New City, New Baby. Navigating multiple life changes at once.
Newly married, a new city, new jobs and a baby on the way. My husband, Austin and I had a lot to navigate our first year of marriage. After welcoming our daughter Sydney, as a first time mom, I felt myself changing and I wasn’t sure the person I was or becoming. I recently read a quote that said “Science confirms you are a different person after giving birth. The person you once were is not the person you are now.” I can’t tell you how true this is! I’ve learned it’s up to us to discover this person, feel comfortable with them, and love them, but it takes time. I am a lot further in this journey than I was almost four years ago after welcoming our first daughter into our family.
As a first time mom, I felt myself feeling so many opposing emotions. I was overwhelmed with joy, gratitude and love when holding my baby girl. But at the same time, I felt sad to lose my freedom, to be away from family and to be in a new city with so much unfirmilariarity. My husband saw my struggle and wanted nothing but to help me, so he bought me the book “After the Boxes Are Unpacked: Moving On After Moving In” by Susan Miller. This book completely changed my perspective on our move across the country and gave me tools on how to positively look at this new chapter of our lives as a new mom. If you are struggling with a recent move I highly recommend this read!! Miller talks about finding your purpose in your new city and ways you can make it home. She talks a lot about finding your own community and focusing on what impact you were meant to make in your new city! I realized in order to be the best mother and wife I had to discover what my new purpose was as a young mom in our new home!
I started with focusing on perspective. I learned through Miller’s book that I had the power to change my perspective and the way I look at any situation I was in. Instead of resenting living miles away from my family I began to appreciate the life I had in Colorado with a wonderful husband and new baby!. I began to do the things I loved with Sydney such as long walks, hikes and camping. I changed my perspective on my husband working long hours and being alone with Sydney all day. Instead of resenting him, I decided to feel gratitude that I was able to be a stay-at-home mom, something I’ve wanted my whole life, because of my husband’s work ethic. I did this on so many things in my life that I was feeling negative about, and let me tell you it made ALL the difference!
Next, I knew I needed to find a community of other moms who I could relate to. As the first of my friends and siblings to have a baby I didn’t have many people who understood the joys and hardships of motherhood and I was longing for that connection. A few months after Sydney was born I found a great friend who could relate to me in so many ways! Our daughters were only six days apart, both from Ohio! Wow! Together we joined FIT4MOM Denver. An exercise program where you can workout with your littles in tow. This community became so important to me! It gave me an opportunity to exercise without leaving my daughter in child care, meet new friends and get out of the house daily!
After getting the hang of life in CO, we got pregnant with our second daughter Payton. Shortly after that the pandemic hit, and shortly after that my husband got a job offer in North Carolina. And so the adventure continues..
I found myself again in a new city with a new baby and a toddler. All of the emotions I felt two and a half years prior started rushing back. But this time we were in a global pandemic!! How was I going to make friends this time? How was I supposed to find things I love about this new city with TWO kids?! After months of being isolated I decided to take control of my life again. Getting out of the house was a must and I was finally cleared to workout again. I did a quick search and found the local FIT4MOM! FIT4MOM Lake Norman. Again, I found my community. Other moms who were experiencing the effects of the pandemic as I was, other moms new to the area, other moms struggling to adjust to life with two!
After finding my community I was able to change my perspective on other aspects of my life I was frustrated with, however I still felt I was missing something. As a young mom, I felt I missed the years of my life to just work and find who I was professionally. I was longing to have something for me, aside from my children and husband. I was longing to find my purpose here in North Carolina. After many therapy sessions about this dilemma, I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave my kids for a 20-40 hour work week. (Staying at home with my kids had always been a dream of mine and something I LOVED!) My prayers were answered when FIT4MOM Lake Norman went up for sale! I found my dream job where I get to bring my kids to work with me, work in the evenings while they’re sleeping, and give other women the community that FIT4MOM had/has given me.
Through all of the ups and downs of the past year I have learned to always choose gratitude, and take a step back to look at my perspective on life. Big life changes such as becoming a mom, adding another child to your family or moving to a new city are going to challenge you and you WILL change. The thing to remember is you have control on how you are going to overcome these changes. I challenge you to keep doing the things you love, find a community of people that are going through the same life changes you are, and evaluate your perspective on these changes!
It took me a while, but with time, I learned I was not alone in all the struggles of motherhood, I was not alone in trying to find myself again after welcoming my first and second child. I learned all of us Moms are in this together. We are all changing. We are changing for the better. We are more resilient, more understanding, stronger, less-selfish and so much more!!