Hello! My name is Chloé, before I get into the nitty gritty I want to say I am beyond honored to feel like my story is a one to tell! Thank you for reading about my journey in advance. I want to say, no matter where you are in motherhood EVERYONE’s story is different. We all have pieces that make our puzzle seem complete, which makes you AWESOME! We all are adequate enough in this world that constantly has us second guessing ourselves. Doubt, doubt is real and it doesn’t make you any less of a great mom, because that doubt only requires us to aquire the knowledge we want to continue to be great. My tools to stay sane and stay all of me may not be your’s, but imagine if you found power in your tools. How much could those tools allow us to be the whole person we deserve to be.
Stevie is a LONG time friend, not just a cool blogger I admire. She has seen my roller coaster of motherhood from the very first moment to the present moment. I share my story in hopes that it gives someone a light into their own motherhood tunnel.
When I think of my identity as a person I immediately go to being a mama. No, that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing I am, but it sure has shaped me into the person I am. I have four significant moments in motherhood that have changed me as a whole person with just seven years in. I can’t imagine how many more are to come. I will only speak of three because the fourth is still in discovery. I always think how maybe I never really found myself until this current moment. Now I am all the things I’ve dreamt of. So lets start this identity journey with a little understanding of how I am where I am NOW.
March 2011- I took a pregnancy test in a Wal-Mart bathroom. YUP you read that correctly, I NEEDED to find out that second, so I couldn’t wait. I looked down and there it was, the truth I didn’t want. The test was positive. I know that seems selfish, knowing now how much of a blessing my son is, but it’s the truth. I was going to be a single mom. I was only twenty-five, just starting my new job with high hopes and living the fun life one can dream of with all my girlfriends by my side. That day, the moment, the moment I saw the positive test forever changed me and the person I was. I wasn’t just Chloe, the Preschool teacher/volleyball coach, I was going to be a mom. Those nine months seemed to be the longest I have ever endured. I received lots of judgemental eyes, I lost my job (I worked at a Catholic school), I even lost some friends, but I gained insight into the beautiful life that I was going to give my child. I also realized what an amazing community of people I did have supporting me. I knew I was going to be a great mom, because truth be told, that’s all I ever wanted to be.
Hudson was born November 10, 2011. My mom and sisters were by my side. I had an all natural birth because by God I wanted to prove to my self I was a bad ass! No, really I was insecure and I had to prove to myself that this gift being given to me meant my body was capable to endure the pain. Guilt was real and I felt it the second his Dad held him the first time. I didn’t love this man and knew I would never would end up with him. In my heart I knew our child was going to be raised in a broken home. It was difficult thing to face.
Those first few years of motherhood were challenging, but boy were they magical. I took Hudson everywhere I went; we vacationed, we hiked (the outdoors always gave me a sense of peace), I became a runner (it was my escape without having to escape him), and I fed him all the delicious things I could. He was happy most of the time. The moments I had to say goodbye though, were the moments I grew the most as a person, not just as a mama. I realized my whole life COULD NOT revolve around him. I couldn’t be the mama that always made sure he ate organic fruits, or not watch TV for hours on end, or be read to before bed. I had to let go. I had to release my reins to God. Through this I learned that we are only given the opportunity to parent to make them into the person they were intended to be. I am forever grateful for the lessons I’ve been taught while being Hudson’s mommy because it shaped me into an adventure loving, fearless teacher for my children.
The second pivotal moment for me as a mama was being in court, in and out for over a year. Let me tell you- it is not pleasant, my anxiety turned into something I couldn’t have ever imagined. I lost weight, lots of it. I didn’t sleep and that guilt just continued to grow. Things were ugly. I would cry as I put my son to bed, thinking what did I do to deserve such a pain. There were moments I can still see where I was on bended knees when he was away for the night just sobbing, questioning, and praying. There was light to come, I just couldn’t see it. After all of it, (though I know it’s never really over) I have become a stronger person. I became something I never was. I was able to say, NO. I was able to let go of what I had no control over. Am I perfect in these things? No, but I always remind myself my son came into this world loving two people, and everyone else is just a helpful tour guide that he may or may not be choose to follow. Life was starting to paint a clearer picture. My New Years resolution in 2014 was to become a peaceful person. I knew I was the ONLY person that could allow myself to be truly be happy. I was the only person that was capable of seeing life in a different light. I bought A LOT of books. I practiced lots of prayer and meditation. I found the love of music and I found the love of my life. I was finding myself as a whole person, not just as a single mother.
2015- I married my love and we were now a family of three. We were so happy! He loves Hudson on levels I didn’t realize a man could love. He took him in as his own and that spoke volumes of this mans character and the love he really had for us. They became the best of buddies. I came to realize what I had always envisioned was happening right in front of me. This was the plan all along. God knew. John helped me become a lovable person. I had doubted myself for four years and allowed myself to be in relationships that were unhealthy. But John, he was my real life prince charming. He was my Joseph to my family of two. He and I always joke that we are both a little broken, but we we’re meant to be together, because of it. I always tease him because I’m pretty sure he said, “I love you” to Hudson first. Hudson was our glue when John and I were lacking in trust, because we had previously been broken. As a family we continued to grow and as we grew stronger we knew we wanted to add more to the love fest. I decided to quit my job because the stress of having Hudson juggled around was making me feel so frustrated. I wasn’t able to be the teacher I wanted to be. I knew I wanted my next situation as a mother to be everything I had ever imagined, with a husband and true partner by my side. I was a stay home mom with only Hudson for a few months and then…
Third mama-hood moment, Catalina Rose was born on November 15, 2016. She was perfect. I was so excited to become a girl mom. Hudson was a proud big brother. It was wonderful- challenging, but wonderful. It was different being a mommy with a husband and child. I wouldn’t say my love is less or more for her ever, but it’s different. She was prayed for and hoped for. Yet, I found I had guilt again! For feeling different towards her. I also thought things would be so different now, because I was married and had a partner in this. But, men can only do so much; they can’t heal your body quicker, or make you feel like you aren’t needed 24/7. You have to figure those things out while your baby grows. I was slowly becoming a hermit and an unhappy wife/mom/person. I couldn’t go as easily with two now, and it was much easier to just be home. So, that’s where we stayed. I was so confused because I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but yet all I wanted was free time. I missed vacationing, running, and all the things I loved while Hudson was a baby.
When Catalina was eight months old I realized that I needed ME back, because my anxiety, lack of patience, and anger was returning. I didn’t long for the old me- I didn’t really love that person before. But, in the inner deepest part of myself I wanted to find her. I questioned what did I love besides my kids? What is my purpose? Surely it’s more than being a Mother. I was struggling. I found new passions. I was starting to realize Chloé could be a Mother and a Woman. I’ve always wanted my children to see their mama as a strong independent loving person, and I believe they do. As a person, I find joy in activities that allow my mind to wander. I love getting a good sweat in because I can become stronger emotionally and physically during the process. My body is a tool and when used to it’s maximum I felt more powerful. I struggled finding time to workout with two babes. I was a disbeliever in at home workouts and I was also a disbeliever in leaving my kids to go to the gym. I was in a rut searching and it just so happened my sister started “coaching.” She asked me to join and I knew it was a sign I needed. I am able to get out of my comfort zone, meet knew people, and WORKOUT- All things I was yearning for!
I never would have found something I have become so passionate about without being a mama first, because I could always get up and go before. I’ve also found a huge love for music, no not playing, I’m not that talented, but I love to listen and zone out. We play records and have dance parties frequently. It’s a breath of fresh air. I’ve found my peace in concerts, which have also brought a huge community of people that I enjoy, accept me, and allow me to be free. Friendships as you age become different. I try to connect with women that have like minded thoughts and feelings towards life. I have some of the best friends in the world and every conversation, glass of wine, even every small message is cherished. Friendships take work but they are worth the effort. I’m not good with LOTS AND LOTS of friends. I need real connection, not gossip or rambling, but heartfelt conversations. I had always searched for true friendships where you didn’t have to be someone else, but instead it was easier to just succumb to the norm around me. After being judged and ridiculed I found that being you is the only way to go. Its peaceful. I have now found friendships where I can be me and no judgement is present. Just being able to be raw with a women is wonderful, especially when you feel inadequate majority of the time.
Guilt, anxiety, and doubt are all real in motherhood and whether you want to believe it or not it can make you into someone you weren’t meant to be. As a mama of two, in two very different situations, I have learned that growing is part of motherhood. The negative will only overcome or overwhelm ones self if allowed. Our identity as a person shouldn’t be sacrificed- it should be strengthened as a Mama.
As Chloé mentioned earlier, her and I have been friends for a LONG time. We were in the same kindergarten class to help give you an idea on how long it has really been. I knew Chloe’s story, at least I thought I did. I remember the moment she told me she was pregnant with Hudson like it was yesterday. Again, while I thought I knew her story, seeing her put it in into words taught me even more about her journey. I knew it would be a hard post for her to write and I am so happy that she agreed to do this. Thank you Chloé for being brave enough to tell your story and for sharing your heart!
To follow along with this series in Keeping your Identity through Motherhood you can find
My story here
Stephanie’s story here
Katie’s story here
and Jenny’s story here