Heyyy Friends! My name is Antoinette Faltz-McQueen. I’m a Wife, Mommi, and Social Media Strategist! I remember in January of 2017 I started feeling nauseous while my 1 year old was jumping off the couch dancing to the Sesame Street theme song. I rushed to the store, took a test, and I was PREGNANT! *Huge sigh of relief because I was secretly praying for this second child.* I hoped it would be a boy and my husband and I would be done with having children.
Before Arielle came, having one child was a breeze. I bounced back to my size 2 clothes in no time. I was able to work from home, date my husband, give our oldest daughter Audrey a decent amount of attention, and shower multiple times a day without interruptions. You’ll never take a shower for granted once you have your first child. When my second daughter came, the game was twisted, flipped, and reversed in my *Missy Elliot voice.* I was a parenting genius, or so I thought. Being on time? What’s that?
Although we live 2.5 hours away from our closest family members, when Audrey was first born, they went out of their way to be there for us. They made frequent visits and it really helped me make the transition as a first time mom. However, once Arielle arrived, it felt like my family thought I had it all under control! They couldn’t have been more WRONG. I experienced postpartum depression. My husband, my rock and only support was only off for two weeks before he was forced to go back to work. (Men need paternity leave too, but we’ll discuss that further in another blog) I was alone parenting two kids under two years old, and it was no walk in the park. With no family around, I considered it a good day if I felt water on my skin. Motivational quotes and funny memes on social media kept my days going.
In reality, I was struggling. No matter how many Pinterest posts, Youtube videos, or Google searches I did, I noticed that it made me question myself even more. If this Mommy could do it, why couldn’t I? Every single post had beautiful smiling children and their little hair brushed to perfection.
Why couldn’t I find my balance in motherhood with two?
The answer remained the same. It was the reason I’d struggled in other areas of my life for twenty something years. I was trying to make the situation something it’s not.
I tried to force perfection in my life when it didn’t exist. At least not in this lifetime. So, I went back to the drawing board. I erased the idea of forcing balance and accepted the fact that there is NO balance with young kids. Someone else’s routine, bedtime, and concoctions wouldn’t work for me.
There will always be dishes in the sink, clothes needing to be folded, and kids crying because their cup isn’t filled with their favorite juice. Over time I realized I wasn’t failing at this thing called motherhood. We’re not meant to do it ALL, instead we have to learn to prioritize starting with the things that will leave a lasting impact on our children.
Moms, understand you are perfect in your chaos. Don’t allow society or any app to define the meaning of a “Great Mom.” Motherhood isn’t a competition, every child is different. We are meant to find balance in our own values. If you’re the mom that home schools or lets your children watch TV for a few hours, understand that’s how YOU raise your children. Enjoy mommihood for what it is rather than what others tell you it SHOULD be.
Mommi Antoinette Faltz-McQueen