The Struggle Is Real

I often get told how being a Mom is so natural to me. As if it was the very reason I was put on this earth. I get complimented by friends and family on how easy I make it look, or how my face lights up any time I’m around my children. I post the happy moments on social media (don’t we all), and people will comment on how sweet Jayce’s smile is, or how Everly has the funniest dance moves. There are so many joyful moments in my life, and I can honestly say being a Mom has made me the happiest I have ever been – but all this joy and happiness has not come without lots of tears, moments of doubt, and countless nights lying awake wondering if I’m screwing it all up. Motherhood is so hard. Exhausting. Tiring. Brutal.

In those early months of being a first time Mom, I struggled in many ways. I was dealing with a high risk pregnancy that came with many complications. I had this beautiful new baby at home, and all I wanted was to settle in and get used to this new season of life. Instead, we had frequent social worker visits to ensure we created a safe and loving home for Jayce, spent hours filling out paperwork so we could receive legal documentation, all while trying to get the bed rest I was prescribed by my doctor (which was impossible with Drew back to work).

I often speak about how Jayce’s adoption was so beautiful – and it was, in so many ways. But in lots of ways I also felt like it robbed me of those blissful first weeks at home, where we had frequent visitors and family around to help. Our first two weeks at home with Jayce were spent living in fear that at any given moment our social worker would call and inform us that the birth parents have changed their minds and they want Jayce back. I was scared to announce our pregnancy as I didn’t want it to overshadow Jayce’s adoption news. I also felt guilty that I was pregnant, and it would appear as if that is ultimately what I always wanted. When in reality, when Jayce was born I got what I had always wanted…he is the reason I am a Mom. And Everly was the missing piece to complete our family.

Reflecting back, a lot of my struggle in those first few months was caused by a series of traumatic unknowns. It was completely normal for me to feel this way, no one should have to live in fear or guilt when they bring their child home. What I realize now is that I didn’t have to struggle alone. I’ve realized I am stronger than I ever imagined I could be, and there are so many people in my corner willing to lend a hand. If I could do it differently? I would accept the help, take more time for self-care, and ditch the mom guilt. Motherhood does not mean you have to be perfect, or get it right all the time. It’s truly about doing your best, with what you have, on any given day.

In the midst of those hard first moments, I always find myself going back to a time in my life where I had to wonder if I was ever going to get the chance to be a Mom. When Jayce is crying over the way I cut his waffles wrong, or when Everly loses her mind when it’s time to leave the playground, I am frequently reminded that I am living my wildest dream come true. And that before I was ever overwhelmed by my children, I begged for them. I find hope in that perspective.

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