I want you all to know I did try this move to see if I could do it, but alas, being it’s my first try I cannot. But I will get better each day at it. That’s my goal….not perfection just improvement!
Ah, the joys of motherhood and new stages in life. I did say joys, right? Most days its full of joys, but every once in a while you hit that rough spot…that one day where the stars all align and everything goes wrong. So what does one do? Obviously…we analyze and overanalyze and go back and try it again…only to jump to all the worst conclusions…when it simply boils down to the fact that something is out of balance. And when life is out of balance, things totally spin out of control.
Friends of ours, Abby and Dave Jackson, had a little girl today…Lucy Jean. She’s beautiful, so a big congrats to them. Funny thing was, we just saw them last night. Abby, glowingly pregnant and anxiously anticipating the arrival of their bundle of joy. So of course, every seasoned parent (that’s me you know…all my 11.5 months of seasoning and far under done as of yet) asks the age old question…are you ready??? To which every unexpecting parent-to-be says yes and every mother to be says…absolutely because you think get this baby out of me because I am huge, swollen, tired, and ready to meet this person growing in my belly. To which then every seasoned parent (me again) says, “You are never ready even when you think you are!” Which as every once shining new parent knows is the gospel truth. As much as you think you are ready and paint the nursery and decorate and get things put together and set up and clothes picked and diapers ready….you are never fully prepared for how life changes when you have a little one…boy or girl.
Those little ones bring incredibly huge changes to your life. The best advice that I ever got was from a cousin of Joel’s who said give yourself at least 6-8 weeks because those first 6-8 weeks are rough, but things get better and you learn what to do and things start to settle down. I am daily thankful for that advice. So I take it for myself now being a full-time SAHM…give it 6-8 weeks. Let yourself settle in…don’t jump to the worst conclusions….and learn to balance your life.
What does that mean???Balance your life??? Honestly, I am not sure yet, and I think it is a point that shifts throughout your life. But balance to me means a lot of things. When your world turns upside down and life as you know it changes…radically….what do you do? First, PRAY!! Why, cause sometimes nothing makes sense and your human mind can’t make the up or down of things and you need direction and wisdom and patience and peace and financial provision and ….oh wait…I know you all get it….You need a lot more than your own self can give! Second, Stop judging yourself. Realize that you are never going to do everything perfect on any given day, that you will get upset over something silly, that your house will never be perfectly organized and clean like it was before your little one came along, that you are learning and doing something you have never done before and you DON’T have to do it the same way your sister, mother, friend, cousin, aunt, or anyone else did for that matter. Become your own parent, ask for advice, pray, make your decision and forgive yourself when something goes wrong. Third, create and surround yourself with a support system. I have friends, good friends, that I go to when I don’t know what to do. Who do I go to first…that’s right….My MOM! She’s the best. I go there when I need a break, when I want to talk, when I just don’t know what to do. But I have a myriad of other moms that shore me up when I lose my way. Have to say thanks to those ladies…Marnie Murray, Lena Dornetto, Karie Walaan, and many more. Each of those ladies I mentioned in so different, but God put each one of them in my life because he knew I would need different things. So find yourself some other moms to count on. Fourth, TELL your husband that you need help. Joel, although wonderful, is not, never has been, and never will be a mind reader. He doesn’t know how I feel and no matter how many hints I give him…he doesn’t think or feel like me…so I have to be blunt and come out and say it. It actually does help because my talking helps me work through situations. Fifth, take some time for yourself. I almost feel guilty saying it because it is not supermom like, but when you have kids and you are a SAHM, you need time for yourself to do things you love. You CANNOT lose yourself in your child(ren). You must have time where you can conversate with other grown ups, do things you love without your kids being there, and have some time of refreshment for you so you can come back to them and be the mom they need. It’s healthy. A good friend of mine, Jenn Novotny, has a counselor for a husband. He always talks about boundaries. You need them with your kids, too! Sixth, and I am going to stop here even though I think I have a lot more, you need to spend time…quality time–not TV watching time only…with your husband. You need to talk. You need to share. You need to turn the lights down and slow dance. You need to laugh and cry with him. You need to remember why he’s the love of your life and find fulfillment as much in that relationship as you do in the one with your kids.
So balance…yep, life is balance. Where you balance the days that nothing goes right with the joys of the giggles of your child. Where you balance the tears with the look in the eyes of your daughter when she sees you as you walk into a room when she hasn’t seen you for a few hours. Where you balance sometimes the loneliness and guilt you feel with the love and romance and friendship of your husband. Where you balance the I am not doing enough for everyone with the day you sit on the couch and watch a movie when you should be doing 50 million other things. Where you balance the I am not enough with I am more than enough because God gives me the strength, wisdom, and energy to be and do what needs to be done for the day. Where you balance the chaos and chatter with peace and calm. Where you get up the next day and you be you…your genuine you…as mom, wife, friend, learner, housekeeper, playmate, and the other myriad of hats you wear during the day, and you tell yourself today is all I need to focus on. I don’t need to think about yesterday or worry about tomorrow. I just need to balance today.