This Is Why.

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My beautiful baby sister got married last weekend. Her and her husband threw one heck of a celebration.

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My summer was filled with showers and parties celebrating the couple. And I loved attending them all. But looking at all of the photos and videos shared of the events, I selfishly thought to myself, “I swear I was there! How am I not in any photos?!”

Though the course of the summer, I had immense guilt for leaving showers early and patching together bachelorette party plans. Being at home and not staying at a hotel with my all of sisters for her final night as a single lady. Dipping in and out of the wedding reception. I wanted to be there for every. single. thing. And I just couldn’t. My expectations of myself were high and I didn’t want to let anyone down. Especially my own sister. But I did the best I could.

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A couple of days after the wedding, my mom sent me this photo she captured. Tears welled up in my eyes and I said to myself, “This. This is why.” I have three kids under five. My life revolves around them.

I look tired and stressed. I didn’t sleep the night before as I was trying to get my family organized for the big day + a baby who hates sleep + had to be to the salon at 7:30 am. I had been running around like a crazy person trying to get myself and my three girls fed and ready. Trying to keep them entertained and prevent any epic meltdowns. Ya know, standard parent stuff.

Not 10 minutes before this, my 3 year old threw a tantrum and was refusing to put her dress on. But someone handed her her own flower girl bouquet and she turn a 180. Thankfully, they all nailed it walking down the aisle 😊 [Hats off to my “village” - my sisters, step-sisters, parents, cousins, in-laws, husband - because they showed up big that day.]

My girls look so happy. The older two will have fond memories of staying up late and dancing their buns off. Of getting dressed up and hanging with all the “big girls”. Of getting their hair done, wearing “fancy” jewelry and staying in a hotel. At the end of the day, this is all that matters.

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You know going in that your life is going to change when you have kids. However, it’s not something you really understand until you go through it.

And I wouldn’t do a darn thing differently - my girls bring me more joy than I could ever imagine. But, it doesn’t mean that it’s not hard or that we don’t feel sad when we miss out. We embrace motherhood wholeheartedly, but it doesn’t mean we don’t [occasionally] grieve our freedom. We want to be there for “all the things” and sometimes, it’s just not possible.

Mamas, I see you. You’re doing your best to do it all. And you are enough.