A few weeks ago Grace asked me to share some thoughts about motherhood while she was on blogging maternity leave. I loved all of the advice she gathered from mommas all over the blog world and I thought I'd share my thoughts here as well. Motherhood throws more curve balls than I could possibly list, but here are three things that came to mind when I considered what I wish I had known before I became a mom.
1. The art of not washing my hair every day.
Oh, how I wish I head given this theory a shot earlier in life. Only in the last six months have I stopped washing my hair every day and let me tell you, it is SUCH a game changer. I had long hair until after I had my first baby and boy, did I love clean hair. I cut my hair into a bob three years ago and even with short hair, I hated not washing my hair. But I also hated the time it took every day to wash and dry and often straighten my hair. So many hours of my life wasted! By not washing my hair everyday now, I not only like how my hair styles better, but I get an extra 30 minutes back in my life on most days. And as a mom of three, almost four- 30 minutes is gold!
2. Your third child will be your easiest and your hardest.
I think a lot of people will tell you this, but I didn't know why until I had my third. Transitioning to three kids was a big adjustment- a hard one. Three is just a lot of little people to keep track of and keep moving and keep alive. But once you get slightly adjusted to the fact that there are three, life is great! Baby number three is when you get to start to use all of that knowledge you have accumulated from the first two. For the lifespan of the first two kids, you've been working your way through parenting school. You've figured out feeding and sleeping and napping and not to say there won't be differences, but baby number three is when I felt like I had earned my parenting degree and could finally put it to use. You've been exposed to it all and the needs of a newborn or a three month old or a 10 month old don't phase you. And of course there is continuing education- you are always learning as a parent. But I'm glad we didn't stop at two. I'm glad we went for three (and now four) because parenting is extra awesome on the days when you feel like you've got the hang of it.
3. Motherhood will make you a better version of yourself.
Before I had Easton, our first child, I was accepted to Master's degree program at the University of Washington for dietetics. I wasn't planning on getting pregnant and it definitely altered my plans. I decided to forgo the program because I had planned on being a stay at home mom and couldn't see a baby and a 3+ year program working well together. I felt really lost and struggled for months with what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I kind of felt like my life was over- which sounds terrible- but I couldn't see my old plans working out with my current situation. And thank goodness they didn't.
It took time but when Easton was about four or five months old I decided I wanted to start an Etsy shop. I poured hours into learning new skills like photography and selling products online. I felt my confidence and my capabilities grow as I was not only learning how to take care of this baby, my husband and our house- but also to manage my time so that I could fit in extra hobbies. That Etsy business ended up growing into my blog and now into my husband and I being self-employed full time by our jewelry business. Looking back, I can't believe the changes that have happened in just six years. People always ask how I do it all with three kids and I always say it's because I have three kids. I am more driven, more productive, more organized and happier as a mom of three kids than I would be if it were just me. I can't imagine having all of my time to myself- I would waste so much! I mean its not like I don't daydream about it sometimes, but...
Being a mom has pushed me in every way to be a better version of myself. It definitely wasn't the end of my life when I got pregnant- but very much the beginning.