1.05.2017

Thoughts for Thursday in 2017: Real Life and Getting Back to Basics

Happy 2017 friends! Welcome back to our first Thoughts for Thursday in 2017.   Anyone else taking a few days to get into the swing of things this year?   No matter how old I get I always love the feeling of the new year. Another chance to live, love, enjoy time with family and friends, fix mistakes we've made, work harder, sleep more, drink less wine and more water, try not to stress out, and try to really enjoy the moment. Ahhh the fresh start of a new year.

This year I decided not to make any new years resolutions or goals.  I just want to live and enjoy life. 2016 was a tough year for me personally.  I didn't talk about it much here but I really struggled with parenting this year. I found the second year of parenting two kids with a 1 year old and 2.5 year old so much harder than the infant days of two under two. It was much more emotionally draining for me than I imagined it would be and I felt like they pushed me to my limit everyday.  Kyle traveled a lot last year leaving me solo parenting 80% of the time and trying to work through it on my own. I should have been asking for help, but I wasn't.  Asking for help is not something I'm good at and I'm slowly learning it's ok to give up control.
I also struggled with my identity as mom and a person. I wondered if since I was so unhappy being a stay at home mom maybe it was time for me to go back to work.  Yet at the same time I didn't really know what I would do if I went back to work or how we would make it work for our family.   I was constantly stressed out, exhausted, and cranky.

At the same time I found myself getting caught up in the other side of blogging- money, tracking stats, posting only the good pretty parts and I became a little obsessive.  When I was feeling very frustrated with the kids and lost about my identity I thought maybe I could pursue blogging full time but posting started to become something I felt like that had to do rather than something I enjoyed. I would spend so much time stressing over it. I would stay up too late working on a post or stick my kids in front of the tv to edit and perfect an Instagram photo and then feel like a horrible mom.

 I decided in September I would put the blog on the back burner and focus on my family and figuring myself out. Hence why I've been so sporadic over the last few months.
Taking a step back from it all has really been what I needed.  I had to remind myself that my first job is a mother and that everything else comes second to that, including this little blog.   I also learned that I like this blog for what it is, a hobby, a fun outlet, a place for me to tell stories and share with you all.  I don't want to turn it into a business and blog for other people.  I want to blog for me and about what I want.

Right around November things with the kids started to get much easier too, it's as if the fog was lifting off me and I could breathe again. I can't really pinpoint exactly what it was.  Maybe Matthew turning two.  Miller finally reaching an age where I could (occasionally) reason with him.   Kyle's travel schedule majorly easing up so he could help around the house more.   I started to feel more in control and less out of control.  I thought our move to the townhouse would be really hard for me but somehow I've found my clarity here.  I don't know if it's the small space or having less stuff but I'm finally feeling calm. I don't know if it's because our renovations started so I know I'll be home soon in a finished house, that I'm never moving out of it!   Maybe I feel like we'll finally be settled and I can relax.  I don't really know. I'm not saying I'm 100% there and my kids do still stress me out at times but I'm yelling less and listening more.  I'm finding I don't dread aspects of my day as much as I was before. I'm starting to find pieces of myself that I thought were gone and I'm slowly learning to balance my life as a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend.

As for the blog.  I'm sticking around and coming back here as much or as little as I want, and I'm not going to let it cause me stress. I will continue to share about my life, our house renovations, and my love of fashion and shopping ;). That's not going away anytime soon #retailtherapy   I plan to bring back nap time confessions, day in the life, and parenting posts since I shied away from them last year.

If you made it to the end, thanks for sticking through that long rant and as always thanks to everyone who stops by my little piece of the internet.  Here's to a great 2017 friends!


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27 comments :

  1. I was there too- irritable, dreaming of going back to work, feeling lost in motherhood. But I've had some clarity too. We're all in this together- trying to make it work and maintaining some sense of self too!

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  2. This is a such a refreshing and real post to read. I would much rather read posts about "real" life from bloggers than just the good stuff. :) I gave my blog a big break after 3 years and I'm still not sure if I will go back. It was just stressing me out more than it should. Also, I'm a working mom and have been struggling with if I should quit work and stay home with my 2 kids. Just goes to show - either way is hard and either way I think you question what you are doing. It's a hard gig being a mom!

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  3. Thank you so much for being honest. I feel the same way at times....very overwhelmed and about to have my 2nd I am trying to figure out how I am going to mange it all.. For me life is too short to not enjoy the time with family and friends. I m thinking about taking some time off of blogging too

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  4. I can so relate to your feelings!!
    I've had to remind myself on why I started my blog in the first place and the good things about it! It's also nice that it's optional....whereas your kids are not--ha ha!
    Happy 2017!!
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  5. This is me as a parent. The fog, the irritability, etc. Thank you for sharing a little glimpse into your struggle. Solidarity, mama. ;)

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  6. I too appreciate posts about real life and real feelings, whatever the blog is comfortable posting about. I shy away from money making blogs as they're just too commerical and not as warm. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Happy 2017!

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  7. So well written friend......and clarity and PEACE is everything, and I hope those continue for you for all of 2017.

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  8. I so appreciate your honesty! I have been a longtime reader and this is exactly why. :) I've also been a longtime wannabe blogger -- not for money, but for me. This year I want to get back into blogging for all of the reasons you listed: it's so fun to share and to connect. Thank you for the reminder and wishing you even more clarity, health, and happiness in 2017!

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  9. YES love this over any sponsored post ever. You do you and what's best for your family! Looking forward to the shift.

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  10. You are such a super mom for being home full time with the boys! I tried it for 2 months and decided I wanted to go back to work lol! Being a SAHM is definitely the most challenging yet rewarding 'job' I've ever experienced! You are a rockstar! I love your blog and all your posts including the honest ones that we all can relate to! Happy new year! I can't wait to see the results of your kitchen renovation!! xoxo

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  11. Thank you for posting this. It hit me hard and I could relate to so much of what you wrote about. Being a mom is tough stuff sometimes. My New Year's goal was to just be more intentional and present with my kids; I never want them to remember that Mommy was always glued to her phone {whether it was blogging or emailing or texting or talking or scrolling social media}; I want them to remember that I was present. Thank you again!

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  12. I think every mom goes through this at some point (I know that I have), thanks so much for sharing! Your blog is one of my favorites, particularly because you've not transitioned to a non-stop Like To Know It/R-Style sponsor-fest like so many others that I used to enjoy. Stay true to your voice and what works for your family, you're doing great!

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  13. Oh Natalie, I love this!! I think so many of us can relate in so many ways!! I agree that this is the hardest stage of parenting thus far (yet crazy me decided to add another!) but the good news is, we'll get through it! So glad you're feeling more in control. As for the blog, do what makes you happy! Your readers will see the happiness come through in your posts and likely come back for even more. Happy 2017!

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  14. This is great! You're a great mama and your boys are lucky to have you! With our first babe coming in just 9 (!!!) weeks, we had been praying and talking about what would be best for me/our family in terms of work. I'm going back part time which I think is the perfect balance for me personally. You just have to do what's best for you and everyone is different!

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  15. This is SO me too - the stepping away from blogging, living with "less," trying to be more present, trying to figure out who I am , etc. There are many days that I love being home with my kids but truthfully days that I don't as well! Two things that are really helping me right now: trying to fit in me time daily with some form of exercise and waking up about 45 min before everyone else. Truthfully though, I think it's also the ages/stages the boys have been in. I remember feeling totally fine having two babies but once they were a bit older it was suddenly far more stressful and overwhelming! I have no idea how you do it without Kyle around so much but hope his traveling will slow down in 2017! You're an awesome mom and friend :)

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  16. GREAT POST. I felt similar to this when I started up blogging again last year around this time. I wanted to come back to my space but not feel pressured to write all the time or about certain subjects. Every so often I do a sponsored post but only if it feels right for me. And yes, occasionally I get down on myself that I don't have a mass amount of followers or a ton of comments, but that's ok! It's MY space and what I write is for me, not for the masses. And if I don't post for two weeks - so be it! <3

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  17. A refreshingly honest post in a world of blogs that have become so glossy and commercial. Thanks for keepin' it real!

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  18. Love this! Thanks for keeping it real!
    I have a 4 and 2 year olds boys and man last year when they were 3 and 1 it was so hard!!! I *think* it's gotten better?? Haha. Thanks for the share!

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  19. That's so great you were able to figure it all out and it sounds like you're ready for 2017! Thanks so much for hosting and good luck with everything :)

    Sarah Bell
    Trendy & Tidy

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  20. Girl I can't tell you how much I love this post! I so prefer relatable and real posts to the overly staged everything coming from what seems like mass-produced bloggers! As a new mom, I totally understand these struggles and the need to take a step back from blogging and social media to hit refresh. So glad things started to get much better for you by the end of the year, and you found your groove! Sending lots of *hugs* for an even better 2017 <3
    Green Fashionista

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  21. Love this post, mama! I had to do the same thing... social media especially was just getting to me. I agree with other comments, so many of us have been in the same spot so don't you let it stress you at all! As moms we have good and bad days and that is totally ok because your boys were fed and loved no matter what!

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  22. Yes! I don't think blogging should ever be stressful! Especially when the blog is about your family, it should never take away from actually spending time with them! Enjoy a resolution free year just being. Maybe your word could be enjoy ;)

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  23. You know I've been a reader from the very beginning and have always loved your blog :) I can (creepily?? good memory??) remember reading when you were pregnant with the first baby and way before so it makes me feel like were friends. I can't relate with the mom situation, but my sister is in the same boat as you with a 9 month old and 3 year old and a husband thats gone 4 days a week and I truly don't know how you all do it. ASK FOR HELP. That's what I always want to say to her at least. Because you are seriously magicians and queens for making it all work. I can't imagine the stress and exhaustion - so pat yourself on the back for getting through each day because I'm sure you are an incredibly amazing mom!! And keep blogging because I can't lose one of my oldest and dearest blog friends! No matter how sporadic, I always love to read!
    Have a great weekend :)
    xx
    Taylor
    The Sarcastic Blonde

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  24. Love you Nat, I wish I could give you a hug! So glad I found you last year.. This post is everything! xoxo

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  25. I'm so sorry you had such a tough year, especially with temporarily relocating on your plate too! The husband being gone part is something I really relate to and it's really hard and stressful. I always try to tell myself everything is just a stage. Much easier to look back on then think of at the time for sure. I'm always around if you need to vent! Sending you lots of hugs (and wine!)

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  26. Thanks for your honesty - definitely so much about this post I can relate to. I think the fact you took a step back to realize what was going to really bring both you and your family the balance and joy you needed was a huge step. I'm looking forward to reading all you accomplish this year as a mom, wife and friend!

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