In a word Crazy.
Crazy Good. Crazy exhausting. Just cray cray!
Making the transition from a working woman to a freelancer/stay-at-home mom was not as easy or seamless as I thought. The actual transition wasn’t too stressful. My husband is super supportive (he still cooks! Yay!) and my little girl always manages to keep me smiling even at 2 am when she’s up and wants to play instead of sleep! It was the mental transition that was a little challenging.
I wasn’t ready for the mish mosh of feelings I was going to experience. I didn’t prepare to be a stay at home and pursue the freelance writing career I always wanted. The whole time I was pregnant I had every intention of going back to work. But then the princess came and I made the decsision to step into unknown territory. Being a mom for the first time is hard enough but then to strike out on your own at the same time – my Type A self had a heart attack! I didn’t plan for months on end. I didn’t research until I felt better about the decision. Some days I was totally confident in what I was doing and I could clearly see where I wanted to be, knowing I could get there. Other days I was doubting everything I did, too scared to do anything for fear of failure. I would feel like I wasn’t cut out for this and unsure of which path to take. I didn’t feel I was good enough. When things don’t go according to plan, I don’t get that project I applied for, or my daughter sends my perfectly planned day into a tailspin, those thoughts rear it’s head very fast. Then I remembered something I heard on a Oprah show awhile back:
If you’re not afraid, you’re not dreaming big enough.
When I worked my office job I used to talk about my dream job all the time - being a full time writer. Being able to do it from home was just icing on the cake. The opportunity to do it is in here in my face and it’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time. But why am I scared? This is what I wanted, right?
Something I learned through all of this is that it’s so easy to dream and not so easy to make that dream a reality. I know I went on in last week’s post about bloggers and how many new ones want that super stardom overnight. Let’s just say for argument’s sake it does happen – can you handle it? Will you be so overwhelmed you’ll want to turn and run? Are you willing to put in the work to maintain your status? That’s why it takes hard work to get what you want so when you do get there, you can confidently answer those questions and then get back to the grind. It’s okay to be scared.
It’s how you react to that fear that makes the difference.
You can’t let that fear hold you back from what you want. You gotta push through, keep doing what you’re doing, and lean on your support system. Then, do those things that scare you to death. You have to reach higher than you have been to get that dream out of your head and into your reality. There’s no need for a perfect plan and you will make a few gaffes along the way, but it’s all part of the journey.
As for me, I have my superwoman days and I take advantage of them getting as much done as I can. On those days when I’m not feeling so confident I give myself a pass to work through them I look to my daughter (her smiles always makes me feel better!), my husband, and my family for the support I need to keep going. I know I’m going to make some mistakes and I’m going to have some bad days but it’s okay. It’s a thing called life.
Posted by MJ on March 29, 2013
This Thanksgiving is extra special for me. I get to share it with the newest love of my life. It’s amazing how a child can really make you appreciate life and the process of having one makes you really appreciate your body and health. As I come up from the fog of the crazy twists and turns my life has taken in these past few months, I give thanks every day for what and who I have around me.
I’m thankful for the people who came through when I needed them the most, without even asking.
I’m thankful for the gift the Man above has given me. I look at my little girl every day in amazement and wonder how in the world I did I get something as precious as her.
I’m thankful for the overwhelming love I have for my daughter, my husband, and my family. It gets me through those tough days. Just when I think I can’t make it, I think about that love, smile, and everything is all right.
I’m thankful for the opportunities this blog has given me. The chance to do what I love and interact with you guys is soo awesome! Don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t do this anymore!
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones!
Posted by MJ on November 21, 2012
Body image is something we as women often struggle with, some more than others. It was always a constant battle for me when I was younger and when I got older it got a little easier. Fashion blogging brought some of those insecurities to the forefront, especially when the most popular bloggers don’t share the same body type as me and sporting the latest clothing and trends can be a challenge. But awhile back I vented, came to terms with it, and began to accept the fact that my size 16/18 self was what was going to make me stand out of the crowd and not exclude me from it.
So there I was at the beginning of 2012 gearing up to achieve the goals I set for myself as a blogger and I was feeling much more confident in myself than I had in a long time. I was getting things done, having fun with my new camera, and I was going to push my blog even further.
Then everything came to a screeching halt the day I found out I was pregnant.
Having a child wasn’t something that wasn’t in the plan, I just didn’t see it coming. Not this soon anyway.
What else I didn’t see coming? Just how much my body was going to change.
A few days later came the morning/any-time-it-felt-like-it sickness. I was so bloated and swollen that what fit me today wouldn’t fit me tomorrow. I couldn’t even wear my wedding band anymore after week 8. I had acne on my skin and face that I never experienced before in my entire life (and because of the pregnancy, topical acne treatments are out of the question). Even my hair was acting crazy, becoming dry all the time and harder to maintain. Constant fatigue and loss of appetite didn’t help things either. It seemed that overnight my body was morphing into something I didn’t recognize and every single insecurity I had back in the day came back in full force. My camera started to collect dust. I was reading less and less blogs on my reader. I felt so disconnected from the blogging community I loved for the past three years. How could I take outfit pictures being so bloated and swollen i could barely get into my clothes? How could I take beauty shots when my face was breaking out like crazy?
Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely overjoyed and blessed to be able to bring a child into this world (and finding out last week it’s a girl just puts so more icing on that cake! Can we say blogger-in-traning?). However I’m a firm believer that one’s honest feelings are never wrong and shouldn’t be pushed to the side in favor of what the world thinks you should be feeling. And honestly I felt very unattractive. All the confidence I had in myself, my writing, my appearance was gone in what seemed like days.
Now that I’m five months along and feeling a whole lot better, my head was clearer and I can look at those inner voices that drove me crazy and made me sad with a fresh perspective. Life is forever changing. Nothing ever stays the same. At times it gets so much better and others it can seem to go downhill at 100 mph. But the truth remains that it still changes. And the same goes with your body. The figure you had in your twenties will not be the same one you have in your thirties, forties, or fifties. That doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom! Whether you have a baby, gain some weight, get wrinkles, or gray hairs, it’s going to change. That’s why it’s important to remember to cut yourself some slack, don’t hold yourself to wha the media standard of “beautiful” is, and most importantly love yourself.
There’s a freedom that comes with loving yourself.
That’s the best way to describe how I’m feeling now. I can finally embrace my awesomely changing body that so freakin smart it knows how to make a baby. How cool is that?? As I sit and type this, I can feel my face starting to break out again and honestly, I could care less! I went to a pool party over the weekend and me and this baby bump donned a tankini swimsuit and did some swimming. And if you checked me out in Instagram, I went to work sans makeup for the first time in a long time just because I can.
What really helped me get through all this was that it was okay to feel how I felt. It was okay to have that moment because it was just that – a moment. I would come back around to loving my body again and enjoy the crazy freedom to just be myself that comes with it.
How do you overcome your moments of insecurities about your appearance?
Posted by MJ on May 9, 2012