Motherhood Vulnerability

My first babes are 4. 

Which means for 4 years I’ve literally HATED my body. Every bit of it.
Do you know how hard that is for me to TYPE that let alone admit out loud to someone? My entire life I’ve been fit. Like SUPER fit before getting pregnant. I could deadlift over 200lbs! And then I had a swift and forever changing smack in the face of a triplet pregnancy. 

There were so many things I didn’t know I would mourn.
I mourn the fact that I never got an initial normal pregnancy. I mourn the fact that I was so scared to MOVE let alone exercise in their pregnancy that I literally lost 70% of my muscle mass. I mourn the fact that I’ve been SO OBSESSED with these children that I have literally not given my personal health a second look until this year. (The list goes on and on but I’ll spare you)

NOTHING in my life has gone according to plan. I’m ok with that (now...) because it is LITERALLY a more beautiful life than I could have ever imagined, but I’m a PLANNER! IM A PLANNER, OK? It’s NOT EASY to just “be ok with that” when you’re a PLANNER!

I’ve been on another level of anxiety for LITERALLY 4.5 years and I’m finally coming down to a normal level and breathing for once.  

I’ve dedicated 2018 to self discovery. I need to pour into myself. I need to figure out what I really want and who/what I really want to dedicate my time to. I need to find my happiness outside of kids.  
 *dont get me wrong. My kids make me crazy -do irrational things - scream real loud - embarrass myself in public - HAPPY and I’m legit obsessed with them and every stupid little thing they do every day. 
But I think it’s crazy important to be someone outside of your kids. And I think I’ve lost a lot of that in the last 4 years.

And I think a big part of that is because I don’t FEEL like myself. 

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I had the triplets when I was 25. I was still in the mindset that weight and muscle tone and thigh gaps were the identifying factors of self worth and identity. That may sound super vapid and vain to a lot of people but 🤷🏼‍♀️ it is what it is. That’s where my mindset was. 

Since then... 

I spent a year panicking about the triplets’ health. 
I spent the next year moving to another continent and having another baby.
I spent the year after that adjusting to a HARD reality in a difficult place to raise a large family and attempting to find balance at work and at home.
I spent this last year having another baby and trying to plan our future.

We now have a beautiful healthy family. We have a plan. We have a future.
and I’ve lost myself. 

SO, after a lot of rambling I get back to the fact that I’ve dedicated 2018 to self discovery.
I spent January kind of deciding if I thought that was weird or whiny or crazy or worth it.
I spent February figuring out how to pray intentionally. (DO YOU REALIZE HOW HARD THAT IS? Because I didn’t. I spent a month LEARNING and I’m still just kind of figuring it out)
I’m about to spend March celebrating the vessel that spent 4 years creating 5 amazing humans and learning to love it. Taking a trip for myself with friends, learning how to run for joy again, learning how to love my job again —  so many things.

The funny thing about love - it doesnt have to be perfect to love it. Because nothing is perfect. There is only 1 perfect human and I’ll hopefully meet him someday, but until then I need to learn to love the imperfect. 

I could write another 47 blog posts about living perfectly imperfect. About constantly striving for a more perfect house, wardrobe, photos, for more followers on instagram, for more time for fun and less time for reality, wishing I had different/better talents that what I have - silly silly things that just aren’t attainable. REAL LIFE: I can barely see through my incredibly teary eyes right now, so I’ll save all of that for later. 

So, here I am.   

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Somewhere between 133 and 142lbs of squishy stretch-marked abdomen (did you know that at my height, the army considers 140lbs+ to be OVERWEIGHT 🙄), living in high waisted pants, trying to fit in more squats than donuts because I know that health is crazy important but NOT trying to beat myself up if I indulge in ice cream Fridays with my kids.

Here I am NOT mourning the fact that I have to buy weird bras to fit my mom boobs that have fed five kids because YALL. I’ve fed FIVE KIDS with my body.
Here I am shopping for new bathing suits because I’m determined to wear a two piece this summer and ROCK IT with confidence no matter how weird it feels to be a lot more flabby than the last time I wore one.
Here I am, learning that strong is more mental than it is physical in this season of life for me. 

Here I am. Ready to love myself again, love my family more, and find some peace in self discovery + relearning self worth. ❤️ 

4.

four years ago we became parents. In a very fast, scary and crazy way. and man did we not get “eased into it” either. 

boom. we have three kids. It literally feels like yesterday but twelve years ago all at once. 

Fun things about the triplets at this age: they still have no idea they’re triplets. We ask them, “are y’all triplets?” And Stella responds “YES!” While Clara yells “NO!” 🤷🏼‍♀️ #workinprogress

They have zero concept of time and it’s amazing. EVERYTHING in the past is “last night.”  ”Mommy, we went to see the Eiffel Tower with uncle Bradley last night?” — we went in September. 😂😂

Clara is the clingiest, then Liv but only when she’s upset, and Jack literally couldn’t care less unless he THINKS he needs to cry and then he just follows suit with a SUPER confused expression on his face. 

And they’re 4.  

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Happy Birthday Jack!

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+ The silliest of everyone, you just never stop. MOST of the time that gets you in a lot of trouble even though we know you just can’t help yourself (and honestly we may turn around and laugh so you can’t see).

+ To you, at age 4, pasta and spaghetti are NOT the same thing.

+ You’re obsessed with all things yellow and paw patrol. If you see a yellow car outside, it’s immediately YOUR car. #duhmom

+ You’re a ball of crazy, crazy energy.

+ anything and everything becomes a sword when placed in your hand. Or a “Maui hook” - it’s terrifying really 😂

+ you’re slowly developing your own likes apart from your sisters and it’s fun to see your differences side by side

+ You could literally not care any less about what others think of you. You’re fiercely unashamed of yourself, and it’s amazing to watch.

+ You’ve also got such a big head that every time we go to the doctor they want to do an ultrasound of it. We assure them it’s genetic 🙄

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK! We love you so much!

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Happy Birthday Clara Jane!

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+ you’re a perfectionist through and through

+ the idea that you’ve upset someone or if you find out you’re in trouble brings you to immediate and overwhelming tears. You feel your feelings so very transparently.

+ you’ve inherited my volume, which I can tell you now is a blessing a curse. But it’s definitely taught me a thing or two about myself 😂😂 and I try VERY hard not to shush you because I know how frustrating that is. I’m working on it.

+ you’re the girliest of girlie girls- frills and bows and heels and dresses and skirts.

+ you’re all about PINK and PONIES right now

+ you wake up EVERY SINGLE DAY and ask “mommy, schools closed today?” With so much hope 😂😂😂🤷🏼‍♀️.

+ you have the biggest FOMO I’ve ever seen in any child ever. But not just for yourself. You’re SO SAD and scared to think your siblings will miss out too 💗

+ you tell me every day you’re going to be Doc McStuffins Princess when you grow up and I literally don’t doubt you for one second.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLARA JANE! We love you so much!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLIVIA!

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 + my sweet Liv, you’ve got the biggest heart and the hardest feelings.

+ you’re the best in your class at coloring in the lines. Literally I think you’re better than your dad. I’m not kidding.

+ most days your pants are too tight, your socks are too bunchy, your shoes move the wrong way, and you don’t want to wear a jacket, but we’re working through it.

+ you’re our purple girl. You still have the animal part of all three of your purple bunny wubbanubs and they go everywhere with you.

+ you finish all of your statements with “I SAID” when you’re mad. It’s so funny. (“BUT DADDY I want peanut butter and jelly, I SAID!”)

+ every single day you want your hair in one braid. Clara copies you but purely out of FOMO.👯‍♀️

+ you value your time alone and in quiet spaces. 💜

+ you do NOT like it when we tell you your pretty or beautiful or funny or smart. You say “don’t say I’m pretty. I’m Olivia”

+ you really really like learning in school. You may not like the idea of going all the time but you LOVE being challenged and learning new things.

+ you still want to be a princess like Elsa when you grow up

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIV! We love you so much!

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we are having a family dinner and birthday party. Brandon made them SUPER specific requested cakes 😂😂 and then we may watch a movie and “stay up late” aka 9pm haha. 

tomorrow we are going roller skating since their gift from us is old fashioned roller skates!!  

💛💗💜 

PS those photos above are totally upstaged. They were playing before bed last night and I had them hop on a stool in whatever they were wearing 😍😭

The truth about motherhood

Motherhood is isolating. Yep. Who would have thought? Surrounded by humans all day and just in the last 3.5 years there have been times where I've never felt so alone. I spent YEARS praying for kids. I still look at my life and can't believe I'm living in this dream. #allthebabies #allthetime - but, that doesn't change the fact that sometimes it totally sucks.

Sometimes I wonder why the heck I wanted this so much. Don't get me wrong, I'm literally overflowing with love for my family. I just finished walking through my kids rooms kissing them all for the 5th time since they fell asleep tonight and putting blankets back on and I want to vomit I love them so much.

But, WHERE DID ALL THE PEOPLE GO? I'm friends with 3,074 people on Facebook and interact on 5 different social media platforms and the only people I physically spoke to today have peed the bed in the last week and threw their mac and cheese on the floor at dinner.

"But she's the full time working mom with ALL the kids. She probably doesn't even WANT to come."

Guess what... I do! We do!! All of us moms with "so many kids" who might seem like they've got too much going on? We are really freaking lonely. And a text once every 14 days doesn't fill us to the brim with that social time we are literally DYING to have.

You never know! Us "moms of too many" might be sitting inside on a Sunday in July in 60* weather alone with four kids wondering what the heck to do because it's Sunday in Germany!

Hey fellow moms- that mom with all the kids over there? The one who looks like she's got it all together on Facebook and Instagram? Really She just wants invites to library time and play dates and impromptu dinners. You might get more "No's" than "yes'" - but she really needs that invite. Her overworked, over emotional, over thinking-it self NEEDS that invite.

This is just one of those seasons. One of those times when things don't seem to fit right. Our family isn't in the right place at the right time to feel whole. And this season will pass. And we will all be better people for it, eventually. But until then you'll find me over here reading articles like "11 ways to cope with lonliness as a new mom." ✌🏻

And hey? Moms feeling the same way- don't be afraid to vent to your husband about all this. It's conversations like these that pull you closer as a family. ❤️

Also, you're not alone, you're not crazy, you can cry about it, and this won't last for forever. Tomorrow's a new day to take 75 Snapchat selfies with your toddler.

to the Mothers

I was vacuuming the living room and moved a chair.
Stella found a cookie + proceeded to eat it standing on the carpet I was actively vacuuming. #motherhood #literallycanneverkeepup
 
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Happy Mother's Day!
There are literally DOZENS of women in my life who have been incredible role models as perfectly imperfect Mothers. People are constantly commenting to me that when they're having a rough day, they think "Shannon has to do this x3 (or x4 or x5) and I feel so much better."
At first I took that as slightly rude.
When you have a bad day, you think of how bad MY life is and then you feel better? GREAT. 
And then I realized, it's the biggest compliment of them all. and the ONLY way I'm able to get through everyday with this brood of children is because of the incredible examples I've been given throughout my life. I think back to every single mom who has been a pseudo mom to me, my Mom -- who is literally the unicorn of Mothers, I seriously have no idea how she accomplished what she did when we were growing up now that I'm attempting to do it, my Mother in Law who has come to our rescue too many times to count, and every single friend I watch being the most patient and kind and exemplary mom to their sweet babes. I think of my sister who walked me patiently through #allofthebabythings while I was on bedrest with the triplets and did every bit of research to come up with the highest functioning nursery for three there ever was. I think of my Sister in law who raised two kids in another country while my Brother was constantly deploying to war.
I've literally been given the most amazing examples of Motherhood that could ever exist. If someone wants to think of me in their time of trouble or need or panic or worry or anger or frustration-- I'm fine with that. I'm fine with them using me as the example. Because the Mothers I've used as examples are freaking Saints. 
There are just a few things I want every Mom who watches me on social media, or in real life, to remember: + Everyone posts the glimmers of beauty because it's easier for them to get through the day-to-day. Nothing you see on Instagram or Facebook is ever exactly how it seems. + We all have our meltdowns. I've spanked kids and cried about it afterwards with regret. I've screamed too loud. I've given up endless times. + We all have to find what works for us. Some moms shower every day, some moms thrive on dry shampoo and a prayer. You figure out what works with your life, and you run with it. + I go to bed every day thinking I could have definitely been a better mom. #youwinsomeyoulosesome

The most helpful advice I've ever been given as a Mother is to always give yourself some grace. Nothing is perfect, and Motherhood is far from it. <3Happy Mothers Day!

Playground Sunday in Black and white 

A few friends of mine have been doing a whole day of documenting their kids in black and white.  Today I left work a little early unexpectedly (and happily), and we spent this gorgeous 60 degree afternoon at the park!  Stella is a little too fearless for me sometimes... 

We also went exploring for acorns. I'm pretty sure I'll find acorns in pockets and car seats for the next year.

Definitely doing this more often! 

Happy Sunday!