I tend to stay brief in the majority of my blog posts. Not that I don’t want to share things with you…because I do. And not because I’m not a talker…because I am. I guess I have never really been a master of time management and I’m always struggling to find the time and energy to do all of the things I want and need to do. Now, with life as a new mom, my priorities have clearly changed a bit. If I’m being honest, I very much value my independence, my work, my hobbies and my social life and it has been a challenge maintaining that while trying to be the best mom to Harley and the best wife to Casey.
I’ve been a mother now for a whole 9 months, so I’m certainly no expert, but I want to share my experience with you thus far. Hopefully this will help you understand me and my current situation a bit more and why I’ve been a little absent on Sunflowers and Stilettos. Perhaps there’s even a few of you who can relate to what I’m going through.
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love being a mom to Harley. As expressed in this post published shortly after announcing my pregnancy last year, I have always been very open and honest that becoming a mom was not a dream of mine. I was not someone who couldn’t wait to get married and have babies. I always saw children in my future and knew I would want to have a big family at some point in time, but I was focused on achieving other things as a young adult. Plus, babies weren’t really my thing. Yes, I found them to be adorable and sweet, and I’ve always been surrounded by infants and toddlers due to a large family, but I was perfectly content giving them back to their parents after a few minutes of holding them. Now, I couldn’t be more proud and privileged to be a mother [and if someone doesn’t ooh and ahh over Harley then I think there is something seriously wrong with them, and am convinced they’re a miserable human being – haha!!]. To say I’m obsessed with her would be a huge understatement. Casey and I joke around that we have become “those people” who show anyone and everyone pictures of our daughter when they clearly could care less. And half of the pictures look identical from one another and we’re still like, “oh, but ya gotta see this one!” Ha! Becoming a mother and father changes you so much it’s crazy! My heart is so full of love and I genuinely feel like my life is complete. I never knew I could love something or someone so much, and it has made me appreciate my parents even more than I had already. After having Harley, I remember saying to Casey, “WOW… our parents love us this much? That’s crazy!” My parents are amazing and have always done anything and everything for my brother, sister, and I, but I never understood how deep their love for us was until I became a parent.
Casey and I are beyond fortunate that Harley is healthy [as far as we know up to this point]. She is happy and sweet. With that being said, to say things have been easy and wonderful all the time would be a straight up lie. Like any other baby, she has her moments, but the most challenging thing for us is the lack of support we [well mostly I] have. Casey and I have no family around…like literally not one person who lives anywhere close to us. We are a plane ride away or an 11 hour drive to both of our families in New York and Florida. Casey travels a ton for work. As I write this, he has been in Texas for a week and comes home Sunday [just in time for his first Father’s Day]. Aside from blogging, I do have a full time job [which I talk a bit about in this post], so we have a Nanny who watches Harley during my office hours. Because I work from home, I am pretty much in the same environment 24/7. To give you a summary of a typical day: from 7am-9am I’m taking care of Harley. From 9am-5pm I’m glued to my phone and computer taking care of clients. If I’m lucky, I take a few minutes to eat lunch. Once in a while I’ll get crazy and actually leave my place to grab a bite, but that’s not the norm. At 5pm on the dot, I’m back with my little babe. We usually go for a walk to Fresh Market to pick up groceries for dinner. If I need to run an errand, I will go during this time [with her of course], fight the awful traffic and rush so I can be home for her bath time at 6:30pm. She’s usually down for the night around 7-7:30pm. At that time, I start making dinner for Casey and I [or just me], while finishing up some emails and work calls I may have not been able to get to during business hours. So, by the time dinner is finished, I have a constant battle on what I should do with the 2 hours or so I have left in the day for myself before I crash and fall sleep. Do I take a really long, hot shower? Do I take a quick shower so I can spend time blow-drying my hair? Should I actually do something about the overflowing laundry baskets and put up a few washes? Do I work out, or should I wake up early tomorrow morning to exercise instead? Should I sit back in front of my computer to write a blog post [which usually takes me forever despite the little context]? I think you get the point. So much to do and so little time! When Casey is home, my preference is to spend that time with him, whether we just talk about life, or just sit on the couch, relax and watch TV… but that doesn’t always happen. And I miss my friends like crazy and wish I could hear more about them and what is going on in their lives. These days, I feel like every thought and conversation revolves around Harley and her schedule – how long she napped for, how many times she pooped today, if she ate enough solids, if she had enough stimulation, if she is learning enough, etc. etc. … and it would just be nice to think and talk about other things every once in awhile.
Most mothers are put into one of two categories; a “working mom” or “stay at home mom,” and I’m both. On some days that’s a great thing and other days, not so much. I’ve got the best and worst of both worlds. I’ve had the opportunity to witness all of Harley’s milestones and not feel as though I’m missing out on anything which is something “working moms” may struggle with. But on the other hand, I don’t ever get a chance to have a break. Not even a 20 minute car ride to listen to my favorite music or catch up with a friend I haven’t spoken to in forever. But, at the end of the day, I have a healthy child and loving husband which again, I am so grateful for. Sometimes I feel guilty complaining that I haven’t been able to get a manicure or pedicure in the past 4 months, or be able to join the girls for dinner and drinks when I know there are millions of people in a lot worse scenarios than I’m in. It’s just frustrating to not be able to have time for myself and do the things I love that make me who I am. It would be a whole lot easier if we had family around to help out, but unfortunately that hasn’t been an available option, so I take things day by day and do the best I can. And again, I can’t stress enough that I truly do love being a mom and it is by far the most rewarding job there is.
Sorry for the long-winded, probably very scattered post. If you saw yesterday’s outfit, the shirt says it all! I know on Social Media, life can seem so picture perfect [not meaning me specifically…but in general], so I wanted to share some of the struggles I have and be real with you. For every pretty outfit I wear, there are just as many days I’m bummin’ in my pj’s because getting dressed and looking like a person just couldn’t fit in the agenda. For every beautiful home cooked meal displayed and recipe mastered, there are lunches and dinners when an apple and string cheese is as fancy as I get. Like I said, day by day. I will continue to highlight and focus on the good while appreciating all that I have. Now off to bed I go! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!
Photo By Andi Perullo de Ledesma
You are too cute! Thanks for sharing! While I cannot relate yet to these struggles, I do know that it is a constant battle of priorities when being a mom. You are doing a great job!! Based on Snapchat alone (haha!) I can tell Harley is a happy baby and so well cared for! Hope you have a great weekend!
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Aw, thank you Morgan!! I appreciate that! Have a great rest of the week to you as well!! XO-Jaime
Love this post Jaime! Both you and Casey are great parents & Harley is so lucky to have you two! XO
I love this post! This is not always sunshine and rainbows, and that’s okay. Everyone struggles with something. I can relate when it comes to managing time (or lack thereof), and I’ve taken on so much that if I don’t write something down… You can bet I wont remember it. Harley is beautiful, and she is so lucky to have you. When Casey is home we should try (keyword.. Try) and have a girls night! ☺️☺️☺️ Love ya.
I absolutely LOVED this post Jaime!! (And that precious photo of you and Harley matching in your kimonos- adorable!)
Even though I am not a mom yet (and as of now not sure if kids would be in my future- similarly to how you said you felt when you were younger!), I still felt like I could relate to many things in your post!! Charlotte is a WONDERFUL city to live in, but sometimes it can be hard to live here when family + childhood friends are about 1000 miles away. Not just because of homesickness, but because sometimes when more adult situations happen it can be hard to handle everything on your own! I have been learning that myself the past few years through college in Charlotte.
You and Casey have seemed to have done a great job with Harley though- I love watching your Snapchat updates about her- she is such a cute and lively baby!! 🙂 Keep being wonderful- and thank-you for your honesty with this blog post!!!
So proud of you for writing this sweetheart! You’ve inspired me to do the same soon.
Just wanted to say that I’m really glad you wrote this. I have been really struggling this year with being so far from family…and I haven’t always been that way. Something about this year made me feel so strongly how I need to have my own family, at home with me, just like the one you’re building. Realizing how Casey STILL can’t be home with you makes me remember that it’s never easy. I do get to go out with friends and when I have free time it does get to all be for me – but I hope to have a better balance one day soon. I hope the same for you!!! <3
I really appreciate you reading this and your feedback!! I’m sure a lot of people can relate in their own way and it’s nice to know we are not alone, regardless of the circumstances!! Hope you are doing well 🙂 XO-Jaime
love, love, loved your post! It’s so hard to have it all (be the best mom,wife,career,etc)! I’ve been stuggling with a lot of similar issues and it was nice to read someone who I can relate to! Sounds like you’re an amazing mom and also very stylish one! Thanks for posting!
Thank you so much Kim!! Means a lot! And congrats to you on such a beautiful family!!!