Getting Some of Me Back – Hope for New Parents!

UPDATE: For those of those coming to my blog looking for my Insta Style page (the outfit in my insta story) – click HERE.

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!

71 Thoughts

71 thoughts on “Getting Some of Me Back – Hope for New Parents!

    1. Hi Ali! First off I just want to say that I’m a huge fan of yours. Your kids are beautiful and you and your husband seem so happy and I love. Of all your blog posts, I think this one is the one that hit home for me. I’m a single mom with an amazing little boy who is 19 months old. His dad and I are going through a really nasty custody battle where he is fighting for 50/50 custody. However, he only wants 50/50 because he is too cheap to pay child support. I have never been away from my baby since birth & even before birth since I carried him for 9 months. I put my life on hold for my baby. I will do anything for him. Some days I’m so tired I don’t even feel like showering, I just want to sleep, but for him I’ll do anything. Even with my tiredness I still work full time, come home play with my baby, feed him, bathe him, reas to him, and then when he falls asleep I prepare his meals for his babysitter the next day. Then I go to sleep to wake up at 4:45 am and do all that over again & that’s all on a good day considering nothing out of the ordinary happens such as my baby getting sick. When he’s sick he mostly sleeps best when I’m sitting upright anc he’s on me. Now his father on the other hand can’t help but smoke every 20 to 30 minutes and leaves baby alone in the house while. He’s outside smoking. How is this 50/50 of all that I do and what he does? Plus he only wants the baby on weekends where the father doesn’t have a football game of his favorite team playing in town because he must go to the game to tailgate with his friends and drink nonstop. How is that responsible parenting? Yet he’s also always talking down to me as if I’m below him, regardless if the baby is in the room listening to him talk to me that way. Most people who have seen him say he bullies me but his friends and family say he’s a laid back nice guy. I’m sorry I’m ranting, I just haven’t really had anyone to talk to about my feelings. I love my son, but with everything I’m going through with the father, I just feel like I should just give up sometimes. I’ve gained like 80 lbs since the break-up because I’m a stress-eater and because I’m not happy with how I look I just rather stay home in my sweats and eat more comfort food like pizza. I feel like I’ve lost myself anc I’m afraid I’ll never find myself again. If you would give me advice I’d love to hear it. I’m desperate. I want to be the best version of me I can for my son. Also, do you know of any way that I can try to change the court’s mind to see the father for the bully he realty is and heavy smoker that he is to get more custody privileges, like 80/20? Everyone who knows me and knows my ex knows Juan doesn’t do half of what I do. Also, I tested my baby fir his dad’s second-hand smoke in his system and the test showed up positive, plus my baby suffers from breathing problems when he gets sick anc I’ve been told by doctors that the father picking up the baby after smoking a cigarette is harming the baby. Problem is they won’t put that on paper because they don’t want to be subpoenaed in court. Please help? Or even some encouraging words because I feel like I’m just sad all the time.

      Thank you!! And congratulations again on your beautiful family!!

      1. Jenny, I don’t know you but I have some advice. I rarely read these comments but I follow her constantly. I know this is a rant is more for you than for her, but I went to the same exact situation … my son is now eight. I was dating a lovely man for four years. We just got married and found out we were having a baby. I can’t believe I’m on the other side !!! Hang in there… It does get better. Try to remember that some point this will all be over. And you will be so much stronger For it

      2. Reading this breaks my heart. I hope you know that every tired moment you spend for and with your son is making a huge impact on his life. I know how easy it is to feel ashamed of yourself, with weight gain and no time for yourself, I’m there with you. I am fortunate to have a loving and supportive husband, who works long hours but is here when I need him. I give all the praise to moms like you, who are doing it alone, and even worse with someone working against you. I just wanted you to know that someone out here, read this, and felt your pain and I’m rooting for you and hoping things start going your way. Soak up all the love and cuddles with that baby boy and know that you mean more to him than anyone else in the world!

      3. This breaks my heart. You are an amazing woman and amazing mother. I can’t imagine how you are feeling or whay you are going through, but know that the effort you are putting forward for your son is having a hugely positive impact on his life. While sometimes you may feel like you are failing, you are not. You’re his constant rock, and he loves you more than anyone. Your little babe doesnt care how you look or how you dress, he cares that you are there with him, creating a safe and loving home. You’re a rockstar momma, and it will get better.

        I’m not a lawyer, but I would say to document (have a notebook and take notes – including the dates) on every little thing he does “wrong”. Save messages that he sends where ge indicates he only wants the child when he doesnt already have plans, have the doctors print a letter stating the second hand smoke results and the affect it is having on his breathing — document EVERYTHING!

        You can do this momma – we’re all rooting for you ❤️

    2. Hi i am a huge fan.
      I have been a preschool teacher for my group of 1-2 years old and for 7 months now i have been a aupair for a 9 month old baby.

      I really think it would benefit if you got someone to help you out a bit. It would make the time you spend with your kids so much better if you have a little time off.

      I am a second mommy and a friend to this baby and its amazing to play with him and laught. I learn so much new things from him every day. When his mom is working we do silly stuff and i send her videos of the thi gs we do.

      I am there to help her out if she is tired . Because he gets night terrors and that means he doesnt sleap that well so when i come here she usally sleeps till 11 whild i play with the baby and then she is off to work.

      I write every thing i do with him down and when he eats ext. I love him so much and i think it would really help you.

  1. I’ve always been able to relate so much to your posts. ..I read your blog every day! My oldest just started Kindergarten, and my 3 year old and 16 month old are home with me during the day. It’s becoming a bit easier for me to take my youngest two out during the day (even if just to run errands), so that has helped me feel more “normal”. And now that my 16 month old is better about staying with other people, I feel less guilty going out by myself for an hour! So enjoy! I can certainly appreciate everything you’re saying. You’re doing a great job!

  2. This really is a great post for all parents!

    My youngest is 21 months and I recently finally start to feel more myself again. I have a plan to finally loose the baby weight, I bought myself a new mommy bag now that my youngest is out of the baby stage for the most part. Started caring more about what I wear again, etc.

    So I’m here to tell you that it gets even better! It has been more tiring bc toddler stage is just sooo active. And the tantrums! But in many ways it’s easier to have an almost 4 year old that can listen; take directions and be independent, and then an almost 2 year old that can do somewhat the same. Hang in there!!

  3. Those two hour breaks are the best! Wait until they start elementary and you have a full 7 hours a day to yourself!!! 🤩 Off topic but I ordered the tunic from your blog the other day and am in love with it! May need some more in other colors!

  4. Thank you sharing!
    Also where is that board from that you documented Molly’s first day at school with. I saw it on your Instagram.

    Please share!

  5. Hey Ali!

    Such a good post and perfect timing for me as well. I have a 2.5 year old daughter who has been giving me SUCH a hard time lately (Terrible twos) I am expecting my second baby and I’m still in the first trimester so I have been sick and I don’t think I have every felt this exhausted in my life…by 2pm I feel like I’m drugged and can’t function at work lol I can’t even imagine what its going to be like with a new born and a toddler. I have watched you struggle over the passed few months which has freaked me out a little bit but I am so glad to hear things are getting better! My daughter was SUCH a good baby that I honestly never felt too tired or frustrated at all, it wasn’t until she turned 2 that things started to get crazy plus I am working full time and so is my husband. He works out of town so he doesn’t get home until 630-7pm So it’s been really tough on me during the week. We have our family around so we do get to go on date nights every once in awhile and honestly it makes such a difference! Those nights we feel like our old selves again and just get to have fun! We are so grateful we are able to do that!

    Enjoy those few hours to yourself! You will feel so much better and in the end will make you a better Mom ( Even though I’d say you’re already a pretty great one 🙂 )

  6. Yay! I’m so excited for you. I have a 4 year old son and almost 2 year old daughter. It definitely does get easier. After my daughter was born the “newborn fog” lasted longer and at about 6 months I could feel it start to lift. My son was 2 when he started preschool and that helped. The little time I had when he was in preschool and when my daughter napped was magical. I’m a stay at home mom and don’t have any outside help. I’m so excited that you are experiencing that. Now at almost 2 and 4, getting out of the house is much easier and it’s lovely.❤️

  7. I know EXACTLY what you mean! I also have 2 under 2 – my first will turn two next week and my baby is 8 months. It has been amazing to have them, to take care of them, to love them, and to see their bond grow day by day, but what a challenge it’s been for me to be “me” again. Just last month I started to feel like me again. 7 months after delivery!!! Going to work, getting make up every day felt AHHH-mazing but it still wasn’t cutting it. I am now finally feeling like I can start to be me again. I started cleaning, de-cluttering, even looking at my husband with the same look I had prior to kids (I’ve just been too focused on my mommy role). IT DOES GET BETTER! of course, then you have the feeling that your babies are growing and you just want to keep them babies for-EVER! lol 🙂

  8. Thank you for this! I’m going to be in your shoes come Spring with 2 under 2. Your words make me believe things will be okay. Thank you for sharing your life, your struggles and all the feelings.

  9. As a mom it is so hard to even realize that you need time to yourself. I was home for 4 months with my 4 year old, 2 year old, and newborn and when I returned to work last week, it literally felt like a vacation. Sure, it’s hard to leave the kids but I’ve told so many people that I didn’t even realize just how much of a break I needed until I came back to the office. Enjoy those couple of hours a week that you get alone because you DESERVE them!

  10. Thanks for sharing! You look fabulous- so glad you are finding yourself again! I have a 2 year old son and a 6 week old son- definitely in the thick of it. I started to feel back to me again when my first was about 18 months, just in time to be pregnant again! 🤣 We have a nanny come in once a week for half a day now just to give me a break so I know there is hope of feeling like myself again- hopefully a little sooner this time! 🤗

  11. The first time I ever felt more like myself was when I put my son in church nursery when he was 5 months old and was just able to focus on the service all by myself. I had gone a few times and left him with my husband or parents but the day I put him in someone else’s hands outside my family made me feel more like I was prioritizing me. This was also when I started volunteering again teaching the 4-5 year old Sunday school class and for 1.5 years that was my only consistent break and he had a hard time for a month when he moved up to the 1 year old class. But now he started preschool 3 days a week a month ago and I just feel so much better and centered. I was there with him every day for 19 months and 2 weeks after he started he stopped crying at drop off and just blows me kisses and says bye! My husband was very worried because he had a hard time when he started school and he was 3 but it’s so nice to see him loving his teachers and class! And I have 8:30-3:30 free to work out and work from home but I’m not stressed from having to fit everything into his nap time. And it is so nice to go my workout classes at 9 again right after I drop him off since his school and the gym are on the same street. This last month was the first time since being pregnant I could consistently make myself work out 4 days a week because even home workouts made me feel stressed I was ignoring him for too long and I needed to work when he was napping. We are trying for a second baby though so we will see how long this newfound freedom lasts!

  12. I love this post! My daughter is 4 months old (a little older than your little guy) and even though I have only left her a handful of times with grandparents I still felt guilty but I started thinking I need more than my weekly trip to the grocery store for me time. I found a moms group at our church and at first I thought my daughter is so young I shouldn’t go, I felt judgement even though there wasn’t any (you know all the typical mom guilt). Honestly if it wasn’t for my MIL pushing me to go I probably wouldn’t have signed up and I’m so thankful I did. I had my first mom group yesterday for 2 hours and it was so wonderful to feel like myself again, I don’t think as moms we realize how much we need that time for us and there is no reason we should feel guilty. Because at the end of the day this time for myself will make me a better wife and mother! I truly believe this post reassured me that my choice was the right one! So thank you!

  13. Having a 2 month old and being a first time mom, it was so great to read this post! I’m always able to relate to you and on this especially. I’m glad it does get easier because right now, I’m tired!

  14. Loved this. I only have one and he is 2, but I didn’t feel like myself for the longest time and some days I still don’t, but just like you said eventually you will start to feel like yourself again and it’ll get easier! Thanks for talking about something not many people do. <3

  15. This blog post is so refreshing Ali! I can completely relate. Time to myself didn’t come until I did sleep training with Wee Sleep with my 7 month old in August. He was a champ and now sleeps through the night. This means I have a couple of hours after the kids have gone to bed to myself! I haven’t had this since having my older son 4 years ago! Honestly sometimes I still don’t know what to do with myself during this time but slowly trying to figure out myself again 😊

  16. Thank you! I read your blog post often and can relate to everything you share. I have 2 year old twins and a 5 month old – at one point I had 3 children under 2. There were days my husband and myself were just surviving, but things do get easier or maybe we just became better at our expectations. Keep sharing!

  17. My angel baby went to college last year so I finally found me and my husband again. I guess I never really got my “groove back.” But now I’m reinventing!
    Thanks for sharing your journey Ali! 🌸

  18. I guess it never feels like it used to be before having kids, there is not turning back at all, but the childhood is so short that you wouldnt believe it when you relized that your kids are teenagers and you think “in what moment this happened?” and you have a looott of time for yourself cause they have their own little teenage world, so hang in there Ali cause the time flies 🙂

  19. I am happy to hear that you are feeling more like yourself again. Coming from a slightly different point of view, my kids are older now and both in school and while looking back on those days, they were hard, but I wish I would have enjoyed them a little more. Looking back I felt very similar to what you have described. I will never get that time back with them again, time just goes so fast. It is hard when they are young, but embrace the craziness while you have it. 😊

  20. Ali,
    I adore you! I have 2 under 2 and I feel like it’s a great day when I can brush my teeth before noon. I have been trying to find the fun “life of the party” Kim and still keep my Mom hat on, which isn’t always easy. I feel guilty asking my parents to babysit so my husband and I can go out on a date or for a few drinks, but I’m finding those times to be so energizing for me, my marriage and it’s good for my kids too!
    Thanks for being honest about motherhood. It’s nice to know that other moms are in the same boat.

  21. How wonderful. It really means a lot to just get coffee alone, go for a walk, work out – whatever! without your children.

    I work from home too, and will sometimes call my sitter over just so I can go work at Panera and be a little bit of an adult for that time.

    Right now I am pregnant with our 3rd and final babe, so I know that I won’t be feeling the old Erin for awhile, but I do know it will come!
    Happy for you xoxox

  22. Thank you so much for sharing this! My daughter is 7 months old and I feel like I’ve completely lost myself! I graduated school and stopped working about a month before she was born and therefore lost all social interactions with adults. lol I, of course, talk to my daughter everyday but I miss adult conversations! I’m 21 and it’s so hard because I don’t know that many other women my age with kids. Most of my friends are still in college so it’s hard to find people to relate to. It is nice to know that it will get easier and I am not alone in feeling this way. 💞💞

  23. I have a 5 to, 3 to, and one one the way. The mornings when both kids are at school are amazing and non negotiable for ME time…especially since I only have 3 more months until I’m on duty 24/7 again with a newborn. What has helped me get back to feeling myself is doing something productive FOR myself. Indulging in a passion project, or working on the blog. Really anything that I can focus on that isnt related to the kids has helped me get to a NEW ME. Let’s face it, after kids, theres no going back to the old you, so once you let go of that fantasy, you can start to embrace the new you. It’s going to look different, but it will feel just as good!

  24. I have an almost 2.5 year old girl. She is incredible. I finally felt like myself after finishing breastfeed ing honestly. There was so much attachment even with pumping. I bf til a year old. Are you still breastfeeding?

    Have you and your husband gone ona vacation just the 2 of you? I believe that is so necessary and life changing for your relationship and you return having so much more patience. It takes a village so asking for help is #1, I fully agree!! I skip out on a house cleaner and choose to habe a few bours of help during the week instead.

  25. Great post, Ali! We just had our first baby in the beginning of July and it wasntza glorious and magical time like everyone says. He would NOT nap, would only be nursed to sleep, and would just cry. I felt terrible not enjoying my child. When he turned 7 weeks we decided to start sleep training and I cant even tell you what a difference it made. It amazes me how much sleep he WASNT getting. He eats better, sleeps through the night at 9 weeks old, and I feel like I have my life back. I can shower, I can clean. I can bring him out places, my husband and I can watch TV before we go to bed again. When you mentioned your friends talking about having another baby and you were thinking “dont do it”, before we did the training I was one and done, and now I feel differently 🙂

    Glad to hear you’re getting back to yourself!

  26. Just wanted to thank you so much for your blog it blessed me just reading it and what you wrote. You are an inspiration to all moms and just wanted to thank you for being so open and honost about motherhood and life. It’s so comforting knowing that there are so many moms out there that we can relate to each other and have that connection.

  27. Really needed this. I have a 3 yr old and a 4 month old and have been feeling very overwhelmed. My 3 yr old wants mama all the time and while the baby is great with her dad, sometimes mom just can’t be replaced. I’ve been feeling stretched thin and as we’re going through the 4 month sleep regression, I feel exhausted on top of it all. I’ve been attempting to make time to work out and have been taking the time to research more natural products for myself and home. It may not seem like much but it has given me something to focus on that’s not my kids and has made me feel connected to myself again. It’s a good feeling!

  28. I know exactly what you mean! I am a SAHM to an 11 month old and even though I get breaks occasionally, it’s not consistent. I think consistency is key. It gives you something to look forward tt. I recently joined a MOPS group in my area, and it’s been amazing! Twice a month for 2-3 hours, I get coffee, a hot breakfast, and time to hang with other moms. It has been keeping me sane! I look forward to the day when my little one starts preschool because I know it’ll be good for both of us!! It’s so important to get breaks. The other day at MOPS, we talked about hobbies, and we all realized that we were moms and we didn’t have any hobbies anymore! I’ve vowed to change that, because even though my number one priority is my daughter, I need to take care of myself too and set a good example for her.

  29. Being a first time mom, it truly is overwhelming sometimes. I find myself sometimes wishing that I had my husbands life. He gets to be out of the house, come home and play with our child, and then gets to go to bed. I feel envious sometimes that his life hasn’t seemed to change too much, where my life is completely different. Between breastfeeding and being a stay at home mom I feel sometimes our baby is solely my responsibility. I have only been away from him for about 8 hours his entire life and he is 9 months old ha. This mama is ready for a bit of a break and some me time. Though I am sure when I get that time, all I will be wanting is to spend time with him and be back to where I am right now. Thank you for reassuring us there is light, that being a mom doesn’t mean you have to lose who you were before… it only gets better!

  30. Great post Ali! My son shares a birthday with Molly and my second son was born in February so we have been at similar stages throughout our mothering journey, your blog is always so on point for me. My friend just started this group here in Winnipeg called “more outside motherhood” aka MOM, and it’s about bringing women together and finding time for ourselves. Our first get together is in October but I think this is going to be such a great thing. Often parents feel bad putting themselves first, but I have found doing 1 thing a week for me without kids (I do a yoga class) makes me a better mom. Glad to see you have found something for YOU.

  31. I just adore you! Honestly – you are a little bit of an outlet for me – a part of my day to see positivity, pretty clothes, and inspiration to be a sweet mama. I hope you know that you bring lightness into someone’s life!:)

    Could you post more about your athletic wear and sunnies from today? I’m ALWAYS looking for cute workout clothes to chase my little girl around in.


  32. I’m only a stepmom so it’s a little bit different. I didn’t meet our little one til she was 2, but this year she turned 5 and went off to kindergarten and it’s SO weird. Not having her at the house is lonely. I didn’t expect that cause her mom and dad share 50/50 custody, but school just made it seem like now we only get her 1/4 of the time and made our house feel empty. I got into journaling a lot again, it really helped me feel like my old self and give me something to do on those times I miss her at the house.

  33. Love this! I have a 3.5 year old, just turned 3 year old, and an 8 week old, so I definitely know what you are dealing with! Just curious…when you are working at home, does the nanny bring Riley to you to nurse or does he drink pumped milk?

    I am a work at home mom, too, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to move forward when my maternity leave ends in 8 weeks.

  34. Thank you for sharing this post! I’m a first time mom with a 7 week young girl! Before my little peanut was born I was hoping for twins so that I can have a “one and done” deal for having two babies but the outcome was just one cute baby girl. I was so glad that it turned out that way because it’s really exhausting at times. At times I wanted to be out of the house with my baby so I could get a change of scenery. And at other times I wanted ME time. My husband seems like he has at least one golf outing a week which takes at the very least 3 hours for an 18 hole. I want to have a parallel to that as well where I can just EASILY say that I’m going out for a few hours to the coffee shop with my girlfriends or the like. But of course I have the attachment to my baby. I know that I’ll have some of me back here and there even if it’s just for an hour and gradually more hours as she gets older.
    As for getting a second child, I thought about that too but at this moment it’s a one and done deal. I can’t imagine having a second with the excruciating contractions and still going through postpartum healing. But every mother always says that you’ll forget all of that and want a second baby. It’s nice that you’re able to share your realities of motherhood and I appreciate that! It may give me hope of maybe wanting to have a second when I get to that milestone!

  35. Hi Ali!
    Great post. I’m in the thick of things right now. I have a 2 year-8 month old and a 9 month old and it’s hard!!! I fee like I have absolutely no time for myself. However I recently started going back to work for a few hours a day a few times a week and even being in the car without a crying baby seems like a vacation. Of course I miss them to death but it allows me to recharge and be a better mom. Thanks for normalizing moms still wanting to have time alone.


  36. Hi Ali
    Love your blog. Also have a 27 month old and a 5 month old. At about month 4, I almost was like I can’t do this … then we potty trained my 2 year old son and it about killed me. Now this week – my 5 month old started daycare 3 days a week my son is 5 days a week and basically potty trained and I am going back to work this Monday part time!
    These past 3 days of freedom were so strange . Loved them as I could do stuff I haven’t done cause it’s so hard to lug them around, but also really miss them it’s hard. It’s tough being a working mom! Last week or was that this week when you couldn’t do anything right that was me too so you made me smile and continue on ! Love for all the mommas
    We will get through the tough days and savior these phases of baby life as they do go fast!

  37. Oh, I’m so glad I took a minute to read this! I hesitated only because BOTH of my girls are napping at the same time (how that happened, I have no idea!) I have a long list of things to do, but I sat down & took the time to read this in peace & quiet & I’m so glad I did! Thank you for sharing!

    I have a newly 3 year old & a 4 month old. Daily, I thank the Lord above for blessing us with our two amazing little girls. Lately, it’s been getting a little easier for me. My oldest started school & goes twice a day. Dropping her off & picking her up are the highlights of my week, but those 5 hours she’s there it’s like heaven on earth. I feel free again, I can jam out to whatever I want in the car &, I’m myself again. It’s been long overdue & is much needed! Even on the days I have our littlest girl, it still is some relief & nice to have that one on one time with her.

    I cried tears of happiness while reading your blog & the other comments. It’s so refreshing to know others feel the same way when they drop their little ones off & to not feel guilty because you’re excited about a little ME time. The days are long, but the years are short they say. I love being a mama more than anthing & I know one day I’ll be looking back at these days missing every second. Your blog post helped remind me of that. The best hood is motherhood!!

    Love following you!!

  38. I always felt a little guilty for secretly enjoying those 3 hour breaks when my kid is off in preschool. Now I have a four month old so I’m never completely alone, an up until recently has a side business that required a lot of my time and usually those precious 3 hours were spent doing shipping. I said goodbye to it because I felt like I wasn’t in control of my sanity, and I just wanted to relax a bit you know what I mean? So thank you for this post and reminding me I deserve to have me time 3x a week, even if it’s with a cute 4 month old I can spend cuddling and squishing with kisses.

  39. Ali…..
    i love your honesty. I had problems with infertility and after 8 yrs was blessed with a baby girl. Little did i know how dark those days can be after birth. I always see instagram mom just gushing with excitement, but unfortunately i got post partum depression really bad. It was hard to fathom because I have always been a super happy person and I had struggled to be pregnant so I thought I should be really happy to be a mom. But PPD does not discriminate and it hit me like a ton of brick. On top of that my baby girl had a lot of medical issues. There are times when i just want to give up. There was a lot of strain in our marriage as a result as well. But, like you said, it did get better. My baby is 2.5 and I finally got myself back. I developed such a strong bond with her and shes my little best friends. It was a long and dark roads the first 2 yrs. But with my husband support, we finally reached the rainbow.

  40. Although I have only one, I can so relate! My 2.5 year old just started preschool three days a week and I work two days a week so I get one whole glorious SIX hour day to myself! It is the first time in 2.5 years where I too feel a bit like my old self!! Selfishly it’s my favorite day of the week! 😉 Tuesday is the new Friday!! ❤️

  41. Ali-
    It was so good to read this post. I had my third on July 4th and although I love my three kids challenging doesn’t even begin to describe it. I am still on maternity leave and right now I feel like I’m counting down the days until I get to work again to have a break (and I’m a kindergarten teacher so not much of a break)! Right now my little guy is refusing to take a bottle which is making my feeling of never having a break even more magnified because I literally haven’t gotten to be away from him for more than a couple hours. I am looking forward to it getting easier and to getting some time to feel like myself and it is so good to read the same from you. Sometimes it feels that I am the only person who doesn’t think being at home with my kids and having a newborn baby is the best thing ever. Glad you are getting time for yourself and looking forward to getting some for myself soon.

  42. Your post resonated with me for a totally different reason.
    I have a 23 month old and a 6 month old and I have to put them into daycare 2 days a week so I can go back to work so we can keep paying the bills. I’ll be working from home the other 3 days and trying to juggle working, and looking after both babies.
    I have been feeling terribly guilty about putting them into care. We also have no family around to help so we have no option but to use daycare. As much as I am looking forward to me time (which is going into work) I’m feeling sick at having to leave them, although I know they will be fine and probably better for it.
    I think I have mum guilt for not being able to stay home with them until they go to school.
    So Thankyou for making me realise that daycare is ok and I’m not a horrible mum x

  43. Love this post! My “me time” is when my little girl goes to sleep and I get to relax for a few hours before bed. I was watching some shows on Hulu for a while and I’m going to start reading at night as well. I don’t remember the last time I read a book. I’ve been having a hard time with my little girl and separation anxiety. She turned one in July and we are struggling at the moment. She only wants me nonstop and it’s exhausting. She cries when I drop her off at daycare and cries when I pick her up from daycare. I’m trying to cherish these moments because I know she won’t want me forever but it’s getting to be a little overwhelming. Your post has encouraged me to treat myself more often. My husband is amazing and such a great help, so I just need to go and get a coffee and treat myself to a mani/pedi. 💗

  44. Thank you for this post! I’ve got a 9 month old and another on the way (surprise!) and I’m FREAKING out! I often find myself thinking that I’m lost and I need to just commit myself to being a mom right now and that me time will come again. That lasts for about 10 minutes and then I find myself frustrated and longing for a moment to myself. Thank you for being so open and honest about your Emotions and struggles. It really gives me hope that even though life if hard and only going to get harder there is light in the distance and the old me isn’t lost she’s just waiting for the better version of herself to come out.

  45. Losing myself is why I have been in a place of joy wanting kids at all. My husband wants them so bad and we’ve always talked about it. However, once we got married and started our adult lives together, I lost all desire. Ugh!!

  46. Thank you for posting this Ali. It is SOOO important to find yourself and get some solo time in, not only for yourself but for your kids. I did the same thing and never gave myself any time because I am fortunate enough to stay at home with my 18mo old son so didn’t feel like I ‘deserved’ any time to myself which is crazy! No self care = tired, grumpy mommy. I finally realized these last few months that having this time to yourself is not only crucial but you come out better for it. Thanks for sharing!

  47. So relatable! My second came when big sis was 18 months— so really still a baby. She was also born the very beginning of a long and unusually cold Canadian winter and so the 3 of us were pretty housebound for 6 months. 10 months later though, things are really starting to get easier! We’ve had a great summer, I’ve mastered being out with the 2 of them, my older one is potty trained and off to 2 day a week play school next week and my baby is sleep trained! I’ve just started going out by myself in the evenings to workout and my best friend and I are planning a kid-free trip for early next year. The last year has been challenging- doable but definitely all encompassing and just really hard sometimes but it’s also a dream come true and the most important thing I’ve ever done! It’s just to be able to love them that much more because I’ve had a break!

  48. YES!!! I had twins and when they were 11 months old, somehow found myself pregnant AGAIN. We cried. Not tears of joy. Tears of what the heck did we get ourselves into?!

    We had three kids 1 and younger (and we already had a 3 year old when I had the twins, so we now have 4 kids!) and for a full year and a half I was that mom I used to judge. My hair was greasy and I had three screaming kids all the time. Three kids in diapers. Three needing me every second of every day (and night!). I realize why Xanax exists now! I don’t know why I never took any?! 😆

    My twins are now 3 and my baby boy is almost a year and a half. It’s taken me this year and a half of his life to finally feel like I’m gaining a piece of myself back. I feel like I finally have some margin in my life back that is mine. It took me a lot longer than you to get my swag back, but I agree- it does get easier and it gets better! Motherhood is so tough! But it’s so rewarding and when I finally felt like I was getting ME back, even if only for small moments, it rejuvenated me and motivated me so much!

    Motherhood takes us a part and when we piece ourselves back together, sometimes we aren’t exactly the same anymore. But I’m learning I’m still ME, and it feels good to see her again ☺️

  49. Thanks for posting! It’s always nice to hear that you are not alone. When my daughter was about 1 (she’s 2.5 now), I decided to be a stay at home Mom. Little did I know the guilt that would come along with that. I feel like since I made that commitment to spend my days with her, whenever I take even just a couple minutes to myself, that I am failing. The pressure is 100% put on me by myself- my husband always says to use nap time as a break, while I feel the need to ensure I spend the time cleaning, prepping dinner, etc… I have the opportunity to have my parents/inlaws watch her if I need to get something done/have me time, but I feel like I made the commitment to her and that would somehow be taking the easy way. There’s also a drop in daycare I can bring her to that’s very affordable for an hour or two, and while I really want to use it to get her used to me but always be by my side, I still guilty about dropping her off.

    I’m 12 weeks pregnant now, and while I now take the half hour I have before my daughter wakes up to watch tv/use my phone instead of getting everything ready for the day, I’m interested to see how it will go from here ok out!

  50. Hi,
    Great post! I have a different take on this because I have a teenager that just started high school. I went through everything you’re going through and it does get easier. I promise! I’ve realized, throughout my 14 years as a mom that you are constantly reinventing yourself. I am at that crossroads again just when I thought I had things all figured out. Haha! She doesn’t need me around as much and my husband and I are not the most important people in her life ( even though she is ours!) That’s been hard but it’s also given us a lot more opportunities to go on dates or just hang out together when she is with her friends. So, my point is always take time for yourself because we have the hardest job around! All you parents out there, do what you feel is best and your kids will thrive!

  51. Congratulations on getting some time off! I work part time and stay with my 2 year old most of the week. (July 6 is her birthday) it definitely get hard, some days are better than others. Usually by the end of the day I’m way more than on the days that I had to go to work. My husband and I have thinking about baby number 2 for a while and as much as it got me super excited I also was scared of how much more stress it would put on our family because those first months are so hard. So we decided to wait a little longer when our daughter is about to start school and could have a break from having both kids even if it was only for a few hours. This blog is so relatable because in no way I am complaining about my daughter, she is my best friend and my companion. We literally do everything together and I love it. But a break here and there is much needed.

    Thank you Ali

  52. I feel you Ali! My girls are 2 1/2 and 6 months. They are in daycare full time now that I’m back to work full time but even going to work feels like a break for me. No kids in the car? I can blast whatever music I want and roll the windows down?! Amazing! Right now dinner and bedtime are a handful so my husband and I have only left them with my in-laws twice to go to a wedding and a concert but I’m looking forward to a time when we will be able to do more date nights like we did after my oldest got out of the infant stage.

  53. Hi Ali,
    Although I am a huge fan of you and your beautiful family I must say I was taken aback by some of the statements you’ve made in this post. Implying that we (as parents) “lose ourselves” when we have kids comes off as extremely negative sounding.

    I don’t think you meant for it to come across that way but that’s what I inferred. There are women all over the world who struggle to get pregnant, who miscarry, who can never have their own children. And for someone like yourself who has been blessed with two healthy and beautiful babies to say things like “I lost myself, I am no longer me” because you’re a parent just doesn’t sit well with me.

    Instead of saying you lost yourself just because you’re now a parent, how about immersing yourself fully into the Ali you are now as a Mom. It doesn’t always have to be this was me before kids and this is me after kids. You’re always you!

    I hope I got my message across without sounding too mean, that was never my intention.

    Best wishes,
    Ashley N

  54. I love this so much! In three years my second child will be in full day school. It will be the first time in 11 years as parents that my husband and I will have both boys in full day school. And we plan to have him take a day off and we will lay on the couch for SIX hours straight! Lol! I experienced preschool freedom very briefly when I was very pregnant with my second (our boys are almost five years apart and because of my second child’s birthday, he will have an extra year of preschool before he can start kindergarten). I always tell my friends, preschool is magical and full day school is the biggest blesding. I nursed my second son for 18 months without ever pumping or being away from him for more than a few hours. I shouldn’t have done that to myself. You are sooo right… we need a break. Being a mom is a 24/7 job where you are always on call and get no sick days. Do you follow James Van Der Beek on Instagram? I love him and his wife! He says the jump from one to do kids was the hardest… and they have FIVE!

  55. I also have the “mom guilt” when I am away from my son.
    I am very fortunate to have my son go to the school I work at. My day ends at noon and my first grader’s day ends at 2:00pm. I feel very guilty leaving campus for 2 hours but I remind myself it’s my 2 hours of freedom and I deserve it. It’s my time to run errands, exercise or just have a coffee by myself.
    I love my son dearly but it’s so nice to have a few hours to myself each day. It recharges me for the second part of my day.

  56. Hi Ali!
    Great blog today! I can do related to this too. I’m a mom of 3 (2 are foster kids) and they are 4,3 and 18 months. I never have a minute to myself anymore! Even as I type 2 out of 3 are on top of me. Don’t know the last time I was able to use the bathroom without interruptions.
    I love following and watching your posts on Instagram, your kiddos are adorable, and so is your fur baby! I’ve loved your personality for a long time, back to your days on Jake’s season. I was rooting for you the whole way! I have been wanting to start my own blog for a long time.. But I’m old fashioned and write in a journal to myself. And again, kids came first. I could really use your advice/ tips on how to get started. Lol. I don’t even know how to set one up! I love writing and have a lot to say most days. I would love to transition into blogging.
    Anyway, I should go.. Have a great night and weekend!

  57. Thank you for this post. I work full time and my husband travels for work 2 weeks at a time so there are many times when I am no one else but mama.
    We have a 18 month old and I have been hesitant about #2 because I’m scared of completely loosing my mind (and myself) but reading your post and everyone’s comments- I’m happy to hear that it truly does get better. I know it does.

  58. I love your blog Ali and this post completely radiates with me and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I have an almost 2 year old (this Sat!) and a 2 month old. My oldest is definitely approaching her “2’s” and still is a terrible sleeper so there’s that which feels like it will never get better! My 2 month old is a breeze compared to her but is about to start the always wanting to be held stage! We were so lucky that my husband got a super long paternity leave..he just returned to work today and now I’m needing to adjust to caring for them both all day just me since I stay home. A coffee shop and a couple hours of alone time sounds amazing!!! I love being a mommy but as you know some days are SO challenging! Thanks for helping me keep in mind there will be light at the end of the tunnel and this is just a phase of mommyhood right now!!

  59. Hello Ali,

    Can you write a post on how your fur baby Owen has reacted with this new change? I just had my baby early July and I am so happy that fur baby has done so well with her, however, I feel bad that I am not giving her (my fur baby) as much attention as I was before. How do you make time to play, interact, give attention to Owen? 🙂

  60. Ali, I needed to hear this right now! I have a 3 year old and an eleven week old and I’m crumbling. I go back to work next week and am both so sad and secretly elated to get some of me back again. It’s been a hard few weeks. Thank you for always being so honest about motherhood.

  61. I have a beautiful two year old toddler boy. He’s amazing and the love of my life along with his daddy 🙂 The first year was tough for me, it probably took me that whole year to adjust to motherhood. I had just graduated from grad school and went from busy, all over the place doing my schooling to all of the sudden staying home all day with my newborn, somedays by myself because my husband was a police officer at that time and their schedules are crazy. That change was brutal. It was hard and I don’t find it easy to reach out at times. However I did see the light at the end of the tunnel. I started feeling myself again when I went back to work. When my son turned one, I got a part-time job in my field and shortly after my husband had transitioned to a job with a more stable schedule. Once I started working talking to other clinicians in my field I started feeling like myself again. My son is such a good kid. He makes me feel I’m doing good as his mommy. Because of my hubby’s flexible work schedule, he is able to stay with our son while I work (which is only 2 or 3 half days a week max), and the days he can’t, my mom helps us. So we finally found our rhythm with parenting and having jobs. It’s not always easy but we do try to have a datenight at least once every two months (we are trying to do better though). I’m 5 weeks pregnant of our second and last child (we want 2 kiddos). I’m a bit scared because I know that we are going to go through the challenges of having a newborn and adjusting to having two kids instead of just one. I know we are going to have to find a new rhythm. I don’t know how long it will take and what it’s going to look like but I know that when the moment of “oh my gosh this is too hard” comes I have to remind myself that “this too shall pass”. Thank you for the inspiring blog!

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