Starting From Scratch

I had a baby. And it took me a year and a half to get myself back. Man, as a person who’s always wanted to believe that somehow I can do it all, have it all, be it all, at all times…it’s not easy to admit that.

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Bernadette Rosalind

We welcomed our beautiful Bernadette into the world on January 2nd, 2015 and she absolutely lit up our home with joy. But I kept thinking, how do people do all of this? 

How in the world do you care for your child, maintain and grow your relationship with your partner, oh, and go to your job every day. Hobbies? What hobbies? Who can care about hobbies?

Last summer, our window boxes were bare. The garden that made me fall in love with this house made me feel overwhelmed with it’s weeds and work. Our chicken coop stayed closed and empty. Looking at Home to Homestead caused a sick, guilty feeling in my stomach.

Jay said to me gently, “Don’t you want to do those things anymore?”

And I cried and said, “I can’t.”

I was working, and pumping, and nursing, and not sleeping, and still wearing maternity clothes and frustrated with the food allergies and eczema that forced me and my child to severely limit our diets.

I had no time for hobbies. I had no time for me. And I wondered if the things that I loved to do before baby would ever be fun for me again.

But as Bernie began to grow, I started to realize that she is part of me. And I can teach her to love the things I love. And that my happy places can become our happy places. So here we are. Starting from scratch.

Our 4 new chicks at just 2 days old!

Our new flock at just 2 days old.

Slowly but surely, our little Homestead is coming back to life. And almost exactly a year and half after we brought baby Bernadette home, I took her to pick up four soft, chirping, tiny chicks. And just as I’d hoped, she was even more delighted than her mama.

We documented the arrival of our new chicks on Twin Cities Live. You can watch the video below!

31 thoughts on “Starting From Scratch

  1. Welcome back and remember you don’t have to do it all…only what really you care about. New priorities and take it one day a time!!

  2. I cried as I read this as it hit home for me. We brought our little girl home six weeks ago. I have had the same emotions and have felt lost in a sea that is about everyone and everything but me. This gives me hope that by next summer my gardens will be green again, the circles under my eyes won’t be quite so dark and that maybe I won’t feel like an over milked cow.

  3. I have been checking your blog every month or so, wondering where you have been and if you were ever coming back! Was happy to see this post!
    I have 4 babies, 6,4, & 9 Mo. twin girls…being a Mama ain’t easy.
    A quote that changed my thinking:
    “I wish I could tell you it gets better…it doesn’t get better. YOU get better.” -Joan Rivers

    I spent a lot of time in a slump, unsure of everything when my big kids were little. I am just a more confident and comfortable Mom now…not better.

    Can’t wait to hear more from you!

  4. Yeah! You are back! My Mimi would take us to pick up the baby chicks and it was so fun. We named our favorites and enjoyed collecting the eggs for her when they were older. Hope Bernie enjoys it all too.

  5. Elizabeth! I had a baby right before you had Bernie and I often thought to myself how is she doing it all? It’s great to hear you talk about the struggle of pumping and nursing and how much of a demand that is on your time. I am sitting pumping again (second baby) and I know it’s worth it but it’s such a commitment! Good job getting back to you! I’ll get there (next April) when this baby is 1!!!

  6. Don’t apologize for a single thing. It is overwhelming to have a baby and try to be all you were before. The
    Baby is your priority. I moved from Minnesota in July 2015 but I keep watching you. I have always loved how you love life and all it entails. Keep up the happiness and don’t worry. The kids never notice what you didn’t do. Only what you do.
    T

  7. I’ve really missed your blogs. When I realized they were there I read every single one of them. Glad you’re back. You’re a pretty amazing lady that has figured out how to have it all. Bernie is precious and I love seeing the pics. Not a stalker at all…a 62 year young gma that loves cooking, healthy eating and watching a beautiful person such as yourself living the best life possible.

  8. Nice to have you back! One step at a time. It will be fun to share your knowledge with Bernie! She will have a blast! Take time to enjoy.

  9. My mom grew up on a farm. She had 4 kids that were a little over a year apart in age. My folks had a huge garden in the back yard and she canned practically everything and made jam from some of our fruit trees (favorite-plum jam). I only wish I watched her can more often, because I really miss my favorite cherry sauce. I did watch her cook which I’m glad I was taught from the best, along with watching every Julia Child segments. My favorite now is Lidia. My mom was an amazing, hard worker and also found time for a part time job. Managed to always have homemade cookies available along with cake, pies or some other type of dessert for after each dinner. But through it all she had hard times too with the pressures of trying to get it all done, doing the best for my hard working Dad and managing 4 kids the best she could. Her deep faith and prays helped.

    • Just to add….
      My mom was from a different generation, she was very private of her feelings and would not let the outside world know of any hard times. Would always realize that there is always someone out there going thru even worse times. She always looked forward to the joys of family, friends, faith and community events and finding the joy in mundane tasks and not worrying about the little things, i.e. not able to get everything done to it’s perfection. In a sense, by growing up on a farm she knew not to be pressured by expectations. She passed away several years ago, and was very brave and private to the end. Only her immediate family knew how much she suffered.

      • Thank you for sharing!! There’s so much to learn from someone like your mom…strength and gratitude are so important. I also feel fortunate that it’s more socially accepted to talk about our struggles and get support from our communities these days! Thanks again for reading and for sharing, Deb!

  10. Your honesty makes me like you even more! I chose not to have children, but have experienced times when I have lost myself and didn’t focus on what makes me happy. The important thing is that you got there and Bernie will benefit from it just as much as you!

    • Thanks so much, Nicole! You are so right, children or not, we all need to figure out what fuels us and feeds our souls and then make time for those things, whatever they are. It makes us happy and healthy!!

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