In our new blog series, meet the women behind our #WeAreWeCan campaign. We asked these brave and inspiring women to tell us about some of the challenges and struggles they've faced, and share their stories with us. Our hope is that by talking about our experiences as women, we'll recognize that we are not alone and we can help others who might be struggling with similar issues. WE ARE strong, and together WE CAN overcome anything.
For our #WeAreWeCan campaign, we sat down with Kristin Adams, age 30, to hear her story. Kristin is a mother to four kiddos, but she has struggled with embracing motherhood and mom guilt. Kristin says being a mom is the hardest thing she's ever done. Below, read our conversation with Kristin and watch her video to learn more about her inspiring journey.
Could you share your story with us and tell us about your struggle with embracing motherhood?
I was young when I had my first baby and I struggled with postpartum depression. The unplanned c-section played into it, as did finishing college, preparing to move for grad school, and still being a little selfish because of my age. We added a second child while in grad school and our third child came after grad school while trying to find a job. We had three boys in four years. Life was crazy, scary, and hectic. Our youngest was just a month and a half old when we finally found a job. (We survived off savings.)
I struggled worse with each pregnancy and the fact that I wasn’t having a girl. My boys don’t get along great, so I feel like I’m always playing referee. When my baby boy was just shy of one year old, we lost our job and a few short months later my husband took a job in Washington DC. He would come home every three to six weeks. My boys were ages 5, 3, and 1 at the time. We had some good memories during that time because of travels, but there were some rough days and weeks as I struggled being a single mom. We made it through those six months and we talked often and neither my husband or myself are sure how we did it. But we did and we’ve found that as spouses/parents you find ways to make things work—to survive. To be the best you can be that day. There were definitely lots of bad days but my kids were young and luckily very forgiving. I’d tell myself when I went to bed to just try to do one thing better the next day.
We finally got our little girl almost four years after the last boy. I needed time to recover from having three boys so close together and to try and get back to enjoying life and figuring out who I was. Having our daughter was definitely different. I was almost 30 years old at this point and had grown up a lot. Our lives were in a better financial place and the three boys were older and more independent. I know that I struggle with the baby stage. I don’t enjoy having someone so dependent on me. I’ve found that the older my kids get the better life gets for me. They still fight lots and talk back, but I tend to enjoy being around them more. I’m actually looking forward to the teenage years and hoping that’s where we all thrive.
How do you maintain a sense of identity and practice self-care as a mother?
My husband and I joined a gym almost four years ago. About six months after joining, I started taking High Fitness classes and fell in love with them. I found something that helped give me a little sanity in my day to day. For the last three years I have made it to the gym at least four times per week. I went to a High Fitness class the day before I delivered my little girl and would’ve gone the day of her birth if they’d had a class available. The gym is how I recharge. I’ve made lots of friends and I enjoy going and spending an hour of kid-free time pushing my body to the limit. This in no way means I’m the “perfect” mom that day. I definitely still fail and fall short a lot. But, the gym has helped me have more good than bad days.
What advice would you offer other moms in a similar situation who are struggling with motherhood and the concept of "just being a mom"?
Find your thing. The gym has brought many friends into my life. It gives me 60-90 minutes of kid-free time to sweat and get my frustrations out. Just find one thing that makes you happy and make sure you try and do that one thing each and every day.
Who is a woman that inspires you and why?
All of my mom friends. They are great examples of moms. They are willing to help. They offer a listening ear. They laugh with me. They push me to be better. They all came at a time that I needed them and I will forever be grateful for them.
If you could go back, what advice would you give your teenage self?
What do you love about your Fawn Design bags?
They are beautiful and functional, and I love the versatility. I can go from shoulder bag to backpack in a snap. I took the Weekender Bag to Hawaii and I loved all the internal pockets.