Writing this post wasn’t the easiest. I felt a shift in my body and so many emotions take over as I reflected on this year. A lot of guilt, honestly.

There were a lot of high highs and low lows—feeling overwhelmed by life at times which always coincided with feeling guilty—for feeling that way. How could I feel this defeated when I have everything I’ve ever wanted?

I opened up each month’s archive on my blog and pulled all of my favorites for this years photo recap. Noticing how I continued to gravitate mainly towards the ones with Matt, Grace, and Scout captured. Family trips and weekends at home in the backyard. It made me teary because I went into this draft about to pour my heart out a little bit with a focus on the struggle / overcoming it. I keep having to remind myself—it doesn’t have to be one way or the other. Life can be equally difficult and beautiful at the same time.

I think my biggest mental hurdle this year was longing to feel like myself again. I realized that it had been a couple of years since I felt really connected and dialed into who I was. Pandemic / pregnancy / moving away from the city / postpartum / motherhood all kept me in a weird limbo almost, or perhaps an identity crisis? I never ‘bounced back’ emotionally and think I had been on autopilot for ages—just ‘trying to get through’. Swimming upstream juggling all facets of my life, and being way too hard on myself along the way.

Since Grace was born, Matt and I had been taking turns watching her during our work days. She turned 7 months at the start of 2022 and a month in started crawling. This is when things got to be a little more challenging, as you can imagine! I really struggled during the next 6 months as I felt lost—and I so badly wanted to sort my own shit out so that I could show up as the kind of person I am proud of. I remember constantly feeling drained and defeated because I simply couldn’t sustain juggling it all.

I’m usually a positive, lighthearted, bubbly person, but everything that had transpired over the years compounded and I started to take life too seriously. After hitting a breaking point this summer, we finally sorted out childcare for Grace in July. Once our family adjusted to all of our new routines, things became a lot clearer.

Side note: I just got an email from daycare with this photo of Grace, and I started bawling. Parenthood is a trip—the hardest job but there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t stare at her and thank my lucky stars.

Grateful that she is thriving with her pals at daycare and getting all the playtime and fun interaction! And for the time that Matt and I can focus on our jobs and individual routines, too. We are able to come back together with filled tanks! I started to see glimmers of the zest-for-life me the last couple of months—I can’t tell you how liberating it has felt!

My intention for 2023 is to prioritize a healthy, clear mind so that I can show up as the best wife, mom, and friend. To focus on life’s enjoyment and fun! I never want to live in autopilot “day in day out”. I know that I have the answers, contentment, and happiness within me. And it’s my job to take the best care of myself/soul. And when help is needed, it’s okay (and probably in your best interest) to find it/ask!

I also want to note the immense gratitude I have for this community. I say it all the time and this won’t be the last! You are the best, I know how lucky I am—thank you so much for staying connected this year. Our chats uplift and delight! It means more than you know.

Against all odds while I internally navigated through all my stuff, I had my most successful year to date with my work, and it’s a million percent because you believe in me, cheer me on, and take part in this corner of the internet. Thank you so very much.

I am thrilled for ’23. I can feel it, it’s going to be an amazing one. xx


And as a closing note, I am more grateful for Matt than ever—without him, I would have completely lost the plot. Love you babes!

thoughts, ideas, questions...

Beautiful, Thank you for sharing! I shed a tear but when I got to the very end, that’s when it really got me.🫶🏼

Aw, thank you! Happy it resonated. Happy holidays, Jen!

Gosh, mama, I feel this so much. My babies are now 10 and 13, but it took a minute to find myself again amidst the utter immersion and exhaustion of motherhood, in all its beauty and its challenges. I too felt such guilt for not finding complete rapture in my new role, and then felt guilt and shame for feeling guilty … Hormonally, spiritually, energetically, mentally, it’s all such a tremendous shift, this mothering gig. I admire and applaud your transparency. Cheers to 2023! 🥂

So beautifully said. Your note made me feel very at ease. Thanks for reading / being so kind—appreciate it! And happiest holidays to you and your family! x

Just wanted to say hi and that you’re doing an incredible job. While I don’t personally know you (but wish I did!), you present yourself as such a kind, thoughtful person and I’m sure you are an incredible mom, partner and friend. I come back to your site/Instagram time and time again because it is forever an aspirational source of good energy and incredible style. Hang in there! Happy holidays.

Ah, thank you! Super nice of you to say, I appreciate it. Have a wonderful holiday break! See you in the new year 🙂 x

Love this! And love you and your family. Thank you for always being you and staying true! Wishing you and family a Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!

Kartika, thank you! I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well. Cheers! x

Big hugs for you, mama! Starting childcare was *life*changing* for me in terms of being able to give 100% to my daughter when she’s home. I totally relate to you about recent years being full of a series of life altering events that we haven’t bounced back from emotionally. Same same same. I’m just now starting to see a glimmer on the horizon, here’s to 2023 being a more “normal” year in all the best ways!

Absolutely! Thank you for your note, Sarah! Hope you have a nice weekend and happy holidays! x

I’m late to the party here, but Ashley – I’m so so glad you guys figured out childcare that works for you guys! I know we messaged about it a little bit…the struggle is so, so real. We don’t talk about childcare enough and we definitely don’t value that work enough as a society, therefore we underestimate how difficult it is to care for kids. I hope you know that literally every working mom on the planet can relate to your struggle! The physical, emotional, mental, and creative drain of motherhood is so real. These little adorable people suck it out of us lol, which is what makes motherhood so rewarding and wonderful but also the hardest role we’ll have. I have two boys and have 1) an amazing school/daycare 2) a rotating small army of FOUR part time sitters 3) family local 4) my husband and I both work from home, my husband for himself so he’s very flexible….AND STILL we are still scrambling most weeks with not enough childcare and feel like we’re barely getting by with our heads on straight. 🤪 Working parenthood is just lots of high highs and low lows…but it’s worth it. I remind myself, my husband and friends in similar boats that the stage of babies and little kids is the hardest and most stressful one because they just need so much from us. It WILL get easier. My oldest is 6 and it’s amazing how independent he is. 3/3.5 was really when it started to get much easier and really joyful. Toddlerhood is adorable but VERY hard and exhausting. “It takes a village” is a cliche for a reason…a 4 adult to 1 toddler ratio is really what’s needed energy wise 😂 you are doing so awesome and I’m proud of you for recognizing your needs as a person and as a creative. I really believe that 2023 will be a smoother and brighter year for you. Hugs!!!!

You made my morning, thank you for your note! I have been thinking so much about how this time is just beyond magical—learning to say I love you, and blow kisses and give hugs. We feel like this age is when they really start to feel a bond with you and grow super attached and I am savoring it all up. I keep looking at her and noticing how fast she’s growing (namely because she can now reach door handles and she wasn’t close a few months ago!)… it’s so hard, but I know I am going to miss this part so much once it’s behind us. Very much worth it all!

I finally got around to reading this, I am a new mom too, hah! I can 100% relate to this season of life you are in. Thanks for sharing!