Tuesday, June 25, 2013

stay true to yourself

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”- Dr Seuss 

I have struggled with my self confidence and body image my whole life. First of all, God gifted me with red hair... which I have grown to love now, but I definitely did not appreciate as a child. Children can be cruel, and I can't even tell you how much time I wasted as a child wishing I was born a brunette or blonde like every other kid. I can honestly say that for the first 19 or 20 years of my life, I never felt pretty, or attractive, or good enough... for anyone. In fact, I battled depression and struggled with an eating disorder for the majority of my adolescence. This isn't something I have blogged about, really. I'm not sure why. I guess there is a "stigma" with mental illness, and I was scared of that. But this is MY blog, and I feel like I should talk about it. Who knows, maybe these words will comfort someone struggling with an eating disorder like my blogs about Elliot's birth defect comforted many gastroschisis parents. That would be wonderful!

When I was 20 years old and a sophomore in college, my depression and anorexia nearly took my life, which led me to spend 2 weeks (unvoluntarily) at a mental hospital in an extensive eating disorder treatment plan. After an additional week and a half of outpatient therapy, I was finally cleared to re-enter society/normal life. But my life took a wild and somewhat crazy turn. I sadly never returned to the college that I loved, instead, I moved back home. Living at home after you've been away for 1.5 years is tough. Things between my family and I were rather tumultuous. The main person who was there for me after I returned home was my highschool sweetheart, Aaron, who had been deployed in Iraq nearly the entire time that I had been in college. Just a few months after we started talking again, I flew out to Colorado Springs to Fort Carson, to see a man I hadn't seen in two years. A week after that, we were married. I think everyone (including myself) thought I was a little crazy. In all honesty, though- Aaron saved me. He really did. And these (almost) four years that we've been married have been the absolute happiest years of my life. ♥

"I found you, in my darkest hour
I found you, in the pouring rain
I found you, when I was on my knees
And your light brought me back again"
-lyrics from "I Found You" by the Wanted (go ahead, laugh. I love them. haha)

Of course, having two kids in less than two years can be a little stressful. It also changes your body, which I'm sure is tough for anyone to handle, let alone someone who struggled with an eating disorder for the majority of her life. Somewhere along the way, I kind of lost myself. I spent too much time cooped up in a house without adult company. I was always so busy caring for someone else, trying to make everyone else happy... that I forgot about myself. I think this is common among stay at home mothers.

Fast forward to now. Elliot is two and a half (wow is that strange to write!) and Emmett is one, and I have to say that for the first time in my ENTIRE LIFE, I am about 95% happy with the way I look- my hair, my body, everything. I am also happy with who I am! I have been making an effort to make time for myself, to buy myself pretty things, and to remind myself that I am a person too- not just a mother. There comes a time in everyone's life when you suddenly realize that you have to stop trying to make everyone happy- that'll never happen. Just work on making YOURSELF happy. That's what I did. It worked!

This is the picture of a truly happy, fairly confident, mother of two little boys. ♥
 I love my life, I love my boys, I love my husband... and I love who I am today.

To all my fellow mama readers: Who are you? Outside of being a mother? 
Do you know? Do you take time for yourself every day? Do you have your own hobbies/goals?

If the answer to any of the above questions was "no," I urge you to take the the time to rediscover yourself. I did, and you know what I realized? I am a lot of things. I am a mother- but that's not all. I am a writer, a runner, a friend, a wife, a sister, a catholic, an animal lover, a cook, a daughter, a photographer, a thrifter, a bohemian, a traveler, a swimmer... I could go on. :) 

Our children can only be truly happy if their parents are happy, too. So go on- find (and keep!) your happiness! :) 


  1. I couldn't relate more to this postSo important to find yourself as a mother. Moms are so much more than a mom. I'm still in the "finding myself" phase. I think I'm pretty much there though. I discovered I enjoy running and crafting. Now if I can carve out the time to do these things more often ;)

  2. Allison O'HernJune 25, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    I think this is a great post. I struggled with depression through high school and it wasn't til I met my then boyfriend (now husband) in college that I finally broke out of that and could finally appreciate myself for me.

    I think that it's great you are happy with yourself now. I struggle with that, because I never lost all the weight from my pregnancy. I finally started running, and I'm down 5lbs from when I lived with my MIL and to me that is huge. It doesn't seem like much, but I think I'm finally getting more happy with myself. I think that's important. Of course you don't have to be perfect, especially after having kids, being perfect is hard. But it's important to be happy with yourself somehow.

  3. You are so brave to be so open and honest about your struggles. I love you and Aaron's love story though and had a big smile on my face reading it. I'm totally stealing the Found You lyrics from you. I find them very fitting as well because my husband came back into my life at the absolute perfect time.

    I too am just now feeling like I'm settling into my skin as a woman and a mother. Having two kids close together and shoot just being a new mom period really does suck you in completely. Twice now I've had to come to the realization that I have to take care of me too. It can't be all taking care of the kids and husband and leaving myself to the side. It feels good to love and take care of me too!

    Good thoughts and good post!

  4. Love that you shared this post - I always felt really self-conscious about my looks in high school, and ironically after having two kids, I feel better about myself than I ever have! I think maybe that part of it is that things like looking perfect become less of a big deal as you get out of the teenage years. I'm glad you shared your depression and eating disorder journey - I don't think there should be such a stigma attached to those things, and I know your post will be encouraging to someone else who is struggling!


“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
-Dr. Seuss