Monday Words: Feel It All

Monday Words: Feel It All | The Fresh Exchange

The last few weeks I have been working through who this new me really is. Maybe it sounds funny to say at the age of 29, but having gone through such a life transition of becoming a mom in the last few has been rocked parts of my life to the core. One of things, I never expected when we brought H into the world was how much it throw off my understanding of myself. The first few weeks of parenthood was a daze. It was all survival. Just the idea of work was out of the question. I had no time to do much else than think about getting in my shower each day, brushing my teeth, and taking care of myself when it came to the 5 minutes a day I felt I could think about myself at all. At about 1 month I started to surface some and check emails, answer them if they were urgent, but still time was EXTREMELY limited. Now, at 2 months, I am getting back into work (this is the time I told myself I would jump back in with both feet) I am finding myself struggling to know how I land in this new way of life and deal with the changes that have happened to me in this process.

There were some dark days the last few weeks where I literally sat and cried and told Mike I had no idea who I was anymore. Things were heavy. I questioned if maybe I was dealing with some postpartum issues, but between exhaustion, the major shifts of parenthood taking their toll, and the simple fluctuation of hormones I was just feeling completely lost. They prepare you for the possibility of depression and some of the anxiety, but this feeling was something I didn’t expect. I had the greatest fears of losing myself fully and all the things that brought me such fulfillment and purpose. I talked to my girlfriends about it, and the texts rained in saying, I get it girl, I am right there with you. Each friend said, there was a struggle they were having with finding their footing in their career again and I needed to be easy on myself. Before H, I figured I would be back to it all by this time without question. I mean I love my work so much it should be simple, but it hasn’t been and that is hard for someone like me to know what to do with. All my friends’ thoughts brought reassurance that I wasn’t alone and maybe that meant there would be a light at the end of the tunnel finding my place again in this new reality.

After those weeks of heaviness, I made the decision to stop thinking of the big picture and instead, focus on the moments and life as it was right before me. I decided to begin meditating again even for just a few minutes a day in order to release the anxiety and tension I had as I was beginning this new journey of balancing my dreams and passion and being a mom. What I decided was to give myself one daily task that connected back me back to my passion/career and start making small lists that gathered all my thoughts of to-dos of work, personal life, and even grocery lists. Mike helped me take the reigns again on life in order to bring me to more level and real ground. This week (week 8) was the first week I felt like me again since probably the last trimester of pregnancy. This last week I found myself somehow enjoying both every second H was in my arms (yes even the crying moments and the dirty diapers) as well as getting tasks done, planning upcoming jobs without overloading my schedule, and evenings with Mike. I felt far more present and at ease with things as they are and not how I am wanting them to be or thinking they should be. It felt good.

By no means would I say that I am out of the woods or somehow a few realignments in perspective have fixed me, but I do believe they are helping me connect with reality far better. They are allowing me to feel more grace and patience with things as they are. Most importantly it is helping me safe and comfortable as I ease back into doing what I love, owning a business, all while balancing being a new mom and a wife. There are things that fall through the cracks and I have turned down a few big jobs, but I have been able to say yes to a healthier me.

The most important thing I have learned during this time is how it is very important to allow yourself to feel it all in life. The good, the bad, the frankly extremely ugly, and everything in between. For me, I would push those feelings out in order to stay strong and do it all. I wouldn’t let anyone in to share the burden with me, because in some way that meant I was weak. What I have learned is that a strong and healthy human shares, is open, and let’s it loose in order to have the help they need when they need it the most.  These last few weeks Mike has mopped me up off the floor more times than I can count. I don’t do well with being vulnerable, but I know now that being vulnerable doesn’t mean I am incapable.

I know most Monday Word posts are super uplifting, but I had to share what I have been working through during this time and what has been happening on the other side of this space. Little by little I am learning that this time I am more fragile and more formative than maybe I have been in years. I am also learning what matters most to me and what is complete clutter in my life and that is important as well. It is a good time in life and one all about becoming, but in order to become I am realizing I have to let myself feel it all as it comes and be brave enough to let it do the work it needs to.

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  1. yes, this is all very normal for a new mom so don’t worry too much. You just gave life to a human, so your hormones are all over, not to mention you have another life depending on you now which is hard enough and does not help all those new feelings. It took me about a year to feel and look normal again, and I do think I was dealing with ppd too. My advice is forget about work (and whatever else you can) and just focus on your little one, and yourself. Take time for those bubble baths daily to rewind if even for a few minutes. Moments like these are all that matters, life will still be there.

  2. Thank you so much for this post. So far during my pregnancy, ive had several breakfowns about how my work will change and what it will look like for me post-baby. I have huge fears of losing myself in motherhood… I feel like its happened to so many people i know who wake up 5+ years after having kids and say, “where did my career/passions/ambition go?” THAT is my biggest fear.
    I know its not going to be the same, and i know that i have no clue how ill feel after the birth, but reading your honest struggle makes me realize that i’m not alone in these fears. Thanks, Megan!

    1. I think when you work for yourself this is a huge fear. It was mine, thus maybe why I have struggled with jumping back in. I feel caught in between wanting to do what I love, finding the time to do it, spending time with him, giving him what he needs, and then not feeling guilty either for working or looking forward to when he takes a nap so I can work a little more. I realize it is only 2 months, but 8 weeks is when most women return to work. There is such a part of me that is thankful for not having to put into childcare this early and that we get to enjoy our days together, but wanting to do what I love while hanging with him is hard still. I know it is possible, but I have learned what really matters and how precious time is. I am getting faster at things and not allowing distractions in. The other thing is days are shorter even though I am up at 7 I put him down by 8 or 9 and then within an hour after try to jump into bed to get the most sleep possible. It is a giant puzzle, but remember to give yourself time and I think the best thing I did was start giving myself 1-2 tasks that if I accomplished I felt good about my day. I just cannot fully put it all on hold…as you know it is just too much apart of you.

  3. I am a mum of a one year old and I still feel a bit lost. I’m staying at home, building my business and it’s not easy to find the time I need to do everything. My house isn’t as clean as I’d like and I don’t remember ironing since L was born…

    a few days he was born I got into depression, but didn’t felt like it because I was happy (but overwhelmed). I felt like I had reborn.

    I never thought that being a mum was like this. No one tell us about how your life completely changes on the inside.

    Having a purpose, other than my child, is helping me going back to ‘normal’, I mean: my sanity. 😉