When I look back on 2022, it was a pretty incredulous year (who has four kids these days, anyways?!) with deep pockets of hardships. I started January hugely pregnant at 32 weeks pregnant intent on having a peaceful, unmedicated hospital birth. The end of February came; my waters broke at 3am and by the time we got to the hospital at 5am I was in full blown labour. I had an unmedicated birth but it was nothing like the birth I had envisioned or wanted. More on this later.
Spring was spent loving on our new baby girl and finding our groove as a family of six. Everything felt good…until it didn’t. By the time summer hit, it felt like everyone and everything around me was growing and I wasn’t. My husband’s company was growing, our kids were growing, friends were changing careers, having babies and/or hitting major accomplishments. I was over here, “just” momming, stagnant in my life. It didn’t feel like enough. I felt restless and nostalgic.
A case of the “Poor Me” set in. I was at home, tending to house and kids, doing next to nothing for myself beyond a sitz bath or some wine with friends after the kids were in bed.
My book? Writing? Blogging? What’s that? I LOVE to write but I had quit that too. Writing is what brings me immense joy and pleasure and to have people read my words is even more rewarding. Receiving a message that someone resonated with my experiences made me feel less alone in a world that seemed to be growing in numbers but shrinking in connection. However, I was struggling with using social media to share my work. Hell, I still am! I see the dark side of it so clearly I have a hard time using it. It’s addicting, divisive, ego-fuelling and full of absolute garbage. Anyone can have an opinion and share it now regardless if it’s true or hurtful. Plus, it was soul crushing to see people doing all the things I couldn’t do. I can’t call it comparisionitis because I was very aware that my role for the year was to focus on my kids and be okay with being a stay at home mom. I knew my kids needed me and I was exactly where the Universe needed me to be but that sticky little feeling, longing, was there on the periphery. While I was changing diapers, others were changing planes to travel to the next destination. I was making milk bottles while others were creating amazing bottles of potions or wines or art. I was doing my best to make the best of my season of life but reprogramming years of belief: that my kids needed to see me working and volunteering and helping others was deeply ingrained. They HAD to know I was more than a mom. I believed I had to always be doing something for myself lest I lose myself in motherhood and disappear until they’ve left the house and I’m looking in the mirror wondering, who the hell are you? But no, I learned that’s not true at all.
My kids don’t need a mom who volunteers. My kids don’t need a mom who works 9-5 for them to love me. My kids don’t need a mom who has yoga 3x a week and a busy hobby schedule. They just need me. As I am now me. They just need Mom. They don’t care about volunteering or working or anything else. Mom is enough and therefore, I am enough.
So I stepped back from social media. I still lurked and posted occasionally but I was pretty checked out. I also found myself disgusted by how many people feel the need to document everything they do. I didn’t want to feel like I had to constantly have a camera in my kids faces for the next post, the next reel. I wanted to be fully present with them and for them. I have very few pictures compared to previous years but boy, was I ever there for the experiences. It felt good to release my pressure to post. I deleted hundred of followers, keeping only friends and people who followed me for fertility and made my instagram account private. I unfollowed people who were triggering to me. I allowed myself to feel annoyed and then quickly replaced it with, “they don’t need your judgement Kels, move on” and I would give a little apology and a little grace for them and myself and keep scrolling. I put a time limit on my socials. After an hour the app shuts down and I honour that. I confided to my friends on the hard days when the longing felt too much.
Autumn brought me a peace in parenting I had been lacking but needing. Hindsight is always 20/20 and in retrospect, that hard period of navigating motherhood and my role as mother was such an easy decision. Of course my kids needed me. Of course my kids didn’t care about the rest. Of course, of course, of course. But I had silently battled with my inner child and her childhood beliefs and fears and my adult mind was messing with me. Finally talking about it, specifically to friends with grown children, helped me tame my thoughts and change my mindset.
The next hurdle in 2022 was how to take a fertility blog and pivot? And where do I pivot to? Who am I? What do I have to say that’s worth reading/listening to? Nobody wants to follow another mom blog. What else could you possibly have to offer? Who the hell are you to write anything, Kelsey?
Cue the violins. Gross, what a pity party! Look at the size of my ego! No wonder I was stuck. That stuck in the mud mentality would bury anyone wanting to move forward.
But the last few months I have been thinking about writing again. I need it. Journalling isn’t the same as sharing your words with the world and hoping you find a kindred spirit who resonates with you. And to answer my own monotonous, paralyzing monologue: I am a woman with four kids working through her shit to be a better mom, a better wife, a better friend and a better person for this planet. I need writing like most people need air and while I parent my kids through these hard years I want to give myself the space and grace to share what’s going on: the experiences, the lessons, the joys, the hards. Already 2023 has brought radical shifts and maybe someone might also resonate with what I’m going through because he or she is going through it too. So I don’t know exactly where this blog is gonna go but I can tell you this: I’ll be sharing about my experiences with plant medicine, somatic therapy, EMDR, yoga, sobriety, mindfulness, meditation and whatever else is put in my path that helps me and in turn, may help you. I hope you’ll stick around.