Just Balance with Brittany: Mommy and Me Edition
Hi there Triple B's (Balance Blog Buddies)-
First of all, thank you so much for the love and support on the first two blog posts. My intention was to allow this to be a space where I could just be honest and my most authentic self as I discuss topics that matter the most to me in terms of the balance that I am really working hard to achieve. I am so honored that my story has resonated with so many people and please keep reaching out to connect! Trust me, "we see each other" on this balancing journey.
Today, I am diving into how I am balancing motherhood: Part I.
I think it's important for me to talk about my journey into motherhood and then push into how I am actually trying to create balance in that area. So let's start at the beginning....I was not one of those women who dreamed of being a Mommy since they were a little girl. I actually avoided babysitting all together, because children just weren't my thing. (Trust me, I feel differently now.) I think it's also interesting to add that even in my adult life, the women that I surrounded myself with didn't have children- in true millennial fashion, we've been after degrees, careers, and establishing ourselves in this world. It's hard to put my finger on when I knew that I wanted kids- when Chad and I started dating, I knew that kids were important to him- like he wanted a lot of them (I think 3 was his exact number). If I'm real raw and honest, our culture and society teaches us that you date, you get married, and then you start a family. If you don't, clearly something is wrong with you (this is so inaccurate on so many levels).
So once we got married, we started working on kids. I mean like we were really working on kids. And the work just wasn't working at first. Of course we prayed about it and had resolved in God's timing, it will happen. Then finally, it was happening. I was pregnant (once, twice, three times even), but I couldn't stay pregnant. The betrayal that I felt was so real- my body wouldn't do something that it was MADE to do. I felt like so much less than a woman, so much less than a wife, so much less than a partner. After three miscarriages, we finally were able to conceive Carter Landon Cora. I mean, he was literally God's blessing to us- the fulfillment of a promise that God had made to Chad and I. I literally had never held a baby, and I was holding the sweetest, most precious baby boy in my arms. While, I was engulfed in the honeymoon phase of motherhood, I had NO BALANCE AT ALL. But honestly, I didn't need it. I mean God had just given us what we wanted, I knew I couldn't have it all- at least not all at one time anyways. So I settled into my most important role, being a wife and a Mom to Carter. It wouldn't be honest if I didn't talk about the toll on my body, but more specifically the toll on my mental health. I was happy, Carter was healthy, but I was mentally drained and exhausted. I had an amazing support system, and still very little balance. I was drowning and I'm pretty sure nobody really knew it- I tried to cover it. I mean if God designed me to do this, I should have been able to do it, right?
So I'm traveling along this journey, with literally no balance, and I'm just trying to be strong, care for this tiny human, be a wife to my husband, but I'm falling apart. It got so bad that I would feel like someone was sitting on top of my chest, constantly applying pressure- like scared to go to sleep because sometimes I thought I wouldn't wake up. I woke up one day when Carter was about 7 months old, and my whole left side was numb- ya girl thought she was having a stroke. After visiting my primary care physician and being diagnosed with severe anxiety, I started taking medication that would help me "balance" out and I began seeing a therapist semi-monthly. I finally felt like I could breathe- I realized that sometimes creating balance is allowing the folks that God put on this Earth to support you through their specialities. There is such a stigma in the black community around seeking help, but this wasn't something that I could pray away, fast away, or talk away. I needed the help- simply put it was good for me. In therapy, I was also learning the tools to balance- stepping away when I needed to, allowing my village to fully support me, breathing, remembering that this feeling was just temporary, advocating for myself, and being okay in the moments that I wasn't okay.
And then I found out that I was pregnant with Cayleigh......that part is coming, fingers crossed.
Finding balance as a mother means accepting your imperfections- if this isn't the realest thing I've seen in such a long time, like it hit me dead in the chest. I am my best self and the most balanced in my motherhood journey if I'm acutely aware of the imperfections that I have, but also accepting them and dealing with them one by one. Sarah Walker says "becoming a mother is like discovering the existence of a new room in the house where you live already". I'm in the phase of decorating the new rooms that God saw fit for me to create.
As always, words are what I have you,