That's me parasailing!
It was idyllic. We had no idea that we would soon be facing infertility, that it would take seven cycles of fertility treatments to conceive, or that we would be told that IVF was our only option for a second baby.
It was a tough journey to get here, but we've also been so blessed along the way. We got our very first positive pregnancy test on Christmas Eve - hands down the best present ever - and our second child was miraculously conceived naturally while on a break from treatments - much to the shock of all our doctors. Both of our children are happy and healthy and amazing. I recognize the struggles, but I choose to focus on the positive.
If it wasn't for my infertility diagnosis I wouldn't have started vlogging 5+ years ago, and I wouldn't have found an amazing group of supportive women that would walk this journey with me.
I love my little corner of the internet.
I love that I can share my struggles and my successes with people that understand.
Have you ever heard the quote "Comparison is the thief of Joy"?
I think it fits really well with my experience in the YouTube and online Mom communities.
Whenever I see someone that makes a fabulous video, or comes up with a really great idea for a vlog topic, I find that I berate myself a bit. "Why aren't you doing more with your channel? It's been a week since you vlogged!" I get so down on myself.
And then William spills a cup of water all over himself because he's still learning how to tilt the cup without falling victim to physics and gravity.
Or Hannah brings me three different colored legos and asks me "What color does orange and red and white make?" so I bust out the paints and we discover that it makes a pretty pinky peach color.
Or I get a phone call at 8am just as I've sat down to edit that day's vlog and it's our caseworker asking if I can bring my foster son to the office for a visit with a family member - in an hour. So I drop everything and pack a diaper bag.
And then I remind that inner voice to cut me some slack.
Being a mom is a big job. period.
There are so many things I want to do and can never seem to find time for.
I'm in awe of some women that seem to do it all - raise cute kids, edit videos every day, write witty blogs, volunteer at the soup kitchen, refinish Goodwill furniture and still have time to sip a Starbucks coffee with perfect nails and hair - but I've come to terms with the fact that I'm never going to live up if that is the ideal.
So I've made my own ideal for a life well lived. Well, I'm *making* my own ideal. It's evolving.
It's also full of a lot of cliches, the first of which is: Comparison is the thief of Joy.
How often have we achieved a goal only to realize someone else has surpassed it, and immediately the victory has turned into a failure?
We can choose to be jealous and turn that negativity on ourselves or others, or we can start training that voice to be positive. To congratulate them on their success and to learn a thing or two from them, because the thing to remember is - their success doesn't equal your failure.
Their child speaking in French at 20 months doesn't mean you're a failure as a mother.
Their channel reaching 534k subscribers doesn't mean your channel sucks.
Their house being suspiciously devoid of any stray toys while they vlog doesn't mean you're a failure as a SAHM.
It means they are rockin' it.
High five them and move on.
Cut yourself some slack and just do your best.
I promise - it's enough.