I had intended to get this blog post up a few days ago. I wasn’t slacking intentionally I’ll have you know. I actually spent the last few days writing, deleting and rewriting this entry. I felt as though I had so much to say but found myself writing a mishmash of thoughts. I even felt ashamed at certain points for sharing such vulnerabilities. Although, that’s where my head has been over the past month or so, one minute it’s a mishmash of anxiety, fear, doubt and then the next it’s happiness, love, confidence. So I took some time to organize my thoughts knowing I’m not the only mother out there feeling these things and so it here goes…
First of, it’s not an easy task to put yourself out there. To open yourself up to the possibility of both praise and ridicule is a difficult decision, though being the blogger that I am I know I’m not alone in this and knowing some of you will relate is what matters most. I’m here to remind you that these feeling aren’t forever, they aren’t wrong and it doesn’t make you less than. In fact, it just makes you human.
Since having such an eventful year, becoming a new mom and all, I have been on overload. Being a parent is certainly not for the faint of heart in my personal opinion. So many changes take place both physically and emotionally before and after baby arrives that it can be very overwhelming at times. There have been moments when I think, “Can I really do this?” or I find myself holding Emerson for hours while I get things done one handed just because I hate the thought of being away from her. I have even cried WITH her (and probably just as loud) wanting nothing more than to be able to console her when I feel as though I can’t. Generally speaking, prior to becoming a mom, I’ve always found myself to be a strong, confident woman but as you take on such a huge life change and a kind of love you can’t explain it can test your every thought and action, as it has me. Once Emerson was born I battled the usually physical insecurities as well as emotional ones. My life had up and did a 180 in what seemed like a matter of seconds, I barely slept, barely had time to eat, questioned my ability to be a good mother, questioned my relationship with my boyfriend, barely even had a moment to organize my thoughts, let alone take care of me. This tiny human had instantly become my every breath, every thought, everything. I had gone from this happy, empowered, take the world head-on woman to a frazzled, sleep deprived, cranky, self-conscious mother. I remember the very moment it all sank in, standing there in the doctor’s office while the woman at the front desk noted that I was surprisingly on time for my appointment (I guess most moms are late for their 6 week postpartum visit). I looked down as she spoke, realizing why I was on time, I hadn’t even taken a moment to ready myself. I was wearing the same sweatshirt I had on the night before which was covered with spit up, my hair was twisted up in a greasy, messy knot, I had on mis-matched socks (unintentional) and I couldn’t even be sure if they were clean. Who was this person I wondered? I felt so detached from myself, like a walking mess of a person. I could barely even process a sentence half of the time let alone take a brush to my hair. In that very moment I felt as though I was having an outer body experience, looking at someone who sort-of resembled me but whom I didn’t really know. If someone had asked me at that very second how I was “holding up” I would have broken down and cried.
And that wasn’t who I wanted to be. That wasn’t who I wanted Emerson to call ‘Mom’.
I knew that in order for me to be not only the best mother to my daughter but to also be the best girlfriend and partner I had to find the Kaylin that I once was. I had to be the one to fix this. I had to first realize it was OKAY to feel these things, it wasn’t unusual or wrong but that they had had their moment and it was time to go back to believing in myself, back to being optimistic, passionate, fearless and find time for me again (at least time to wear clean, matching socks). I had to once again believe that I was enough, stop doubting my abilities, stop cringing over the extra baby weight, stop pushing off doing the things I love because “I can’t find the time” or “I’m too tired”, stop feeling inadequate as a mother and as a partner. Feeling enough can be the hardest thing to convince yourself you are, truly, especially while you are trying to adjust to a whole new way of life which can include sleep deprivation (that does a number on your thought process!). I began to understand that it wasn’t just about doing all of this for me anymore since it’s not just about me, it’s about my role within my family. I am a part of something wonderful, something so important to people who need me, who need my strength. If I don’t have it for myself how can I give it to others? Realizing your strength in life is a powerful thing. It’s sometimes easier said than done but you really are more powerful than you, and I, often realize. It’s important that we take a moment in the craziness of life to remind ourselves that we have purpose, we have so much to give to this world, we are strong, resilient, valuable beings who at times can even be vulnerable and that’s okay, too. I’m continuing to practice that everyday along with the support of my boyfriend (family and friend support is key). Of course each and everyday is different, some good, some great and some where I struggle. It’s an ongoing battle to find that balance again but rest assured even the days that seem hard strength is still there. Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up on who you know you are within. I’m continuing to remind myself that I am a great mother, that I am beautiful, strong and can do anything that I set my mind to and most importantly that I am enough and actually believing it.
This easy (and I mean seriously easy) recipe is perfect for entertaining now that the holidays are here. It makes a delicious appetizer to pair with some crispy crackers or a fresh baguette. There’s nothing better than the flavors of the season combined in a warm skillet!
Baked Brie with Pecans and Cranberries
Serves: 6+/ Prep time: 5 minutes/ Bake time: 7 minutes
- 1 wheel brie
- 1/3 c pecans, chopped
- 1/3 c dried cranberries
- 1/4 c maple syrup
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- pinch of sea salt
- crackers or baguette for serving (use gluten-free options if needed)
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Place brie in the center of a cast iron skillet and warm in the oven for 7 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a small bowl combine the pecans, cranberries, maple syrup, rosemary and sea salt. Mix to combine all of the ingredients.
- Remove the brie from the oven and pour the mixture over the center of the brie.
- Serve warm with crackers or pita chips.