For any huge accomplishment in life, we try our best to be prepared. We take advice from those that have done this before, read books and attempt to prepare ourselves the best we can. And I've been very fortunate in life because so many people have helped me find my path in life. And once I fell pregnant with my first daughter, I thought I could prepare the same way I did for exams in university - read a thousand books and articles and build a vision for how I thought my life as a mother would go. Let me tell you, it did NOT go any way that I had planned.
After having Ena, I had the baby blues. And then those baby blues stuck around a little bit longer and likely formed into something more. It took me months to snap out of it - to feel comfortable letting someone else HOLD my baby, to leave the house for a dinner. And adjusting to a postpartum life brought out additional insecurities - my body had changed, my hormones were out of control and I did not feel like my self at all.
I attempted to speak to others in my life - my husband, friends, but it was hard finding those who related. So luckily, around this time - I started becoming more active on social media and met some amazing people. Other moms, going through the exact same thing - who were not afraid to speak about how they felt. It helped me feel like I was "normal". Then that first year flew by quickly, I returned to work, fell pregnant again and the whole cycle repeated. However, this time, I felt like I was more prepared. But going from one to two babies who were so close in age was a huge shock all in itself. And the mom guilt grew to an all time high.
Was my older one getting the attention she deserved? Was my younger one getting the same attention that her sister was? And then all of the sudden my Instagram feed was filled with "perfect" moms whose kids did not get any screen time and spent the day baking cookies and participating in a vast variety of Montessori activities made me feel like the a failure once again. I have to say - It is so difficult parenting in the age of social media. No matter what we do, what we believe - there will always be someone else telling us that we're doing it wrong.
So 2018 came around and I decided to take my New Years resolution VERY seriously. I had a long talk with my husband and I told him my concerns - and together we came up with a plan. This year was going to be different .This year I was going to attempt to grow, to expand my confidence. I started working out again regularly, and seeing changes in myself. My confidence grew as a result, both physically and emotionally. I felt more ready to take on some challenges in life. I was also ready to return to the workforce, and in September, I did. And there have been many challenges along the way, but I truly believe it was the best decision for us. And the rest of the time, we are trying our best. There are days where I will have a full meltdown because our house is a mess, but he gently reminds me that we are doing our best and life is difficult with two small children.
And every once in a while, I'll receive a message from someone who tells me that "I make it all look easy" and I'm using this opportunity to say that it is NOT easy. And if I am implying that it is, I apologize. Social media is difficult, your life is filled with picture perfect photos depicting picture perfect lives - but life is anything but. It is okay to be speak about your experience, to be volunerable, to have self-doubt - because we all do. And we're all just doing the best we can.