thing to bond over. It’s like we know we only have 2 minutes to talk before we get interrupted so we just dive right into the helpful conversations as quick as possible. 

Realizations

Realization one: It is tough to bond with a baby who screams so much. Ella is a way more cheerful baby than Jo. It’s been nice. Last week Ella slept 10 hours straight at night. I didn’t even know a 2 1/2 month old baby was capable of that! IT WAS AWESOME! 

My constant prayer during the first year of Jo’s life was, “please Lord, help me like being a mom. Have me learn what I need to learn and make this easier.” Now, with 2 kids, I really enjoy being a mom. Early on with Jo I think I was grieving my old life where I got to work and create work-related things as often as I wanted (art, the course, blog posts). I believe there is purpose to the sacrifices we’re introduced to as mothers. God uses motherhood to refine and change.

Since Ella was born I haven’t had to pray much for God to help me find joy and purpose in motherhood, because I really love being a mom to Jojo and Ella. I really love having a toddler. However, days I’m alone with Ella, I’m like, “so, little tiny baby, we’re just gonna, you know, sit here and you’ll eat and sleep and that’s it.” There’s just not much going on with a baby but there often still isn’t a lot of free time because there’s not a lot of predictability when they’re that small. I much prefer the toddler life, tantrums and all. Funny story: When Jo has been tantrum-ing lately she’s started yelling at me, “go away, go away!”, which I find hilarious because she can’t string that many words together yet, but she’s managed to very clearly string together “go” and “away” haha. 

Lately my prayer has been one of gratitude instead of desperation with, “thank you Lord for such a great capacity. For the capacity to handle so much as I learn how to mother these two girls.” But somedays (and this brings me to realization two) I’ll have moments where, when so overwhelmed when caring for an infant, I get why parents have shaken their baby. Man, it’s hard to be a parent. Motherhood is constantly humbling. I have many moments when my children feel like roadblocks to getting anything productive done and I wish it was easier to shift my brain to their care is the only thing that needs to get done. For me, some of those feelings lift once maternity leave is over and I have dedicated time to work child-free. I’m so grateful for the flexible career I have and that I can adjust it based on the needs of our family at the time. The plan is for me to work 13-20 hours each week, which works well for us.

The other day, while having a meltdown to my mom about a situation, she was like, “I think you need some perspective beyond the baby attached to your boob.” Yep. I feel like working makes me a better mom, gives me some perspective, and getting to be a mom makes me a more grateful business owner. They compliment each other nicely.

Being alone again

For me, one of the greatest moments, second to the moment when my child is taken out of my body and placed on my chest, is the moment when I’m in my home alone for the first time again. We get so little alone time in our homes as moms and it’s a disorienting feeling when you’re home and there’s no one to tend to. When I had my first alone-in-the-home moment last week after 2 1/2 months I sat and took in what a whirlwind the last couple months had been. It felt like the first time I’d come up for air in a bit.

The blog

I don’t really know what the plan with immaEATthat (the blog or instagram) is. My private practice is going well and I enjoy working with clients and, thinking longterm, I think it makes the most sense for our family for me to continue working with clients one-on-one. Since Jo was born I’ve felt a need for more of a work life and personal life separation, but I didn’t know what that would look like. I think it means a lot less frequent posting schedule and not having the girls on IG much, which is what has been happening since Jo was born, but I don’t think I ever officially said. I wanted to just mention it here for you who read the blog regularly (YOU who I’m so grateful for!), that for the foreseeable years to come I believe my posting schedule is going to be super sporadic. If you like reading my posts, joining my email list will be the best way to know when I post, since I don’t want you having to check the blog randomly and being disappointed there’s not a new post.

It’s hard to have commentary on your life constantly and that’s my biggest reason from stepping away from sharing on IG. I was journaling recently about how the work I do should support my family, Andrew and my girls. God has given them to me to care for. The commentary from other people doesn’t help me support my family.

My body is nearly as functional as I need it to be

The other day I was doing a MommaStrong and while doing mountain climbers I felt/heard a pop in my abs so I immediately stopped and took a couple days off movement outside of activities of daily living and all seems fine now. So that was a bit of a setback, but overall I almost feel as functional as I want/need to be (i.e. I can go on walks with the girls, can ride our bikes to bible study, can throw Jo up above my head, can do airplane with Jo, can do the weighted ropes in our garage, can do mommastrong videos, can have my sleep interrupted for 12 months and miraculously still function haha). I saw an advertisement for MommaStrong the other day that said, “because you don’t need a 6-pack, you just want to play with your kids without peeing yourself” lol. I’m really liking MommaStrong still.

A constant reminder for me is that I don’t need my body to look a certain way to be able to take care of myself and my family. Focusing on doing things that help me be as functional as I need to be to care for myself and others is a better goal.

Reframing what my brain defaults to…

There have been a couple times I’ve felt blah in my body, whether it’s a stomach roll I notice while nursing or my still-getting-used-to-them stretch marks on my belly, and when I’ve taken a moment to think about what my brain is automatically going to it’s, “eww that feels gross and disgusting.” But if I put more thought into it, that’s not what I think of my body. Lately, the times it pops into my head, I’ve been replacing the word “disgusting” with “motherly”. That fat roll and those stretch marks are what motherly looks like on me and being a mom is a role I have great admiration and respect for and I’m not going to ruin the experience of motherhood by hating on the vessel I’ve been given to do it in.

I remember being on a trip with my best friend growing up and while her mom was carrying their newborn baby she tripped and fell on her face…holding her baby up above her head, so the baby was unhurt. I think I was like 12 years old and it left such an impact on me. That is what a mother’s sacrifice looks like. How truly awesome. If my body needs to look different to make that sacrifice, I’m okay with that…even if I’m still getting used to it.

I hope your life is going well and you’re enjoying the upcoming transition into fall. Any moms or moms-to-be out there relate to or find support in what is written above? 

21 comments on “3 months as a mom of 2 kiddos.”

  1. I cannot remember the last time I was in my house alone! I have 5 and almost 3 year old boys and they are always with me as a stay at home mom. My 5 year old just started Kindergarten so he’s at school all day, but besides that they don’t go anywhere without me and rarely do I go anywhere without them. Motherhood is this strange combination of desperately wanting to be alone, and yet not wanting to miss anything with your kids.

    Thanks for your honesty once again. I love your perspective on your motherly body!

  2. Man on man do I love your blog! I’m currently reading it while I pump at work :). I have a 2.5 year old and a 6.5 month old, and I found myself nodding along to all of this. With my first, I also prayed that I would enjoy being a mother more during those early days. I felt bad that I would get frustrated when my son woke up to eat every 3 hours until he was a year old. I always wondered if I was doing something wrong. And I felt bad that I enjoyed going to work most days, haha. But now with my second child, I feel a lot more relaxed. And I agree with you, I looove being a mom to a toddler. I do love the baby stage (probably because my second is lot more laidback), but the toddler stage is just so much fun. In terms of my body, I love what you said about replacing “disgusting” with “motherly.” I have stretch marks on my stomach from this last pregnancy and a little bit of ab separation which makes my tummy stick out. I even had someone ask me last week if I was pregnant again (insert eye roll emoji). Some days I don’t even think about my body, but other days I feel sad that I look different in my clothes or that my skin folds over my pants when I sit down, etc etc. But you’re right; is my body functional? Absolutely. And that’s what I should focus on instead. Your last few sentences actually made me tear up a little. My mom was always making sacrifices for me and my sister, and I am making the same sacrifices for my own kids, and I feel lucky to be able to do so. It just takes some getting used to! Thanks for a great blog :)

  3. I enjoy your blog posts about motherhood. I am pregnant with my second and very nervous about adding a newborn to the mix again. Life is difficult with a newborn. I am also very nervous for my firstborn and how that transition will go. Thanks for keeping it real with us!

  4. I always appreciate how honest you are in your posts! Motherhood is such a challenge unlike any other. Thank you for talking about the physical changes too! I am so far removed from the mindset that my body needs to look a certain way, yet I often struggle with the shape of my postpartum body as well. I vented to my husband recently and he told me that he loves my stretch marks because they are proof that I have birth to his baby. He said that I look more like a woman now than ever before. I try to remember his words whenever I am tempted to try to squeeze into a pair of pants I could easily wear before becoming a mama or whenever I am tempted to pinch a roll with contempt. Our bodies can give us so much and that is more beautiful than fitting into our jeans from high school or being the hot mom lol

  5. You are so insightful, so deep, such a good writer, and just obviously such a wonderful person. I love reading your blog and just know we’d get along so well IRL. I wish you all the best with everything. You’re awesome.

  6. Just became a second time mom to twins. I have found your posts very helpful and relatable!  I also feel my best when I’m working; it really does give you some downtime (because it’s something I know I’m good at versus something I question) and to feel like yourself again. I really appreciate you talking about the Momma Strong program.  I signed up and I can’t wait to get started! Thank you for the recommendation!!!

  7. I love your motherhood posts and always find them SOO relatable. I have a 2 year old daughter and I, too, will take the toddler phase any day over the baby phase. Jojo telling you to “go away” put a HUGE smile on my face because that is what my daughter has been telling me. Also saying things like “leave mommy” and “daddy do it”…..like she is trying to test me or something. Haha. The tantrums can be pretty fierce. The patience you need with a toddler is INSANE. Even though there is so much sacrifice, motherhood almost forces you to take care of yourself better, because you have to, to be there for your children. Thank you for your wonderful posts Kylie. You have such a beautiful family.

  8. I greatly appreciate how honest and open you are regarding motherhood. I have a 2 year old and am 4 month pregnant with my second. There have been many times over the last two years where I have wondered why did I decide to sign up for it. However, your honesty of it’s hard and the growth that can come along with the challenges helps to remind me that 1 have kept one child alive for 2 years I am completely tackle raising a second one and embrace the bumps along the way. Thank you!

  9. I just love reading these posts from you (even if they will decrease in frequency…I totally get it!) . Thanks for being so honest.

  10. Thank you so much for you real posts. I love how you talk about being functional, and that’s really all that matters. I am 36 weeks with my first baby, and am ready to not be pregnant anymore! I just want to bend over and be able to tie my shoes without almost passing out from lack of oxygen.

    • The end of pregnancy is LONG. Hang in there! You’re about to have one of the best moments of your life! The anticipation to meet baby is unlike anything else I’ve experienced! Excited for you!

  11. I started Mommastrong right after your last post when you talked about it, and….IT’S THE BEST THING EVER. I have been in ED recovery and this is the best “recovery movement” exercise I’ve come across. I’m so glad you are finding it helpful during this postpartum phase. Win ugly!

    • Yay, Peggy! So glad you tried it and are liking it! Agreed it’s one of the best movement related resources for those who’ve had EDs. The minimal body manipulation and diet talk is awesome!

  12. Thanks for this beautiful post, Kylie. Your reasons for stepping away from social media are totally valid. I don’t know what it is — the ease of communication, the anonymity–about social media that makes people so inclined fo offer unsolicited insults, advice and judgements. It can be so tough. Good on you for setting boundaries. I find it so refreshing the way you have your priorities in order in such a mature, wise manber.
    And that story about the mother and baby was so chilling and beautiful. The lengths a mother will go to are truly awe-some.

  13. This post was so full of GEMS about Motherhood and God and just…. wow. thank you for sharing. Very inspirational!!

  14. Just wanted you to know I enjoy and appreciate your blog and Instagram posts and I’m so happy and inspired that you’re focused on finding a way to do it in a way that supports you and your family. You are wise!!

  15. KYLIE, Thanks for the post. You know what? many moms visit your site and read your article. I have found your website from another person. Really all of your post is important for moms.

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