AND BABY MAKES SIX!

June 10, 2012

Me

Last week I ran into one of my favorite clients (all of you are my favs, really) and she was shocked to see my growing baby bump. I remember posting the news on the BluLabel Bungalow Facebook Page, but completely forgot to blog about it.

Like most people when they learn of our news she asked, “How many kids do you have already?” We have three children under the age of 6. I won’t pretend for a moment that it is easy.

During our engagement, my husband and I agreed that we wanted to have six children. We came to this conclusion before we even had the first kid which turned out to be twins. When the third child came along we decided to call it quits, or so I thought.

It was earlier this year while having breakfast that my husband requested a fourth child. I nearly choked in mid-chew.

We just got into a groove of having three, so how would we incorporate a fourth?

Truthfully, adjusting to motherhood was a challenge for me. I often envied the other mothers I saw at playgroups who appeared to be in parenting bliss while I kicked wood chips in boredom while stealing peeks at my watch every 10 minutes waiting for our ‘meeting’ to end. It wasn’t until I incorporated some ‘me’ time into my schedule that I began to enjoy myself at the playground, birthday parties, or anywhere there were a slew of kids.

Don’t get me wrong, I love children and the joy they bring to one’s life. As a new mom I quickly learned that they require more care than you could ever imagine.

Hats off to the single mothers out there! You ladies are tougher than nails!!

As mothers we tend to get reprimanded or labeled as a bad mom if we have ‘negative’ feelings associated with motherhood. I tend to be very honest about my feelings and probably a little more than my husband cares to know. I came to realize that the negative feelings derived from not taking time to nurture myself and my personal interests. I can’t stress enough the importance of not losing yourself in the midst of it all.

From time to time, I will share with you some of my simple pleasures here on the blog along with my usual posts about design. There’s so much more to my life than just design and I could use another outlet to write about it without starting another blog.

As I take time to live life to the fullest and without regrets, I hope you will also share with me ways you take time for yourself. Let’s start now…

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35 Responses to “AND BABY MAKES SIX!”

  1. bessieakuba Says:

    beautiful post Erika! I look forwad to reading more and sharing.

    Reply

  2. grace garland Says:

    I’m so glad you shared your honesty about motherhood. I share your thoughts. I have stopped at two. I feel with every kid some part of me has disappeared. Now that I know I’m not having anymore (unless the Lord works a miracle), I’m on the road to finding myself and doing things for me. It’s hard because there’s so much guilt associated with it. Before kids I was a commercial interior designer and I long so much to get back into it at the right time. Waiting on that call from God. Cheers to motherhood and design! Keep up the good work!

    Reply

    • Erika Ward Says:

      I’m sure when you press through the guilty feelings, you find that the ‘me’ time makes you a better Mom! I’m glad to hear that you are trusting in His divine guidance. He ALWAYS knows what’s best even when we aren’t so sure…Thanks so much for sharing. xo

      Reply

  3. Laila @OnlyLaila Says:

    Thanks for the shout out to single moms. It’s not easy, but I am doing what I can to raise an amazing little boy. I hope to marry and have additional children but I can imagine how exciting/tiresome more children can be. Thanks for sharing your journey as a wife and mother.

    Reply

    • Erika Ward Says:

      Thank you Laila for your tireless work as you raise a bright, young boy. As the proverb goes, it takes a village… so I hope you are allowing others to assist you in your journey. Thanks for your comment and for the encouragement to a fellow mommy. ;)

      Reply

  4. Darcie Says:

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! I’m sure having a 4th child will be challenging because it’s usually a little difficult for most of us to get used to a “new normal.” But you will, just like you’ve done twice before. I used to wonder why I wasn’t blissed out about having a newborn baby, but someone told me that most moms aren’t blissed out–they’re coping. Truly, I believe one of the most beneficial things I ever did when I became a mother was get a therapist who is married and a mother. I needed help coping with post-partum depression but I have continued getting therapy for 8 years because I just think it’s so valuable to be able to talk/vent/cry to someone who isn’t my husband, mother, sister, etc., and who can offer me a different/healthier perspective on things. Best of everything to you!

    Reply

    • Erika Ward Says:

      Thanks Darcie for mentioning PPD and how you survived. Many of us suffer in silence and without help. I couldn’t agree with you more!! I sought the help of a therapist last year for what I thought was a delayed version of PPD, but I actually needed help in finding my “new normal” just as you mentioned. It was the best money I ever spent and benefited EVERYONE! I may return to see her before the baby is born to discuss changes in our growing family. Our mental health cannot afford to be neglected!

      Reply

  5. Tamara Says:

    It is so rare to see someone publicly acknowledge that they don’t feel 100% giddy all the time about being a mother. It’s SO politically incorrect to admit any fear, doubt, and heaven forbid, regret about being a mother. I’m a single mother and when people find out they immediately tell me how blessed I am and/or begin to load on the praises (superwoman, miracle worker, hero, etc.) I don’t feel like I’m ANY of those things. I’ve met people and not told them about my kids for months because I don’t want to be DEFINED by motherhood. There are so many other aspects to my being. Then suddenly I’ll mention something offhandedly and they’ll say “Oh! I didn’t know you had kids!” As if that’s supposed to be the first thing I mention after I state my name. Most of the time I don’t want to talk about kids when I’m out. I’m out to get a break from them! LOL. At any rate, great post!

    Reply

    • Erika Ward Says:

      Tamara, sounds like you found the balance you need to be the best you. We all can learn from each others experiences and customize them to suit our lifestyle. I also view you as a hero. There are many mothers, single and married, that refuse to accept the charge of motherhood when the going gets tough. Learning how to find the balance between selfless while nurturing yourself can be like walking a tight rope. Kudos to you!

      Reply

  6. BossyGirl Says:

    Great article! IT takes a lot to get used to..but those quiet times are NEEDED!!!

    Reply

  7. Darcie Says:

    Erika, seeing the therapist before you have the baby is a fantastic idea because it can help reduce some of your anxiety and make you feel like you have a better support system in place. My depression lasted a long while before I finally had hormone testing (via saliva) and found out that my progesterone level was very low. It’s amazing what havoc hormones can wreak after pregnancy.

    Reply

  8. Mary McCurdy Says:

    As a mother of three whose youngest child will be 20 this year (how did that happen?!!), I have found that excercise has been my best friend. Don’t get me wrong. I am not in love with excercise. But it really does a great job of releasing stress and making me more energetic. And the best part is that the results definitely give you a better body. How can you not feel better about you? Over the years, the people at my little gym that I go to three times a week have become my friends. I have a dinner group with a trainer and a workout partner. I have gone to birthday celebrations and they have partied in my home. It is a sweet benefit. And the kids get a healthier, happier Mom.

    Reply

  9. ALEXANDRA Says:

    I just love when the comments become a part of the post itself, enhancing and building on the author’s ideas and perspective…OH my PPD, I’ve got an 11 year-old and a 6 year-old and always thought I could get over PPD in time…I think it just morphs into something else or like an avalanche- starts picking up new sutff on it’s way to full strength depression, I’ve never gotten help from a therapist even though my children’s pediatrician has very much recommended it…I’m going back to work soon and I think I will find the time (hoping I now have the $) to get help. It will make me a woman that’s happy to be a mother and a wife and not just survive motherhood and wife-dom. For now I just put myself in God’s hands and live on FAITH! big hug to you!!

    Reply

  10. Phyllis B Says:

    Erika,

    I love how you are able to do what you love, while fulfilling your dreams of homelife and personal joy. You inspire me lady! Oh yes, for the single mothers, it is hard, and oh my I do feel bad when I want to spend a moment alone, but it is so necessary!!!

    Congratualations to you and your family. You all are beautiful and such a inspiration.

    With love,
    Phyllis

    Reply

  11. Micki Says:

    Congrats! When is the baby due?

    I don’t have children. I ALWAYS think, “Well, what is going to happen to ME? What about MY needs and time?” I enjoy reading the adventures in motherhood and am in awe with the mothers that wear multiple hats. You all do it so well.

    Reply

  12. Karen Says:

    By honestly writing on this topic, you affirm mothers everywhere who have experienced the pangs of motherhood. As Oprah has often said, it’s the hardest job on the planet. Be gentle on yourself and know that there are no perfect parents. It’s okay for the self-doubt to creep in and for you to take time for yourself. As a mother of three adult children, I look back and wish I could have done more, but there are no regrets. Do your best as a parent, not what others think you should be doing. One day you’ll look back and wonder how you did it all, and that’s when you’ll again realize that God was there for all of you. Miss you!

    Reply

  13. Kiran Says:

    I know exactly how you feel!! I am happy for you…you have a beautiful family.

    Warm Regards,
    Kiran

    Reply

  14. Sondra Says:

    Hi Erika!
    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you and your family! Much success and many blessings!
    Sondra :-)

    Reply

  15. Kindle Says:

    Congratulations to you and your family, sweet lady!! My youngest is fifteen, I am a single mom, but with the right helpmate I would do it all over again ~_^. GO FOOTBALL!!!

    Reply

  16. nicole Says:

    Hey Lady,
    Congrats on the latest addition to the family. Thanks soooooo much for the honest post. There’s some bizarre notion out in the universe that every mom is cheerful and perky every day of the week and it’s so not the case. I remember freaking out when I took my nephew to Chuckie Cheese a few years ago. Thought to myself, no way would I eevr have kids and ever have to come back to this crazy place with so many screaming kids! As a new mom of a near 8-month-old, I’m gonna have to suck it up and return to that place one day. The ironies. Looking forward to the occassional mommy posts mixed in with your design savvy dispatches. Cheers to a great pregnancy.

    Reply

  17. Cam - Bibs & Baubles Says:

    Congrats on the new baby! Motherhood is certainly a tough job I’ll ever be blessed to have. You’re so right, it’s very important not to lose yourself in the midst of it all. Otherwise, when your kids grow up and move out, you’ll feel that emptiness even harder because your world revolved totally around them.

    Reply

  18. Ivy Says:

    I’m a new mom (8 months in) and newly divorced. I love being a mommy and never knew I would love it this much. I just want to know will I ever be able to fit my old clothes again? Lol but seriously, I am trying to get some me time, because i.feel tired, frumpy, etc. I want to feel like me again. I have about 5 certificates to the spa, but haven’t.gone because I always feel like I should be cleaning, getting ready.for the next week, pumping breastmilk, cooking, washing, running errands etc. while my daughter is with.her grandparents or father. Hats off to u Ericka!!! And I can relate. I’m not looking.forward to listening to children music or.watching cartoons. Now I know that someone feels me.

    Reply

  19. sherry hart Says:

    I know you are a great Mom……so excited for that new little boy to join your family :)

    Reply

  20. Alicia Says:

    New to your blog…found it from the Haven Conference…I’m a longtime “YoungHouseLove” blog reader…they were speakers at the conference. Congrats on baby#4…my bubby and I have 2 boys and that’s it for us…I appreciate your honesty about motherhood…”me” time is so important. My cousin just wrote a book on the very subject that you might find interesting on your motherhood journey “365 Daily Strategies for A Mother’s Self-Care” by Mia Redrick.

    http://www.themomsacademy.com/sp/10287-365-strategies-the-book

    Congrats again and I look forward to reading your blog.

    Alicia

    Reply

  21. Brandi Says:

    Hi Erika! Congratulations on your new baby! Your children are adorable. I bet they are really excited about their baby brother. Take care.

    Reply

  22. Joselyn @The DIY Spot Says:

    Congrats! So sorry I missed you at Haven! I applaud your honesty and agree with you about “me time”. That is one of the reasons I decided to attend Haven. These days,at the direction of a life coach, I spend “me time” journaling before my family wakes up and taking 15 minutes each day to do something that makes me happy. If you like, you can read more here: http://www.thediyspot.com/2012/06/candle-magic/. Thanks again for keeping it real. Following you on FB.

    Reply

  23. Upscale Downhome Says:

    I just found your blog after following on Twitter. I had to let you know that I have 3 boys but I’ve always wished that I would have had 4 children. It’s easier to do things as a family in even numbers plus then everybody has a buddy and no one is left out. So, congratulations on this beautiful addition to your family!

    Reply

  24. Michelle Says:

    I know I’m late to the party but Congratulations!!!! I grew up with 3 siblings and I loved it. Of course there were the fights and bickering but I LOOOVE my siblings, they are definitely my best friends. I wish you and the baby a healthy and safe pregnancy and delivery.

    Reply

  25. Shineva Says:

    Hey Erika…this is Shineva (You came out and did a consult for me in Powder Springs) just checking out your site and wanted to say congrats on the great news!!! Be Blesse :)

    Reply

  26. Candace (NYStateofMom) Says:

    I’m getting there now. Getting into the hang of the single mom life balancing work and med school dreams I find myself shuttin down easier and letting things slip just because I’m too worn out from everything to think about the next detail. Finding time to just get away and breathe even if not to do anything exciting is needed to just have time with me then I find Chunks and I have a better time an thing like daycare homework doesn’t get missed lol

    Reply

  27. Terry Says:

    “There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.” — Winston Churchill

    Reply

  28. Kwana Says:

    Congrats on the newest addition to your family! What a wonderful post. As a mother of twins I can relate to every word. Wishing you all the best in the the world.

    Reply

  29. IvetteS Says:

    Congrats, Erika! I’m the youngest of four – it was great growing up in a “big” family. :)

    Reply

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