Don’t get me wrong, having two babies in 15 months was INSANE, but I’m also at the point where it’s becoming more manageable to do things by myself and the boys, which always gives me a little boost of confidence. Before Sidney was 18 months it felt like such a challenge because he was still such a baby himself; these days he’s talking, running (a lot of running), listening (sometimes) and becoming better at playing independently every single day.
Finding my confidence again postpartum was something I wrote about previously, and I wanted to give a little update again. I’ve been eager to get back into writing and speaking from my heart on the blog because frankly it’s been too long. Admittedly, I get caught up in all the recipe development I do and then of course, taking care of my babies and trying to find time for myself.
Outfit deets: Free to Be Bra & Scuba High Rise Joggers
As many of you probably already know, I’ve been lucky enough to partner with lululemon over the past few years. They’ve supported me through my postpartum journey and share how I love their clothes as my body changed, stretched, grew, shrunk and shifted. They’ve supported my ideas for how I wanted to showcase their products and let me be as creative and always as honest as I’d like, which is always what I love about partnering with them. Honesty and authenticity is what this blog post is about.
Throughout this post, you’ll find a few lululemon looks that have been fun to wear and that I’ve really enjoyed purchasing postpartum. I always find that around 5-6 months I love treating myself to a few new clothes. Frankly, 90% of what I wear is lululemon because it’s so comfortable, great for wearing around the house or to the park with the kids, and of course running errands and grabbing groceries. I’ve been trying to incorporate a few cute workout looks that are fun, different and bright because they make me feel happy. As always, you can find all my fav lululemon products in my shop page too.
Anyway, back to honesty and some postpartum real talk.
Outfit deets: Non-Stop Reversible Bomber Jacket
If I’m being honest, I really pushed myself to do too much too soon after Sidney’s birth (my first born). I’m not sure if I felt an external societal pressure or if mentally I just needed an outlet for myself, but in reality, I did everything to the extreme: getting back to work, exercising too often, preparing every single meal for him, being there for every nap and bedtime, getting up with him every night saying yes to things I didn’t want to do and resisting any help if offered. I didn’t understand what maternity leave really was, nor did I offer it as an option to myself. Sure, I took time off here and there, but it was never the rest I physically or mentally needed. Going into pregnancy number 2, I recognized that maternity leave was and IS essential to a mother’s health and well-being. Time with your baby, time with yourself is invaluable because you are giving up who you were and what you knew. It doesn’t matter what baby you’re on. Things will always shift and change and morph — this is life.
With baby number one, I adjusted to functioning on little sleep, raw nipples from breastfeeding, a new body, and embraced a different perspective when it came to my priorities. Don’t get me wrong, adjusting to motherhood was HARD but Sidney was truly such a happy baby that it made it nearly impossible to not want another immediately so 6 months in and I was pregnant again with baby number 2.
Outfit deets: Flow Y Nulu Bra & Align High Rise Pant 25″
After the birth of Viggo, I struggled in ways I hadn’t before. I’m not sure if it’s because they were so close in age, or if with two it’s just double the work and time. But I felt as though I lost my identity. The little independence I had was out the door. I unraveled. I was crying constantly and feeling so overwhelmed that I could barely function. Everything felt dark and heavy. And when you’re in this struggle, you’re really in it. You forget that in months everything will (most likely) get better and easier, but some days feel like a lifetime of impossible. Even though I thought I’d given myself enough ‘maternity leave’ I certainly didn’t give myself enough grace.
What I hadn’t done after the birth of Viggo (or Sidney, really) was adjusted expectations. The expectations I was holding myself to were still the things I was able to do pre-baby. My identity was so invested in who I was, and of what I thought people thought of me. Could I do it all? Could I keep it up? The blog. Instagram. The house. Cleaning. Cooking. Baking. Developing recipes. Photoshoots. Videos. Everything would appear somehow seamless. I told myself so often that nothing would change after having a baby, but in reality, I was forcing this idea to fit my life. Instead, it only created a false sense of self that I had to learn how to overcome. Bottom line: I was no longer who I used to be. I needed to become who I was meant to be.
Remember, this is honesty.
Two or three months in, and I knew I was at a breaking point. I sought out my old therapist who I hadn’t seen in roughly 4 years. Our sessions helped me feel grounded and with reassurance that it was okay to take time for myself. That it was okay to take a break and to somehow find time for one, because yes, there is time. So I started carving out little places here and there in my schedule to go on bike rides. To get a pedicure or go for a walk. To run to the grocery store all alone. And it was glorious. I didn’t have the luxury of escaping the house to do these things for myself as often with two babies so the bits of time really counted. Even with the support of my husband, the guilt of not being with children overwhelmed me. And some days being with the kids all day long, and then coupled with multiple wake ups at night completely depleted me. Yet every single time I took a step back and gave myself a break and a little moment of peace, I could feel my entire being becoming lighter and the cloud around me growing less dark. I managed better. I found calm within the chaos.
Outfit deets: Wunder Puff Jacket & Align High Rise Pant with Pockets 28″
Slowly I started scheduling more time for myself without feeling selfish and trying to let go of the guilt that I could feel creeping in. It’s not always easy, but it’s essential to my mental health and also in turn, being a better mother. Now I try to work out 3 days a week, eat a nourishing diet and do therapy 2x a month. I also love having some nights alone to myself sometimes. As much as I love hanging out with Tony, I need time to recoup alone too. Some days that means watching a show, other times I’m writing or even just scrolling through my phone zoning out doing absolutely nothing. Doing whatever gives me a little rest and care. None of these things are set in stone. Sometimes I have weeks where nothing feels routine and I get lost and anxious, but these little things and time for me keep me grounded.
Outfit deets: Ebb to Street Long Sleeve
When I’m more complete and happy and confident, I appreciate the little things more. I focus on the now. So while motherhood may not be getting any easier, it’s certainly getting better every single day. Hard doesn’t equal bad and especially realizing I’m not alone in my struggles has been a giant breath of fresh air. Parenting and motherhood is not an easy feat, but know that every mother has gone through the ups and downs, the good days and bad days, the frustration, the joy, the fear, the anxiety. You are not alone.
Thanks for reading. Xo!
Bag deets: Go Getter Large Weekender Bag
Here are a few of my MUST HAVE lululemon staples that I wear basically every single day:
- Align High Rise Pant with Pockets
- Perfectly Oversized Crew
- In Alignment Straight Strap Bra
- Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve
- Scuba Oversized Full Zip
Shop all of my fav lululemon gear in our Shop here!
The complete honesty and openness in this article is to be commended. I personally went through severe postpartum depression after my first child 35 years ago and felt very alone. It was a new concept and was not discussed openly. I suffered in silence and I’m so grateful that you shared your experience with others so they know it is important to seek help and that they are not alone. I have followed you for a couple of years now and enjoy your humble yet enthusiastic articles and delicious recipes. Continue the good works that you do and continue to give yourself the grace you deserve. May God bless you and your beautiful family.
“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” Ephesians 4:7
Thanks so much, Virginia. I’m sorry to hear your went through that, but am glad that you connect with this post and that you’re enjoying the recipes ❤️ Sending a hug!
Your post is also relevant to a senior like me who is caregiver to an elderly mom. It’s so easy to lose your identity and go into a fog because of no time for yourself. I am learning to carve out o few minutes for myself here and there. It requires finding a sitter for my mom. We can’t be a good mom or a good caregiver if we don’t take care of ourselves too!
I’m glad it resonates with you ❤️ I’m sure you’re doing an amazing job. I’m glad you’re finding ways to take care of yourself, too!
Always love and appreciate your honesty and openness, Monique ♥️ I just welcomed my second and now have two under two, along with my full-time, demanding career. I’m still struggling to strike a balance (if there’s even such a thing) and feel reassured reading about your authentic approach. Keep sharing and inspiring!
Thank you for this. I’m three weeks postpartum with my second, and I feel like I have to figure out who I am all over again with two kids. I agree that it gets better around six months and there is more of a “routine,” but just the thought of fitting everything back in to this new life (working, exercising, cooking/eating a healthy diet) seems impossible. Your writing keeps my positivity going and the reminder that things will work out.