I Didn’t Sign Up For This.

Four years ago, you could not have told me that I was going to be sitting here, at 26-years-old, as a wife and a mom to four little ones. You could have tried to tell me, but I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

I always imagined that I was going to be a mom. I always KNEW I wanted to be done having children by the time I was 28 and that I was just going to be so happy and content with everything that came with the territory.

But, I didn’t sign up for this. 

hard moments as a mom

Life has not turned out exactly how I thought it would. I am going  to blame my extreme type A, independent personality for trying to think that I could have life planned out.

God had other plans. 

We aren’t going through any major health issues, financial difficulties, or anything of that nature. However, life as it is right now has thrown some major curve balls that I wasn’t prepared for.

Hard Moments as a Mom

There have been some extremely hard times, especially in the last few years, but namely in this past year. Our twins hit 8 months old (as of today actually), and the time right before and after their birth was the hardest in my life.

Before their birth, I had told my husband that if I ended up having to get a c-section, I don’t think I was going to be able to get over it.

I was right…

I have had severe anxiety as a result and some PTSD from the entire situation. I think I have only recently been able to acknowledge the fact that I have some depression caused by the PTSD and that it isn’t anything to be ashamed of. If you hadn’t guessed, I have a hard time asking for help.

Being a stay at home mom, while rewarding, has also sucked the life out of me. I have had a really difficult time trying to find myself again in the midst of everything going on. Lately, I have hit a wall and have found that my life is not what I thought it would be.

It isn’t so much that I dislike being a mom, I adore and love my children with every bit of my being. But having my entire life revolve around nothing but them as left me feeling slightly lost and slightly depleted of what used to make me “me”. Hence, why my husband has been so adamant about me taking time for myself.

Even with that time, I have found myself at a loss and I have almost given up. Almost.

Life as Parents

Being parents to four children has also taken it’s toll on my husband and I. You don’t really know what to expect after you get married and have kids so quickly. Yes, it’s probably not going to be all fun and games. I didn’t expect it to.

I didn’t exactly expect it to be like this though.

I always say that you never know what personal battles someone is going through. Just by looking from the outside in, you wouldn’t really know that we had it rough or that our family was having such a difficult time emotionally.

My husband and I have recently started to go to counseling, which is a positive step in the right direction. But, I never thought that this would be my life. I didn’t think that we would get to a point where we were so disconnected.

We have kind of just been living together and parenting our kids together… just not much of anything else. We stopped making time for each other, we didn’t even know what a date night was, and our communication was severely lacking. I will take a lot of the blame in the communication area.

I have had moments where I think, “Life would be easier if I could just wipe the slate clean. Start over. Make a new life somewhere.”

I’ll be the first to say that I am the best person I know when it comes to making other people think everything is fine or brushing off problems.  I am really blunt and honest, except when it comes to facing my own emotional battles.

You may be reading this and thinking that I am so kind of selfish b**** that doesn’t know how good she has it or who isn’t thankful for all that I have been given. You wouldn’t be completely wrong.

I have felt that I am starting to get selfish. Like with all that I have been through lately, I deserve some type of break or some huge change of some kind.

The truth is, I don’t really deserve anything. I have been given so much grace in these last few months that I have struggled to see.

While it’s been hard, my husband stuck by me when I was having so many health issues, in and out of the doctor, and when I felt like I was losing my mind, literally. I have four children who are healthy and amazing, and while they aren’t always easy, they are MY children. Four little pieces of my heart. I also have family, church family, and friends that have continually been there to listen to me vent, sit there in silence with me on the phone, or just offer small words of kindness and support.

So much grace.

So no, I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t really think you can sign up for what happens in life because it has already been planned out for us.

No, my family life is not perfect. It’s tough and crazy. But, we have a beautiful family and we are lucky.

No, my marriage is not doing so hot. We’re disconnected and trying to find those people that we feel in love with in the first place. But, it will happen.

No, my emotional and mental state is not where it should be. I feel lost and not like myself at all. But, everyday it gets better.

I can only work on accepting and being thankful for all of the good things that I have been given, trying hard to accept myself for who I am now and working on adjusting to the things that have been out of my control.

Life is hard, but life is good.

*Cheers to life and all of it’s ups and downs*

joanna at motherhood and merlot



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  1. Big *Hugs* It is so true, we never “sign up for” what we get handed. Some days it’s better than we dreamed, and some days is sooo much harder than we ever imagined. Hang in there sweetie, and know you are NOT alone <3

  2. It takes a very strong person to share such personal struggles and be able to recognize changes need to be made for the happiness of yourself and your family. You are taking steps in the right direction and that is what makes you a great wife and mother! Your life is right where God intended it to be. Thank you for sharing with us. You are not alone and your strength and insight helps us all.

  3. I feel ya, no matter how good things are there are ebbs and waves to relationships. It is so hard!! Lots of kids or none. We’ve all been there on the treadmill, so to speak. We haven’t been having an easy time lately so I can relate. No details, just know no one’s life is perfect. Each day is a challenge but, worth fighting for. Hugs & my best for brighter days ahead! xo
    Theresa @DearCreatives recently posted…Life’s Not Always Milk & Cookies When It Comes To MilkMy Profile

  4. Awwwwww hugs sweetie!!!! I feel ya on the whole stay at home mom thing! Sounds like a dream before kiddos, once you have them… Omg! I swear be completely lost my mind most days.

  5. I love your candid real approach to your writing. My husband’s favorite quote is “life is what happens while your’e making other plans.” We have found that to be very true! After years of infertility and infant loss, we had four babies at one time. Some days are pretty chaotic and crazy and others are smoother. Thinking of you. I hope things continue on the path of, “But, every day it gets better.”
    Theresa recently posted…Twin Life MilestonesMy Profile

  6. You’re 26?! I’m jealous haha! I have 8 years on you, and I get overwhelmed with one child! I always wonder how on earth you do it. But I can totally relate the anxiety and PSTD from a c section. It’s actually a huge reason I’m afraid to have another. I think you need to take up running! I’m telling you, it’s liberating! Leave all that stress, anxiety and fear on the road. It really helps me sort through the static in my head and is mental clearing. Either way, I think you’re pretty damn amazing for a young mom! So don’t sell yourself short. Whether you signed up for it or not, you’re kicking ass! 😉

  7. I totally can relate. Our twins are almost 4, and I still struggle sometimes. Me and my husband are both tired all the time, and don’t connect very often. When our twins were in the hospital, we started counseling because we couldn’t do it on our own. Being a twin mom has challenges all on it’s own, let alone having other kids. If you ever need to talk, I’m here for you.

  8. Joanna – you are an inspiration. You have me in tears reading this. Thank you for your openness and honesty. I’m so glad that I read this today. I just finished my own post about Marriage in Hard Times. I totally get it and I commend you immensely for going to counseling and doing what’s best for your family. There is no shame in seeking help. It’s the bravest thing anyone can possibly do in my opinion. Hugs to you mama!
    Tiffany recently posted…6 Tips for Thriving in a Marriage During Tough TimesMy Profile

  9. First of all, I love you. You know I adore you. More than anything, I adore your honesty. You don’t have to share these things, but you are. Nobody’s life is perfect and that is okay. You are helping others see that we don’t all have it together and it isn’t anything to be ashamed of. You are so inspiring and I love you for it. Muah!
    Jules Ruud recently posted…Kidloland: Nursery Rhymes App ReviewMy Profile

  10. You’ve gone through so much in the last 8 months, more than many people will experience in their life. I’m sure so much of what has happened you would have never imagined, and certainly didn’t sign up for. I wish I could reach through my screen and give you a big hug! I commend you for sharing this.
    Bev recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: Cover RevealMy Profile

  11. oh joanna man… if you could see me, you would see me standing up and cheering for you for this post.

    so many of us go through this and hide behind starched shirts and pressed smiles not admitting our truths. not admitting that “getting what we wanted” in life IS NOT what we expected it to be. no one likes to talk about these hard moments, phases, months, years, etc. but we need to!!!! ALL OF US desperately need these types of conversations with ourselves and with each other.

    kudos to you for admitting your truth and opening the door for many other women feeling the same as you to feel like it’s ok and they aren’t alone. you’re handling a lot and you are truly a rockstar for seeing the beauty in your truth and admitting to needing help.

    i love you and wish nothing but the best to you and yours!!!


  12. Hi Joanna, my heart goes out to you, girlfriend. Life can really be tough and I’m so glad your hubby sees the need for you to get time for you alone. Sometimes that’s the only thing that keeps me going. With the support system you have, you’ll find encouragement even on the grey days. I hope too that the comments from your online friends help you to see that you’re not in this alone. I certainly commend you for your bravery to share your story and your struggles.
    Take it one day at a time! Wishing you blessings!
    Marva | sunSPARKLEshine recently posted…How to Get Away and Get A Grip NowMy Profile

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