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I became a mom at 20 years old. 

I had been married for a little over a year and I was so stoked to have a little squishy me/him.  And, as cliche as it sounds, the second I held that baby in my arms I experienced a love I had never felt before. 

I imagined this was the “force of 1000 suns” kind of love they always talk about in books. It truly was the first time I experienced true and complete unconditional love. 

Yes, I loved my husband. But he was hot, and kind, and charmed me with his quick wit and sarcastic jokes. Despite how in love with him I am, I’m not sure I would have fallen fiercely in love the second I set eyes on him had he too been lying naked and screaming wrapped in a blanket. 

This was different. 

And better yet, as the days went on I learned that my son, the baby that made me a momma, was an exceptionally well behaved newborn. He only cried when he needed a diaper change, or to be fed, or that one time my hand slipped and I Rocky Balboa’d him right in the nose… Yeah. Not exactly mom of the year.

But whenever he wasn’t being changed or fed, he was asleep or hanging out looking around. A man of simple needs I guess. 

Life was great…ish. 

Despite my angel of a child, I still experienced the pitfalls of becoming a momma. 

Namely the intense anxiety that keeps you up all hours of the night. Finger under their nose just to make sure they are still breathing since the last time you checked five minutes ago. 

Or the crippling feeling of not being able to feed your child because your milk didn’t come in fast enough.

Or feeling that resentment towards your significant other when they uttered the words “I’m tired.” after you did all the feedings the night before, still struggling to get your baby to latch onto your milk-less boob. 

I know so many have it harder than me. And I reminded myself that, and how lucky I was on the daily. But just because someone else is in a full body cast, doesn’t mean my broken arm doesn’t still hurt.

And while these things were hard, they weren’t even the hardest part of becoming a mom in my 20’s. And barely 20 at that.

When Jamie was 3 months old, we moved across the country from Utah to Kentucky so my husband, Brian, could attend law school. And we had agreed that I would stay home with Jamie. 

I wasn’t pushed into the role of stay at home mom by some sexist societal norm that said it was my job as a woman. No. 

Instead, I was actually stoked to stay home with my baby. In fact I had always planned on being a SAHM. So when the opportunity came, I was so excited to rise to the occasion.

Still, it wasn’t long after diving head first into stay at home momhood that I became jealous of my husband. Look at him chasing his dreams and starting his journey to become what he wanted to be. All while I stay home to make a bottle and change a diaper for the 10 millionth time. 

I was so deep into trying to do “all the things” to be a good mom that I when I looked in the mirror I didn’t know who I was. 

Even when my hair wasn’t a jumbled disgrace to call a mom bun, or when I actually took the time to apply mascara. Even then, all I saw was a once ambitious and driven dreamer of a girl now a young 20 year old with no friends, no interests, no hobbies, and no goals. Nothing. 

And that jealousy of my husband quickly turned into a complete identity crisis.

Is this all I was now? Just a mom? Forced to spend the rest of my days with spit up on my shoulder and cleaning drool from the floor?

Yes. Surely, this was the case.

But what if I want to do something in life? What if I want to be something?

I didn’t anticipate all this when I agreed to be a SAHM. Did I want to put Jamie in day care? Well, no. I mean, given the choice to go to work and hang out all by myself, or spend all day with my baby I’d prefer the latter. No question. 

I truly enjoy being a momma, and I didn’t just want time without my baby, or for someone else to care for him. I just wanted something more for ME. 

I wanted purpose and fulfillment. I wanted to have goals, interests, something to work towards, and to accomplish things. 

I wanted me back. 

What the heck happened between heading off to college, getting married, and having a baby to get me to this point? What happened to that person who was living life to the fullest?

At first I brushed off this feeling by claiming it was just baby blues or a case of mild postpartum depression and that once my hormones were completely back to normal I wouldn’t feel this way anymore. 

But it didn’t. It didn’t go away. 

Instead, it festered inside of me and made me more irritable and lazy. And I can tell you first hand that nothing makes you feel like a worse mom, or human being, than feeling crusty about your situation when you have a precious baby that has done absolutely nothing. 

In fact, my baby had done and been pretty much the most perfect baby anyone could ask for.

But it didn’t change the way I felt. Instead, that guilt only fueled the fire. 

No, the hardest part about being a mom wasn’t the sleep deprivation or even the immense baby weight I gained. 

It was the complete loss of self.

The feeling of being trapped by motherhood. 

I know I sound selfish. And you may even be reading this thinking about how bad of a mom I am. 

But I’m writing this because I know for a fact that there are mommas out there RIGHT NOW feeling the exact same way that I did. 

And the thing is that I can look back now and clearly see and recognize those feelings I felt. But at the time, I couldn’t clearly place my emotions. 

I didn’t spend the nights crying or literally complaining to my husband. I still loved on my baby and suffered in silence. 

Although I felt swallowed up in motherhood I kept quiet by telling myself that these feelings were wrong and selfish. I told myself I was happy because I was. Right?

How ungrateful am I for feeling sad when I have a perfect, beautiful baby and get to stay home with him?

Instead, I allow my mom guilt to keep me in check because a good mom wouldn’t feel this way.

 I threw myself deeper into motherhood to try to make up for it all because my baby truly didn’t deserve to have such a bad mom.

I convinced myself that I had traded my life, interests, goals, friends, and hobbies to become a mom and that was just the way it was. That was the trade that came with being a mother. 

And you know what?

I was prepared to make that trade.

Remember that love of 1000 suns thing? I wasn’t joking. 

I would do anything for my babies. 

Even if that meant trading my own life, hopes, dreams, and aspirations to be a good mom for them. Sure, coming to that conclusion sucked but I was prepared to do it with a smile on my face if that is what I had to do.

And that is exactly what too many moms do. They convince themselves that motherhood has to be a trade of incredible sacrifice. 

That, it’s just what you do when you become a mom. That’s what you sign up for. 

But guess what y’all? That isn’t true. 

I am living proof that you can do and have it all. I am living my best, most fulfilled life now more than ever being a stay at home mom and running my own money making business. 

You don’t have to pick one or the other. 

You don’t have to sacrifice being home with your babies to build a life of success, fulfillement, and achieving your biggest goals.  And you don’t have to give up your dreams to be a good mom.

I’d even argue that personal achievement and growth lead to becoming a better momma, wife, and person. 

So if you have a desire in your heart, I dare you to go for it. 

If you are feeling stuck  in the hamster wheel of motherhood, step out of your lane and find something to do just for you. 

Motherhood isn’t a trade. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me and I wouldn’t have become who I am today, doing the things I am today if I wasn’t a momma. 

Living a life striving for personal development and growth has lead me to being happier and more fulfilled than ever before. I have learned that I am enough, and that I can accomplish more than I ever thought I could. 

Living this way resulted in zero baby blues or feelings of depression after having my second baby. Instead I was able to enjoy and love harder than before. 

Instead of gaining weight, I lost weight healthily postpartum. I’ve stuck to a healthy diet and exercise routine for the first time ever down 35 pounds so far with 15 more to go. 

Ive read more books in 6 months than I have in the past 5  years.  I’ve increased my income by 33% in only one quarter.  I’m more patient and kind. I am happier, optimistic, and excited about life. I actually try to plan fun activities and spend even more time with my babies because of it.

All because I did something for me. I got me back. 

The hardest part of becoming a momma is losing who you are and feeling swallowed up in motherhood because we convince ourselves that in order to be a good mom we need to sacrifice all we have and are. 

That sucks. 

And no amount of squishy thighs and open mouth kisses can fill that space inside when you feel like you aren’t living up to your potential. 

So don’t lie to yourself. And don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Motherhood isn’t a trade. It doesn’t require a sacrifice of your dreams and goals to be a good mom. 

You can focus on personal development and growth, accomplishing your biggest dreams while focusing on motherhood and being a great mom. You can do both. And when you do, you become a better mom who loves harder, is more opimistic, kind, and patient.

You become your best, happiest, most fulfilled self.

You are a good mom. You can accomplish your dreams. And you can be you, and a momma.

How to be you, be happy, and be a good mom:

1: Find a passion – Something to do just for you.

This is the biggest thing for me to feeling totally fulfilled and loving life.

When you feel like you are developing and growing personally, making progress towards your dreams and goals, then motherhood doesn’t seem like something that is keeping you trapped.

Having a passion and passion project to progess in was the ultimate life changer for me. When I felt fulfilled in life, while still being able to be a SAHM, I became a better, happier, more present mom. I felt like I had everything I had ever wanted in life.

Starting my blog and growing it into a money making business ( see my latest blog income report here!) was, and still is, that thing for me. It showed me that I can be successful, make money, impact others, and still stay home with my children. It hit all the marks on my dream life list.

So take a second and think of a passion of yours and how you can make time for it in your life.

And if you think that passion may be blogging like it is for me, then you can get your hands on my FREE start a blog guide and checklist to starting your own profitable blog below!

Start a blog checklist

2: Make time for you and your passion.

There’s nothing that makes you feel like you are only a mom then when you have zero time for yourself.

I mean, that’s where this whole feeling of being “just” a mom comes from right? Kids/babies take a lot of time and attention. And when that is all you do, day in and day out, that becomes your identity.

That is when the negative thoughts come in about how motherhood stole your life, only to be followed by the horrible mom guilt you feel for having those thoughts. So you shove those ideas down deep, feel more resentment, and the cycle continues.

It’s soul sucking.

And having a passion/passion project/something to progression and work towards will do nothing for your happiness and fulfillment if you never have time for yourself to work on it. Which is why making time for yourself and your goals is so important to feeling happy and fulfilled while being a mom.

So, set aside time to focus on you.

  • Wake up an hour before your kids wake up to read those books you’ve been wanting to read.
  • Stay up a few hours after bedtime to work on your online business.
  • Set aside an hour of quiet time and let your kids watch TV while you work on your sewing project.
  • Make a schedule with your husband/partner/mom/babysitter to take the kids one evening in the week so you can train for your 10k run.

That last point leads me to #3.

3: Ask For Help

I recently wrote a post on how we as a society tend to reward personal sacrifice over personal growth. All about how we have been taught to believe that if we don’t exhaust ourselves and give 200% every second then we aren’t good moms.

That if we have a nanny, or a babysitter “too” often. Or a cleaner that comes once a week, or have a meal prep delivery subscirption. Or even ask our husbands to watch the baby that we are bad moms.

We are taught that we are suppose to do it all ourselves. Taught that sacrifice is rewarded over productivity and growth.

But momma, any self made anyone had a team behind the scenes. Anyone who has accomplished anything big had (and has) help. And so should you.

  • Ask your husband to take the baby even if he hates watching the kids alone.
  • Ask your mom friends to swap play dates each week so you can get time alone.
  • Ask the sweet girl next door to babysit.
  • Hire your niece or nephew to mow your lawn.
  • ASK FOR HELP.

4: Strive for personal growth and development.

This is basically just a reiteration of #1 but I feel like the concept is worth repeating.

The opposite of happiness isn’t sadness — it’s boredom.”

Tim Ferris

The solution to feeling stuck and like “just” a mom is to be excited about life. And let’s be honest, the majority of a typical day as a SAHM is pretty boring.

Changing diapers, cleaning spit up, tidying the house, making meals, controlling tantrums, planning play dates just to watch other people’s kids, isn’t exciting.

And while the snuggles, open mouth baby kisses, giggles, and hilarious things your toddler says is the best, most exciting parts of our days, they’re definitely the minority.

So besides all the best parts of motherhood listed above, the best way to wake up excited about your life is to know that every day you are getting closer to the person you want to become and the goals you want to achieve.

Strive for personal development and growth.

Think of the person you want to become and the goals you want to achieve and work on them daily.

Motherhood is the best but it is so easy to feel stuck in being just a mom. Remember to focus on you, find a passion, make time for yourself, ask for help and become the person you’ve always wanted to be. All while being a killer momma.

You’ve got this momma.

And if you want to hang out with me and my community of hustlin’ mommas just like you join my email list below!

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