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Before and After

The women in the picture are both me just in different moments in the same season of life. Both are tired and feel ragged but one just got the chance to refresh and feel like she belonged to herself for a while. Have you ever felt like your body didn’t belong to you?? Lol, I know I have and I can’t always say I’ve laughed about it.. Especially those days my baby nurses as ferociously as he can, while my toddler continuously sings my name and begs for my belly (my previous post explains this), and my faithful, loving husband just hopes for a chance to... ya know... lol I remember the night before my 6 week post partum appointment I literally panicked at the thought of having another part of my body needed even if it could lead to something mutually satisfying.  I still feel kind of guilty and slightly ashamed for even sharing my truth but I have let someone else know they aren’t alone and it’s okay.. It’s okay if you feel like some sort of machine with valves assigned to each of your family members (including parts of your mind) and just want one moment to yourself. It’s okay if you don’t feel sexy and aren’t up to positively responding to every “Hey baby” or handsome grin your husband indiscreetly tries to discreetly throw your way. Be honest with him instead and know that he loves you and will have to understand. If he doesn’t at least try to understand then it may help to see a counselor or physician to help him understand.. if he doesn’t want to understand, welllllll... that’s another post. Before I am misunderstood, trust and know I love my family and do all that can with myself to make them happy. I’m a jungle gym, leash, and ninja warrior for Mikey, sustenance and bed for Garrison, an alarm clock, lover and hopefully a safe space for Mike, and even a waiter for our dog Kingston. I remind, and clean, and deescalate, and listen and problem solve, manage, give, and, and. Thank God Mike cooks and doesn’t mind grocery shopping.

But above all I LOVE and I do these things in love, with love. Yes, I know and believe it’s beautiful what we can and will do for those with our bodies but the truth is there comes a point when you want your body back... not in looks but in the feeling of ownership. I honestly love being all of these things for my family because love and happiness flows back and forth from our give and take. But, at some point you get TIRED and need to disconnect, breathe, and love on her. She. Me. Her. Whatever you do don’t feel guilty. (..easier said than done, I know, but please try).

You deserve a shower alone, nap alone, to dress up and go out with friends, or to breathe. You deserve that counseling session or five minutes in the driveway to listen to whatever music you want. You deserve that trip to the salon, or day date to the winery. You deserve to smile and laugh at shows you enjoy. Because, when you, do you are better for your family whom you love. You create a space for you to miss them and jump back in and love them even harder. You generate a gratitude for yourself and your family when you disconnect for a bit.  Then who knows, when you get back you may be in the mood to... you know.. lol You know you love your family and they know it too. Loving on our families fully is what causes us so much fatigue and even the feeling of lost identity. But what we lose makes space for our evolution so that we can become our best selves. Trust the process. We can’t stay the same because we’ve never been in this place before. 

You’ve never been a mom of two (three or four) and a wife, or a adoptive mom, a new mom, or a stepmom, a divorcee and a mom, or a grandma raising babies all over again. And even though you may not know whether you are coming or going, you do know that you’re not going to stop giving your all..  you are going to grow and be even better version of you.

So breathe and take the time you need to as you flow between the before to the after.... 

Big Hug

Lead Me Back - Morgan Harper Nichols
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