In life. we go through different seasons of motherhood. Each season requires different amounts of selflessness and attention to our kid(s). As they get older, they need us a little less and we’re able to take a little more time to take care of ourselves. But sometimes, you have to pour from an empty cup.

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I quickly realized once I had a 3 year old and a 1 day old. I had to give way more attention to one than the other. I was breastfeeding successfully for the first time and had my baby attached to my breast non-stop while my 3 year old got a snack out of the fridge by herself. I was suffering from sleep deprivation due to my newborn while I was able to tuck in my older daughter and she slept through the night every night. By those examples you probably get when I mean. 

While I was trying to adjust to two kids, I was now officially a stay-at-home-mom for the first time (something I had always wanted), my severe postpartum depression was knocking at the door, sleep was minimal, I had zero extra help besides my husband, we were trying to recover financially from having our second baby, and then my husband suffered from a major injury at work (that we would later find out required surgery & he would be out of work a total of 8 months). I gained 20 pounds from stress (before I could even lose the baby weight), experienced most of my days with stress levels at a ten, feeling full of rage, irritable, and just plain exhausted. 

I spent most of the year not knowing who I was anymore. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. I watched my toddler become so dysregulated and emotional because I was dysregulated and emotional. My whole family was. We were experiencing the hardest financial crises we’d ever experienced, trying to figure out how to be a family of four, worrying about rent, groceries, trying to keep my newborn alive and the early woes of breastfeeding. My marriage was tested in ways it never had been (and I’m happy to report we came out of this more in love and stronger than we were before).

I spent most of 2022 pouring from an empty cup. I put myself last everyday. In some ways, I choose to put myself last & in other ways I had no choice. Currently, we live in a mom culture that is all about “take care of yourself first, self-care for mom all the time, ect.”. I will say it’s good in theory and taking care of yourself as a mother IS very important. But what do you do when you don’t have the resources to do that? What happens when your bank account is empty, you don’t live near family, your health insurance is not helpful, childcare in Austin is expensive, and you refuse to quit breastfeeding (for MANY reasons but also you can’t afford formula anyway) even if it’s currently tanking your mental health? 

I wish I could say that I had an answer or a practical guide for you to follow when you’re forced to pour from an empty cup. The truth is- I don’t. Sometimes in Motherhood we come into really tough seasons of giving and never getting anything in return. You just have to keep going, Mama. You can wake up every morning and try to choose joy. Some days that worked for me and others I was a complete depressed mess. The truth is- sometimes you just have to pour from an empty cup. Life is tough! But so are you! Remember that it’s just a season of life. It will get better. Then you’ll blink, they won’t even live in your house anymore and you’ll have all the time you never had when they were little. Remember that you are so strong. You are so capable of going through the tough side of motherhood. Remember that your kids love you even on your hardest days. Don’t underestimate yourself and your ability to do hard things. 

I’m happy to say that my family and I entered 2023 in a better place. My husband healed and went back to work, I’m still breastfeeding my now 15 month old, I finally figured out how to balance two, get my health back, our finances improved, and we could start getting the care and support we needed. 

Last year was the hardest year of my life so far. I will not miss it. But it did help me to realize that if I can get through that year, then I can get through anything. If you’re currently a mother going through a time of selflessness and not time to self- whether it be because of finances, single parenthood, lack of support, or parenting choices that require more of you physically & mentally, know that you’re not alone. One day you’ll look back at this season and wonder how it went by so fast. 

Tori is a wife, mother of 2 girls, a Birthfit coach, & personal trainer. Tori works in the home to raise her babies while also running her online personal training business helping moms during pregnancy & postpartum. When she's not "momming" or working to grow her business you can find her checking out a new coffee shop, beer garden, or working out. Her favorite foods include coffee, donuts, beer, & beef. She loves a good podcast or book she can learn from and believes that finding the simple joys in life are what make it so special. Catch Tori on Instagram @coach_tori_ or attend the pregnancy & postpartum support group she hosts the last Friday of every month at Truly Chiropractic.


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