I am so honored and so excited to share such an incredible momma with you this morning! Meet Kat! Kat is a mother of two! She is an inspiration and someone who I have looked up to for many years now!
She is a better half, a hard working momma by day and also a student in between! She is a genuine friend who if you pick up the phone and need her, she will be there for you even if means pretzeling herself in knots to do it! She is an adventurer and a light hearted lover of the ocean! She listens with her whole heart when you speak and after meeting her once, you just feel like you’ve meet a kindred spirit!
When she and I spoke about her Motherhood session, we spoke about it a long time ago! In fact, Kat was one of the first to even hear about this idea that I had when it first started weaving it’s way into my heart over coffee! She has been one of it’s biggest champions from the very beginning and it’s with her support that this whole idea has started to come about!
The two of us… just talking about motherhood together and the challenges each stage brings!
When we talked about her session, we just knew it had to be at the beach! Kat and her family… they just belong by the waves where they can breathe in the beautiful salty ocean air! It’s home for them! Home is where your heart is, not just where four walls and beds are made. Home is where you feel at peace and you can breathe easy! It’s where you let your guard down and where, especially as moms, we can be free like our children are free! The beach.. this is where Kat is free!
So we traveled down to the sand and the ocean where Kat was able to enjoy a night “off” and play with her family the way she loves to do. She was able to be free and wild and breathe that easy ocean air and then in the middle of all the sandy baby toes and all the sea spray, she told me her beautiful story!
In her own words… please met my beautiful friend Kat!
Being a mom is hard. Really hard. The job doesn’t come with a handbook or instruction manual. You just do it and it comes natural. Raising my children came natural. It has been a real struggle, not going to lie, but it has been the most rewarding and eye-opening experience thus far.
Honestly, I cannot attribute my successes as a mom without first admitting that it has taken a lot of soul searching and figuring out who I was/am, not just as a mom, but for my personal happiness. Of course my insecurities are still there; a self-reflection in progress, if you will. I was depressed, anxious, unhappy, resentful, sad, mad, all the emotions that come with having low self-confidence and extremely low self-esteem. I had it ALL. After the second baby, post-partum depression was bad. I could not find the light at the end of the tunnel. I went to counselors and therapists, took medications, and blamed others for my feelings. Nothing seemed to help. I brought my insecurities into my relationship. I depended on my relationship to make me happy. More importantly, these issues were affecting my job as a mom. My daughter would see me in a bad mood. I rarely smiled or I was bitchy and standoffish. That is certainly not the environment I want to raise my kids in. I couldn’t look past those issues to see that my children needed me; they need me to be happy, goofy and weird, and smiling; just how I was prior to the demands of parenthood. If I want to teach my kids to love, respect and have a huge heart for others, I need to do the same for MYSELF. I still have my days, and I remind myself that my kids are first and foremost my main purpose for living, breathing, and for putting a smile on, whether big or small, that they are the souls that keep my soul alive. As corny as that sounds.
So, with all that, my biggest successes are my kids. Having the ability to watch them grow, learn; flourish into the awesome beings that they are. That is a HUGE success for me. Never would I have thought I could get it right, or that I wouldn’t have any road bumps along the way, but with each new day brings new lessons. I think I am doing a darn fine job.
A much wiser and older person ☺ told me that I can’t depend on others for my happiness; that I need to search for those things that truly make my heart smile. I am working on it. I believe that what that person was telling me was for my own good. Jason- thank you for loving me for who I truly am, for showing me what patience really is, and for always putting up with my crazy antics!!
Oh the challenges!! I am too much of a perfectionist (ironic huh?!). My OCD gets in the way, A LOT. Just in the past few years, I have been letting go of things that I cannot control. I also have high anxiety, so if something is out of place or if the house is a mess, laundry is piled up, school work is backed up or my day is full of taxiing the girl around from school to dance to practice, then I FREAK out. Seriously. I am a Libra and I am supposed to have good balance. Well, that is not true. Not lately. I feel like I am all over the place. Because I just can’t do it all. That’s the truth. The perfectionist in me says, “oh you can wake up at 5:00am, do some homework (because I started a Master’s program in the midst of this soul searching, having two kids chaos) pack lunches, get ready for work and leave the house spotless, while at the same time, looking so put together. HAHA. Are you kidding me? I am lucky to walk out the door ON TIME with coffee in hand. No coffee?! THAT IS A CHALLENGE. Needless to say, I am not perfect. I am real. My hair is a mess most of the time, I may have one fingernail painted for two weeks, I still freak out if we are running late, and I still get anxious when my days are jam packed. That is REAL life. Finding balance is a challenge. I am working on balancing my time to work out, do yoga, paint, refurbish furniture and dance again. I believe the BIGGEST challenge is being FULLY present. I have read so many times that it is important to live in the moment. I get that, over and over again. But am I really living for the present moment? No. I am constantly rushing through my days, weeks, not fully appreciating my role as a mom or the impact I am making on my little humans. I forget to stop and really listen to my girl when she has SO many stories to tell. Taking the time to sit down and relax, or roll around with my babies or to just go with the flow; appreciating my life for what it is. It is so hard; juggling so many roles. I beat myself up about that. I go through the motions of our daily routine without being FULLY present. This is my BIGGEST challenge.
My biggest adventures as a mom are making my littles laugh, exposing them to new experiences, and being able to spend REAL quality time with them. We are always on the go, sooo busy, and any moment we get to just lounge and watch TV is valuable! We love our couch time!! I take pride in knowing that my girl has been able to try so many different things; playing the guitar and singing in her first talent show at school, dance, volleyball, and painting to surfing in her first mini grom surf competition. I know that her little brother will be just as fearless! Seeing my babes happy and living carefree is an adventure. I have this thing where I ask them to put their arms up and I immediately go for their tickle spot under their arms. They HATE it; I think the boy secretly loves it because he laughs at just about anything I do. I even do it to Jason. He HATES it. I don’t know why I do it, but it makes me laugh hysterically and it makes them laugh, so ironically, I LOVE it.
If I could offer one bit of advice to other mother’s out there it would be to slow down. Seriously. Take the time to really live and enjoy your time with your kids. Let go of all expectations and be present. Don’t rush through the days because they go by so fast. Your babies are only little for a short time. And like my daughter says, “you only live once”. Also, for me, I would say not to take things so seriously. Try not to get upset if the housework isn’t finished. Just relax and know you will get to it when you have the time. I spend so many moments throwing a fit because I couldn’t clean this or that, or organize this, or fold that. OH WELL. Move on and spend those minutes relishing in the presence of your children.
If I could write one thing to my little ones about our evening together… this is what I would want them to know!
We were exactly in our element. The whole family. The beach is our place of serenity. We can all have fun without any unnecessary distractions and above all we can spend REAL quality time together, as a family. As much as this experience was to be real, going to the beach for our session was better than perfect. It was REAL!
June 20, 2015- We went to Back Bay National Refuge for family pictures and some beach time. I honestly did not have any expectations of what I wanted this experience to be. I told you that it was going to be real casual and a lot of fun. I think we accomplished exactly that! Kaiyah, you were so excited. You packed a bag full of toys because you wanted to make sure we all had something to do. That’s exactly YOU. You are always thinking of everyone else. You always have people’s feelings at the front of your mind and always in your heart. You amaze me every day with how strong willed you are, intelligent, incredibly funny, goofy, and talented, and what an amazing big sister you have become. He loves you sooo much. I loved watching you play at the beach that night. Wearing your gold dance tutu; you have such a free spirit. You had the best time splashing around and falling in the water. You made everyone laugh, as you always do; your spirit and love for life is contagious!! My favorite moment was when you picked up the “seashell”…hahaha. I will never forget that! Nothing will ever hold you back! You truly have shown me how to appreciate ALL the little things in life and to just SLOW DOWN. Your baby brother is so fortunate to have a sister as rad as you! Carter, I cannot believe how extremely patient you were the entire evening! You just went with the flow! Being the ham-burglar that you are, you were cheesing up a storm. That makes my heart smile SO BIG!! You are the happiest little guy and so easy to please. Back Bay was your second trip to the beach. You have many more adventures waiting; you have no idea. Your daddy put your little toes in the sand; you even played in the water too and loved every minute of it! You have such a free spirit like your big sister and dad! I never even imagined that I would be a mom times two. You have given me so much more hope and zest for life. You remind me that everything zooms by as fast as I can type this letter, and that one day you won’t be six months, wanting to be rocked and tickled; as much as I don’t want that day to come. You are so brand new to this world. It amazes me to see you experience new things. Your infectious smile brightens anyone’s day. You and Kaiyah are my whole entire world. Thank you for always being patient with me and for loving me even when I am a monster. I love you to the moon and back again times a zillion. (I am crying right now as I am typing this….).
“I am going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life” -Elsie de Wolfe
* Kat and I stayed down at the beach with her family for an entire hour after the sun had set just talking about what it means to be a mother and how fast the time flies by yet during the actual days somehow it feels so long! We talked about how funny our kids can be and how amazing it is to watch their personalities grow and develop. We talked for a long time about how wonderful it feels when we can just get together like we did that night and talk freely and openly together without worrying about anything or everything and let the conversation ebb and flow wherever it wants to go! The freedom to just talk as a mom was amazing and we need to have that freedom to talk with one another more and often because it is just so good for the soul! It’s replenishing and energizing and when a community can get together like that without judgement and just laugh together and say yes friend… I feel that way too sometimes… it does so much good for the soul!
Thank you so much Kat for letting me be a part of such a fun night! Thank you for blessing me and letting me be a part of your family and call you my friend! Thank you for being brave and strong and sharing your story with so many other women!! You are amazing!
To find out more about The Motherhood Journals or to get involved and share your story, send me an e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would LOVE to have you be a part of our community and change the way we think of perfection and motherhood! Real is better than Perfect!!!