Settling Into Motherhood

Motherhood wasn’t a choice for me. It accidentally fell into my lap. And while I am THANKFUL for that as I do not believe I would have ever woken up one day and made a choice to become pregnant, it wasn’t something I was all that prepared for, or knew how to navigate.

The thing with Motherhood though…is it’s built into your instincts. If you’re paying attention, you DO know what to do. Society tells us we need books and classes and “experts” to tell us how to be Mothers, but the fact is, you only need your instincts and your heart.

I thought I didn’t want to be a Mother, and my Mother said the same thing in her 20s…

I have been a mother for seven and a half years now. And it took me six of them to “settle into motherhood”, to respond when someone refers to me as Ginger’s mom. For the longest time, that title didn’t register ha. I spent most of my 20’s trying to run from motherhood and it was never a role I thought suited me.

But something shifted a few years back….something “settled”. Something clicked. Something felt “right”. I finally felt like MOTHER. I am a MOTHER. I am “Ginger’s mom” and “Jameson’s mom” and “Claire’s mom”. And I actually respond to those titles now! I still an unsure what brought on the settling or easement into this “new” role in my life, but it feels good. And I finally feel content with it.

I believe many Mothers have this same adjustment period while many more Mothers do not. There are so many different factors that go into why this happens, or why not. For me, I just had so many other plans and I viewed children and Motherhood as obstacles keeping me from those plans. (I still have days when I feel like that!) And while that is certainly true on some levels, I have also discovered how much children ADD to those plans, or maybe even lead you into plans you didn’t know existed and are so much better than the ones you originally had.

I love to travel. It is food for my very existence. I get restless and anxious and irritable without it. I need new places, new faces, new experiences to thrive and grow. I like change. Traveling with kids is not always easy….in fact, it’s usually quite sweat-inducing. But sharing travel with young humans and watching them learn and grow and change because of it is absolutely incredible. Travel is the best education you can give yourself, and I believe the best education you can give your children. I have traveled solo so often with my girls in the past ten years that it doesn’t feel all that overwhelming anymore. They know the drill, hell they even pack themselves now. And it’s always worth it. All the stops, the interruptions, the meltdowns, the exhaustion….it’s always worth it. And we have some rad photographic evidence to prove it 🙂

Motherhood is the greatest work we will ever do. It leaves the longest lasting imprint on the world. It’s the most important work we’ll ever do. I love my work as a doula, birth advocate, and photographer – and that is pretty important work as well – but none of it is worth my time if it sacrifices my daughters’ childhoods. I need my creative outlet and service to others to feel whole and complete in Motherhood, yet that balance is almost impossible to reach. Some days, I feel that I haven’t given them enough when I am deeply involved in a project and other days, I feel so behind and unproductive on my work because I am adventuring with my girls. I know I am not alone in those feelings either. It is virtually impossible to give 100% to both Motherhood and work at the same time.

Feeling content with what you’re given and have is an all encompassing peaceful feeling. The gratitude that my healthy and thriving children bring me is not like any other type of gratitude I have experienced before. I feel proud and accomplished of how hard I worked to grow, birth, nourish, and protect these three precious girls that have been given to me. They are tiny teachers….I’ve never learned more from three people in my entire lives.

I am Mother. Finally. And I wouldn’t give up this job for anything other.

} All images contained in this post by Vanessa Brack Photography. Please visit http://www.vanessabrack.com to view more of her gorgeous captures. All rights reserved. None of this may be copied or reproduced without my permission. {

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