There is hope my fellow mamas! I almost changed the title of this blog because “hope for new parents” almost seemed like I was saying having kids is a negative thing. But after thinking about it, I left the title because I do think sometimes as parents we feel a bit down in the dumps because we can lose some of ourselves after we have kids. And some days can be so challenging that we feel like it’s never going to get easier. But it does! Up until this point in Molly’s life, I didn’t really know if I would ever get a lot of “me” back. But right now, even with my infant Riley in the mix, I can confidently say that it gets better and it gets easier! So I wanted to do this post today for any other parents that are in the first two years of their first child’s life that may be looking for a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Because let’s face it, those first two years can be challenging to say the least.
As many of you know, Molly started school last week. She’s not going every day. She only goes two days a week for three hours a day. So really it’s like a long play date that mommy doesn’t stay for. I knew school was going to be a big deal for her and I was excited for her to get to regularly socialize with other kids. But what I never realized was how much her going to school for a few short hours, 2 days a week would be such a big deal for me!
For her first day of school, I had to stay in class just in case she had trouble with separation. Luckily, she was a total rockstar and basically couldn’t have cared less that I was there. So the next time I brought her to school the teacher asked me to stay outside while they were inside, and then when they were coming outside she said I could leave because Molly was doing so well. I was beside myself! Leave?! REALLY?!?! Riley was with our nanny so I was free to do whatever I wanted! (I recently told you guys that we hired a nanny from The Nanny League and since I basically work full-time at home and have a part-time job it was super necessary!) Molly’s teacher telling me I could leave felt like she was my teacher giving me permission to play hookie. Permission to hang up my mom hat for a couple hours and just be Ali again. It’s almost like I needed someone to give me that permission because I wasn’t giving it to myself and haven’t truly given it to myself since Molly was born over two years ago. Sure I would go out here and there, but nothing consistent. And I need a consistent break.
I thought I might be nervous leaving her or even shed a few tears, but I didn’t. Instead, I pulled out of the driveway of her school feeling like a teenager who just got their drivers license. Where would I go? What would I do?! I immediately drove to my favorite coffee shop, ordered a coffee and an avocado toast and sat outside in the sunshine and ate breakfast in complete silence. No crying baby, no toddler to feed, just silence. It was glorious!
I’ve only gotten breakfast by myself like this once since Molly was born. It was really special then but I knew it was sort of a one time thing since I was always in mom mode and didn’t really have any help. (Besides my amazing husband obviously. And I never like to say that he “helps” because we co-parent and it’s 50-50 all the way because we both work). But this time it was different because it dawned on me that every time Molly goes to school, when I don’t have to go into Home & Family to work, I’m going to have mornings like these. Yes, I’ll work on my blog most of those mornings, but the fact that I’ll get to take my laptop to a coffee shop to do it is thrilling to me! Maybe I can go to a workout class for the first time in OVER A YEAR! Owen can finally get more much needed walks (hence these photos). Btw, I will link all my outfit deets from these photos at the end of this post because I LOVE this look! The dress is so cute and the detail on the back of these boots is sooo good!
So basically in that moment it dawned on me that my life is changing. Parenting is finally starting to get a little bit easier – even if only for a couple hours once a week. And I really needed that reassurance in that moment. The last four months since Riley was born have been challenging to say the least. It puts stress on my marriage, sometimes on my relationship with Molly and a ton of stress on myself. There were times when I was chatting with my girlfriends who were considering trying for a second child and I would look at them with such a look of worry on my face almost as if I were warning them to turn back now! Don’t do it! In my head I heard myself screaming those things even though I would never say it to them. But now I can confidently say, it gets easier. Everyone always told me it did, but I didn’t really believe them until now.
And I’m celebrating over a couple hours to myself one day a week. She goes to school twice a week, but we only have our nanny 4 days a week and on the weekday she has off, Molly goes to school… so I will have Riley that day. But still, those 2 hours after dropping her off and picking her up will mean SOOO much to me every week. And I will need them, because the rest of the week is NON-STOP with a toddler and infant in tow. And I know that from here on out, things will continue to get a little easier month by month. Sure new challenges will arise, but those first few month with 2 under 2 were intense and I am so happy to see that light is coming!
So my point in writing all of this is that if any of you at home are feeling a little discouraged since having your baby, I want to say hang in there. Maybe you have a newborn, maybe your kiddo just turned one, or maybe you have a two-year-old who hasn’t started going to school or day care yet. If you’re in the thick of it anywhere in the first couple years know there is light at the end of the tunnel! You will get to do some things for you again! I do realize that I am very fortunate that we are able to hire someone to help us with Riley and able to send our daughter to preschool. Both of those things can be very costly and I’m not blinded by the fact that we are unbelievably lucky to be able to do both of those things. So maybe your break isn’t going to come at two years, maybe it will come at five years when your little one goes to public school. But whenever that time is, know you will get some of you back! You will get to go and sit at a coffee shop and slowly sip your coffee and eat your breakfast without having to shove it all in your mouth because a little one needs your attention. And whenever that day does come, it will be better than you even imagined!
I’d love for you guys to share your stories about when you started to feel a little bit more yourself after having kids. When was that ah-ha moment for you when you got to do something for yourself again?! Tell me everything in the comments below.
And last but not least outfit deets! My dress is so so cute! It feels very “farmhouse” to me but I can edge it up a little bit by adding the jean jacket. I wore this dress in the summer and it’s perfect to transition into fall with. So if you buy it, you can wear it spring, summer and fall! My jean jacket is by J Brand. I linked the exact jacket but the color is a little darker. My color isn’t available anymore. My backpack and boots are both from Sole Society. The detail on the back of the boot is really cool and it makes them unique. They have an equestrian feel to them. I wear them with leggings a lot too. Just wanted to share for those who are curious!