Motherhood - Don't be afraid to lose yourself! You might like what you find!

in motherhood •  16 days ago

Hey guys! I hope you are all well! We have been busy decluttering and getting ready for the new school year. Over the last few days I’ve also made a discovery. I’ve found myself again.

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It’s a bit funny to see it in print, especially because I didn’t consider myself to be lost. Allow me to explain…sibs.jpg

I always wanted a family. I grew up telling everyone I would someday have 4 children, 2 girls & 2 boys.

I don’t know that I actually believed it, but coming from a family of 3 siblings, it just seemed like 4 would be a better number. More balanced, I guess.

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As a child I was always interested in music, art, makeup & hair.
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I loved Halloween, costume parties and being in plays and mostly for one reason: getting to create a different persona.
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I was often finding myself doing hair and makeup for friends and even worked as a cosmetic consultant for a few years.
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I also was constantly creating.
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I sketched, sculpted, painted, wrote poetry, lyrics, played guitar and sang.
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These things were what made me me. So, when I had my first baby, @Tonks, not much changed. She was such an easy baby and I stayed with my routine of self-care and while I had less free time to do art & music, I would pull out the guitar and play for her and she loved it. I wrote her a few songs and she would giggle and clap along.

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Three years later, when Baby #2 (Wildstyle is the handle she’s chosen) came along, I expected things to be the same, but they weren’t.
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First of all, it was wrong to assume that this baby would be the same. She was a fireball from day 1. She was vibrant and a fighter. She had to be because she would be my child with all the complicated allergy & gut issues.
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I found myself suddenly lost and embarrassed. I had handled my first child so well! I was a Rockstar mom! And now I was exhausted and couldn’t figure out why nursing was suddenly so painful (didn’t have any problems with my first). Also, she would be happy and laughing for about 10-15 minutes, then fussin, crying or nursing. She was not just spitting up large amounts 3-5 times a day. I would have to change her clothes and mine so often, that I was buried in laundry. I gave up on my personal appearance. I mean, I was clean, that is, when I wasn’t smelling of vomit, but my hair was under a ball cap and forget makeup.
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It was during this time that my oldest started really listening to the lyrics of the songs I was playing. I was shocked because she wasn’t even 4 and suddenly my playlist went from my 90s faves to the Wiggles and Disney tunes. The beautiful home we had purchased had a room that we called my studio, but I was too busy to ever even step foot in there during those years.

A couple years later, we decided to leave our traditional suburban life to become homesteaders. Right before we moved in, we discovered I was pregnant with Baby #3(Snowgo).
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We were ecstatic, but there was a moment of fear for me because it would be our first time living out in the hills, away from family and still dealing with my then 2 yr old’s allergies & skin issues. It seemed there was always a list of projects to work on there at the homestead.
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My daily uniform consisted of boots, jeans, t-shirt and a flannel. While this baby was a much better sleeper than #2, she was still very challenging at bedtime and thus we were all up late.

Whereas some people just have skin or digestive issues with food sensitivities, hers often manifest themselves behaviorally.

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Transitions were hard for her, and the simplest transition, even just getting shoes on to play outside took lots of forethought and patience on my part.
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During this time, I was lucky to get a shower twice a week and totally gave up on creating. I did end up playing guitar at the local co-op preschool once a week, so that allowed me to at least pick up the guitar for a few minutes each week, but it was just finding kids’ songs that correlated to the weekly lessons, so there wasn’t much creativity happening.

A couple years later, we saw things going south in California and decided to sell our homestead, buy a travel trailer and move to N. Idaho. Things were going splendidly!
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The house sold quickly, and our first week in the trailer, we discovered I was pregnant with Baby #4.
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The girls and I had just begun learning Sho-Shu before our move. Snowgo would cling to my leg if I put him down, so I just trained with him on my back.

This time I cried. It was going to be challenging enough moving out of state, with 5 of us in a travel trailer, while my husband worked from home, which meant keeping the kids outside or very quiet while he was on calls and such, cooking for my sensitive child, which meant no convenience foods, but 3 meals a day from scratch.
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One of the few photos that shows the mess of the trailer. During that time I was hesitant to post many photos online or even share with family. It was impossible to keep that small of a space clean and tidy.

Then the real fear kicked in… What if we couldn’t find a property to buy? What if we had to stay in that trailer over the winter?

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Well, we spent 4 months in that trailer, when we finally closed on a property that had a 2000 sq ft shop on it. We backed the trailer in and hunkered down for winter.

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During that time we started framing our two story home that would exist within that shop.
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(It sounds really weird, but someday when it’s clean, organized and finished, I’ll do a post showing just how we did it.) We continued living in that trailer while building, pulling the trailer outside in the spring.
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Here you can see a wall of the house within the shop, just a couple feet from the trailer. This was also the day I decided to chop off my locks to donate.

We lived in that trailer for a total of 18 months before moving into our unfinished home.

If you’ve ever spent any time in a travel trailer, then you know that water is limited, or rather your waste water is. The grey and black tanks would have to be dumped regularly. During our time in the trailer, showers became something you thought twice about. If it was dark and cold outside and I still had a sink full of dishes, then the dishes took priority over my shower since I wanted to wait to dump the tanks until daylight. And squeezing 6 of us into a tiny space meant very little room for any extras, like makeup, hair products or styling tools, or even muffin pans… I did manage to bring an acoustic guitar, which we stored under the bed. I think I pulled it out maybe 5 times during those 18 months!

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I’ve said it before, looking back, I am glad I did not know how hard those months would be. I would not have signed on for it. But I am so grateful for the experience now.

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So here we are a couple years later. The home has come along nicely. We’re still in need of interior doors and trim, but other than that, we are quite comfortable. Baby #4, aka Crowbarbaby, is growing like a weed and old enough to toddle off with his siblings giving this mama a few minutes to breathe. And guess what I’ve discovered?

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No. We aren’t expecting. 😉 Gotcha! That's a belly pic from the trailer bathroom!

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I’ve discovered that I still enjoy doing my hair and makeup a little bit. And I don’t feel quite as guilty spending the time on myself now that everyone is able to get along without me for at least a few minutes at a time. I’ve also been spending more time practicing the uke and the guitar.

If you haven’t seen it, you really should listen to this duet performed with my lovely daughter.

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I share all of this with you because I think there’s this idea that mothers are supposed to be superhuman and balance it all. We’re supposed to be nurturing mothers, who also have a broad knowledge of gut health and food issues, be a whiz in the kitchen, satisfy our husband’s needs, handle the family’s social calendar, read regularly, look fashionable and still find time for “self-care”! They recommend getting a pedicure or a massage or just spending an hour watching a guilty pleasure and sneaking some good chocolate. Well, self care for me was making sure I brushed my teeth and kept all the kids alive. That’s all I could do for some of that time!

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Do an internet search for “mothers lose yourself” and you’ll find all these articles warning of how to maintain your identity and not lose yourself to motherhood. I suppose those writers mean well, but honestly, losing myself to motherhood was the best thing that happened to me. Motherhood changed my life completely. It flipped my world upside down and inside out, but I learned more from each of these magnificent human beings than I did from all my years of study.
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I am fortunate to be a stay at home mom and blessed to have a spouse that supports my decision. It has not been easy, especially with the health issues and the moves, but again, the experience has been worth it.

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I learned that I could still be me without all the makeup & hair. I learned that a person can take a break from their creative side and it will still be there when they get back to it. I feel that by losing myself, I found a truer version of me. One that is more confident and grounded. It wasn’t a sacrifice. It was just another experience in this human body that allowed me to stretch and heal.

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I don’t necessarily feel that I’ve found myself as much as I feel reborn. I feel like a butterfly from the cocoon, ready to fly!

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I owe a big thank you to the Steemit platform for giving me the opportunity to share my voice. Because of users like @coruscate, @papa-pepper, @golden-dawne who supported me, encouraged me & mentored me in the beginning, I am now encouraging and supporting other new users.

Because of groups like @steemitmamas, @GHSC and @onelovedtube I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin and finding more opportunities to be creative and true to my inner self. If you have any questions about these groups, please comment or click on the banners below.

I chose @Crowbarmama as a handle because I believe in doing the best you can with what you have on hand. The crowbar is a multi-purpose tool. You’ll notice my photography is a bit rough, my grammar is not the most polished, but as a homeschooling, homesteading mama of 4, if I waited to take my photos until the light was perfect or re-edited my posts a 5th time ( I shoot for 3 drafts), I would never get a post out!

Don’t sweat the small stuff, just Crowbar it!

If you like what you're reading, please upvote and subscribe! Also, I love feedback! Constructive criticism is one of the best ways to grow. I want to know what you think!

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Thanks for this post! I really needed to read something like this now - once my little one was 2 and a half he wanted to go to nursery school with his brother.. with the extra time on my hands I started a small portrait photography business that I ran half day from home.. just as I started getting on my feet with the business, my eldest was starting to hate school (the grade before grade 1) and I couldn’t force him anymore so I decided to take both boys out of school and homeschool them- best decision ever!! We’ve been homeschooling since the beginning of the year and it’s so awesome but I have felt a bit like I’ve lost myself because I’ve had to put my business on hold for a while... I love the idea of being reborn! I have noticed that Steemit has provided me with a bit of creative outlet..
it was really encouraging reading your experience- thank you!

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@wildwanderer Steemit is great for giving us an outlet, I agree! It also allows us to connect with others who might be in similar situations so we don't feel as alone. I'm so glad you're part of the @steemitmamas!

And it's super awesome that you're there for your boys! ❤

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Thanks so much @crowbarmama - you really are awesome!!

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@wildwanderer 😘 You're pretty cool yourself, mama!

WHAT a great story!!! So much background information of who you are and how you came to be; plus you NEVER let an obstacle stop you from moving forward!

I read this post (eyes glued to the page) to see what was the next adventure you faced and how you conquered it- ABSOLUTELY loved this peek inside you life, travels (and trailer-lol) and your determination to succeed at every corner and turn!

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@goldendawne You're too kind. It's much easier to talk about it now that those hard parts have passed. I wish I'd had the confidence to share then, but I was overwhelmed and in a state of serious learning! Lol! Thanks again for your encouragement!!😘

Thank you for sharing that amazing journey!!! Wow you ARE a super Rockstar! You've lived so many different lives and been through so much! I'm amazed you can do so much! Thank you for encouraging us with your words and videos!!! You go girl for persevering in creating even when it's hard!

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@vincy Thanks, but not a rockstar, just a mom who's finally got the courage to share, and largely due to the support of @Steemitmamas and all it's amazing members! Thanks so much for your support & encouragement!😘

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I definitely have much to learn from you and all the other steemitmamas!!

Posted using Partiko iOS

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@vincy That's what's so great about our community! Always something to learn! You inspire me to play music more often! Thank you for that!❤️

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Aww that’s nice to know! I haven’t been inspired with that in the last two weeks. And my guitar string broke so it’s just sitting there! I hope to get another guitar sometime soon.. one that suits me more hehe.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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Bummer! I have 2 guitars sitting here, each with a busted string. I just don't have the time or patience to replace them myself so one of these days I need to get to the guitar shop and have them fix them for me.

I too have been struggling to get posts out the last couple weeks. I think I'm getting too wrapped up in the editing and becuase it takes so long to get to where I want it, I just don't get around to finishing it.

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Yes totally agree the editing sometimes takes too long and you get overwhelmed by the process! Took me ages to get around to editing the haircut video I should have put up a few days before hehe.
Hence why we do live-streaming sometimes cos at least you don’t have to edit haha..

Yeh I don’t have time or skill to restring my guitar either..

Posted using Partiko iOS

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@vincy I only did the livestreaming once and it was a test run, lol! Fun, but a bit nerve-wracking! That reminds me, I need to watch your haircut vid!

You definitely deserve the nickname Crowbar Mama! U have my 100% salute. Being a mom is already tough but with what that you go through, that's a miracle.

I respect the energy & love that you put in for your family. That's true love that cannot be explained or replaced.

You definitely an icon for many of us mothers.

Posted using Partiko Android

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@ireenchew Thank you for your kind words. Being a mother means needing to be strong and often we are too hard on ourselves, myself included. We must remember to give ourselves grace, for someday our children will treat themselves the same way we are treating ourselves now, and don't we want better for them? I still struggle with this, but life is all about learning. ❤️

Thanks for sharing your story. You are one tough lady. I especially liked how you would train with your baby on your back ... Such dedication.

I nominated you in the comedy open mic contest. If your interested the nomination post is below.

@sparkesy43 And @rentmoney Duke It Out : COM RD 29 Entry

https://steemit.com/comedyopenmic/@rentmoney/sparkesy43-and-rentmoney-duke-it-out-com-rd-29-entry

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@rentmoney You're very welcome. Haha- training with the baby was out of desperation more than dedication! Lol! It was the only way for me to get the workout and learn to defend myself! And honestly, at that time in my life I did carry him everywhere, so if I were to need to defend myself, I'd probably have him there anyway, so it was great practice! 😆😆

Thanks for the nomination. I've had a comedy skit in my head for a while now, but not sure when I'll have time to tackle it. Hopefully soon!

love this, great to hear your motherhood journey, it truly brought back many memories for me as well. Yes, that creativity is still there, it shows up in all ways while raising kids. It's so wonderful to see your daughter loves to sing as well. You'll be amazed to see bits and pieces of yourself in all of them. Glad you're here!!

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@birdsinparadise Thank you! I believe a lot of the struggles that make mothers feel so alone are the same struggles we all face. Isn't that ironic?

It's really interesting to see different facets of myself in each of the children at different stages in their lives. I wish I could say it's all positive, but they may also have Mama's temper! 😆🙄


nice, steemit brings balance to the media and shines a light on strong families.

mankind is not that messed up, as many people think, when they enter the internet.

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@felix.herrmann Thank you! Mankind certainly has its ups and downs and of course, the negative seems to get the spotlight, but I have found some wonderful gems through the Steemit community! Always a pleasure to read your comments!❤️

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pleasure is on my side! crowbar it and steem on!

Yeah, now that's a story!
My question is, did you cringe at those old photos?

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@preppervetuk A couple! Yes!! I didn't share much during those hard times and being the conspiracy theorist that I am, didn't want too many to know the full extent of how we were existing at that time. I mean my kids were safe and well cared for, but people have their standards of what is proper and many did not approve of our unconventional choices. It was a challenging time, but a character-building experience for all of us and an adventure that my kids will never forget! Thanks so much for stopping by!

So beautiful! I love motherhood! I’m glad to be lost in it as well! I’m scared for the day when it’s just me again😬

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@thefarmerswife Oh, I hear you sister! I try to focus on the present otherwise I'm just a waterworks over here!😭

I really love how you explain it in a story, I find hard to read long posts, but every single word you said reminded me my mom, and maybe the vision of how I understand life and motherhood. And, of course, things vary and life is different for every single person, but I think the the sentence "just crowbar it", from your situation is the most amazing expression.

It was my pleasure to meet you more closely. You are a "Super Crowbar Mama"!

P.S. I am very interested in permaculture, homestead and aquaponics, and working for your food and house, instead of working a JOB to get money, to pay for your food and your house.

People mentality often gets lost in "design" look and affection for eyes, loosing the whole point of functionality.

Artakush thinks he needs to stop writing, while typing even more, in the bush

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@artakush Thank you so much! I struggle with keeping things short since I have a tendency to be a very chatty person (as you've probably noticed in Discord) but sometimes some posts need a little more. I'm so glad you found something to relate to in this post.

Yes, permaculture is amazing! We have hugelkulture beds that I'm hoping will be thriving by next year. My husband does still have to work a job, but fortunately, he's working from home so we are much closer to living life on our terms than most.


good job. happy family of you

Inspiring and enlightening journey you are on. So glad to have met you on the @pennsif show and followed you.

Your kids are great and I think you have quite a bright future ahead of you in duplicating yourself in new artists.

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@zekepickleman Thank you! I'm just thrilled and flattered that my kids still want to hang out with mom! If I can somehow keep up the illusion of being cool in their eyes, then that would be awesome! 😆I love how @pennsif brings cool people together!

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I have the opposite problem. My kids have no idea how cool I am! ;)

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Hahaha! They will someday! I'm on thin ice here as my oldest is almost a teen...😢

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We are approaching the same threshold. Seems like you have done a great job on the musical side of engaging your kids which will be awesome for teenage self-identity and being so connected to you.

I have prepped my soon-to-be teenager with a few years of Jiu Jitsu, and have fostered her artistic side as well. To do as well as you, I might have to drag her out to one of the band's shows in order to understand the coolness. ;)

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@zekepickleman Why thank you! Parenthood is hard, isn't it? I mean, it's the most awesome experience ever, but never in my life have I had so many uncertain moments. Yet, somehow they get balanced out with all the awesome moments and the snuggles!

We practiced Jiu-Jitsu for a year, then switched over to Sho-Shu, but that was before the move. We're looking into some martial arts for the whole family again. Does your daughter still practice?

So, what band will you take her to see?😎

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Yah parenting is like trying not to veer out of control in your own precarious vehicle and then adding agents of chaos on top of that.

Yes she went to class just last night. Showing some really good dedication and enjoyment lately too. I am just working back into regular training schedule now too.

As for the band, I am talking about taking her to another show that I am in with a band. Nothing like seeing dad slinging an axe to remind them I am the coolest hairy uncle around. ;)

Like this one.....

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agents of chaos
😆Yessss!!

We are looking into a local martial arts studio but it's soccer season now plus a music lesson and dance, so I'm more of a chauffeur than anything else. Lol!

That is awesome that you are in a band!! My band days are behind me as it was just too hard to to do it as a mom. That and we moved anyway, so the distance was a problem. However, now with the blockchain, I'm starting to dabble in OpenMics and collaborations, so it's pretty sweet to be able to do all this from home!

That is a cool track! You guys were killing it and it was still clean! So many hard rock bands lose themselves when the music gets heavy. Nice that you guys kept control of the tempo, but still rocked!

Here's an oldie, but goodie from about 1997 with my old band. (Now I want to go dig up some old videos too!)
https://steemit.com/dsound/@crowbarmama/20180518t072319050z-monkey