The Naked Truth

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Is it weird to say I’ve written this a thousand times in my head? In fact, I actually have random drafts saved on the notes app on my phone from 3 years ago. But before I go any further I want to give this disclaimer; if you’re an English major buckle up because I write how I talk.

Blogging has always felt like something trendy I wouldn’t do because everyone else was doing it. You know like when everyone got their belly button pierced in high school or went and got a wrist tattoo in college. In all honesty, looking back I can be honest and say that my feelings about beginning this journey just stemmed from a place of insecurity. You know the voice that says “you’re not good enough”, “you don’t have anything of value to share”, or “everyone else can do it better than you”. But you know what in the words of a Zach Williams song; Fear is a Liar. So here we go.

Almost 8 years ago I lost my mother and as I have shared before it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to navigate and it left me confused. For my entire life, I had found my strength and identity in my mom. She was my rock, my best friend, and a big part of my identity. This void and confusion left by the loss of her and the grief that followed were only brought further to the surface when I had children.

A common saying I’ve heard over and over as a mom is that “You never know how much you needed your mom till you became one”. Well, what do you do when she’s not there? What do you do when you never pictured a life where your kids didn’t know who she was. There to share how you came to be and do all the things you imagined and talked about growing up. Luckily, I was blessed with a family and inlaws that love me as if I was born into their family and this support was life-giving. However, even with all that support and the passion I had for being a mom, I found myself feeling alone. I felt isolated and yearning for the void she left to be filled. I remember after my oldest London was born someone gave us the book “Are you my Mother” by Dr. Suess. I read it one night and after storytime went to my room sat down in my closet and wept. I wept because I honestly felt like the little bird. Lost, wandering, and looking for that identity and relationship. But at that moment I chose to ignore those feelings and push on because that’s what we sometimes do as moms.  We push through the hard stuff because other people need us or take priority and that’s not wrong but it’s not always right.

It wasn’t until my youngest daughter Corie or as we refer to her “our unexpected surprise” was born that things shifted. I reached a place where I  felt like I had zero control over what happened and that fear isolated me. I had friends but still felt alone, I wanted to feel needed, wanted, and important. What’s crazy about that during this entire time I had a loving husband, kids, and family who accomplished all that. But I yearned for a community and the relationships you need as a person, not just a wife and mom. Then one day a girl I follow on posted something saying “ If you want community and don’t have it; create it. If you want to be invited to the party host it. You don’t need an invitation to be the invitation”. At that moment it clicked for me. If I felt this way other people out there did too. Whether you’re a mom or not the world we live in can be an isolating place leaving us feeling as though what we have to offer is not good enough or of any value or that worse that we will be judged for what we choose to be vulnerable about and share. But like I said above; Fear is a Liar.

Then about 2 months ago while talking with a friend she shared how much she enjoyed my “stories” on Instagram and how they made her laugh. I realized that sharing my life as a mom and the stories about the insanity that it can be brought her joy and created a space she could come to at the end of the day to smile and laugh. It was then I decided to take the plunge and start After Hours.  I started After Hours out of a desire for people to feel as though they have a place to come as they are and have a laugh. As a place for me to share things, I care about not just as a mom or wife but also as a woman and for others to join in and share as well. I wanted to create a community of not just moms, but people.

Here you’ll find lots of things about mom life because let’s face it with 3 children there is no shortage of that and I plan to share not only the good but the bad and the smelly. I also plan to share about navigating life and motherhood without mine here and what that has looked like and still looks like sometimes on the daily. Lastly, you’re going to see fashion because not only do I love clothing and putting outfits together but that was how my mom and I connected. It’s how we spent our time and the joy I find in that is how I keep her alive for myself as well as bring her to life for my girls.

Because like my mom said sometimes asking the question or doing the thing isn't about you it's about all the other people who have the same question but won't ask or can't do the thing. So ignore the fear, ignore the voices saying you can't and do it anyways. So come as you are and stay awhile. But be prepared for a lot of oversharing and if you want to feel free to share too. The saying “Better Together” is true so lean into that and know I am so glad you’re here and feel free to bring a friend. 

1 Comment

  1. Pam
    April 13, 2019 / 12:54 am

    Love you

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