You're Still You (Guest Post with Lauren from Blissful Happenings!)

Today I have a special treat for you. I'm sharing a guest post, courtesy of Lauren from Blissful Happenings, a blog about motherhood and fashion. She is a fellow mama and blogger, the big sis of my best friend from from my middle school days, and has recently relocated back to the East Coast from sunny Southern California. She has a little rugrat around Everett's age, and today we are taking over each others blogs, sharing some thoughts about the same subject - motherhood and identity! Be sure to show her some love and leave a comment below, letting her know what you think about her post!

There have been a few times in my life when I wasn’t sure who I was, wistfully floating from thing to thing unsure of my purpose or meaning. I’ve always been concerned with what I was “supposed to be doing”... my calling, if you will. Deep, I know. 

Being young is not all that it’s cracked up to be. I was never more unsure of myself than when I was younger. Luckily, maturity and time fixed that. In my early 20’s I moved away from the vast majority of my friends and family and I was left in a place so distracted and lost I barely recognized myself. In my case, new friendships, passions, and renewed faith ignited a confidence that helped squish the voices in my head that told me I wasn’t worthy of happiness. After years spent gaining said confidence, I worked towards a daily goal of being happy in the moment with who I was and where I was... and then I had a baby. 

As someone who would’ve never in a million years thought they’d identify as a stay at home mom, it’s easy to feel isolated after having a baby, to feel like you’re the only person going through this crap... literally, there are days you are covered in crap. You feel like your eye cream has taken a vacation because even your bags have bags. More likely, you’ve just forgot to order more or it’s possible you’ve never even opened the last bottle you ordered because you’re so tired you don’t remember the last time you washed your face.  Ahhh yes, I see you nodding in agreement. You get it. How does one stay true to who they are when they have put themselves last? Oh, you want me to answer now? Is that how this works? I guess in my limited knowledge of raising a tiny human I would say I’ve learned a few things about keeping my identity whole and mostly intact, do with it what you will. 

You do you boo boo. That hasn’t changed. You MUST do the things you love. Read, write, sing, create, dream! Why in the world should a kid stop you!? If anything, having a baby has opened my eyes to more amazing things than I could have ever imagined! How can you make, carry, and birth a baby and not believe in dreams? Now, this might be a good time to discuss managing expectations. It’s not all your time anymore! Can I get an AMEN!? But it’s about what you do with the time you do have! 

Be social. Get out and have lunch or breakfast or coffee, find whatever mealtime your nugget[s] are the most behaved and generally the least difficult and plan the heck out of them! Go on walks, plan play dates, do things that have you hanging around other ah-mazing mothers who get it! Loneliness is a killer of happiness, my friends, so isolation is NEVER the answer. 

Cry and eat Thin Mints. I recently read this article that was talking about how all these “honest” mommy posts popping up on the internet were killing the American family... Yeah. Seriously. And yes, it was written by a man. I was ready to do some face punching. Because let’s face it, being a mom is hard!!!! Raising a kid is freaking hard! And I won’t let anyone tell me that I need to censor that! I don’t ever want anyone, especially a new mom, thinking it’s possible to have it all figured out. No mom, no matter how together she seems, knows it all. She cries in her closet with Thin Mints and a glass of wine too.

Your life is irrevocably changed after you have a baby and that is okay. Accept it. Just remember at the end of the day, you are doing an amazing job! And if all you can muster is Netflix and yoga pants then you allow yourself that, but remember being a mom doesn’t make you any less you. You’re still you, just different...

Many thanks to Lauren for sharing her heart and encouragement about motherhood. Be sure to check out Lauren's blog, Blissful Happenings, and today you can see a post from yours truly about the same subject! Tons of love to you, friends!