MOTHERHOOD IS HARD

*This is kind of a scatter-brained post, but I felt like sharing so many of my thoughts and feelings about being a mom/wife/woman. I hope you enjoy it, even if it is a little out of order. :) Maybe it will help me when I have my baby shortly, and am dealing with those super fun post partum emotions. 

Being a woman is such an amazing, kick-ass, crazy good thing. I genuinely can say I love being a female, even if it sometimes comes with rollercoasters of emotions (I swear I am more emo than the average girl), inevitable self image issues, and so on. I also love to surround myself with wonderful women. I have a very close group of girlfriends that I have been in friendships with for over 2 decades. I have the most beautiful and kind sisters, and a mom and grandma who taught me so many life changing lessons and raised me to be strong. My mother-in-law is the most selfless, and patient person I've ever known. I have made so many "mom" friends over my short course of being a mother, and I absolutely love every one of these relationships. I am so lucky to be surrounded with the best of the best.

The other day, I was on a Skype call with a company that we have worked with before. Anya was asked to travel for a shoot for them, so we had to do a fitting online. As soon as it was over, I was instantly critiquing myself. I was so worried that I didn't say the right things, Anya didn't fit the bill, we weren't wanted, I could have been more prepared, etc. Unfortunately, I find myself doing this more often than not, and it just made me realize how self-critical we are as not only moms, or women, but humans in general. It's too bad we can't see ourselves through the eyes of others. I look at a lot of people I know, or don't know, and have so much admiration for them. Why is it so hard to do the same thing with ourselves? We are so much better and greater than we give ourselves credit for.

I'll be the first to admit, I find sometimes myself having a hard time feeling fulfilled in my role of motherhood. Something inside of me is quick to question my worth as a mom, and I know I'm not alone. I don't mean my kids don't do it for me, because, obviously they are the most perfect, beautiful people I've ever met. I definitely have more productive, patient, playful days with my babies, and then there are times I find myself being snippy to my sweet girls. I have found the best way to balance myself, my emotions, my marriage, and my children is to take time for myself. Even if it's sitting in my room alone with my coffee in the morning before my kids are up, or at nap time, I just function better if I take a quick 10 minutes or so for myself.

There have been times I have been so pissy with my husband, when he did nothing to deserve that, so I just had to escape the house to go to the grocery store, or just run to grab a drink and sit in silence. My husband has been far more patient than I deserve, and seeing him the way he is as a dad makes me want to step up my game as a mom. I know each parent is completely different and great in their own ways, but I am forever thankful to have married someone so devoted to his kids. He was raised by the best, and to be the best. Dads have never been an easy thing for me to wrap my head around (as I was raised without one), but I was absolutely being watched over when I found my sweet Pierce. He has shattered every doubt about what a dad meant to me, and holy shit did I luck out.

I also have had my fair share of struggles with depression throughout my life. When I became a mom for the first time, I went through SO MANY emotions. I was struggling with Post Partum Depression, and didn't really realize it at the time. I remember crying my eyes out holding Anya in the middle of the night, wondering if she even knew me. I had just created this life, yet I felt so alone. I remember being angry at certain parts of my childhood. I had the absolute hardest time accepting my new body, and cringed every time I saw a picture of myself, or looked in the mirror. It was a huge culture shock and wake up call to me. I am so thankful to say that chapter of my life is in the past, because it not only sucked so hard, it taught me way more than I ever thought I would know about myself and my limits.

I know this is a really random post, but I just wanted to reach out and let any of you reading this, whether you're struggling with PPD, your relationships, your role as a mom/wife, being alive, whatever it may be, that you are here for a reason, and you are AWESOME. The pressure of social media, comparison, or just self doubt is so real. I hope you realize you are doing your best, and that is ALWAYS enough. You are enough.

xoxo, Tori

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37 WEEK UPDATE

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CRAVINGS: Ice, ice baby. I have taken a big cup of crushed ice with me everywhere I go. I have done this both pregnancies, so I'm not surprised this happened this time around again too. My mom had the exact same craving, as well. I like my drinks with loads of ice, and a little bit of actual drink. I don't know what it is, but nothing tastes better. Hot chocolate has been on my radar, too. I'm such a coffee freak, but that hot chocolate has never been yummier. :)

SLEEP: Ha. Yeah right. I'm pretty much in that textbook phase of the very end of pregnancy. Lots of tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable, my hips hurt, I pee SO MANY TIMES in the night, bla bla. I'm a deep sleeper, but these last couple of weeks just suck.

MOVEMENT: Honestly, I'm shocked I haven't gone into labor with how much movement and contractions I've been having. I truly have thought every single day, "Oh, today is the day, I know it!" and nope. Still snug in there, just super tall, or super bony. Probably both, if this kid is anything like dad.

I got checked again, and STILL at a 1 and 80 percent. I was surprised to hear that with how many contractions I've had, but at least I'm not a 0, right? Ha.

Waddling is FULL BLOWN these days. There is no walking normal for me. In fact, the other day, I sort of tried to ...what would I say, trot/move swiftly? into my house and it was a joke. I'm sure my neighbors got a kick out that. (Poppy was inside and I ran out to my car for a second, and our doors lock from the inside, so I had to hurry and get back so she didn't lock me out. Trust me, I wouldn't be trying to get anywhere that fast for fun.) I'm sure people wonder if something is wrong with me at the store, but if you know me, that isn't stopping me from going anywhere. ;) Mostly.

I have been a madwoman trying to get EVERYTHING done on my to-do list. I can't be having this baby knowing I have a few things left to do, that will essentially make my life easier after I deliver. I am not one who deals with stress very well, and I'm just preparing for 3 kids under 4 to kick my ass. I've heard lots of very interesting things about the 3rd, so I'm just trying to save myself while I can. I painted my bedroom a light gray to match the rest of our house, because I figured I would rather nurse in a pretty, relaxing color than the ugly yellow it was. So, big belly bumping into my walls and all, that room was finished. I'm doing Anya's as well, and then my to-do list will be complete!

Pierce left on a guys trip he goes on every fall this week, and I was a tad bit nervous. But I did everything I could to make it as easy and chill as possible on myself. Usually I wouldn't be nervous about him leaving me with the kids for 5 days, but with me being SO close, especially with all my contractions, I was prepared to call him and tell him he had to hurry home. I was sure my water was gonna break. I even had a dream my water broke and he had to make the 10 hour drive back. Of course, it didn't, and we all survived without dad.

We are sooo close...stay tuned!

dress: Asos maternity

Photography by Dayna Turnblom for Jessica Janae Photography

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36 WEEK UPDATE

*This is a couple weeks late, so I'm trying to rack my brain. My very pregnant, forgetful brain.

CRAVINGS: Chocolate! I have had a massive chocolate craving this entire pregnancy, which is so unlike me. I am a gummy bear girl any day.

SLEEPING: Not so hot this week. I was in California and Poppy is NOT anywhere near being a decent sleeper when we are not at home. She was also sick, so we had one night of pure hell. She was up every hour, and that was the worst night of sleep I have ever gotten with my kids (thus far). Not very comfortable, either. You know that end homestretch is a drag.

MOVEMENT: Contraction city. I drove to California so super last minute (literally decided to go in a minute, not even exaggerating) and I truly was wondering if I was going to go into labor there. The whole drive there I kept having them pretty bad. I don't know what was happening but it was a little unnerving. They have been pretty crazy, but also really random.

I was checked and am dilated to a 1 and 80 percent effaced. It seems far for me because when I've gone in to have both babies I was somewhere near this. I think I was a 3 with Anya, but she was a week late (and I had been laboring at home for 7 hours already). But with Poppy I want to say I went in to have her when I was a 2 and 50 percent. So give or take!

Like I mentioned, my 2 kids and I packed our stuff up in a matter of minutes, and hit the road for California. One of my sisters moved there, and per usual, we couldn't stay too long without seeing each other (not even a full week to be exact). I love having sissies so much. Anyway, I thought I was a little bit crazy to just pick up and go SO far along, but I decided if I was going to be uncomfortable and super pregnant, I may as well be on the beach, with a few of my sisters and our kids, eating plenty of yummy food. It was kind of a crazy decision, but nonetheless I obviously didn't have the baby there.

My lower back has been in a lot of pain this past little while. I haven't been taking as many hot baths as I should be, but I did happen to hop into a hot tub (belly up, chill - haha) and it felt LIKE HEAVEN. I should be pampering my body more, if you ask me. ;) Three babes in 4 years ain't no joke.

I am to the weekly dr. appointments, and I can't believe this will be my last time around having these! I won't miss the glucose test, being uncomfortably checked, and hauling my kids with me, but I will miss being pregnant! It's such an amazing miracle...even if it is a painful, long one. Still wonderful.

dress: Target // lace up flats: Target (on sale right now!)

Photography by Dayna Turnblom for Jessica Janae Photography