My rule of 3's.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I have this theory in life...

If something out of the ordinary comes up more than once in a short amount of time---take it as sign.

For example: I randomly heard of Benefits They're Real Mascara one day and thought, "hmm". That's all.  The very next day I was scrolling through insta and saw an old friend post a photo of her eyelashes saying she just bought the same mascara. Double 'hmm'--one or two more days after that, a reader wrote in telling me they thought I would like it.

Wow, Universe. I get the hint. For whatever reason, I need that mascara.

I bought it and love it, by the way....its actually my favorite mascara I've ever owned.

To me, this rule of 3's theory I have comes about in all ways. Thinking of someone out of the blue, seeing an old item and remembering past times...basically,  if something or someone presents itself to you in 3 different ways---you're meant to act on it. Call that person, send someone  flowers, check in with people from your past, go through old journals, etc.

So, Ive had this nagging thought this past week. Its like a pest thought, actually. I would be right about to fall asleep and would have a flash back to the first 16 months of Zuri's life and remember how difficult of a time it was for me. Then I would be washing the dishes and have the same thought out of no where. Finally, today the thought that came to me was I need to write about this time in my life...and my second thought was, I don't want to.

I don't want to because it seems so long ago A, and B, its something that I don't think women are proud to talk about. I think its something most mothers, especially new mothers feel, but don't dare to speak of..But I have this damn rule of 3's theory--So, I have to talk about it.

Here I go...


Zuri was an unplanned pregnancy. A very, very unplanned pregnancy. We were young and poor, and wild, and not ready for kids or to settle down, but this type of story has been told a million different times by a million different people, so you know how it goes.

The only thing that is different with us is that we knew we already wanted to get married, just not at 19 and 20 years old.  And no, you cynics out there, I won't accept that saying, "You're young...you don't know what love is....you don't know who you want spend the rest of your life with as a teenager." I believe that a heart is a heart, and young or old, it knows when its in love. So, yes, we knew we wanted to be together forever--lets get married!

The part I want to talk about is the where after our first born child comes into the world. The difficult and wonderful part all at once.

It's the part where you feel you are no longer you. You are now someones parent and for the rest of your life your world is different.

And this is where its hard....becoming no longer you for a weird period of time is, well, weird. I think this didn't happen to me just because I was young, or my pregnancy was unplanned-although those 2 things made it a more difficult, I think every woman in every type of situation, and at every age, experiences this emotion after having a baby.

I feel like its a feeling of resentment that is not talked about. Its socially not accepted to express feelings of resentment towards your innocent, beautiful new baby that you love more than your own life. It doesn't makes sense to love something so much that you devote your life to it, and then you're angry because of it.

Are mothers gasping aloud at me saying this?? I think I can actually already feel the judgement.....

But that's how I felt for 16 months. I was angry. I loved my baby,  I just didn't love my life as much anymore. It wasn't my role as a new mama making me unhappy--it was more like the disappointment I felt in myself.  My whole adolescence had consisted of the thought that I would become an adult, have babies, and be the best mom in the world, so, that's what I did. I had babies and was [and still am] the best mom I could ever be to my little girls.....But I didn't expect not to like it in the beginning.

Did I dare say a word of this to anyone? Nope. Not to my husband, not to my mom, not to my closest friends. I was too ashamed to admit that I was having a hard time, because it caught me so off guard. How could I not like it?! It was all I ever wanted, and there I was with a perfect baby who was wonderful and I wasn't fulfilled being just her mom? I hated myself for this...I thought something was so wrong with me for feeling this way--surely no one else ever feels this way because no one talks about it.

 So there I was.... I didn't know who I was as a mom and as an individual. I couldn't marry the two.  I thought I had to change myself into a woman who loved scrap booking parties, and bake sales to become a real mom.....and that's just not me.

If that's not me, am I still a good mom?

Am I good wife?

Can mom's still say the "F" word?
[...it turns out they can...and do.]

I feel like a lot of these thoughts and feelings were maybe a symptom of postpartum depression, but not all of them. These are normal feelings that have to get worked out...Its just a part of becoming someone's mother.

So after 16 months,  I finally did figure it out. I was myself and a mom all at the same time, and life became happier and more enjoyable for me. I finally created who I was as little ZuZu babes mom and as me, Weslie, again.

So, why am I rambling on and on about all this? Because I wish this part of motherhood was more openly talked about.  You hear about the sleepless nights, and wanting to pull your hair out, and the extra laundry, the weird issues you have with your new body....you hear about alll of that....that's the easy part, but no one really talks to you about the inner struggle that has nothing to do with your new baby, but with your new role, and more importantly, how you're reacting to it.

I feel like no one needs to be ashamed of those feeling like I was for so long. I want to tell people its normal....Almost to expect it, and I want people to know I am grateful for that period of time in my life now.



Don't get me wrong, I am happy its over, but also happy to have gone through it.








39 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post Wes. Perfect timing.

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  2. I totally appreciate this. No judgement here. I have had a really hard time having 4 kids. It's been tough. Now my baby is 11 months old and I finally feel happier again but for a while I was like....what have I done? This isn't fun at all. Time really helps.

    Rachael
    www.myolsonfamily.blogspot.com

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  3. I had all of those feelings and more. It's a horrible place to be in. I would never wish it on anyone! I think the more we as Momma's talk about it, the more others will seek help when needed. Thank you for sharing your story! You may have just helped someone. :)

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  4. Really appreciate your story, and your honesty. I'm not a mother, but feel and understand the sentiment in a different kind of way. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  5. As an adoptive mother, in a truly planned situation I went through many of the same feelings. You can never anticipate how you're going to feel when your life revolves around someone who truly depends on you. Its a tough place to be in, but you figure it out, grow into it and grow into being a mother- your way! 13 years later Im proud of the daughter we've raised, but yes, there are times when I wish I had just a few of those tough moments back- to enjoy her as an infant with the wisdom I have now that it would all work out.

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  6. So glad to know I wasn't the only one! I remember having the what did I do days. Being a mother is tough. I honestly wish someone would of told me it was alright to feel that way. It's a learning experience that's for sure. Your such an awesome mom! I love reading your stories and seeing your beautiful little girls! Sometimes I feel like we should still be fifteen again! Soon our kids will be fifteen and maybe than we will think what did we do ;) love ya girlie!

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  7. Reading this was like seeing my mind in print! There is so much pressure for moms to be "Pinterest Perfect"! And as a young mother myself, I put so much pressure on myself to make up for years of life I didn't have and appear as collected and sophisticated as the moms I saw around town. Silly Silly.

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  8. I loved this post! So honest and beautifully written.

    I'm expecting my first baby in April so I can't fully relate yet. But there was a lot that you wrote about in being married young that I feel you on--trying to explain to people why we got married at 20 and 24 has always been an experience! We did know we loved each other that much even at those ages!

    And I also relate to what you said about what a mom or wife "should" be. The pinterest perfect. Being married at 20 I struggled for a while with trying to do things or enjoy things that were "wifely" or being a good homemaker, which I really wasn't! Once I let go of that and just let myself be a 20,21,22 year old and so on.. I was so much happier. I hope I can remember that when I am a mom here soon. And I am relieved to hear that moms do still say the F word. ;)

    Also- wow Zuri had amazing hair from the beginning!

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  9. I love this. It seriously needs to be said. Im not a mother yet but when you go through a drastic role chaning life moment aka get married, have a baby, move some where new ect.... it is so easy to loose your self, to feel like you have to be someone else or do certain things and its hard, but it is normal and it needs to be said more so us women can stop holding it in and deal with it!

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  10. This makes me feel so much better about how I am feeling. Thank you.

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  11. We have a similar story. I was 18 (19 when he was born) and my boyfriend was 23 when we also had a very unplanned pregnancy (thanks Spring Break 2003!). We had already talked about getting married so we did at 5 months preggers. We are still very much in love and together with a 2nd boy now, but I agree, it was so hard. I had put my life on hold for my little bundle of 'joy'. I wanted so badly to move to a bigger city and work in fashion but it never happened. That's why I ended up starting my blog. But it passes, you get over it and move on. Thanks so much for speaking out!

    To Hell In A Handbag

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  12. Crazy how you can stumble upon something at the perfect time. No judgement here, thank you for your honesty.
    Oh, and randomly had the same experience with that mascara. Bought it today!

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  13. I was just thinking about this today. I had it a little with my first but much worse with my second. As women, we should all try to BOND together, to share experiences, instead of judging each other's experiences. Being vocal in an open forum like this, is what we need to bring about that change. Thank you for sharing your story, it takes guts to be vocal about it. I really commend you! Being a mother is such a magical and amazing gift, it is also the single most life changing experience you have. It's obviously going to have emotions that run on both sides of the spectrum, and everything in between! The fact that you can share that, helps lighten the load for the rest of us out there with a similar experience.

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  14. I just recently stumbled upon your blog and I have to say how refreshing it is to see how open and honest you are! So many blogs today (including mine sadly) are not this open about their personal lives and I really just think you do this "space" justice through that honestly. Seriously, inspiring!


    -Siobhan

    www.chopstick-chic.com

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  15. I don't know if I ever knew that other mom's out there felt the same way. For so long I struggled and still sometimes do now that I have a second small one. There is no way to describe that feeling to someone who hasn't experienced it... the lost helpless guilty feeling... But I would like to thank you for speaking so openly about it. It helps me to realize that I'm not alone so thank you! Thank you for being a brave open honest soul...

    Dawnelle
    Just Dawnelle

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  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My daughter is going to be 2 next month, and I'm still trying to reconcile these feelings. Your post helped immensely because I thought it was just me...

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  17. Thank you for writing this! My baby is 8 months old today and I have been struggling with the same feelings! I thought maybe it was just the gloom of winter or maybe I had postpartum depression. But your words totally explain my feelings. Its so nice to know that its a common feeling. And your right, you don't want to tell anyone that you are feeling this way when you have such a sweet little baby who you are so proud of and so glad to have as yours. I was 23 and almost married for 4 years when I had my baby, and it was planned. But I think its hard at any point trying to find yourself while getting this new role figured out too.

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  18. though i am not a momma, i def appreciated this post because i appreciate women who can be honest in their feelings about being wives and mothers - and i think like you've already said, it seems socially not acceptable to admit these very real feelings. thanks for being brave enough to write this - plus i love how you write. :)

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  19. Hi,

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience. I don't have kids yet, and I've been hesitant about wanting to have kids in the future because I always thought that I would have those feelings, but nobody ever talks about it, so I thought I was weird for thinking that it might be really hard for me to just be someone's mom, even though I'm sure I would love my baby more than anything.

    I always want to ask people I know who are parents "but are you really happy? if you could go back and change things and wait to have kids, would you?" but I feel like you can't really ask that, and I'm not sure if anyone would tell you the truth if you did. I think you are still the same person, you don't magically change into some perfect creature when you have kids, and maybe that's OK. Just knowing that someone else has struggled with this makes me feel better.

    Thanks again!

    Jasmine

    http://www.theloveliness.com/

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  20. Oh, hi! Found you through Brickyard Buffalo, read this as my first post of yours and I am hooked. This was honest and open and TRUE. I don't care how old you are or how prepared when you have children, it changes your life completely and you don't know until it happens. You lose yourself and it takes awhile to get it back. I was surprised that I wasn't instantly "in love" after giving birth like I thought I would be. It took time and it did happen and became all consuming, just not right away for me. Thanks for being so honest, you wrote it so well.

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  21. I felt EXACTLY the same with my firstborn. Exactly. Particularly what you wrote about feelings of resentment. Oh yes. Thank you for writing this. It's good to know that was 'normal' and okay.

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  22. I appreciate this. I have a 2-yr-9-mo-old and a baby due in June, and I feel simultaneously overwhelmed in gratitude and like I'm suffocating. I stare in awe at my beautiful daughter one moment, and panic about how 'this is not the lifestyle I want/planned for/have been working toward'. It's possible to feel many emotions about the same situation, at the same time. But I'm afraid to tell my friends, because I don't want them to think I'm being selfish, or whiny, or ungrateful. It turns out I always wanted to be a mother, but not a housewife. And I haven't found a way, yet, to reconcile the particulars of my reality to the goals I have for my life and my family's lives. I hope I get to a place of acceptance and self-acceptance soon.

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  23. I happened upon this post, and your blog, this morning. Very nice to think about this as a universal; thank you. I didn't experience it with my first, but I am definitely experiencing it with my second. So I will turn your thoughts around in my head and digest it for what it is. An evolution.

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  24. Thank you, lovely lady. I am 6 months pregnant with my first and I'm already feeling something of this, although I'm also so excited. It helps more than you know to see it written out with love by an experienced mama.

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  25. My 11 month old was very unplanned as well, and while I am SOO in love with that little boy and love being his mom, their is definitely moments when I don't feel like me anymore. Sometimes I feel like the grandma of the group when all of my friends get to do whatever they want and have no responsibilities. Feels good to see someone else write about it as well.

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  26. The *rule of 3's* just confirmed that I too will purchase the {Benefit Mascara}!

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  27. I'm older than ya'll is. But I relate and wish that burden we all feel as women about all sorts of 'secrets' we feel we need to keep could be let go. Let out. Along this topic though ... I think it's that we kind of end up isolated at first a bit? Even if family and friends are around - this 'new us' has no sameness and it feels alone.

    I've a friend I had since high school and she became a parent for the first time within 2 weeks of my having my third. I wrote her a 'what really happens' email (but I made it humorous. Sort of. Ok, I wrote how some not great stuff happens and I softened it with humor). She later told me it was the most important words anyone said to her to that point. We feel like failures locked in these feelings alone when we become a mom? I did. I came out of it same, well, those turned out the salad years. But I digress.

    Anyways, it's that feeling this 'new us' and then comparing (which try as you might you can't help) it to others. There were commericals with happy new moms in neat clean yellow cardigans smiling. And I was in a moo-moo with bodily functions (mine and the baby's) head to toe. Or there is always that 'other new mom' that boasts how easy it's going for her (and it takes age and wisdom to realize she's miserable and hiding her truth even more).

    I used to tell this same friend whose first was born near my third - that we should buddy up and write the book series 'What to Expect (the real stuff that sucks no one wants to say)' lol.

    Best cure for this is to talk to another mom if you can or as soon as you can - because I found when we dropped our charades of 'joy! perfect!' and were honest, everyone was in the same boat. And felt dumb saying we were until we weren't alone. We gotta stop judging each other as chicks and embrace one another.

    I too (and still am) my funky self - but I thought 'she' was gone when I became a mom too - and I also used to joke (dark humor is my coping mechanism, can ya tell?) that I hoped to Graduate Lady School one day. And friends used to tease if I did they'd have a magazine cover made up for me of same. The heck with that. Turns out, in no time when I embraced my funky self back - I was an incredible mother because I was 'me' while I did it.

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  28. you just tears into my eyes. you are such an inspiration and i am so incredibly humbled and happy that i read this today. thank you for your incredible example.

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  29. I feel ya girl. I have an 11 month old and he has special needs. Sometimes I feel like all I do is work so hard to figure out what is wrong with my son or work with him to get stronger and I don't have anytime for me. Not even to do things that I want to to do but I don't even have the time to think about who I am. All my friends have had babies around the same time I did and all they talk about is how their babes are the sweetest angels ever and they don't know what they did before they had their precious babies. Sometimes I feel like they are full of it. Obviously we all love our kids but it is really really really hard being a mom sometimes. Well there's my 2 cents.

    Thanks for being real, I'm new to your blog and I'm definitely diggin it!

    Allyssa

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  30. Not to be a total dork, but I think you needed to write about your experience for my sake. Seriously. I just had my first baby 5 weeks ago and it's been the hardest time of my life. I have felt so ashamed that I haven't been "so in love with motherhood" and that I actually kind of hate it. I love my sweet little baby but I have to admit that it has taken me time to feel that "bond" with him that everyone talks about. I miss my old life (I am (was?) a dancer and I'd do just about anything to go take a ballet class again) and I miss having time to relax and just hangout with my husband. I think a huge issue has been dealing with the way my body looks now. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, and I see my stretch marks and squishy tummy I feel maimed and it makes me feel super sad. I realize that it has only been 5 weeks and that once I get the O.K. to workout again I'll feel better, but man, it's been a rough go and I miss getting enough sleep!...phew! That was a load off! I really appreciate you writing about your experience because it has helped me realize that A. I'm not alone, and B. Things will get better, Thank you!

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  31. Kristin at Rage Against the Minivan quoted your post, and I don't think I made it through the first sentance before clicking over to read the whole blog post. I've been feeling the same way, and wanted to say thank you for talking about it! All the pregnancy & motherhood books and blogs talk about so many aspects to parenting, but never this. I have a beautiful, healthy 6 month old baby who I love dearly. However, I've been feeling like my identity has been completely subsumed by being his mom. Like you, I always wanted to be a mom. I expected sleepless nights and crying jags and a total loss of free time. I never expected to feel this niggling resentment, or to feel like I will never be me again. And it's true - I will never be just me again. I'll always be his mom. And that's a good thing! Your post, and these comments, have helped me to regain perspective and let me know it's not totally bonkers to be feeling this way. Thank you!!

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  32. I just found your blog and this post was so moving to me! I have basically the same story that you do except with twin boys! I'm so glad that you chose to be brave and talk about this! I really can relate to all that you said! My twins are two and I am blogging about it at www.rachelmakinglemonade.com. So glad I found your blog!

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  33. Wes I love this post so much! It's cool that you can be that honest with people on your blog. I obviously don't have a baby yet or anything, but it's cool to see that you can be so yourself and have a baby at the same time! I think that has been the most stressful thought on my mind about wanting to have a baby. I am so far from being a scrapbooker, good cook.... hell, i'm bad at a lot of things actually. Just not a standard mormon gal I guess so it's cool to see you don't have to suddenly become those things to become content with your life, new baby, and family! <3 love you lady.

    Xo. Nicole
    madeoutofrealthings.com

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  34. This is exactly why I'm so terrified of being a mother! I feel terrible for admitting that even without babies. My question is how did you "fix" it? How did you adapt? Your blog is absolutely lovely by the way. As is your beautiful family.

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  35. I liked reading this and your rule of 3's is funny, because for me it's if I see the number 11 that's my sign lately for the past little while or couple of months now! I think that is so cool and interesting. Thank you for sharing this part of your life, because it's true that you don't hear about this kind of stuff from other people.

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  36. Just saw this and I couldn't agree with you more. I have the sweetest more angelic almost 16 month old little girl and dealt with the exact feelings you speak of. I actually just spoke about this topic in a very public setting(sacrament meeting) and was pleasantly surprised by how it was received. I feel like this is something that needs to be talked about and I'm so proud of mothers like you that are willing to be so vulnerable and exposing. Thank you! I wrote about this on my little family blog back in february in case you wanted to take a look. http://jamienick.blogspot.com/2013/02/motherhood.html

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  37. As I laid in bed last night, Instagramming like I always say I won't do before bed, I came upon your instagram for the third time. I have connected with you through Kylie but this time, I randomly had found a picture of your daughter on a different instagram that you were tagged in. This time, I saw your blog and decided to read it. When I came across this post, I was taken back. I continued to read and read the post about the feelings you had after you had first become a mother (feelings of losing your identity as a mother). That THAT is what I needed to read. My tears filled up as I laid next to my sweet wittle 4 year old and realized I was having a hard time balancing (and being okay with) being a social, single mom and being 'myself'. I have been in a rut for the past few weeks... just not feeling like me. Nothing wrong but nothing felt right either. Reading your blog gave me that swift kick in the ass that I needed... helping me to reconnect with my inner self and feeling the joy I normally feel. You have a beautiful soul and spirit. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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