Welcome to another Motherhood Chat Unfiltered here on the blog! We hope that what you read is a reminder that you are not alone in your journey and that there is an army of mothers walking this journey with you - every up and down in the journey! Let's dive in with Tjessa!
What was one of your greatest challenges in motherhood?
I think one of my greatest challenges has been finding myself after becoming a mom and really taking time for myself daily. Balancing my time so that I'm my best self for my kids and realizing I can’t give my best self to my kids if I don’t take care of me also.
What was one of your greatest joys?
Having a beautiful family with my high school sweetheart is such a dream come true. Watching the relationships between him and our children, our children and each other! It is so precious to watch.
Tell us about your postpartum journey. What caught you by surprise? What was your greatest struggle and how did you work towards overcoming it?
I would say overall I had a pretty great postpartum journey physically. Four babies and very minimal complications. The hardest part for me was mentally, I feel like you’re never really prepared for the physical changes. Even after a first baby and you think you’re prepared and know what to expect. Each time it’s different. There’s so much pressure to “snap back” and as a young mom even more pressure. Really learning to love myself and my new body while taking care of little humans was hard!
Really working through and taking time for myself and finding my identity is what helped me. Understanding when certain reactions were more hormonal and it was okay!
Tell us about your breastfeeding journey. Something you learned, something you struggled through, something you loved?
I had a pretty amazing breastfeeding journey with my kiddos. My first three, I breastfed for a year each and I absolutely love the bond it gave, as well as time it set aside for me with them. Especially when you have older kiddos and things get so busy. Breastfeeding would make sure I got that time to sit and just bond with them.
I did struggle with my second and supply because I had to have my gallbladder removed at 6 months postpartum. So having to build my supply again was hard! Thank goodness I was able to continue to exclusively breastfeed until a year.
Have you heard of the benefits of breast massage and did you give it a try in your breastfeeding journey?
I did!! It helps immensely with engorgement. (Learn More)
What one piece of advice would you give to new moms?
Give yourself grace, you are enough and just as much as you are learning so is your little baby. Every day.
They love you unconditionally either way.