This picture documents me...at my worst. No! Not because Beth is taking me to the pen. I met her and the rest of the Chapmans at a book signing earlier this year.
This is my worst, not only because I am 8+ months preggers, but it was also the second time in two years that I was growing one of my precious baby boys. I was having contractions while waiting 2 1/2 hours in line to get a book signed....I know, I have no idea what I was thinking. My feet were so swollen I could barely walk, and I this was the only thing I could wear because I had out grown even the largest of my maternity clothes. I think I burnt that red sweater...yuck! It was a fairly normal day for a 8+ month pregnant woman.
But for me, I was miserable. It wasn't the fact that I was about to deliver Sweet Baby Jude in the middle of the bookstore. I felt miserable about myself.
Two years of pregnancy was hard on me. I was drained, achy, and just generally grumpy. Even after the bliss of meeting my new addition wore off...I was drained, achy and again...grumpy. You get the picture.
I know your world is supposed to change when having children, but my body took me hostage and fought me in my quest to bounce back. There were times that I literally felt like I was trapped in someone else's skin. It was just strange...weird, scary. Almost as if I was losing me...Tracey.
I wasn't suffering from postpartum depression...had that checked out. I was just struggling balancing it all. Being a wife, mother and full time employee, while maintaining yourself, is a challenging feat.
Some most days it seems impossible. But, I wasn't satisfied with just accepting it. I knew I could meet the challenge...but how?
Since I knew there would be no more surprise blessings, first thing was to lose some weight. I knew if I felt better about my appearance, the rest would flow. I did an agonizing, crazy, insane diet, but it worked. I am back down to the weight I was when I met my darling Prince. I still have a little ways to go, but for now I am pleased.
I also started back to doing things that I enjoy...reading, decorating, crafting, organizing, etc. I have carved out time for me. Not as much as I had "before kids". Just little bits of time that allow me to be me. Even if it is only five minutes, those minutes are spent recharging my mind and body which only helps me to be a better mother and wife.
I have also discovered that just because I am raising my children, doesn't mean that I have to put my personal growth on hold. Photography and this blog are new outlets that allow me to explore and grow in my lovely, but insane world.
So, I can really say, with all honesty, that I feel like I am getting back to the ol' Trace....plus a husband and three children. See...
Back to the me, that thrives on change and being overwhelmed and loves a challenge...bring it!