finding balance in motherhood

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If you've been around a while it's no secret that I had a pretty rough start to motherhood. It was just...shocking. It was a big shock to my system.

I think I imagined I would be a certain type of mother - I would be easy-going and have it all together. I would have all the answers and my kids would be angels. A big HAH to me because that's just not the way it happened. Motherhood was so much harder than I imagined it would be. And I was so much more on-edge. And I had no answers. None. 

But still, I threw myself into motherhood. I mean, I was in mommy mode 24/7. And when I would burn out I just picked myself up and kept going. I was rarely away from my baby. I rarely let Alex take over parental duties. I never got haircuts or went shopping or did anything on my own. I lost myself. 

This makes it sound like I didn't enjoy motherhood - I did. Most of the time I didn't mind having a constant companion. Liam and I grew close and he got used to being carted around everywhere with mami. But it's so weird to have an identity stripped away. For twenty-six years I was Kristel. I was a woman. I was a person with thoughts and opinions and talents and skills... And then all of a sudden I was just a mother. 

As much as I like talking about birthing and babies and all things parenting - I have so many other thoughts swimming around in my head. And no, I don't want to talk about poop and breastmilk and baby schedules all the time. Sometimes I want to talk about other stuff. Sometimes I want to do other stuff. 

And so I'm finding a balance. 

Balance looks differently for everyone. For me it means exploring my passions and figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. It means sharing night parenting duties with my husband. It means sending my daughter to daycare part time so we can have some time apart. It means no more babies for me because I want to focus on the two that I have and moving on to the next stage in life. It means teaching my son to finally fall asleep on his own so I spend my evenings doing stuff I like instead of sitting in his bed. It means allowing other people to babysit my kids and trusting that they will be just fine. 

This is all a learning experience and I'm still figuring it all out. But I can say that ever since I started working towards balance I am much happier. I feel lighter and more fulfilled. I enjoy being with my kids more than I ever have. 

How do you achieve balance in parenting?