Julie Kimball-Bryant

I am thankful for Julie's words because it highlights some of the difficulties of motherhood: how it changes your life, how it changes the pace of your life, how it can be isolating and how birth can go differently then you hoped or plan. Along with touching on why it is a beautiful experience: learning to care for someone, how you change for the better and how a slower pace can show you who you truly are.

Please read her words below:

"Motherhood has been the greatest gift. I love my son, I love our time together and I love exploring the concept of "what motherhood means to me" every day, BUT motherhood has also highlighted some of my darker qualities. Things I know I must now confront if I’m going to be the best mom/ best Julie I can be for myself and my family.

First and foremost, motherhood has changed the pace of my life. Before Oliver was born I worked odd jobs that would support and allow me to pursue my creative endeavors. It was fun, but It created an environment not necessarily conducive to a family. When Oliver came my life slowed down. In speed, in relationships, in focus. I had a very long labor and ended up with an emergency c section. Ollie is a Thanksgiving baby by one minute. Fitting as he is a daily reminder that I am thankful for modern medicine and our chance at a life. Five days of recovery in the hospital and I remember peeping out into the hall being amazed that the nurses were putting up Christmas decorations. I thought, " How long have I been here?” Having a winter baby in Chicago allowed me to hibernate. By the time I was ready to really get out there, it was Spring.

We had a community before Oliver but many didn’t find tiny adorable loud needy babies to be as interesting as we did so we lost a lot of our previous support. We spent a lot of the first year of Oliver’s life’s learning to find comfort in each other, entertainment and satisfaction in one another's company. It was an isolating time, painfully so at times, but one that showed me that I am a little bit introverted and things are better when mama gets her time alone.

Oliver is two and a half and wonderful and perfect and incredibly frustrating. While I want him to be one thing and act a certain way he is fully and wholly his own self and already completely Oliver. I am just lucky to be his caretaker and remind him of things he's just a little too small to manage. Only sometimes he’s right, and I have to acknowledge that. Basically “Oliver do it” is my new parenting philosophy. Until next week when everything changes. Again."

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