You Are Not Failing At Motherhood And Here’s Why


Motherhood is an unpredictable beast. Just when you think you’ve figured it all out and can hit cruise control, there’s an explosion that can rock your world.

Last week, after getting home from my conference, I did my best to keep a brave face on during re-entry. Although my twin toddlers were giddy from the moment they ran into my arms, our older kids had mixed emotions.

My husband had done a great job while I was away. Almost too great. He had taken a few days off and really nailed the stay-at-home-dad role. Although he kept the house tidy, he wasn’t running a business from home, or doing many of the extra tasks I would have had on my plate.

There were dance parties, and take-out, little treats and surprise visitors, (like Grandma).

The thing is, I was really excited to be home, but the big kids acted like I was a burden. Although I was trying to get back into a routine, to them I was mean mommy coming to stop their fun.

Holden, my sweet boy, peppered every response he gave me with attitude. It didn’t matter how many times I called him on it, he would apologize and then do it again. By the end of the week my voice was shaky as my mommy shield was thinning and his lack of excitement surrounding my arrival home started to really sting.

I pulled myself together, and as a united front with my husband, we had a heart to heart with Holden that seemed to hit home and change his attitude.

The next day, just as I was feeling my groove, the waves started crashing.

Why do I always think to myself, “I’ve got this parenting thing down!”

You know when you have that kid that you can give credit for each of your grey hairs to? That kid that is a challenge at home, but you figure as long as the school doesn’t see a problem, then maybe everything is okay?

Ya, well, that’s our daughter, and now some things are creeping into other areas in her life. Couple that with the regular migraines she has been experiencing and I would say we’ve got a wobbly plate on our hands.

I allowed myself to have a pity party for a few minutes…

“I am the worst mom… I shouldn’t have travelled… why didn’t I deal with this sooner?… where did I go wrong?…”

Then I pulled it together and reminded myself of a few things that I have learned along the way about motherhood.

Motherhood isn’t the perfect, sterile experience I had once pictured as a kid.
Motherhood is dirty, painful, relationship altering, imperfect, messy, confusing and raw. Although motherhood has its really lovely moments, it’s the ugly love that holds the real beauty. I have let go of the picturesque  images I had of this journey and have begun embracing the ugly experiences that create that deeper bond with my family.

The mom next door is going through something just as rough, if not worse.
You run into a friend at the grocery store, with your hair unbrushed, your face with yesterday’s makeup still on and your toddler is emptying your cart while you are trying to chat.

You stare at your friend in awe. She looks completely put together, as you reach down to pick up the boxed dinners your kid keeps chucking on the ground. Her six week old is blissfully sleeping wrapped against her chest. What is her secret?

Her secret is that her two older kids are at school and she has finally showered, and gotten out of the house after a wicked case of stomach flu just ripped through her family. She’s bathing in the blissful sweet spot between each inevitable parenting crisis, and she knows that something is probably lurking around the corner waiting to pounce on her tomorrow. Let her enjoy her bliss… because no mother is immune.

It’s okay to alter your parenting methods, your weekly routine and your work/life balance. 
Every few weeks it can suddenly seem like whatever was working for you before is not anymore. If this is the case, reassess and make some changes. It is such a simple concept, but it took me a long time to realize that making changes to when I fit my workout in, what kind of routine works for my kids and my work/life balance doesn’t mean I have failed. It just means that a new phase has started and everything needs to shift around to accommodate each family member.

After my pity party and then taking a weekend to remind myself that I am a great mom who just has some problems to solve, I have begun to shift our world around, and take control.

When I can hear myself taking lots of deep breaths as I get everyone ready to head out the door in the morning, I remind myself that I am in the driver’s seat. I will make changes. This is all part of motherhood and we all have these days.

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A Day In The Life 2: The Life Of A Blogger With Four Kids (On An Off Day)

Nesting Story

Have you ever wondered what it is like juggling four kids, keeping a tidy home and running your own business seamlessly? Me too! You won’t find that in my most recent “Day in the Life” You Tube video.

Instead you will be catching me on an off day, with a messy house and no-makeup for most of it. Also you will see how an over-sized pizza almost broke me. But I have some handy life hacks in here including how to fake it that you have been baking all day.

Here it is… a day in the life with my four kids, blogging and a lunch out with some inspirational momprenuers.

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My Kids Broke Me. How I Am Finding The Joy In Motherhood… Again

Four kidsI walked around my home trying to pull together outfits for all four of my kids, so that my husband, Mike could take them out, to give me a much needed break. The screams from bored toddlers and cries from my 5-year-old, who was already in a funk, but her big brother decided to go poke the bear, echoed through our house.

I was done. I could feel my chest tighten and hot tears started streaming down my cheeks.

As I tried to compose myself while quickly wiping away my tears, I couldn’t hide my sniffles as I walked down the stairs. Mike overhead this telltale sound and said, “what’s wrong?” “Everything.” I replied as the sobs started to exit my body. “I feel like I am failing. If I am being really honest, I am not enjoying motherhood lately.” Instinctively, he thought he was supposed to ramp up the discipline. He stormed around the house trying to create order, but really, he was only adding an extra level of tension.

Our kids started to mirror our tension and fights broke out in front of us.

I turned to Mike and said, “the balance is off right now. I know it’s me. I know that my lack of joy and level of impatience is creating a toxic environment that everyone is feeding off of. We need to problem solve this in a real way.” I could see understanding wash across his face.

Before he walked out the door, he looked back at me, as a fresh tears started to appear on my face. “I am failing as a mom,” I sobbed. “No you aren’t. In fact it’s the opposite. You care so much. We will fix this, like we always do.”

While Mike and the kids were out, it dawned on me. I was waiting for spontaneous moments of joy with my kids to come to me. Why was I not initiating activities and outings that I would also find enjoyable and fun?

Once they arrived home, I packed up our 5-year-old, Beau, and the two of us went out to get her hair cut, have a little one-on-one time, and chat about each of us listening to each other better.

Then later that day, we all sat down, as a family and enjoyed colouring together. I love being creative, so this was bliss for me.

By the time we packed up the art supplies, not only were the kids’ emotional buckets filled, but so was mine. Something that in the past, I wasn’t doing enough of.

Of course, the craziness resumed, and fights still break out, but just having those moments of joy with my kids, makes all of motherhood a lot more enjoyable.

Watch our day as it unfolded, starting with my mini meltdown…

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Wearing Many Hats As A Mother Can Feel Impossible Some Days

Wearing lots of hatsLast week I froze. I froze and my brain couldn’t seem to process simple tasks. I stood there in my kitchen, with my hands on the counter while my four kids were asking for “more snacks” and “what’s for dinner?”

The dishes were still piled up beside the sink from breakfast, the house looked like a tornado had gone through it, and I couldn’t seem to process what I should do next.

I walked from room to room without completing one a simple task.

Each day I wear many hats. I am a blogger, writer, entrepreneur, business woman, story teller, daughter, sister, friend, mother, wife, caretaker, nurse, janitor, chauffeur, chef, and a therapist, just to name a few.

Throughout the day my brain has to shift into different gears; planning meals, dressing, cleaning and feeding kids, then switch into a momprenuer for different segments throughout the day, before switching gears back into a mom and then often back into a business woman/wife in the evening.

On that particular day last week, my brain couldn’t seem to make the switch. The gears got stuck and I froze in neutral.

Deadlines, ideas, pitches and to-do lists still filled my head while I was supposed to be thinking about dinner, snacks, baths, homework, and spending quality time with my kids.

Working mom

But on this day it all felt like too much.

My four-year-old daughter began screaming, yelling that her throat hurt and she felt so sick. She needed me to shift into nurse mode. I momentarily snapped out of it, assessed that my three other kids were safe and secure, then scooped her up, carried her to her room, tucked her into bed, took her temperature and gave her medicine.

I told her I’d be up in a bit with her dinner and retreated back downstairs. Downstairs to all of my other responsibilities.

It all felt like too much. After another long pause I was able to get a few basic tasks done.

It was time to make the decision on how I would process this feeling of being overwhelmed. Do I  just let the tears flow like I did the previous week? Did I have the energy to snap out of it and take charge? Or do I just numb myself and let all of the extra stuff go?

I made the decision to walk away. Walk away from the mess. Walk away from the to-do list, the emails, the unfolded laundry and focus on my family and my time-sensitive work deadlines.

I had to shelf a bunch of my hats, and focus on one task at a time.

That’s the thing. You can have it all, but never at the exact same time. Something always has to take a back seat. Something always has to wait.

I am learning that if I am going to follow my two dreams: being a mother and a successful entrepreneur, I am going to have to learn that sometimes the extra noise can wait.

When Did I Become So Anti-Halloween?

When I was a kid I LOVED Halloween. In fact I drove my family crazy in anticipation each year. I remember sitting at my dinner table shaking with adrenaline. I would not be able to eat a bite, while I stared at the clock, waiting for my Dad to walk through the door so he could take us trick-or-treating.

My parents never really got into Halloween. We would carve pumpkins, but that was the extent of our festivities and Halloween decor. It was up to me each year to pick up the slack.

As a teen and young adult I even bought into the whole sexy Halloween costume thing… which I am pretty sure is a right of passage.

After getting married and moving into my own home, I loved Halloween. Even the first couple of years after becoming a parent I would find myself getting really excited.HalloweenOver the past six years and four kids later, I have lost that excitement. I’ve lost the joy of seeing the trick-or-treaters costumes. I’ve lost the thrill of scaring myself with a horror flick at the end of the night. Now I dread the inevitable post candy weight gain, the melt-downs and the candy power struggle that follows.

Maybe because Halloween is on a Saturday this year, I am actually kind of excited again. We are planning on making a day of it, pumpkin carving, decorating our house and really enjoying the evening’s festivities.
Halloween 2014Because the day will come when our children won’t want to trick-or-treat and won’t want to spend this bizarre holiday with their parents. My husband and I will be left watching the kids in our neighbourhood, reminiscing about days gone by.

This is the year that I fall in love with Halloween again. This is the year that I tap into my inner child and remember that adrenaline and excitement.

Because before I know it, these years will be over.

Don’t forget to follow Nesting Story on Facebook and Instagram, where I will be sharing photos of our family’s Halloween memories.