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 😍😭

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!

Mishka Moushka + other weird things motherhood teaches

I knew I wanted to be a Mom based on three things (before I was a mom, obviously)

1. I love kids 2. The concept of pregnancy was absolutely amazing to me 3. I thrive in the midst of chaos

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I wish someone had prepared me more. But, apparently that's not how it works. They just throw you in the trenches to learn on your own because you LITERALLY wouldn't believe them if they told you the truth. I'm almost three years into it (#rookie, I know), but a LOT of my friends are just starting. So, this one's for you.

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+ It didn't matter if I liked wine (or even alcohol...), I wouldn't get through some days without it.

+ mom powers are real. when the last thing you hear is your baby's heart rate in the 50s, you move your body from a bed to an OR table with a fully functioning non-mobile epidural. and you have no idea how.

+ Target laps are crucial in the first year (especially when you're HORRIBLY isolated with high order multiples). Pack up two feeds worth of milk, put two in the stroller, one in a carrier, get that buckies, and just start walking--with absolutely no purpose, but to just see other humans and the light of day outside that nursery that has trapped you. #momtherapy #avoideyecontact #callyourmom

+ You've never known stress or swamp ass until you're trapped in a bathroom stall without a stroller or a carrier or a place to put your baby with three toddlers who arent listening and touching #ALLTHETHINGS and you have to figure out where to put the baby so you can hold each toddler one-at-a-time over the toilet while they're all YELLING about how much they have to pee. so, you put the baby in the sink. #notaproudmoment

+ kids gain smarts WAY faster than you expect them to.

+ even as a nurse, you'll be scared shitless the first time your kid falls down the steps and ends with the biggest lump ever, and you WILL go to the ER.

+ Moms and Dads have fairgame to potty candy. but remember what's stated above--kids get real smart, real fast. watch out for that 2-year-old calling you out to SEE THAT PEE-PEE after you stick your hand in that jar. #eatinsecret

+ On that note, you'll learn to never actually SHOW your kids that you're eating. or you won't be soon enough.

+ I wouldn't care AT ALL that I spend more money on tiny little clothes than I do on a 401k.

+ continually throughout EVERY SINGLE DAY you would have impulse urges to shake, kiss, run away from, scream at, hug, cuddle with, and laugh at your children --all within MINUTES of each other. and no matter how terrible the day was, when they're sleeping you have even STRONGER urges to just go up and scoop them up to cuddle because SOMEHOW you miss them.

+ you'd have to tell them CONSTANTLY to stop touching their own and each other's genitals.

+ no matter your parenting philosophy, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse would save your life one day. YOU JUST WAIT. #toldyouso #mishkamoushka (WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!)

+ It's completely unavoidable to have dried waffles smashed in your car floor boards. no matter HOW MUCH you used to clean your car before kids, no matter HOW MUCH you clean it now, it happens.

+ that sudden urge to run far away is IMMEDIATELY challenged by the sudden urge to procreate. #allthebabies

+ You've never relied so heavily on drive-thrus and full tanks of gas before in your LIFE than you have when you have three babies asleep for what you KNOW will be their only nap that day.

+Bandaids are a toddler's version of your caffeine. they fix EVERYTHING. (and if you don't drink caffeine I don't trust you one. single. bit.)

View More: http://tiffanyhudsonphotography.pass.us/shannonmorning

these children test my limits and motherhood is NOTHING and EVERYTHING I thought it would be.

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Two.

Two years ago was one of the greatest days of my life. The day I became a parent. I'm literally tearing up typing this because the thought of time moving this quickly is terrifying. How do I have two year olds? They're the funniest, craziest, most emotionally unstable pack of weirdos I have ever met. and they're all mine.

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Jack +goes from extremely happy to extremely sad in less than a second+is literally the most ticklish person on the planet +has the best lips ever +favorite food: tortellini +Favorite Color: he doesn't know what colors are +Favorite toy: play kitchen +Favorite activities: giving kisses to "LELLA"

Clara Jane +literally couldn't care less about what other people think +wakes up and answers "no" to every single question asked for the first two hours of the day +tells you she's pooped all day except when she has actually pooped+Favorite Food: Strawberries +Favorite Toy: an owl puzzle she doesn't even play with, she just keeps all the pieces in line so that nothing gets lost +Favorite Activities: pretending to help me do things like change "Lella's" diaper

Olivia: +is in a class by herself at school and is flourishing because of it+Has the longest hair of all three +says over and over after being dropped off at school "mommy, daddy, stella" "mommy, daddy, stella" +calls Clara "Sissy" (we did not teach her that and nor do we call them that. no idea where that came from) +SUPER bossy about Jack. Must know where he is AT ALL TIMES. +Favorite Food: All of it +Favorite toy: toy car ladder they just got for their birthday +Favorite Activities: anything Elsa. anything at all.

It's incredible to see these little 3lb miracles grow every single day. and as bittersweet as this day is, I'm SO HAPPY we've made it here. alive. because I had my doubts. (just kidding. but no really)

Happy Birthday Jack! Happy Birthday Clara Jane! Happy Birthday Liv! We literally have NO IDEA what we are doing, but we're really happy y'all are our guinea pigs.

IMG_4302 I have NO idea what they're wearing. I did NOT send them to school in this. Clara would otherwise be HORRIBLY frightened to climb up there, but because the other two did, of course she had to.

IMG_4310IMG_4315IMG_4316Two years old. Here we come.

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