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the meaning of life

Why Motherhood Kicks Ass

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Why Motherhood Kicks Ass

Ever since I became a mama, I've gone back and forth on whether or not I'm having more fun now as opposed to when I was free to do whatever I felt like doing, when I felt like doing it. Back in the day, I used to go dancing with friends whenever I needed some exercise, and I used to drink white wine every night while I binge-watched Friday Night Lights and How I Met Your Mother...by myself. I enjoyed learning and studying and writing, so I continued to do those things even after I graduated from college. I never cooked though. I totally hate cooking. 

Then I had a VERY important realization. I still do that shit! When I need some exercise, I put on Lorelei and Isla's favorite songs (which are my favorites, because what else would I play for them?) and we dance like crazy people all around the living room until we're out of breath. Major benefit? No creepy dudes trying to touch my butt. And when I'm alone at night when Ryan works, I drink wine and binge-watch all kinds of shows and documentaries, just like before! Except now I drink red wine. That's the only difference there.

Regarding learning, studying and writing, I still do those too! I have spent the last three years writing blog posts and e-books and long-ass Instagram captions while also obsessively studying pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Lucky for me, these three life occurrences are something that will always be happening (during my lifetime at least), and they are all areas that we continue to learn new things about constantly so I won't ever be thirsting for knowledge - I'll probably end up being overwhelmed by it and end up thirsting for more red wine instead.

As far as cooking goes, I bet you're thinking I have to cook all the time now because I'm a mom. Wrong! I'm lucky enough to have a neighbor that likes cooking and invites us over for dinner once or twice a week, and a mom who also likes cooking and invites over for dinner two or three times a week. The other nights are the nights Ryan is home, and he doesn't mind cooking (that's why I married him). So how often do I cook dinner? Negligent amounts of nights. And breakfast and lunch are easily created with non-cook things like turkey and yogurt and cereal and Trader Joe's chicken noodle soup, which is the bomb. 

What I've come to realize is that becoming a mom didn't turn me into someone without a life, and it definitely didn't take away the fun. Everything's just...better. It's better in so many ways. I enjoy dancing sober now and my drinking habits have clearly matured. I created life and I get to watch those lives grow and have fun being silly by my side. I have a family to care for and a small village forming around us. I also have found my life's calling, and I know it's my life's calling because I've spent years pursuing many goals that center on it.

That's why motherhood kicks ass. It's everything and more, and, in my case at least, I'm a much better person because of it. Because of motherhood, I crave life. I focus less on the things I hate about life and strive to create and do more things that I love about life. 

So for those of you considering starting a family but worried you'll never have fun again, don't be. You'll have MEANINGFUL fun, the type of fun that shapes a small person's love for life - and you will never, ever truly regret becoming a mama. It's definitely not an easy role to have, and there are many times you'll cry and scream, "Why is this so fucking hard!?" But after that 30 seconds has passed you'll realize how strong you are, the goodness you are capable of, and your baby will be looking at you weirdly and then flash a big gummy smile your way, and you'll melt a little and move on with your day. Believe me, mama, you can do everything that has been asked of you by the universe that blessed you with your child. Stay strong. You have the strength of every mother before you holding you up. 

kaitlin coghill doula writer be always blooming

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Breaking and Growing

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Breaking and Growing

"Remember, it's their day too."

Many months ago, I lost it. There was a night that broke me and shook me and changed me as a mother - and I grieved because it caused me to {momentarily} lose hope that I could always be patient and understanding toward my children. I know that the main reason this happened was lack of sleep and time to decompress at the end of the day, but I blamed myself for not being strong enough to handle every single challenging moment of life with a toddler and a new baby. After allowing myself to cry and opening myself to any and all meaning that could be applied to the situation, I had a moment of clarity. It was a moment that caused me to literally say "Thank you!" out loud to whatever it was that carried me back to reality and reminded me of what was important. I then took a minute to write my thoughts on paper so that I could always remember that moment and come back to the positive outcome that came of a lapse in love and patience.

Today, I am intimidated by the many tasks ahead of me. Both of my girls are sick and the littlest one is teething with fervor. I'm exhausted due to a night full of interrupted sleep and repeated nursing. My husband will be at work until dinnertime and we are in desperate need of a trip to the grocery store. We have yet to finish unpacking after Christmas travel, and the piles of laundry, toys and dishes rival in size. I'm anxious to get to work on my certification requirements and other business ventures, but it's all I can do to find a moment to use the bathroom without one of my children going into hysterics. All of this causes me to worry about what kind of mother I will turn into by 3 in the afternoon. I worry about how many tears my girls will shed before they rest their weary heads at bedtime. I simply worry.

But this morning, when I sat down in my usual spot to chug my lukewarm coffee, my elbow bumped into a note my husband wrote to me. It was a note full of encouraging words for the day ahead of me (a day he knew I was dreading), and it gave me strength. It reminded me of the letter I wrote for myself those many months ago, so I went upstairs while the baby napped to retrieve that letter and reread it to remind myself of what really mattered today (hint: it's not the laundry, dishes or business ventures). Something is telling me to share this letter here, on my website, so here it is, minus a few of the more intimate parts:

"This night, though negative, intimidating and stupid, has enlightened me. I need to rid myself of anxiety by ridding myself of my phone and excess research. I need to relax as a mother and go with the flow of the crazy. I need to hug my children - not carry them in anger. I need to strengthen my body, my patience and the trust my girls have in me. I need to be a guiding light and inspiring force of femininity for them.
This is REAL life. My family is all I need, and all I will ever need. Do everything for them. Live FOR them and WITH them. Be their comfort and their best example. Create a home that is filled only with things that are beautiful and purposeful, nothing more. Create a home that makes them feel safe, happy and inspired - a home that is warm and inviting and houses incredible memories.
I can be this. I can be myself, a mom, a lover and a friend all at once. I can avoid big mistakes by living with intent and trusting my intuition. I can succeed and empower my girls to do the same. I am strong, loved and wanted. I matter. He matters. They matter.
Tonight had a purpose. I will learn, grow and move on to a better and more fulfilling day-to-day life.
I will live for:
         myself
         my girls
         my husband
I will live with:
         intent
         peace
         strength
         purpose
         love
         grace
I will purge:
         extras
         unnecessary doubts
         negative energies
         unhealthy everything
         unnecessary addictions {phone, TV}
         unnecessary stress
I will write:
         truths
         beauty
         positives
         for myself
I will {ultimately}:
         clean
         organize
         create
         nest
         love
         nurture my body
         break past habits
         honor my girls
         embrace peace and deny deny emotional chaos
         wake early
         sleep long
         work at ideal times"

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