Welcome back to the blog! My name is Sydney and I am one of the co-founders of Sunny Babe! If you are new here make sure to check out the very first blog to get the full story on how Sunny Babe Boutique came about! Shelby, Haley, and I truly want to provide a space for mom’s to tell their stories, and for you to know you are not alone in the hardships of motherhood. We got you sis!
So let’s get into my journey as a mom! I like to call it my “I don’t know how you do it” era. The thing that everyone always says to me. It makes me feel better for like a split second….like a small trophy of recognition for all the hard work. And then I feel like an imposter, only because most people don’t see the struggle that I feel every day. The struggle to be present. Present in all aspects of my life. You know the “mom guilt” or the “work guilt” or the “friend guilt”. And don’t even get me started on the “husband guilt”. Being everything to everyone. EVERY single day. I’m tired just thinking about it. And from the outside looking in it looks flawless right? Like people can’t figure out how I am doing it, but some days I don’t feel like I am doing anything right.
So let me give you a little background of me. I am a wife, and a mom of two beautiful little kids. I have a 5 year old son, with the cutest red hair, named Emmett. I also have a sassy 2 year old daughter, with the prettiest blonde curls you have ever seen, named Ruthie! If you can’t tell already they are literally the light of my life. Along with being a wife and a mom I am also the owner of 3 pet resorts, co-owner of Sunny Babe Boutique, and most recently an author of a children’s book. But before you start to wonder “I don’t know how you do it” let me explain. I did not do any of this alone. I had so many amazing people on my side. I had an amazing mom, a sidekick of a sister, and an absolutely amazing nanny (Shelby) that I would not have survived without (along with so many others).
Motherhood is beautiful, and scary at the same time. I think we all have this picture perfect image of what we think it is going to be like, and it almost always turns out different than what we imagined. Not any less beautiful in its own way, but different.
My first pregnancy was awesome. I felt so good! I was huge, but I loved being pregnant. I was so excited for everyone to meet him and spoil him. But once he arrived in this world, my feelings changed. I would describe my first post pregnancy experience as “baby blues” but with a twist. We ended up back in the NICU a week after coming home due to his temperature dropping. Long story short he was fine, but they had to rule everything out because his temp dropped so low. I did not want anyone near my baby. I loved him so much, and I wanted to be the only one to take care of him. The anxiety of keeping him safe and healthy literally consumed me. I felt so angry and upset with anyone wanting to hold him or take him from me. We had such an outpouring of love from our friends and family coming to the hospital and our house. I knew I should be so grateful for their love, but my hormones and emotions said the opposite. I was one giant ball of stress. As time went on my sadness and “baby blues” faded, but my anxiety stayed. It was effecting my ability to enjoy being a mom, a friend, and a wife. I knew I needed to find some professional help so I could be the best version of myself, specifically for Emmett. I found a therapist that really helped me through the “mom guilt”. All the things that I thought I should be doing or trying to be. She helped me realize that if your kiddo’s needs are being met, meaning they are fed and loved, then you are doing a great job! I have since found an amazing therapist that has helped me with my anxiousness, my people pleasing, and the list goes on and on. I would not be the person I am today without his help. My first baby taught me to turn for help when I needed it. You can’t always do it on your own, even if you feel like you “should” be able to handle it all.
Now the second pregnancy was what nightmares are made of. Just a few weeks after finding out I was pregnant I was so sick. Not morning sickness, but all day sickness. Just think the worst hangover you have ever had for 9 months, but don’t worry it gets better. I also was covered in hives head to toe for most of those 9 months as well. I was itching from the hives, coughing from acid reflux, and vomiting for 9 months. I am not sure how I survived this. My OBGYN told me after I had Ruthie that she had PTSD from not knowing how to help me because I was so miserable. We laugh about it now, but while I was going through it I was mentally one of the hardest things I have endured. I was also pregnant right in the middle of covid. All the covid mamas out there know how difficult this was to know what the right decisions were for you and your baby. Talk about stressful. Not to mention running a business during covid. Navigating that was a feat in itself. We were doing car side pick up and drop offs for all the pups at the pet resort during most of my pregnancy, with not enough help. So naturally I was there doing it and I sent myself into pre-term labor at 34 weeks. They luckily were able to get it stopped and sweet Ruthie decided to stay in all the way until 41 weeks. If this wasn’t an indication of the attitude of this girl I don’t know what was! Once she arrived I was so happy to be done with the pregnancy, and I thankfully didn’t experience the baby blues this time around. But just a few short 6 weeks later I had a gall bladder attack and had to have emergency surgery to have it removed. My body was so tired. My second baby taught me mental toughness can be your super power, but so can prioritizing your own needs. Moms need care too, and we seem to always put ourselves last on the list. It almost feels uncomfortable for us to make ourselves a priority. Right? I felt almost gross taking care of myself before everything else was done.
The last 2 years I have spent being extremely intentional about filling up my own cup. Doing things that bring me joy, and facing things that were not serving me. A lot of times it felt uncomfortable. A lot of people had their own opinions about where I should be, or what I should be spending my time on. I had to ask myself whose opinion was the most important. It was my kids, and how they remembered how I showed up for them. It’s getting easier, but I still struggle with “work guilt” when I feel like I should be at work, and then “mom guilt” when I feel I should be at home with my littles. Or when I really want to make time for my friends or husband, but also that feeling of shame if I go have fun without them. Moms are spread so thin. Every type of mom. The list of things we have to do and take care of never ends. The mental capacity of what moms do is incredible, and I am here to tell you that you are doing an amazing job! If you are worried about being a good mom, chances are that you already are one. Keep your head up mama, this is a season and each season will hopefully teach you something. I know you will persevere. We always do. Those babies of yours will forever be grateful for you.