As I run on the familiar trails near my house, it feels like I’m getting over a nasty cold: my legs are heavy, my lungs are tired and my spirit is low.

But it wasn’t a cold that knocked me off my feet. I’m still recovering from having my second baby a few months ago. The fact is—this just isn’t going to be my fittest season of life. No one would expect it to be. So why do I?

Because I’m harder on myself than anyone else would be. That’s a given.

This applies to how I parent. This applies to how I work. This applies to how I feel around people. And this definitely, definitely applies to how I judge my body.

Still, let’s be real, it’s complicated. Deep down, I know I should give myself some grace in this period of life. But the more I dwell on that—be nicer to yourself, be nicer to yourself, be nicer to yourself—the harder it is.

That’s why, at this time, I’m also allowing myself to feel my feelings about it. Because motherhood is nothing if not an amazing, complicated mess of mixed emotions.

I appreciate the miracle that allowed my body to birth two babies AND feel like it’s so foreign to me.

I aim to display self-confidence to my kids AND really wish those jeans fit me like they used to.

I love how I am just about all that my babies need in this world AND miss the freedom I used to have.

I swoon while watching my husband in the role of father AND long for the days when we could stay in bed together past 6 a.m. on the weekends.

I think it’s amazing to see the world through the eyes of my toddler AND miss the times I could have uninterrrupted adult conversations.

Some days, there is relatively little conflict between these two sides of me. Other days, it’s like a civil war.

That’s because this isn’t just about my postpartum body. It’s about my postpartum life. Just like my stomach, it looks different than it used to and I’m honestly still learning how to live in it.

Now, two kids into this journey, I’ve realized that although you *technically* become a mom quite suddenly, it can actually take a while to settle into this life-altering role. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, the conversations I have with friends when we freely discuss the complexities of motherhood do so much more good for my soul than when I tell myself (usually when scrolling through Instagram) that everyone is managing so much better than me.

So I’m giving you, me—all of us—permission to admit that the adjustment to motherhood can be bumpy initially. Then it can be bumpy again later. Or it can even be bumpy most of the time.

And yes, those bumps, twists and turns can make for some difficult times. But the scenic route is always so much better anyway. ❤️