Each week, we will be featuring Motherhood Stories from women in the Kantha Bae community. We want to share the inspiring stories we see everyday, and connect you with new moms. If you haven't already, please be sure to join our Kantha Bae Mamas Group.
This week's Motherhood Story comes from Kelsey Shaw of @_im_a_bird

What’s your name and where are you from? 

My name is Kelsey Shaw and I live on Whidbey Island in Washington State.

Tell us about your family - Who are the special people in your life? 

My little family is made of a whole lot of love and connection.

I have a very opinionated, loving, high energy two and a half year old named Willie. His mission is to make anyone laugh. This gets tricky when he gets into trouble because he also knows how to worm his way out of it. It's hard to keep a serious face when he is humorous and clever! He is also the most caring and sweetest soul. When someone is hurting, he knows it, and he hurts with them. This child's heart is something else. He made me a momma and I couldn't be more proud.

I also have a very calm five-month-old baby named Wilder (we may have got the names mixed up on these two. Some say we should have named him Milder). I didn't know babies could be calm until this one. He is 100% different than his brother thus far. He is a snuggler and a smiler. I can imagine him always being this way. (I have to mention that he literally just rolled over for the first time ever as I am writing this. Making momma proud.)  The one thing I hope they both have in common is love and compassion.

Their father, my Husband, is a very dedicated dad and worker. He has always been extremely driven, but even more so since his two babies joined us. Those two are his heart beats. Watching him be a dad brings me so much joy. Both of my boys adore him. We are a mixed family. My two and a half year old is learning that different is beautiful...everyone is different...everyone is beautiful. 

Tell us about your work - Are you a stay at home mom? Do you have a full-time job? Do you work from home? Run your own business? 

I would say that I am mostly a stay at home mom. However, My Husband and I have a photography business together. I haven't been as involved in the business since Wilder was born. I feel most of my focus needs to be on my work as a momma. My Husband also does Videography. He is passionate about both video and photography and loves that he has the ability to work from home to be with his family. It has been amazing for all of us. When I was a lot more involved in the photography before Wilder was born, it was pretty amazing the amount of freedom it brought to our family. We were able to babywear our son Willie during every session for two years. It was pretty neat to bring him to work with us.

Tell us your motherhood story - Did you always know that you wanted to be a mom? When did you have your first child? What is your hope for this motherhood journey?

I did always know that I wanted to be a mother one day. In a sense of I'd like to see what my own kids would look like and be like. I never truly yearned to be a mother like some women do. I never experienced baby fever. Now when we finally had our first in 2016, I discovered there was so much more fulfillment in having a child than just what will they look or be like? So. Much. More.

This also goes to say that it also opened up my mind to the idea of future adoption, that it wouldn't matter if this baby was grown in my womb or another mother. All the love, for all the children. Funny enough, my first baby looks nothing like me. Ha Ha.
Though I never "truly yearned" to be a mother, and though my passion is photography... once I had my first I instantly felt like I finally knew that this was my true calling. It felt right. I was made for this. This would be my focus and this would be the work I do for the Lord.

What does a typical day in your life look like? 

We spend a few of our weekdays outside of the house doing play dates or at the library, and a few at home doing activities, house chores, and meal prep. Pretty much everything is baby and toddler based around here. We have discovered that one of our favorite things is dinner around the table all together. The togetherness, the prayers, the discussion, especially the toddler talk, and the warmth of a meal. I finally get it now. Why my parents wanted me so badly at the dinner table as a teenager. May my children always want to sit with their cool parents at the dinner table.

What are you most passionate about? 

My greatest passion is probably creativity in general. Whatever form it may take. Sometimes it's photography. Sometimes it's how I decorate my home creatively but with intention, allowing it to be liveable & not just pretty. Sometimes it is creating in a whole new way. 

What is the most joyful part of being a mother?

I would say there are two things that make my heart burst as a mother. One, being able to do activities and fun things with my babies that bring joy to their hearts. When I see their excitement or smile... this is what I live for. Secondly, When I witness my oldest one have compassion toward someone or share kindness. It is so rewarding to be able to see his heart, outwardly. 

What advice do you offer new moms? 

1.Grace. Have grace on yourself. This is still something I have to remind myself. As a mother, we work a job day and night, in which we take care of "precious cargo", and learn on the go without training. Every single age is new. In fact, every single moment is new. Maybe I won't know how I have done until my children are adults. And truthfully that is what scares me. I think that is where the daily pressure & often guilt, roots from. But when I am reminded to have grace on myself because, yes, I have in fact never done this before and I am doing my best I know to do... my babies love me AND they show it. I can breathe.

2. Though as a new mom you haven't done this before, other mommas have. Maybe not to your beautiful and unique child. BUT. There is so much golden advice from mommas before us. Women who have a gift in writing books in this area, or online blogs. I often google or research topics when I need help. Let me tell you, I think I am teaching my son, but I am the one that needs a teaching usually. My son was struggling to follow directions. After some research, it turns out I was struggling to reach him. I had to literally re-train my natural habits to what would work for him. I love reading wise words of other mothers. So I suppose my advice is to seek advice... ha ha!

3. A baby carrier is a lifesaver!

How did you discover Kantha Bae? 
By a few other accounts that I follow!

What are your favorite Kantha designs?
I have the Pareo and I adore the size and uniqueness. I would LOVE a quilt or baby wrap in the future. The designs and colors speak my language!

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