On Motherhood and Making Room

Parenthood

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BROUGHT TO YOU IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HEYMAMA and JONATHAN ADLER X FISHER PRICE
IMAGES BY 2ND TRUTH

When I was young and wide-eyed, I used to stare at pregnant women like they were from another world. How…HOW are our bodies capable of growing and stretching and oh, um…MAKING LIFE? When I got to my 20s, I found myself wondering how women with careers could have babies and run businesses like it was NBD.

Then I got pregnant. I began asking women juggling work and family for advice. Their answers were wide and conflicting with one another. Some praised attachment parenting while others claimed a strict schedule helped them keep their babies happy and their workload under control. It’s impossible to know the “perfect” way to begin this crazy journey, and it’s clear to me most mothers are doing the absolute best they can. Despite the contradictions, there was a common thread in all their advice. Each woman (in some way or another) said, “You make room and you make time for motherhood. I can’t explain it– you just do.”

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Now that I’m here, I can see why it was so hard to explain how we all “make room.” Motherhood tears down the walls in your emotional life and rebuilds them completely. It breaks your heart and breathes new life into it. It is disorienting, and exhilarating all at once.

The more I think about the way I’ve changed since making room for August, both in my heart and in my physical world, the more I understand that having a baby is just one way to learn the value of giving ourselves to someone unconditionally. In selflessness, one can rediscover who they are.

This realization has taught me a lot about the power of giving…beyond the exchange of time and things. Making room to care for a person who is 100% dependent on you is incredibly humbling, and you don’t need to be a mother to experience it. It has taught me that happiness comes from being brave enough to experience deep love, sacrifice and heartbreak.

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wd-make-room-for-bebe-05Making room for August also gave me a way to define my relationship with perfection. Being “perfect” used to mean being in total control — of my schedule, my workload, my social calendar, my home, my things. It meant there was no chaos. In making room to be selfless, I’ve realized just as beauty is in the eye of beholder, so is the elusiveness of perfection.

Now, “perfect” is seeing the beauty in imperfection; it means embracing life as it unfolds. This is hard and it requires I reflect back on each day and give thanks to all we have, no matter how many dishes are in the sink or how many emails I haven’t had the time or headspace to answer.

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When we shot the images for this post, I challenged myself to keep our house just as it was that morning. I was making a cake for a different project and hadn’t had time to clean our bedroom in over two weeks. My clean laundry was sitting beneath a pile of dirty laundry, and I definitely didn’t have time to shower, let alone give myself a proper blow dry. Even though I’m close with Colleen (better known to you all as 2nd Truth) I felt ashamed of the state of our bedroom.

Then we got these images back.

I saw our lives through her eyes; eyes that could find beauty in our chaos and our clutter. Sometimes it takes another person’s perspective to remind you that even at your messiest, it’s only a moment in time, not a defining quality of who you are as a person or a mother.

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Talking about motherhood on this site has been a challenge for me. I feel like I’m evolving every day, which makes it scary to write about. I’m sure I’ll look back at these posts with some kind of internal embarrassment. But I hope that in sharing my internal monologue during times of flux and growth, I can remind myself and anyone else going through these growing pains, that getting out of bed every morning and being thankful for each day goes a long way.

If you’re interested in learning more about life with August, from sleeping schedules to my favorite products, hop on over to heymama and read our interview.

Ed. note: This post was sponsored by heymama. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer and videographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.

While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Sponsored posts like these allow for development of additional dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting our partners!

BY Kate Arends - November 17, 2016

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17 Comments  +

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  1. Diana

    November 17th, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Beautiful and inspiring post. I don’t have children (yet) but these same questions of balance, family and work continuously swirl in my mind incased with both joy and fear. Glad to see and read your story…much appreciated!

  2. C

    November 17th, 2016 at 9:20 am

    All of your motherhood posts are absolutely wonderful in their honesty and transparency. Please keep sharing as you go along. This site has absolutely blossomed from it. <3

  3. Samantha

    November 17th, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Thank you!!! I love your motherhood posts.

  4. Katie

    November 17th, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I love this post. How you talked about changing your idea of “perfectionism”, and showed a messy house. It’s all so real, so so relatable. I don’t comment often, but I wanted to reach out and say thanks for sharing all of it. As a blog reader, I appreciate seeing that the people I follow are everyday people with everyday struggles. That aspect is so often highly glossed over. I started reading blogs years ago because I think I looked up to that gloss, but now as I get older and think about my life and the family we want to start, I see the challenges that will come. And my own perspective is changing about how I previously thought things “should be” versus how they are, right now in the moment. So now I really like reading posts like this where it’s more relatable, more personal, where we can learn something about life by having real conversations together. Thanks.

  5. Mariell Øyre

    November 17th, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    These posts are my favorite, your way of writing merging with motherhood is just so inspiring.

  6. Korin B.

    November 17th, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Aww this is the sweetest post. Thank you!

  7. MB

    November 17th, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    As a new mom and fellow perfectionist, I so appreciate seeing these authentic images of your home with a little clutter. It takes some pressure off knowing I’m not the only one with a less than perfect apartment these days!

  8. heather

    November 17th, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I love these posts so much, keep them coming!

  9. Corina Nika

    November 18th, 2016 at 2:44 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this post! It’s very helpful in so many ways 🙂

  10. Kate

    November 23rd, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Thanks Corina! So excited for you!

  11. Malorie

    November 18th, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Agree with everyone above. We get a lot of “gloss” on lifestyle blogs these days and I think the next wave of lifestyle blogging will be about tearing down that glossy wall, as you’ve done in this post today. I can’t help but feel a big “ugh” inside when I see perfectly styled rooms. Sure, it caters to my craving for eye candy, but once in a while it’s great to see the mess behind the polish.

  12. kit hodges

    November 20th, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    I am so relieved you created this post. I struggled…no struggle with balancing motherhood and career. I love both. I value your honest omission of the struggle, imperfection and lack of time to be tidy or get everything done. I second your feelings and grateful you wrote this.

  13. Emma

    November 22nd, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    New mom here and OMG the relief I felt when seeing your pile of laundry… thank you.

  14. Kate

    November 23rd, 2016 at 9:43 am

    thanks Emma. it’s really impossible to keep up… i can never seem to get it all put away! sending you warm vibes during this transition time. it does get easier :*

  15. Happy Thanksgiving + Links

    November 24th, 2016 at 5:05 am

    […] homes are tidy illusions, styled for the photo shoot before returning to real life.  So this post by Wit & Delight about making room for motherhood felt like a breath of fresh air.  Sometimes […]

  16. Saving My Sanity, One Less Dry-Cleaner Trip at a Time - Wit & Delight

    December 12th, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    […] I’m not sure if my disdain for laundry stems from the fact that we now have mountains of it (Exhibit A) or that I’m hyper-aware of the cleanliness of items he is contact with. And thanks to my […]

  17. Fariha

    December 12th, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I just came across your blog and specifically this post. I’m expecting and the way you described making room emotionally and physically for August really resonated with me. I’m so nervous and so excited to go through the ever-changing process of being a mother. Everyone keeps telling me the same thing. It just happens. You just make room and you figure it out. It’s such a beautiful thing. Looking forward to following your blog for more motherhood posts!

    Fariha | blog.farihawajid.com

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