Motherhood has taught me SO much. Mostly, to be kind to myself – things will never, ever be perfect, and that’s ok.
Being a parent is about constantly evolving and growing within. It’s about growing with and through our children, to be the best version of ourselves we can be. At times, that means taking space to honor what we need for ourselves. It also means standing up for what we believe in when it comes to parenting values. Motherhood has taught me to never be afraid to be myself, and never be afraid to show the “behind the scenes” of parenthood; the real, the raw, the emotions.
Giving myself grace is my biggest challenge. I’m a single mama, and co-parenting does not come naturally, or easy, for me. Hands down, my biggest challenge as a mom is trying to find acceptance in co-parenting, and, of course, balancing the hustle and bustle of being a housekeeper, soccer mom, chauffeur, chef, nurse, snuggler, friend, and parent, solo. Being a single mom has taught me that I’m stronger than I ever knew, and I have to constantly remind myself that my story is still being written, and the best is yet to be.
Motherhood has completely shaped everything about who I am professionally today.
My pregnancy was pretty smooth sailing, but I had a C-section, and my recovery from it took EIGHT MONTHS. When I was finally cleared to workout again, I didn’t even recognize my body (or my soul) from not being active for so long. When I started my wellness journey to look and feel like myself again, I started a blog and Instagram to document my journey. It turned into such a healthy, positive outlet for me, and eventually started to morph into a side-hustle & mini career as an influencer, partner, and consultant. Through Instagram and blogging, I connected with other companies, blogs, like-minded people and moms, which led to some really great opportunities. I actually got my job as the Digital Media Manager at FIT4MOM because of meeting my soul-mama-sista, Whitney, through her blog and our Instagram accounts. Whitney’s FIT4MOM team was looking for a social media guru and hired me. Needless to say, Whitney is now my friend in real life AND my boss.
The biggest thing people misunderstand about motherhood, is that you’re pretty happy to give up the “old you” for the new you as a parent.
The things I used to think were absolutely disgusting are nothing now compared to raising a little boy. I’ve been barfed on all night because he had the flu and wanted to sleep in my bed and couldn’t make it to the bowl. I’ve been covered in baby spit-up and blow-outs, and wasn’t even phased by it. My new, clean car quickly morphed into what looks like something I’ve lived in for a year, “decorated” with Cheerios.
I knew motherhood would be a lot of work, but I didn’t realize how much emotional work it would be. Motherhood has made me a softer person, a nicer person, and more understanding of people’s values, emotions, and backgrounds.
I want my son to always know how much he is loved, and how I will always want the best for him and his happiness. I want him to know I work really hard to give him a good life filled with happiness, and will never stop putting him first. Every single decision I make is based off our life as a little unit of two, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Saralyn Ward is an award-winning writer, wellness advocate, and mountain mama. She is the founder of The Mama Sagas, writes for several publications and hosts a regular parenting TV segment on Colorado's Everyday Show. When she's not huddled over edits, you're likely to find Saralyn climbing peaks or skiing down them, and reminding herself that the two little girls that call her mom are not the boss of her.