MamaFitWhit Reflects on Motherhood

“Mother” to me is one’s influence on children.

 It’s how I witnessed my own mother use her own intuition and discernment. In turn it’s now how I stand, speak, and treat other people including my children. That is motherhood in my book. Maybe there’s a handbook out there on it, but I’d rather write my own. 

Motherhood has transformed me just as it transforms many. Technically, I’m in the millennial generation, therefore a “millennial mom.” I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean; it feels as though I’m either too young or not old enough to know what I’m doing. When the truth is, none of us do. 

My focus in motherhood is to raise my kids with love, strength, and kindness, all the while leaving space and time for myself–me. I have two young children, one still in diapers and the other headed to kindergarten in the fall. We spend a lot of time together and although I wouldn’t trade motherhood for anything, I could certainly use a good night’s sleep.

The Work

My work as a mother can be daunting at times. It’s a constant balancing act of what needs to be addressed right now and what I can put on the back burner (both literally and figuratively). I’m not a stay at home mom and I’m not at work all day either, my days and weeks are strategically pieced together. In some ways it’s the best of both worlds and in others it feels like chaos. My mind is constantly jumping from one “to do” to the next. And those “to dos” aren’t simply what to do for work or what to do for the children but a seemingly never ending list of both.

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The real work is not the physical aspect of caring for children or showing up for my clients. The WORK is within. The work is being your best self during the least selfish time of your life. This work breaks you open. It shows you the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

The good being the immense love and joy children can bring into the world. 

The bad when you have off moments and slips in judgement. 

The ugly, well the ugly is seeing the real you underneath the narratives we’ve been told or told ourselves. The ugly is actually where the work gets done. It’s when you overreact because you’re tired or anxious and then apologize for acting like a jerk. It’s recognizing that we don’t have it all together and that it’s really okay to not be okay sometimes.

My best friend and I parent differently, and rightly so as we are in fact different. Neither of us are better or worse at it but rather we have our strengths and weaknesses. In her family when a child gets an owie they give a “big blow” which is exactly that, a big blow to the owie. In mine everything gets a “big kiss.” Everything from a big toe to a dolly’s forehead. Recently, I’ve started doing both because in life sometimes we just need both–a big blow and a big kiss. Blow off the dirt and seal it with love and intention.

Joys & Concerns

When I was a young girl sitting in a church pew next to my grandmother there was a time when the congregation would share their “joys and concerns.” Mind you there were maybe 60 people in the church and in our little town most people knew you and your business anyhow. My grandmother stood up every Sunday to share something joyful about her family. That’s the kind of mother I strive to be–the one who focuses on the good and shares that with her community, so they’ll in turn share their joys.

However, life hits and sometimes it hits hard (also known as the concerns). And those concerns are often less likely to be shared. Rather, we hold it in and fake our way through the day with semi-smiles. It can be challenging to share outside the social norm for fear of shame and ridicule.

I believe we should share our joys and concerns so that it can become less for the mother (alone) and distributed amongst the collective where we can find support and resources. I’m grateful for the mothers in my life whom I can share all of my moments (good and bad).

I believe we should share our joys and concerns so that it can become less for the mother (alone) and distributed amongst the collective where we can find support and resources. I’m grateful for the mothers in my life whom I can share all of my moments (good and bad).

Bedtime

One of the most bizarre times in the daily life of motherhood is indeed the evening routine. It’s common thought that in order to have a good night’s sleep we must turn off electronics at least an hour before, eat a healthy dinner, have bath time, story time, and then it’s off to dreamland.

If it were only that easy. 

If you know then you know. One book equals three, someone needs a stuffed animal, and the other needs a drink or to use the potty.  And during this whole time you’re thinking “oh my goodness please go to sleep … (mommy needs some time to herself).” 

Once they are down and sleeping so sweetly you just want to hold them a little longer. It’s during this time that I’m reminded of how tough I was on them that day or where I could have done better, or even been more “motherly.” When I’m done thinking of the bad I remind myself of the good. Where we have living room dance parties, play chase around the island, look for caterpillars on the sidewalk, and my personal favorite, “kiss attacks.”

Confidence

No matter what stage of motherhood you are in, I think it’s important to just “do you.” Be who you want to be for YOU and for your children. Asking questions and asking for help is of equal importance and value. 

What I’ve come to know about myself through motherhood is that no matter my age or experience there are still times when I’m scared and times when I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. The difference is that I don’t let that define me. I don’t get stuck there. 

I look for resources and solutions. Sometimes that’s a CBD bath bomb and a good book. Sometimes that’s a late night text to a friend or calling my mom just to say hi. And sometimes that’s sneaking into the kids room to fall asleep with them because after-all the biggest unknown in motherhood is “who is holding who?”

May you have faith in yourself, hope for the future, and find what’s true for you in the present.

Bedtime

One of the most bizarre times in the daily life of motherhood is indeed the evening routine. It’s common thought that in order to have a good night’s sleep we must turn off electronics at least an hour before, eat a healthy dinner, have bath time, story time, and then it’s off to dreamland.

If it were only that easy. 

If you know then you know. One book equals three, someone needs a stuffed animal, and the other needs a drink or to use the potty.  And during this whole time you’re thinking “oh my goodness please go to sleep … (mommy needs some time to herself).” 

Once they are down and sleeping so sweetly you just want to hold them a little longer. It’s during this time that I’m reminded of how tough I was on them that day or where I could have done better, or even been more “motherly.” When I’m done thinking of the bad I remind myself of the good. Where we had living room dance parties, played chase around the island, looked for caterpillars on the sidewalk, and my personal favorite, “kiss attacks.”

Confidence

No matter what stage of motherhood you are in, I think it’s important to just “do you.” Be who you want to be for YOU and for your children. Asking questions and asking for help is of equal importance and value. 

What I’ve come to know about myself through motherhood is that no matter my age or experience there are still times when I’m scared and times when I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. The difference is that I don’t let that define me. I don’t get stuck there. 

I look for resources and solutions. Sometimes that’s a CBD bath bomb and a good book. Sometimes that’s a late night text to a friend or calling my mom just to say hi. And sometimes that’s sneaking into the kids room to fall asleep with them because after all the biggest unknown in motherhood is “who is holding who?”

May you have faith in yourself, hope for the future, and find what’s true for you in the present.

Photography by Ashley JW Photography

Born and raised in rural Kansas, @MamaFitWhit carries a sense of small town appeal on her sleeve. MamaFitWhit is a personal trainer (in person and online) and business owner. She has a passion for health, fitness, and motherhood. For over a year and a half she has been advocating for Autism Awareness and is devoted to educating herself and others about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Education about cannabis as medicine and how it can be utilized for overall wellness is a growing concentration of hers.