September 23, 2015 08:00 PM

Celebrity blogger Marla Sokoloff is a new mama again!

Since audiences first got to know her at age 12 as Gia on Full House, Sokoloff has had many memorable TV roles — Jody on Party of Five, Lucy on The Practice, Claire on Desperate Housewives — as well as turns on the big screen in Whatever It TakesDude, Where’s My Car? and Sugar & Spice.

Sokoloff, 34, most recently played Dani on ABC Family’s The Fosters and also starred in a two-episode arc on Grey’s Anatomy.

She wed her husband, music composer Alec Puro, in November 2009 and the couple — plus pup Coco Puro — make their home in Los Angeles.

On March 13, they welcomed their second child, Olive Mae, a sibling for 3-year-old daughter Elliotte Anne.

You can find Sokoloff on Twitter and Instagram.

Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

When I started writing for PEOPLE.com four years ago, I promised myself that I would be completely honest in all of my blogs. I didn’t see the point in sugarcoating motherhood because as parents, we all have our highs and lows whether we choose to admit it or not. I knew that my honesty would come with some judgment (remember my “No … I Really Mean It” blog? Yikes).

But I just tell my story as it is for me and my family. My hope has always been that at least a handful of moms reading this say, “Thank goodness someone else out there is going though the same thing.”

I wrote this particular blog when my baby Olive was just over 4 months old and I will admit, I was having a pretty rocky moment in my parenting journey. I often found myself wondering if I was ever going to feel like myself again.

My baby girl is now 6 months old and I feel like I’m finally coming up for air. SIX MONTHS later. I’ve decided to post the blog as is because I know there is a mama out there who may have a 2 month old or even a 2 week old who is feeling the exact same way and may need to hear that it does get easier. And trust me when I say, you are not alone. It gets better. You will return. It’s still hard, but the days (and nights!) become more manageable.

Please read and relate if applicable, but let’s refrain from judgment and mom shaming as we are all on this ride together …

Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

When my first daughter Elliotte was 10 weeks old, I wrote a blog called “Finding My Mama Mojo.” It was all about how I was finally finding my groove as a new mom. Just like all moms before me had forewarned, things got easier every day — I was able to deal with sudden baby dramas and split maternity jeans with a simple laugh and I was handling every baby blip with ease.

I had very few tears and almost zero breakdowns. I was fortunate enough to never suffer the baby blues or any postpartum depression — it was almost as if I was giddy in my new role.

At the time, I attributed this all to my terrifying pregnancy with Elliotte. I was so happy that our girl was alive and well after her health issue in and out of the womb, that the overwhelming relief gave me a contagious high that made Elliotte’s infancy nothing short of blissful. (It definitely didn’t hurt that this kid was instantly an overachiever who slept through the night by 8 weeks old. Don’t hate me until you continue reading.)

My gratitude for her existence far outweighed any postpartum hormones that were going to battle with me. I was out and about with my new baby fairly quickly with makeup on and hair washed, pushing my shiny new stroller, feeling like a million bucks.

Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

Here I am, four and a half months in to my life with my second child Olive, and I’m so far from having mojo, the fact that I even wrote a blog 10 weeks postpartum blows my mind! This time around feels different for so many reasons, the main obvious one is the double workload.

But aside from that, finding my mojo, per se, feels like a daunting task that I know (and hope) many of you moms can relate to. Feeling like myself again sounds very far away from where I stand now and I’m longing for the days of that coveted mojo.

Everything seems harder — from losing the baby weight to keeping the hair on my head. (But for real talk … what’s the deal with the postpartum hair loss?!)

Other daily events that almost always fall through the cracks are workouts (yet I always seem to get the workout clothes ON — the follow through isn’t always there), grocery shopping, dinner making, hair washing, makeup wearing, blog writing, you get the gist.

I still feel that all-encompassing love toward Olive and even the tiniest smile from her makes my heart melt, but this time around it’s a little harder to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as life returning to our new normal.

Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

Olive is still working on sleeping through the night so the thought of a good night’s sleep sounds like a fantasyland. Due to her being a preemie, her developmental milestones are a bit delayed so we are just giving her extra time to get there.

I never really realized how sleep affects everything and anything you do, and not a single movement in your day is the same without it. During these months of complete and utter sleep deprivation, I’ve noticed that I not only look different, but I’m so depleted in every facet of my being, I’m finding it really hard to be a good mom to both of my girls. Deep breaths and practicing patience are constantly a work in progress and I’m always in a state of survival mode until the sun goes down.

The hardest part of transitioning from one to two for me has been staying ahead of the overwhelming feeling that there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Some days I feel like everything is being compromised. I try my hardest to give my time to my girls equally, but that is truly hard when Olive is still so little.

This cycle then catapults me into feeling the ever-present mom guilt and inevitably ends with me in a puddle of tears in front of my husband, telling him I’m ruining their lives. (Oh, the things we say to our significant other while we are overtired and vulnerable!)

Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

Luckily, Elliotte is at the age where helping me with her sister is one of her favorite things to do. That transition has been so wonderful and the bond between these two sisters is an incredible thing to watch unfold. Elliotte was the first to get Olive to truly belly laugh and just the sight of her sister forms the largest grin on her precious face. These are the moments that make those tears and breakdowns that I somehow skipped the first round, completely worth it.

I realized around three months in that I was so busy trying to prioritize my family, I wasn’t putting any focus on the one person in my life who was truly being neglected … me. Each day, I had a list of things that needed to get done for my kids and my husband, but putting any focus on myself seemed selfish.

I would actually feel guilty if I took 30 minutes to go get a manicure while my daughter was in preschool because she too loves getting her nails painted. Every move I made just felt like I was doing something wrong. Don’t even get me started on how bad I felt after attending a Taylor Swift concert!

It took me awhile to see that this newfound mindset of putting me on the backburner wasn’t going to sustain and that it’s completely okay to add myself to the priority list. The second I started to see myself slipping away, I forced myself to reel small pieces of myself back in.

Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

I know in my heart that finding time for myself and my career are the components to making me a better mom. Giving myself the permission to take time for me again sounds simple, but it’s turning out to be the hardest part in all of this.

I know once we get out of the zombie trenches and my littler one is a wee bit older, I can start to chip away at the old me again. My tired eyes will be gone and long healthy locks will be intact. I know there will be a morning that I will get to take an extra-long shower and my jeans will go on with ease and I will just simply be back.

I know that day will come when I will once again find my mama mojo, but for now I’m just going to call myself a mom in progress.

I would love to hear from all of you — maybe your second was a breeze and your first was the tough one? Whatever your journey was/is feel free to share in the comment section below or send me a tweet @marlasok.

Xo,

— Marla Sokoloff

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