Well, I'm officially a mom! Our little girl, Eleanor, was born late July and we are so in love with her. A bit sleep deprived, but doing okay. I will be honest and say that the first few weeks were very difficult as we were adjusting to this little one, and we were caught a bit off guard at just how much our lives would change. Thank goodness that she figured out how to smile and laugh early on, which made everything so much better.
But I can honestly (and a bit reluctantly) say that I am now a different person. My focus and the way I spend my time has obviously changed tremendously. I accept this, but am also longing to figure out my new self, what I want to focus on in those tiny slivers of time that I have and how to manage being "me" while also being a mom.
Over the last month or so I've been thinking a lot about this. Call it selfish or whatever, but it's so important to me that I reclaim "me." That I remain creative, I continue to make art, I find time for reading and tea drinking and wine drinking and time for nurturing myself and my thoughts.
I'm finding that as a mother, there is an expectation that we must pour our entire self into our children and their needs. That we must forget about our needs and exchange who we are and what we want, in order to give our all to our family.
While this may be partially true, especially the first few weeks, I also feel that in order to give our family the best, we need to stay grounded and true to ourselves. We all are at our best when we are happy, relaxed, hopeful and free. And that simply can't happen if we give up on who we were and what we wanted before this incredible life change.
So to all the moms and women out there, please remember this: You are deserving of time, sleep and anything that makes you feel normal again (for me this was coffee, walks with Henry, comfy lounge clothes and time to cook). Though it may be difficult at first, you must find a balance in order to remain sane. Don't be afraid to ask for help, to walk away for a moment and to enjoy long showers (my new favorite activity). Get out when you can. And on those days that you just can't get away, surrender to the beauty of being there for your family and the bounty that will come from it.
For brand new moms, you will survive! The first couple weeks are a complete mess but I promise you, it is temporary! You will figure things out, you will get a break and you will get your body and your mind back. Feeling defeated and so completely out-of-it is normal (at least it was for me). Just surrender, breathe deeply and know that this too shall pass. You birthed a human being, you are officially a badass!
I look forward to exploring some new projects in the near future and continuing to use this website as a platform to get out my thoughts and share my artwork. Speaking of that, if you are looking for the perfect Christmas present...this is it! Also a great travel companion or therapy when visiting your family over the holidays!