21 In living

The Stretch

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I’m tired. So very tired. This week, along with so many weeks before it, I’m feeling the stretch. The stretch in a million directions that all moms feel no doubt. So many things to do—that I want to do, enjoy doing, get excited about doing—and literally not enough time in the day/week/month to do it all. Add a few health issues into the mix (minor enough to not be “concerning,” but major enough to annoy me and kill my old habit of running daily), and I’m an endorphin-deprived, tired, overworked mompreneur. I have never been more thankful for under-eye concealer, coffee and hats to hide my severely underwashed hair. 

I love being a mom. I love running a business. I love quality time with my husband and friends. But I also miss that feeling I used to feel all the time—what was it?—refreshed. I literally have not felt refreshed or rejuvenated or reinvigorated or anything remotely close to those feelings in over 2 years. I feel like my brain is shrinking. The fog is real, my friends.

Brian asked me recently why I don’t do long form writing anymore. The truth is, I used to be a writer. A published writer. Nothing too fancy or wild, but writing was something that I considered “my jam” and there was a season of my life when I dedicated a lot of time and energy to putting words to paper (and screen) to encourage, uplift, question and inspire. Those days have been behind me for a while, but I definitely miss them. My answer to Brian? Whether because of time constraints, sleep constraints or energy constraints, I literally do not have the capacity to write like that anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have days where I am incredibly productive and inspired and on top of it all. I truly love what I am doing with my life. But those “on” days are few and far between and definitely not the norm, which they used to be. My intention for writing this is not to have a pity party, but rather to just let you all know that if you’re struggling to look good, feel good, and do good and feel like it’s all out of whack and falling apart at the seams, you’re not alone. Some days are better than others, and today I give you permission to just be okay with not being amazing at it all right now.

xo

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Brian
    June 7, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Awesome post Natalie! I’m proud of you – you are a strong, capable, and resilient woman who handles life with grace and resilience. It’s not often easy, but I can ensure you that you’re not alone and that I believe in you!

  • Reply
    Iris Herring
    June 7, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    You most certainly are not alone. I feel like I have been permanently placed in this “stretch”. However, I know this is a season. I have to give myself grace then continue to do what I know is most important…to love God and my family and to do what I can to be the salt. Some days are good and some, well they aren’t so good. I also know, this is preparing me for the road ahead. You are a great mother Natalie. God has already done great things in and through you and he will continue to do so. There is a Tenth Avenue North song called “Worn”. It speaks directly to what you are experiencing right now and was written from the same place. Keep your chin up. I will be praying for you! ☺

    • Reply
      Elizabeth
      June 8, 2016 at 2:25 am

      Echoing what Iris has to say. Stretched seems like the norm these days. And the song “Worn”, seems like a life anthem.

      As a newer first time mom, working full time with a 40 minute commute to a stuffy corporate job, sitter issues, husband working on his masters while he finishes out the school year, just put an offer on our first house and having what feels like a million MD appointments for health concerns that keep me from getting my post partum body back into shape–I feel the stretch too.

      Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God” I appreciate your honesty, and you’re doing an awesome job. Though I love your longer pieces, my stretched brain appreciates your shorter posts. And remember, this is only a season. Longer pieces will come and when they do, you know it’ll be time and they will be thought provoking and inspirting because of this season.

      Hang in there, Natalie! Praying for you!

  • Reply
    Alicia
    June 8, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Thank you for putting this post out there. You are certainly NOT alone in feeling like this. I too, am going through that stretch and have life throwing me so many things. I’m just taking it one day at a time right now ☺️ We can do this!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    June 8, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Great post Natalie. As a first time mom with a 5 month old, I’ve been feeling exactly what you’ve described and have been wondering if it will ever get any easier. While I don’t expect that it will anytime soon, I’m glad to know that I’m not alone.

  • Reply
    Jaci
    June 8, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Beautiful. Thank you for posting this. So encouraging.

  • Reply
    Kathryn Lang
    June 8, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Well said! I needed this encouragement today. Your writing and posts are a daily joy and inspiration for me, and I pray there is a refreshing season for you ahead. :)

  • Reply
    Mel
    June 8, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Thank you for writing this, it sums up my feelings spot on lately. One day at a time :) xo

  • Reply
    Marci
    June 8, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I had tears in my eyes as I was reading it, as I can so relate. I have been “trying” to work at home with my 3-year-old since he was born. Trying to balance it all, with a spouse who also runs his own business out of the home and works ridiculously long hours. I have been struggling for a while now to establish work and life goals that will fit into this new dynamic, however, I still feel like I continue to come up short. I often feel very isolated in my new role as a stay-at-home, work-at-home, especially in our little Canadian town where it isn’t necessarily the norm, and people do not really understand that instagramming, blogging, and a little on-line shop can be a real business. I came across your blog awhile ago, right before you opened your on-line jewelry shop, and it has really been my inspiration to keep believing in what I am doing. Right now though… your feelings of not feeling “refreshed” in a really long time ring so very true. My little guy goes to school in the fall, and I keep trying to remind myself to just enjoy every one of these last magical moments that he and I get to spend together and not get caught up in everything I think I “need” to be or “should” be doing. Come fall I know that I will be missing him like crazy, and counting down the hours until school is out for the day and I can scoop him up onto the couch for an extra long snuggle!

  • Reply
    Chelsea Becker
    June 8, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Love this post, Natalie! I’m not even a mom yet (but a puppy mom!) and I feel like this often – this week being especially tough. One of my favorites bloggers, Leo (http://zenhabits.net/some-days/), wrote about this just yesterday so maybe it’s in the air! I think it’s SO important to give yourself a break when needed, remember that life flows and that we’re not always “on.” I used to beat myself up about feeling foggy or “lazy,” but now I just try to prioritize finding little parts of my day where I can give myself some self-love. Sending you energy!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    June 8, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Well I don’t even have kids and I feel that way. I can’t imagine what it’s like trying to juggle everything in life AND raise a little kiddo. Love the beautiful, honest post.

  • Reply
    Reeve
    June 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Yes. So much yes! With so much happening in the writing and online world I feel like I can never stop working (whether that is school, internships, my own blog and writing, or actual work) because everyone is always producing new content and attending exciting events and furthering their passions and jobs. It’s awesome that we live in a time where we can make connections and that there are so many opportunities to explore creatively and business-y, but it is also OVERWHELMING and very stressful. Because, honesty, we could always “do more” at the end of the day. I think part of the journey is figuring out what we do want to do, how to make it happen, and went to just rest. You are definitely not alone in being in this spot! xoxo

  • Reply
    Elsa
    June 8, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but this is the first time I leave a comment. I really love your writing and editorial line. It’s so beautifully honest. You are not alone, girl. Plus you are accomplishing so many things. Thank you for all the inspiration and beautiful posts. My baby daughter is 18 months now (your boy is a little older I think, right?) Nothing tops seeing our kids growing healthy and happy. As for us mums, well, I’m still trying to figure things out, reinventing myself…it’s a process. Sending you and your readers much love from the other side of the pond.

    XO,

    Elsa

    http://cafesocietyxxi.blogspot.de/

  • Reply
    AshleyL
    June 8, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you for writing this. Yesterday I sat down and gave myself some quiet time during nap time instead of trying to get stuff “done” and I realized how much I just feel exhausted all the time. I have two kids under two, taking care of my husband, keeping the house clean and running fitness groups. I feel like every second is accounted for and nothing is ever completely done or done for long. I’m trying to take some more quiet rest time everyday and spending time with my kids even when I “should” be doing something productive while they play. This is definitely a trying time in our lives. Sometimes I see your posts and I think why can’t I have it all together like her. It’s funny how life is like that.

  • Reply
    Ellie
    June 8, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you for your transparency. This mom gig is hard ;). I’m right there with you, it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  • Reply
    mj
    June 9, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Your husband sounds like such a supportive one (first commenter!!) and as a mama to a 7 and 3 1/2 year old I so get this! It’s hard, there are ups and downs and what fills our time now will be filled with something else later. I try to be present and to love. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Jen
    June 10, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Love your honesty!! Koko…keep on keepin’ on! ;-)

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Mayberry
    June 23, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    You are amazing and I’ve loved following you over the years and through the transitions! You are doing great!

  • Reply
    Madison
    October 2, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    What a great post! The fog is real! I have been in this motherly fog for 18 months, for awhile I thought it was just me. But reading your post, I realize I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing!

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