ON BEING A QUEEN


some days as i putter around the house, changing diapers and folding laundry and tossing plastic horses back from whence they came into their gray felt toy bin, i'll stop and realize that i feel a little bit like i am playing house. all these green army guys dotting the floor and the smears of yogurt on the couch stop feeling like a mess. instead they become the very best kind of make believe. make believe this life is mine. and then i laugh at myself because this is my life. and plenty of people would look at it and think, "yuck." plenty of people would look at my marriage and think, "limiting." plenty of people would look at my daily list of things i accomplish and think, "silly."

but somehow i feel like i lucked out big time. somehow i feel like i'm living the dream.


it's not like my life is anything particularly noteworthy or exciting or special. it's just the life of a mom cleaning up after a baby. i mean, you see it every day in commercials: frumpy mom in a button up mops the floor. frumpy mom in a button up makes decisions about the peanut butters. frumpy mom in a button up and frizzy hair sacrifices herself and her former ambitions so that her kids can run around like ungrateful brats in stain-free clothing, playing soccer and drinking juice and leaving messes in their wake. it's the kind of life businessmen in suits look down on and tsk tsk about, all the while trying to turn a profit off it. you know, "bon bons and soap operas and mini vans." that's all this is.

and yet, this is it. for me, this is it. brandon goes off to work and i don't feel jealous of his importance or his title. i rather respect his sacrifice all the more, because i had that life once and i hated it. it was not forme. this right here, this is the promotion. and huck's not the boss, like some might think. i'm the boss. i'm more than the boss. he is my kingdom, that little turkey, and this little apartment on the upper west side, this blessed little home,  this is my palace. and i will tell you something: it feels regal, the work i do here. in here, i am a queen. 

i feel so lucky, because i had to struggle for this first. this silly little life of cleaning up after a baby and sudsing down the high chair tray for the millionth time and counting to three for my cooing little songbird over and over. i had to fight for it first. i was allowed the time to discover how very much i wanted it. my mom always told me this would be the case when i'd call her crying after another failed month, but it never really seemed believable. after all, it's just housework and dirty diapers and negotiating the emotions of a very small person. i mean, it is a little menial. but she'd tell me that my fight would make my baby sweeter, and the late nights easier. the messes smaller. 

as always (always always), my mom was right. how is she always right? and it's weird to me sometimes that i find such odd satisfaction in the sweeping. haha, weirdly, i love sweeping. i see god in the sweeping. i see angels in the laundry. in the middle of sleepless nights, i feel heaven in my arms. heaven that for me could just as easily have been hell, if i hadn't been given the chance to know how i wanted it so badly.

i never thought this day would come but it has and i am going to say it in bold because in my life this is a milestone: 

i am grateful for those two years i struggled to get pregnant.
 i am grateful for every horrible moment of them.



today. folding little baby clothes that will be smeared with hummus within a few hours. sweeping up cheerios. and more cheerios. cheerios that seem to scurry away under the couch to multiply and replenish the living room while i'm not looking. stopping at the dinner table to run my hand along its bumpy surface and admire my place settings. a pot of soup on the stove. a fridge stocked full of pepsi and a freezer full of frozen chocolate. this is not a bad way to live. this is not a kingdom i'm embarrassed to rule over. i rule powerfully here. with grace and elegance and mercy. and also false lashes. ;)

today is a gift.

i am just feeling terribly grateful.

185 comments:

  1. What a great post. Thank you for your honesty and the view into your life and perspective.

    On a lighter note-- Cheerios absolutely do increase in number once they're dropped.

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  2. What a sweet, sweet feeling. I don't want to call it a post (even though that's what it is) that seems to dampen it. You beautifully put in to words what some people (more than I can count) feel daily. I hope to look at my life and feel the way you do, more often.
    Kristen in NC

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  3. This is such a beautiful post - and such a beautiful kingdom you rule over! Though I didn't have the struggle you did in getting to cuddle with my own little "subject," I feel much the same way about her. She may have come earlier than I expected her to, but I am so, so, so happy for every moment I have with her (even the whiny ones at 3AM)

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  4. Thank you for this. I have to keep reminding myself month after failed month (18 now actually) that it will be that much sweeter when I can finally get my promotion and become the queen of my own palace.

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  5. This is so wonderful and inspiring. Thank you for such great perspective!

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  6. what an amazing post! i loved every second of it. thank you for being so candid in your ability to show us the little things in life that we can be so thankful for!

    xo jes

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  7. One of your best posts yet! Loved it! There is hidden beauty in a successful homemaker.

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  8. Thank you for this post.It is a true blessing to be able to see that the journey which brings us to now is not an accident. And it is great to know -and to not be afraid to say- that the life you have is a dream come true. Thank you, thank you.

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  9. Loved this. I am grateful for my awful years of infertility too. It has shaped me into being a better mother from these years I spend wishing and hoping for more children. :)

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  10. Dear Nat,

    Thank you so much for writing this! Sometimes I feel really guilty for hating my busy, work-y,never-enough-time-for-people-I-love life, and things like this make me realize that I'm not alone (and not totally crazy). I love that you decided to do what you wanted, and I think that you are an awesome mom to Huck. xo

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  11. I love your posts like this. I'm currently in the situation you're finally able to be grateful for...I'm not grateful yet, but hopefully there's a light at the end of my tunnel too. I'm so happy for you, and I'm so glad you're so open about your struggles with getting pregnant. I have loved following your blog and it gives me hope. Give that Huck a squeeze and a kiss for me.

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  13. I loved reading this. It has made my day and reminded me of one of my favorite quotes.
    "Every single thing you’ve gone through in life, every high, every low, and everything in between, it has led you to this moment right now. This moment is priceless, and it’s the only moment guaranteed to you. This moment is your ‘life.’ Don’t miss it" :)

    Marleyetme.blogspot.com

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  14. beautiful. i have been feeling the same way lately- grateful and incredibly lucky and just wanting to take a moment to stop and realize that it's really happening.

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  15. I loved this so much that I emailed it to a bunch of my non-blog loving mommy friends. So many women can relate to that feeling on different levels. So glad you're enjoying your palace. You made me think about how much I appreciate mine.

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  16. natalie... your words are always beautiful, but this post takes the cake. i love reading your beautiful words. you have such a talent and your writing style is all your own. i'm glad i'm not the only woman out there that believes that the work of stay at home mother's/housewives is not a limiting trap but a chance for you to rule over your "kingdom" and love every minute of it. you are so blessed to be able to stay at home and raise you baby.

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  17. I love this post, because I share so many of the same feelings. I love being a homemaker and a mother. Like you, I had the fancy job and I hated it! I am not jealous of my husband, though I am grateful for his work. Being at home is not only where I need to be, it's where I WANT to be. And I completely, agree it is the best kind of a promotion, nowhere near a demotion.

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  18. Beautiful, just beautiful! I too struggled with infertility (for 3 years) and just had my baby girl a month ago! I often find myself thinking of those devastating times and feeling SO incredibly grateful and blessed for our miracle. I'm loving every single moment of mommyhood, even the frumpy & sleepless ones :)

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  19. Well said. I am a stay at home mom and I feel like I am always having to explain it. But I love it. Love it!! I feel lucky and gratefull to be able to be with my son .. a lot, and be there for my husband, and sweep. really, and sweep :)

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  20. I've been following your blog for a while but I never comment...until now.:) I just want to say I love this post so much. I read a lot of mom blogs and it seems like everyone uses their blog as an outlet to complain about how hard it is to be a mom (and often more specifically a housewife). I'm a mom, and I too struggled to get pregnant and it made me so much more appreciative of that little babe when she came. It seems to me like so many of my friends cant stand it when I don't complain about some of the sleepless nights, the endless diaper blowouts, and the constant drool and snot. It IS hard, but I love it sooooo much why would I complain?
    Thanks again for posting this. We could use some more positivity!

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  21. Thank you Natalie, for this beautiful post. For someone heavy into her own struggle, feeling like there is no end in site...it was a nice reminder. Everything has a season and my August will come too.

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  22. That was just about the best thing I've read in a long time. And exactly what I needed to read today, as my "kingdom" is currently filled with double ear infections and not enough coffee in all the world;)

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  23. This is really beautiful.

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  24. I love this post! I'm at the time in my life when I get to run off to the job and the title and all that jazz but you just nailed on the head what I really hope and yearn for. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. This post was beyond beautiful. I can't wait ti be a momma. Thank you for sharing...:)
    Kate

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  26. so beautifully written.

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  27. Oh geez. I love you. Can I say that? Do you feel me too forward?

    Well, sorry if you do, but it's true! You are awesome.

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  28. Thanks for a wonderful perspective for all moms, not just those who stay at home, to consider.

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  29. This was gorgeously written.

    You remind me so much of my own very favorite Anne Shirley (who I know you also adore). Anne's House of Dreams and Anne of Ingleside might not be the most exciting books in the series, but they're my favorites right now, and I just keep pouring over them, because that is just the life I imagine for myself right now. Even when I'm sitting at work doing things that others feel are important -- I want the housekeeping and the tending of little souls. Someday, I hope.

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    1. Those are ALWAYS my favorites. I'm rereading Anne of Ingleside right now. Sigh. It reminds me to be a queen of my own kingdom too.

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  30. Have you gone back and read Rainbow Valley, or Rilla of Ingleside? About Anne and the grace of NOT being a career woman, but a momma who loves her babies and runs a lovely home. Anne had to wait too. I had to wait. (Oh, the cubicle job and the husband grad school years, SO not me.) Natalie, thanks for the reminder about just how much I have to be thankful for on this magical Leap Day. Now, pardon me while I launder the five pairs of pants my own "kingdom" wet through yesterday... : )

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    1. Yes, those two are great as well. I hope someday when we have children that I can stay home. I move through phrases in my battered Anne series, and right now (coming up on our first anniversary and with babies on the brain) House of Dreams and Ingleside are my very favorites.

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  31. "I lead a small life. Valuable, but small..."

    Here's to being incredibly valuable. :)

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    1. that's exactly the line(s) that came to mind when i read this!

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  32. Get ready: longest comment EVER!

    I didn't have to struggle to have my own girls, and I DID struggle when I first became a mom because a lot of the things I love and am good at have taken a backseat while I'm learning to be a SAHM. This role does not come easily to me! But parts of me love what I do, and I'm learning to adapt myself to a new role and a new way of thinking.

    BUT!!!

    The other night I read an article by an LDS girl who confessed she didn't really want kids and resented the church's emphasis on motherhood. She found it limiting and cliched and felt the church was bing patriarchal and sexist. And she felt there was as much growth to be found in a career as in motherhood. And that really bothered me (even though I once thought the very same thing!).

    No matter how much I struggle and yearn for a life more intellectually challenging or more varied and exciting, I could never, ever grow as much in a career as I have grown and will still grow as a parent. My husband says the same thing about himself. Being a parent teaches you unselfishness, patience, charity, loooongsuffering, meekness, joy, adaptability, and unconditional love in a way that no career can. I don't necessarily feel like a part of me that was missing is now here, or that my real life has finally started, but I sense I will become a better person because of my kids than I ever could have been without them. And it's SO HARD sometimes!!! But it's worth it.

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  33. This post totally made me cry, Natalie. But a good cry!! haha I don't even know what to comment, I just thought I should say this. Thank you for writing this blog. Yeah. Thank you and congratulations. :)

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  34. Beautiful post. Such a sweet perspective on motherhood :)

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  35. From another mother who was given the chance to "want it so badly"......this post was the cats pjs!!

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  36. raising my diet coke to you!

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  37. Beautiful post! Love this reminder to be grateful... for now, I am grateful to be the wife of a wonderful husband. I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and you have put into words what I (assume I will) feel about it when the time comes!

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  38. I'm at almost the two year mark since my second miscarriage and still no babies. I know what it's like to be a wreck of dissapointment and heartache everytime your period starts.
    Thank you for reminding me of the beauty in our pain.I am so encouraged by this.
    -Leah
    thecuckoosnestblog.com

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  39. Totally needed to read this. Thank you!

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  40. I. Love. Your. Blog. And I'm blessed to be a mother, too. Rock on.

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  41. One of my favorites of your posts to date. Love it.

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  42. Best.Post.Ever. I am a queen too over at the Baker Palace :)

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  43. This post is beautiful. I feel the same way. After a long time waiting I am a mama of a wonderful 8 month old. Every day I am in awe of how beaitifully life has played out for me. Love, love, love this post! Brought me to tears....the good kind.

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  44. You said that perfectly. And I second it! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who secretly loves folding my baby's clothes.

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  45. This is so beautifully written... my favorite post of yours, at least since I started following a year ago. One day, when (if) I have children, I'm coming back to this post so I remember how grateful I should be.

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  46. LOVE this post! And I can so relate. Almost every day I have a moment of "how did I get so lucky?" God is good.

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  47. Here, Here! I have a 10 month old and I am a SAHM. I am so confused as to how to talk to people about my life. I love to gush about my little boy, but I feel that if I ever what to talk about something stressful or how busy I am that people silently gawf and think, "then go back to work." I don't want to do anything but this,being fully immersed in life. I love what I do, it's hard and rewarding, and I love it. Thank you for so eloquently putting into words how I feel!

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  48. I just started reading your blog recently, and just wanted to say how lovely this post is. I have a tiny guy, too (16 months), and you captured a lot of what I feel each day. Thank you!

    preethi
    lace, etc.

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  49. I understand. You are living my dream. I have been working full time the whole time my kids have been alive (I have a 28-month-old and a 14-month-old) and I have been fighting to get to the day when I finally get to stay home with them. Starting next month I will FINALLY be working only half time. Feels like I just won the lottery. One day I'll get to stay home even more than that. Maybe even all day. Some day. And the time will be sweet to me. When you're kept away for over two years, it sure makes all my time with them incredibly sweet.

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  50. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  51. Amen! Thank you thank you for writing this. Perspective and gratitude is what I needed today. You are absolutely right. This life of motherhood may not be the most glam to some but for me this IT. We work hard don't we? I love my little men, and am happy you got yours too. XOXO

    Cheerios are like rabbits.

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  52. You have the life I dream of having someday. I'm still a long ways away from where you are, I'm still in college, I'm not married, and I won't be having kids until I am married; but I'm hopeful that someday I will luck out to become a Queen of my own little kingdom as well. :)

    Kelsi
    kelsboo.blogspot.com

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  53. This is so amazing! You are currently living the life that I am dreaming of living one day. You're writing is very eloquent and beautiful. I love reading your blog! Keep it up!

    Maria
    http://peppermintsandpixiedust.blogspot.com

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  54. I love this post and your writing! Thank you from mommies everywhere...

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  55. That was the most beautifully written piece on motherhood. Thank you for sharing!

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  56. What an amazing post!

    So much of it rang true with me because I don't have a proper job--I have my blog and I look after the home. And everyone judges me for it and I think pities me--like how can you stay at home all day, you must be bored, I couldn't do it etc etc.

    But I love it--I love my home, my life with my husband and the freedom I have. I feel like I have lucked out! And one day I hope I will be cleaning up after my baby but until then I am just terribly grateful for my life :)

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  57. great post about seeing your everyday life and being thankful for it. for knowing that diet cokes and chocolate make it fun, and loyal husbands and helthy children make it incredible.

    but what i also liked is that you said your former life was not for you. because all of our dreams differ - in fact you're not the mom who gave up her ambitions, you realized them when huck was born. and that's awesome. but another commenter said she was disappointed in an LDS girl who felt the church pushing motherhood and it wasn't for her because she felt like a career would be fulfilling. and that's the thing - some of us want to mother, some want to be moms who work outside the home, some don't want to moms. as hard as it is to understand that we are all fulfilled with different things, i wish we could respect the difference in opinion. i think your life is wonderful because it's what you wanted so badly. we should all be so lucky to get the life we want - not that others or churches or whomever thinks we should have. and i like that you specifically said it was the life for you.

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  58. Beautiful. You really are a queen, Mrs. H.

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  59. Love! This was awesome and a great perspective on motherhood. Thanks for sharing your life with me.

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  60. This was a great post! As a stay-at-home mom of 2 i get a little depressed sometimes thinking about what i might be missing out on. But you're right. There is nothing better. By the way, where do you get your false lashes? What brand are they?

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  61. couldn't agree more. i struggled with multiple miscarriages (7) over the course of 4 years and i couldn't be more grateful for my little guy. the struggle to have him makes the bad days seem not so bad. we are lucky to have the ability to be grateful for what we have.

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  62. Hugs to you from another mama who struggled for years to get pregnant. After my struggles with infertility and loss, I feel so grateful to be a mama. I am currently still in the workforce, but I relish my role as queen at home. Bottles need to be washed? Hallelujah that I have bottles in my house at last! :)

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  63. wow what a beautiful post. i feel the exact same, thanks for a wonderful perspective!

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  64. Can i just say "thank you" for this post?

    as a soon to be new mom (i'm due in about 3wks) i'm TERRIFIED about leaving my full time job. i'm excited to be at home with my baby, raise her, see her grow, be there for all the milestones. but i'm scared of the whole, "will it be enough"? i get so very nervous that i'll somehow miss my job, the stimulation i get from talking all day and helping others...

    BUT hearing your satisfaction with motherhood makes me oh so happy...

    and i hope i feel the same. i really do get fulfillment from laundry already, it'll only get better from here i bet! :)

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    1. You will miss your job sometimes. You will hate being a mom sometimes. But that's okay, because most of the time you are going to be awed by that little person and what you are doing. Relax, hold that baby, take your time. Give breastfeeding at least six weeks (yep, I mean it) and let yourself just be. And I have always liked doing laundry too! Now if someone else would do my windows...

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  65. I just recently found your blog. I thought that this post was absolutely beautiful. Although I am not a mother nor will a be for many years to come, I could still relate because your life (being at home with your little one) is similar to the life I want to live when my time comes. Your little guy is totally adorable and I can't wait to read more from you.

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  66. Oh AMEN Mama, this was just beautiful. and I am SO so glad for you. I am not much of a commenter, but I just had to say that. Thank you for this post, and for sharing it with us. <3

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  68. yes, yes, and yes. And fake eye-lashes are wonderful things.

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  69. That was beautiful. I wish more women could see their lives from your perspective.

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  70. This is beautiful. Your life is made more beautiful by how grateful you are for it.

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  71. Awww! This is so beautiful. Precious <3 i have to share this!

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  72. Thank you for this post today! I really needed to here this today as I try and meet the needs of my 2 little ones. You put my feelings into words in a way I cannot...so thank you!

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  73. so, so beautiful. thanks for sharing. is it ok if i post a link on my blog to this?

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  74. amen! it was a 6 year journey to motherhood for me and now those babies (i had triplets) are 7 and i just had another surprise miracle who i can't put down...it's just not physically possible. there hasn't been a day in those 7 years that i've wished that this wasn't my life. not saying there hasn't been trials and struggles and some really bad days, but i'm grateful for all of it because i know what my life was before, and even the worst day of this is so much better than that.

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  75. Can I get an AMEN, from my sistas?!?!?!?!
    This is just beautiful.
    And yes, for so many of us moms, this IS it!
    And praise God for that.
    Your son and all the children yet to be are so fortunate to have you for thier mother.
    I have 4 and none of the magic is gone.
    In fact, I just love it even more.
    Love from,
    Greta

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  76. never commented before, but have always wanted to...always waited for that post that said "you can't smile and nod and laugh and enjoy and be done with this one! come out and say it!" i suppose?

    this is an inspiring, lovely, wonderful, brilliantly written post. and in general, it's just the best darn way to use this language we call english, with these creatures we call words. thank you thank you thank you for having a blog and sharing your beautiful thoughts. i hope you always do. :)

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  77. This spoke to my soul, Natalie. And I am one of those people that feels like if we met we would be great friends. One day, perhaps? I got "promoted" to queen just over 20 months ago and still can't believe how lucky I am to rule over this little kingdom.

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  78. Such a beautiful post, it made me cry! Makes me excited to be a mom someday...

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  79. this post made me cry and cry and cry...in a good way :) i COMPLETELY agree with every word you said. my hubby and i, too, dealt with infertility and it was the hardest thing we've ever been through. but then. oh then...our little angel arrived. we adopt her when she was 2 months old and we'll never forget the moment our princess was placed in our arms. every painful memory from the years before completely melted away and we knew then and there that THIS was the plan all along. it's been two years now since she came home and every moment of every day is SUCH a precious gift to us. so yes, cleaning and laundry and all the "stuff" others would consider boring and annoying are gifts to us too!
    thank you so much for your words and your heart and for sharing this!

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  80. Thank you Natalie! I can't even begin to tell you how much I can relate to your journey to motherhood. Now that my little guy is almost two I sometimes get wrapped up in the frustration of the day to day and forget the long journey it was getting to this place. Your post today helped me to continue to remind myself of how lucky I am.

    BTW, where are the women and mom's like you here in Denver. I need a friend like you :)

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  81. Did you cry when you wrote this? Cause I cried when I read it! That means it's good and true and from the heart. Thanks

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  82. Oh, Nat! You make me feel grateful. I'm grateful you wrote this. I'm grateful that you blog so I can read things like this that you post. I've followed your blog through a lot of those milestones -- pregnancy struggles, letting go of the furbabies, living in 300-sq-ft of space with a newborn. And now look at you! You make me hopeful. :)

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  83. What a beautiful post! Thanks so much for sharing...it made my heart smile.

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  84. Loved your post. I was doing the same thing in my "castle" the other day, thinking about Saturday, and happy to have my husband home for the day...and I thought, depending on how you looked at it, being at home with my son every day is a Saturday (no deadlines, we do what we want, when we want) or it's never a Saturday (cause his diaper will still need changed, he will still need fed, cleaned up after). But to me, my life now is full of Saturdays, and I love it! Best. Job. Ever.

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  85. natalie - such a beautiful post. it reminds me so much of cjane's post on groundhog day, which I will likely read every Feb. 2 of my life.

    thank you for showing us how to celebrate the beautiful monotony of raising a tiny human. you are right - it is a gift and we should take time every day to be grateful. thank you for reminding me.

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  86. I loved this post! I am a Mom who was having a sad day. Reading this cheered me up even though I have tears in my eyes. I, like you, am grateful too. :)

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  87. Rarely do I coment, daily do I read. :)
    You said it...the sense of pride I feel when I empty the dishwasher so the family can eat, pack a lunch that suits both me and the kiddo, stay at the park just another 15 minutes because they are having so much fun....some might think it is boring, I think it is lovely.

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  88. I really needed to read those words you bolded today. Thanks.
    xx

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  89. I love this. everything about it.

    especially as I start into my second year of trying for baby #2...reading with tears, hoping that I get the same happiest ending all over again. thank you for reminding me to count my blessings + soak up every moment with my little boy. and to keep the faith that maybe more babies will grace our family after all.

    love to you + yours.
    paula

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  90. This is beautiful. This is what it's all about.
    This is why we struggle to get pregnant for years. To truly feel grateful for every blessed moment we have to be with our little dudes and dudetts. This is what my family is working toward right now. This is the life.

    xoxo

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  91. Aw! You are a good Mama! With great eyelashes!

    gandacummings.blogspot.com

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  92. I totally agree with you! I feel like I have been so lucky to be able to stay home with my children. Yes, there are some long days, and some difficult days, but there are also magical days, and joyful days, and silly days, and quiet days, and creative days, and extraordinary days.

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  93. I absolutely love this post. Beautiful.

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  94. this is beautiful. this is exactly what i crave and people don't get it. even moms. i see the joy of being home with children. and even though after trying for 5 years has not brought children to us, we are now hoping to adopt. and i can not wait for that day to become a mother and have a sweet little child call me, mom.

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  95. oh natalie, this is glorious. thank you! i'm not a mum yet, but i sometimes think about whether i would be a working mum or not and something in my mind tells me it wouldn't be significant enough. a post like this tells me that maybe it would be ok! :)

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  96. oh goodness, i love your outlook on life. you are just too sweet. and your little boy is precious.
    i had no idea you tried to have him for two years. well worth it. look at that perfect face!
    xo TJ

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  97. Nat, You are wonderful! What an inspiration:) Thank you for the wonderful post today.

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  98. Wow. Natalie, this is so touching and REAL. So happy for you.
    Char xo
    www.itsacharmlife.blogspot.com

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  99. I'm struggling to get pregnant and work in the corporate world and let me tell you, you are living the dream.

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  100. Yes. Yes, to all of this. I'm a Type 1 diabetic and, from the age of 15 when I was diagnosed until perhaps 2009, I never thought I'd be able to have a healthy pregnancy - too many viewings of Steel Magnolias, perhaps.

    But after a years of hard work and worry, I have a healthy baby girl. And even the "not fun" stuff is fun. Being a mom is magic.

    blahblahbklyn.com

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  101. Dear Nat,
    Thank you for your wonderful and honest post. I don't have a baby or my own little family at the moment but even I can still relate to your mention of simply embracing life. Thank you, thank you, thank you :) You've reminded me today to Carpe Diem! Sending much love to you and your family.

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  102. You rock little queen! Life's a gift and your gratitude is so lovely. What a beautiful post.

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  103. hey nat, i really appreaciate a person who takes a moment to stop and realize how magical life is. also, we'd have a lot less serial killers and rapists out there if more parents took their jobs seriously. it starts at home. there is absolutely nothing less menial than that!(not that those who have to work are bad parents).

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  104. Thank you for this, for real. Every once in a while the late nights and nap-less days almost, almost make me forget that I feel the same way. I had a "great" job that kept me at the office until ungodly hours and then I had HIM and he is perfect and I too fell like a queen. I do not miss a second of my past life. Thank you for reminding me, Huck and Natalie.

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  105. What a beautifully written post. I've never had infertility problems, and my first pregnancy was unplanned but I feel the same way you do (minus knowing all the hardships of infertility). I love my life, I love my munchkins and I wouldn't change a thing. Now if only there were calorie-free chocolate in my kingdom....

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  106. So true, well said! Wait until Huck is old enough to be your best friend...then you experience the world through his eyes and then are able to chat about it later...it only gets better...enjoy every precious moment. And when you are grateful, relaxed and happy, you are bound to get pregnant again without even trying too hard!
    xox
    E
    http://www.urbanchiqueness.com

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  107. So incredibly sweet and beautiful. I love this post!

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  108. you made me all teary! i love you.

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  110. Beautifully written! Itʻs funny that in our society, so many girls/women want to be a princess, but you have it right -- being the queen of your chosen and hard-won domain is the way to go. :)

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  111. Oh my goodness, I love this. For so many reasons. I love how you describe being a wife and mother and your Queendom! I am so looking forward to the day when I can have a life like that! Even just nannying [my occupation for the past while] brings me so much joy, I can't wait until I can actually be a mother to my own children :)
    My husband and I aren't trying to have children yet, but I'm scared for when we do. I'm terrified of infertility. I have some health issues that could make it difficult for me to become pregnant, and I am so afraid that that will be the case. But, your lovely words and perspective have given me so much comfort! Even if I do end up struggling, I know it will be worth it in the end :) Thank you so, so much for sharing this. I love hearing what you have to say!

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  112. Thanks Natalie. This is how it is with four, just everything is multiplied: the mess, the mundane, the beauty, the joy. It is awesome. :)

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  113. My dream is to be a queen in my own home one day. You are very lucky. Thank you for reminding me of what I really want out of life.

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  114. Favorite post yet. I had to go through the hell that I know will make me cherish my baby more when he/she finally gets here... I just got my miracle... but I know the morning sickness and all that comes with it is so different because I literally was told it would never happen. I love this post. Love it.

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  115. How perfectly put :) Thanks Natalie. I'm two years in at this point and still not there but it will come. Reading your blog in the first place was a big turning point for me. I'm starting to realize that I couldn't have appreciated motherhood the way I should if it had come easily. Sometimes I think that it's a silly thing to get so worked up over and then I remember that it's not. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to.

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  116. you said every bit of this so perfectly!

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  117. These words are just amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. I'm the only one awake right now in my palace ;), trying to get a few odds and ends done--but now after reading this think I'll just go to bed with your wonderful words echoing in my heart so I can be a better-rested Mama tomorrow. Being a mother is truly a calling, isn't it?

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  118. well, my liege, i love when you blog about your kingdom, so really, good on you. personally, i struggle with this. i just turned 23 am currently single (after leaving a 3 year relationship) and really having one of those life figuring out moments where i decide whether or not i want to be a career woman with a family later or try to get the family thing going now and maybe skip on the career because its not that important? or do you really need to decide these things at all?

    anyways. my point is that it doesn't matter what you do as long as you are happy. i feel like those who judge are those who are unhappy, or perhaps uncertain in their own life choices. does that make sense or am i over exerting my authority in deciding what other people might be feeling? hmmm.

    anyways, while i almost never comment on blogs (i think i'm trying to more now that i've gone through and read your archives and realized how much of an affect comments had on you way back when and i try to think about what affect they might still have on current bloggers in the whole feeling appreciated? or maybe people don't care anymore? hmm.) i'm currently (due to the aforementioned dilemma) quite concerned about this particular issue for my own self.

    anyways.

    i am approximately 1 year (minus what i've already read because i found you last february maybe when you guest posted on the rockstar diaries) from being entirely caught up with all of your blog forever. it's quite lovely. except when pictures show up as a giant black box with a question mark. which makes me question what the picture was? but your comments might be even funnier without the context of a picture.

    sorry about the essay.

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  119. in my opinion, you have the best life ever. you have a husband, who seems to be really kind and loving, your baby is super cute and healthy, you live in freaking manhattan... i would be so happy if i had all that in ten years, although i might be a doctor by then (i'm in med school right now), but i would definitely take 3 years off work to be with my child.

    anyways. i think you're very lucky. life is what you make of it.
    lots of love from germany <3

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  120. Such a great post, thank you. And so true. I am currently 5,5 months (23 weeks tomorrow) pregnant and we have tried for 4 years with one miscarriage 1,5 years ago.

    Although the past 4 years have been tough on and off I am grateful as my husband and I have been able to travel a lot and get to know each other better. It has also allowed me to appreciate my pregnancy more and what is to come. I feel more prepared, although I am now almost 37 :) and have wanted to become a mom many years ago.

    I can only imagine that I will cherish being the Queen in a few months :)

    XO Senja

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  121. my favorite kind of natalie post. this is why i fell in love with your blog! love having little peeks of your kingdom in my life every day, girlfriend. xoxo

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    1. ps- promise me you'll write a book. (if you want to.)

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  122. This is perfection. Exactly what I needed to hear as a new mama myself.

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  123. I loved everything about this! Thank you Natalie! I'll admit, sometimes I feel every bit the frump and allow myself to get overwhelmed by the mess and noise. But even in those moments this is the only place I want to be and I've always struggled to be able to explain that to others--the unglamorous fact that I have no professional ambitions, I just want to be queen of this domain, mother to the 3 coolest kids I've ever met and wife to the hottest Naval officer there is! =) Thanks for helping me to remember that I don't have to apologize to anyone for living my dream!

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  124. so intensely well said! what I wouldnt give to be able to articulate myself that way, such a talent you have, so grateful you share it!

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  125. wow! i just love you. and literally am pretty stoked to be a mama someday too. thanks for being such a bright spot of sunshine in everyone's day.

    xo

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  126. this is lovely to read. to be honest, I'm not there yet. but i also didn't go through the same trying-to-have-a-baby stuggle. moral? i should be much more thankful. come rub some of that thankfulness off on me k?

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  127. You don't know me, but I love you! Now you'll probably not want to know me. Hahaha. This kind of sums up everything I have been thinking about lately. My son is now at an age where he actually walks over to me and looks at me and leans in. LEANS IN. TO HUG AND KISS ME. Next week he will be 18 months old and I not only don't know where the time has gone, but can honestly say, I can't believe this is my life either. It's as much good as I'd ever imagine, of course along with some not as good. But overall. Amazing. Lucky.

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  128. i love these kind of posts. these heart-felt essays are why i fell in love with your blog.

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  129. I can't imagine life before Huck here on your blog! He seems like the sweetest.

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  130. Thank you. I needed a reminder like this today.

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  131. This post is amazing. I have heard/read several people explain their reasons for being (or wanting to be) stay-at-home moms and/or housewives. As someone who has chosen graduate school and (fingers crossed!) a career over children, I often feel like these explanations disparage my choice to not have children and stay home with them. Being a mother seems like the most difficult job in the world, and often thankless, and that's not for me. I want to feel important and like I have some kind of power in the universe and to be acknowledged publicly for a job well done (at least from time to time). I recognize these needs as mildly selfish, but I do recognize that and for that reason I choose to not have children, but I in no way think having children is a lesser station in life than going out to an office and working for a paycheck. I think a job that starts at 8 and ends at 5 is infinitely easier than a 24/7 job. Yet, I generally feel like the women who explain their choice to me need to make me feel like my choice is wrong. You beautifully explained why you love your job and not once did you ever belittle different choices. Thank you for that.

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  132. As an expectant single mother this is exactly what I needed to read.

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  133. Oh how you make me cry and always make my day so much better.

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  134. Could not agree with you more. I never thought being a mom could feel like this and I am so grateful. It's hard to always remember to find the good things in every day, this post made me cry. Thank you for reminding me.

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  135. such a great post - I relate to this so much! These are my feelings too! i feel the same way...all I want to do is stay home with my boys and take care of them, hubby and my home. Im over the ambitious career - my life as a mum is what matters the most!

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  136. Thank you for reminding me of the grand blessing that has been bestowed upon my humble shoulders and broom. What greatness we have been blessed with as mothers. Now on to the dishes, laundry and bed making with a smile and full heart

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  137. this post hit home - i always try to remember the little things when it gets tough - and it helps me feel SO much better = )

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  138. Hey girl,

    This is just such an amazing post. I absolutely lurve you and your life. I've becomg a daily reader/stalker/checker of your blog. Thanks for being so honest and funny!

    Shared with my readers because everyone needs to read you! xoxo

    http://theproperpinwheel.com/post/18610787219/fresh-find-friday

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  139. Amen. God bless you Natalie, thank you so much for this.

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  140. i love this post! and huck! and you! and kathleen kelly!

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  141. what a great post...sounds like an amazing job to have! I'm jealous ;)

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  142. Bless your little heart for this post. Today after a particularly horrible two weeks (and the ups and downs of being divorced for the last six years) I cried to myself about this very same thing and had some of the very same thoughts. Someday I will get to love and cherish the family that I've waited for so long and fought so hard to have. It's not today, but it is someday. I needed this reminder of God's timing and the reason for our struggles. Thank you, thank you so, so much.

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  143. so, right. i'm using this in my lesson today in young women's. they'll think you're cooler than any of us leaders and they will listen to your words, which is what i want, because these words say it better than the 20 year old manual.

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  144. You made me tear up just a little bit. Sometimes I'm pretty sure I take my life, my kingdom for granted and I don't think I appreciated my first baby enough. I was 19 and didn't try for him and I don't think I was even aware of it until I had to wait 4 years for another one and now I take notice of every pudgy roll, every tiny finger and toe, every coo and shriek, every wonderful facial expression. This was very inspiring...I think there are very few mothers out there who truly throw 110% of themselves into this thing and love every bit of it with all their hearts, very few who actually enjoy their children instead of just getting through the day with them. I needed this post a lot right now, so thank you so much for sharing.

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  145. I don't know how I missed out on reading this earlier, but I am so glad I did. The words you write here really are something special. Something to remind us all about the little things that matter and make our lives mean so much.

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  146. oooooh nat! natthefatrat!!!!!!! there are not enough uplifting and warming words to describe how terribly grateful i am for this post! so much!

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  147. This is my favorite post that you have written. It is a beautiful message. There is so much power in stating so boldly and clearly who you are and what you love. So nicely done! chapeau!

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  148. I had to share this after I read it- I loved it SO much. I feel like staying at home is IT too. It's a little piece of heaven in an ordinary life. The years when our children ate little should be appreciated. The feeling of having a home and your own family is precious. You say it so well.

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  149. great post. i look forward to the day that i can enjoy the same things!

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  150. can i say freaking beautiful instead of amen?
    okay.
    freaking beautiful.
    love it.

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  151. I'm holding back the emotion right now. That was beautiful, Natalie. Truly beautiful.

    It makes me so happy that you enjoy your life so much. Happy people make me happy. :)

    I'm sort of living the opposite of you. When I was younger I thought I would be married by the age of 21 (TOPS!) and start having babies. It didn't really happen that way.

    Somehow I've found myself living a transatlantic life, popping back and forth between my home state of Utah and England. I got a Bachelor's in England. I got a Master's there. Now I'm considering a PhD there. None of it was in my life plan. I've taken a huge detour, and you know what? I'm happy.

    I still dream of and hope for the time when I will take care of babies and eradicate the infestation of cheerios that insists on multiplying and replenishing (loved that!) the floor. But right now, life is good. Your post today reminded me of that. Thank you. :)

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  152. My sister sent me the link to your blog with the best intentions as I just found out she was have another baby and this past week was another month of "better luck next time" and "just keep practicing." I feel emotional as I read your feelings because its exactly how I see my life when my husband and I are blessed with the pitter patter of little feet one day. I want more than anything for my husband to be a daddy and have me by his side to laugh and play with.

    Thank you for sharing your blog.
    http://dessamae143.blogspot.com

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  153. Hi Natalie,

    I'm both a recent convert to your blog (the reason I'm so far behind the times is that when I found it a month ago, I started reading from the very beginning of the archives, and have only now reached 2012!), and I just wanted to thank you for this post. It's truly beautiful, and displays my particular brand of feminism well. It's a celebration of the life we classify as "the feminine" - the life that 3000 years of philosophy, science, economics, and religious institution has attempted to overcome in the name of reaching "higher" truth.

    The goal in most western society is to leave behind the body and overcome its limitations - its need to be fed, to be clothed, to be reproduced are disdained, and with it, so too are those who dedicate their lives to its upkeep. We as a society tend to look down on those who celebrate the "feminine" life, of regular, daily, repetitive tasks. It goes hand in hand with how we see "blue collar" work and physical labor. We can see this split in gender, and in race, and nationality. Gender is most obvious, and here I draw some broad generalizations to which there are many happily ever increasing exceptions - women are nurses, men are doctors, women are teachers, men are professors, women are cooks, men are chefs, etc. It's weird how it works - the more truly necessary something is, the less it is valued by society, but without it, none of the other stuff could exist.

    I love how you've quietly, and beautifully articulated an opposing view - that spirituality isn't solely the domain of those who leave the limits of the body behind, but can be found in embracing those limits, and celebrating them in the beauty of life as lived, and valuing its regular maintenance.

    Angels in the laundry indeed! :)

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  154. This made me cry, what a beautifully written post xxxx

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  155. I think this is one of the nicest things I've seen in the blogging world!

    Your little boy is beautiful :)

    http://golddustk.blogspot.co.uk/

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  156. This is one of the lovliest loveliest things i think i have even read before. You should be massively massively admired for all you do and all you are grateful for.

    I just stumbled across your blog and you have something really special. I love it here :) xxxx

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  157. I want you to know I am proud of you and you are an awesome mom.

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  158. I just found your blog and oh, how could I have missed it for so long?? Love it!! This is a wonderful post. I didn't experience infertility, in fact, you could almost say the opposite was true for me. I had my first at twenty. But thank God, somewhere in the moments after I took the second pregnancy test (because, you know, the first *had* to be wrong!!), He opened my eyes to the gift of motherhood. And it is truly wonderful!!

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  159. You're lovely. Honest, open, and full of heart. I can't wait to see the next adventure take off :)

    www.horneymomtellsall.blogspot.com

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  160. Hey Natalie, I only recently happened upon your blog, but I've checked it religiously ever since. Thanks for being so genuine, so cool, and such an example. I love your perspective. I'm not a mom yet. In fact, I'm not even married. But I'm so excited to be one day and I want nothing more to be the queen of my own little kingdom. You are beautiful and extraordinary. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us.

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  161. You just reminded me that my nearly one year struggle to get pregnant will someday be worth it [because, goodness GRACIOUS, I am so sick and tired of waiting and crying on the bathroom floor]. Thank you.

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  162. This is so a beautiful post Natalie! It gave me chills. Cannot wait to be a Mom!

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  163. Natalie, I have read this post probably 10 times. (I have parts memorized). This time was different. This time I'm pregnant. This time I'm sick as a dog and as hormonal as they get. This time I'm getting my own little kingdom with my own piles of laundry and bunches of toys to toss into bins. I could not be more excited. Or more grateful. I almost can't believe it. I'm becoming the queen I was meant to be!
    I know you're struggling with getting that next little spirit down here. But I'm hoping and praying for you, as I know so many others are! Sometimes we have to prove to ourselves that we can (and will) go through hell and back to get to our heaven. And I know you'll do it. Like a boss. Because that's just how you are.
    Lots of Love from the germiest state ;)
    Erin

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  164. Hello to the world at edge,
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  165. This is so powerful and so beautiful.

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