It seems like the past 2 years have been a baby bonanza! Welcoming so many gorgeous bundles of joy to the world (and into the LJ family) has been so much fun.
It’s also been really interesting talking to all of the new Mom’s about their new life as a parent. What has changed, what was unexpected and … how little sleep they actually function on – Wowzer! No wonder coffee is so profitable.
While I love a well filtered Instagram pic as much as the next gal, looking at the ‘candid’ shots of people with their kids can make it seem like parenthood is a breeze.
While we know that’s not the case, when you’re scrolling through someone’s perfectly captured Kodak moments (for anyone who remembers those) while your own little person is currently throwing an epic tantrum… you might find yourself questioning your parenting ability.
Don’t – you’re doing a great job! And, we’re here to let you know that you’re not alone in the madness that is motherhood!
I caught up with gratitude guru and our friend Ange Simson, to talk about the reality of life as a mother of two…
Congratulations on welcoming your second daughter, Harper!
How is life as a mother of two?
It’s up and down! I would love to share that it’s as beautiful as the Instagram world portrays but to be honest, I’ve never felt so unstable in my emotions. I’m sure any new mama can relate. It’s a ride and it’s challenging and scary but it definitely opens you up to what you can do (if you take a moment to acknowledge that you are doing it!) and lets you find a new type of strength that you didn’t know was in you.
What has changed since Harper has joined your family?
We had so many changes during the time Harper came along. My husband left the corporate world to work with me in my business. Saying goodbye to his healthy and stable pay check was terrifying but the dream of having him home all the time to raise the girls with me and be there with us as a family was what helped us take the leap.
So not only did we welcome Harper, we welcomed Hugh. He was usually out the door at 7am and home just before dinner, so having him back was an adjustment and our family dynamic changed over a few short months! And as with any changes in life, we had speed bumps and chances to learn.
It was difficult for me to go from having it just be Bo and I at home to suddenly the place being filled with 4 different energies. I had to say goodbye to alone time that I was used to having daily when Bo would nap! But I wouldn’t change the chaos for anything, it’s perfectly imperfect.
How do you make sure that you still find time for yourself while balancing being a busy Mom and running a business?
Having Hugh home is helpful! I have the blessing of being able to go out without the girls for an hour to a yoga class or for a walk and I know that most mamas don’t have that luxury.
But even with that available to me, I forget to take time out some days. On Monday I was on my computer for 11 hours straight working! I didn’t leave the house and I only stopped to eat lunch on the balcony with Hugh.
So it’s really important to me that I look for those spaces in my calendar and fill them with ‘me time’ or exercise that soothes my mind.
Your Instagram photos are always stunning! They look cheeky, but so much fun! Is it always like this?
It’s usually messier, I’ve mostly just tucked away the toys and dirty clothes to be out of the shot! But it’s always fun, until someone gets overtired then it’s a small nightmare!
What do you enjoy most about being a mother?
The presence it forces. If you try to multitask when your kids need you, they make it extremely difficult. So when your babies need you, you’ve got no choice but to really focus on them and enjoy it.
The longing gaze when they want you, the smile when you walk into a room, the giggles from just kissing their tiny necks. If you aren’t totally present in that moment you feel a sense of desire for it. They really make you step into the moment and experience it in a way you don’t get to very often.
What has been the biggest challenge that you have faced during this time?
Every part of motherhood is challenging at one time or another.
The mum guilt runs strong the first few years, especially as a working mum. I’m either feeling guilt for not sitting quietly beside them as they play and learn, or watching them sleep. Or I’m feeling guilty for thinking about who I need to email while I’m spending time with them. And I catch myself on my phone while Harper is feeding and realise that she’s staring up at me, little hand touching my face and I’m missing it!
It will never be an easy ride but it’s worth it for the bigger picture, having my husband home. Who wants balance anyway, right?
What has been your biggest learning since becoming a parent?
That I can do it all, I just don’t have to push myself in that way.
I’ve realised in the moments of crazy ‘busy-ness’ that I have the ability to just power through and be all I need to be. We all have it within us. But the beauty is we don’t have to be like that at all moments and that’s a choice. I can choose to have a perfectly clean and tidy house, or I can choose to run down to the beach and have an hour getting sandy and tired, dragging the little grains from the soles of my feet into our bed to be constantly reminded of those moments when I tuck into my doona for sleep.
I can be the mum who makes only the best choices and has a child free and pure of any sugar or preservatives, only ever making healthy home made treats. Or I can say “screw it all” every so often and we can get ice cream at the shops and laugh as it drips down our arms.
It must be such a change, now being responsible for two little people. How do cope with that change and responsibility?
This is the scary part, I still feel like I’m a teenager raising children…. And I’m 30.
It’s full on, I can’t believe I’m responsible for small humans! But I know that I was loved as a child and that was the most important part. So that’s all I can focus on.
Have you experienced anything where you were not prepared or wished that someone had told you about beforehand?
How little sleep I would have and how much you feel love for your children. People tell you, but the words never add up to the gravity of the truth.
How do you Move, Nourish & Believe? Has this changed?
I do it more! I think that when you become a mother you really have to prioritize your happiness and health because it does impact everyone in your home.
So I need to move for my mental health, nourish so I have the energy to play with the girls and if I don’t have belief for myself and the magic that the world can show us, how can I expect them to?
What would be your take away for new / expectant parents reading this?
Drop the pressure, don’t give a damn what anyone thinks or says about your parenting and have fun.
Don’t get caught up in the ‘should’ and get obsessed with joy!
What would you share with new Mom’s that you wish someone had told you?
Learn more about Ange Simson by visiting her site here.