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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : The Best Motherhood Advice I've Ever Received


The Best Motherhood Advice I've Ever Received

Last night as I nursed and rocked Wes to sleep, I could not help myself from breaking down into an unexpected release of sobs. There I was singing a goodnight song to him and almost instantly it was as if the words were swallowed into my heart instead of floating into his little ears.

Hot tears trickled down my cheeks. I tried my best to stay quiet and keep some semblance of composure, but I felt Wesley's eyes on me. I looked down and sure enough, he stared up at me with a look of concern on his face.

As if he were looking beyond my eyes and into my soul, he reached up for my hand and let out his own soft, cooing sob as a gesture to what I was feeling and expressing. Of course, the tears really spouted out of my face after that.

Why was I crying? There are a few reasons, I suppose.

Lately I've been in the doldrums. I am pretty sure my hormones are on a raging rollercoaster ride, and it probably has something to do with my thyroid. Either way, I just have a lot of feelings. I suppose that comes with transition, and we've gone through a huge change within the the last few months of moving and Matt working from home. I usually welcome change, but perhaps having kids caused me to grow roots, which were recently torn out and now yearn to be grounded once again. Unfortunately, that process requires only time. (Cue the Enya and rain beating against a dreary window.)

Can I tell you something else that I am ashamed to admit, but I am going to throw it out there anyway? I am having some serious body image issues right now. I know, I know, I went all guns out on my soapbox when I wrote this post on the very subject, but it's been almost a year since I gave birth to Wes and things aren't sucking back in as easily as they once did. It probably has something to do with the fact that I see myself in photos all the time on this blog and I am creating unnecessary insecurities about myself. I also find myself comparing my body to when I was 17, and I've ingrained it into my mind that that my adolescent body is the goal weight and look to achieve. I know it's not healthy or realistic, but it's where my current state of mind dwells, and I am working to fix all of this nonsense circulating in my brain.

Do I still love my body's abilities and how it has blessed me with wonderful, healthy children? I do completely. Perhaps it sounds foolish and vain to be complaining about my stomach that looks terminally three months pregnant (which is not, for the record) and a more plump backside and thighs, but I think those issues may hold a deeper meaning. Maybe I am feeling a bit out of control and seeking for a way to gain back my sense of control in my currently unstable inner turmoil. (Whatever that is.)

I don't know. All of this leads me to a very important story and message, though.

Three years ago at my baby shower for Luke, a friend gave me the best words of advice in regard to motherhood. She stared me in the eyes with a gentle, but firm gaze and instructed me, "Give yourself a year." She then went on to explain that things would feel crazy and look different more so than I had ever experienced, and to constantly remind myself that since it takes almost a year to grow a human, it would take equal time to feel back to my normal self.

Those four words may seem basic and small, but they've been my biggest champions in times when I feel plain lousy. (Like right now.) So, I am now reminding myself of that truly golden advice. Wes isn't a year just yet, and things are still adjusting. Besides, it's my time to focus on a healthy lifestyle, not a skinny one — and to remember there's a big difference the two.

Sometimes it just helps to write it all out, clear and hard, no sugarcoating or keeping appearances. This isn't a plea for validation, this is me being real and working on coming to terms with my own weaknesses. And maybe, just maybe, one of you out there will need to hear these words, too.

Thanks for coming back time and time again to read my blog. I value my friendship with all of you, even if it is only through the glare of a glossy screen. Much love to you all, and here's to the silver linings when the going gets tough.

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At September 24, 2014 at 6:45 AM , Blogger Flora and Fauna said...

Oh my dear I am so sorry you are having a rough time. Kudos to you for being honest and brave and sharing. We've all been there. In fact I'm right there with you. Being nine months pregnant with a toddler and a two-story house is kicking my butt. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. I'm not sure if you know but I have thyroid issues too. Perhaps it may help to have your levels checked again? Sometimes you can be off by so little but it makes a huge difference with how you feel. Will keep you in my prayers lovely! xoxo

At September 24, 2014 at 7:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At September 24, 2014 at 8:43 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

I feel like we would be best friends, if we lived in the same town ;) I can't tell you how many times I've just wept as I nursed my babies to sleep...causing them to wake up and not want to go back to sleep haha. But as far as the body image, I feel the same way so often. And I bounced back much quicker with my first than I am with my second and it is super disappointing! I like the year rule :)

At September 24, 2014 at 8:51 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

i really, really needed to hear that. thank you. and you are totally not alone in all the feelings :)


At September 24, 2014 at 1:16 PM , Blogger Jessica Holly said...

1. You're a total babe 2. I totally agree with the 1 year bit. Not even just with the body changes but everything else that comes with a new baby! My sister in law (who is amazing and has 5 boys 8 and under) always says it takes a year to get her feet back under her after having a baby and I totally agree. Oh the hormones!!

At September 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM , Blogger Sarah Hartley said...

I needed to hear that piece of advice. My baby boy is almost 8 months and I've been feeling so down that I'm not back where I want to be (Or even close). Yes, I love that my body created another human being, but I'd also love my body to show the evidence of that a little less. But I'll get there. And I'm hoping when I do, my mind will also feel a but back to normal too.

At September 24, 2014 at 5:11 PM , Blogger Angie Peters said...

I was just telling my husband how I still look 3 months pregnant! Haha. Sad, but seriously thanks for sharing! I needed to hear that. I gained almost 60 lbs by the time I gave birth to my little dude 9 months ago and it certainly does take time to get all that off! Plus, being busy with kids and work doesn't always give you the time you had before to work out ya know. But you look great and keep reminding yourself of how precious life is and how blessed you are! Stay healthy and stay strong :)

At September 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

That is so sweet! Thank you for the amazing advice. I sometimes feel pressure from others to be back to "normal" since it's already been seven months, but it's good to hear it from another mommy's perspective! Thank you!

The Mama Gazette

At September 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM , Blogger AmandaLynnEats said...

Thank you for sharing this. It took me a full three years to feel like myself again, just as I am hubs is wanting another baby. Not sure if I can start this whole process over again?

At September 27, 2014 at 7:11 AM , Blogger Erin @ Love, the Campbells said...

I needed this. My baby is seven months and know one ever mentioned those four magical words give yourself a year to me. I love that and need to constantly remind myself of it now. It's so easy to get down on myself and wish I looked like this or that (or even just how I looked pre baby) but the most important thing right now should be leading by example for my child instead of trying to skinny it up even though that's all I want. Thank you for being so open and transparent. It's one of the many reasons I keep coming back! xoxo

At September 29, 2014 at 6:58 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks so much, friend! I didn't know you have thyroid issues! I am going to need to email you and chat. And yes, I am going to get them checked this week. Thanks for the love and prayers! xoxo

At September 29, 2014 at 6:58 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you! xoxox

At September 29, 2014 at 6:59 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I am sure we would, sister! We just need to stop being so hard on ourselves, huh? We need to be IRL friends so we can give each other pep talks ;) You're a beautiful mama and always remember that! xo

At September 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Natalie, it makes me happy to know my words helped you. Hugs and thoughts your way, friend! xo

At September 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Whooooaaa, she is a SAINT! If she says it, it MUST be true! Thanks for the love, Jess! xox

At September 29, 2014 at 7:01 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Yes, you will get here and you will feel normal soon! We're are both so close! Sending happy vibes your way, my friend! :)

At September 29, 2014 at 7:02 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

We can both look 3 months pregnant together ;) Ha. Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement, Angie! You're awesome! xo

At September 29, 2014 at 7:03 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

You still have a solid 5 months in your pocket! Happy my advice can help. Hope you are enjoying this time with your sweet little one. xo

At September 29, 2014 at 7:06 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Amanda, I feel ya! I think the decision on family planning is such a personal thing for each individual, so kudos to you for choosing to have one and kudos to you if you have more! Do what is best for you to be the best mother. xo!

At September 29, 2014 at 7:10 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Aren't they truly the greatest four words? It's so important to be gentle with ourselves, and I absolutely agree that our example is so huge. (Especially with girls! Thank goodness I have boys, but you will have to be extra sensitive with Addison!) I really try to keep this blog as open and transparent as I can, so I appreciate your comment. Thanks so much for coming back, Erin! You're the best! xo


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