Age gaps are peculiar things. I love my girls’ six year age difference. My oldest is the baby’s biggest fan. She cried happy tears for an hour when she found out she was going to be a big sister. To this day she is the first to get excited for any new milestone her baby sister meets. The difficult part is starting over. I would say 50% of my life is put together and the other 50% I most certainly do not. Those percentages are also subject to change. Right now, I am currently at about a 25% put together rate.
I am learning to accept that.
Six years is a long time in “kid years.” In just one year babies go from not being able to hold their own heads up to walking, talking, thinking, toddlers. In six years you have time to prepare for what you could not have been possibly prepared for the first time around. In six years you also forget about how hard babies and the feelings that accompany them actually are.
Babies are tough but the feelings are tougher. I’ve spoken a lot to others about my own battle with postpartum depression after Madi was born. I tried everything I could to avoid the same thing from happening a second time. I ate, drank, walked, slept when she slept, everything I wish I would have done the first time around. It was easy mainly because Emily has been a surprisingly easy baby and I have such a huge amount of support and love around me. Now things are not easy. Em is teething, she nurses every two hours (the same baby who slept through the night at 3 weeks old,) she bites me with her small razor tooth every time she nurses, she is crawling everywhere, and she wants me to be in her line of vision every second of the day. I try and do my coursework during nap time and somehow fit in a shower too, but it has been rare lately. Madilyn is 7 going on 37. She has skipped the sassy teenage attitude and has gone right to her late thirties where she doesn’t care about what you say and will go right to the manager. Eric works over everyday so we can hopefully get our own house soon and he is completely worn out.
I am currently in the trenches of motherhood.
Current daily questions I ask myself: How did I miss that appointment? I just did laundry, where did this mountain come from? Why am I so exhausted?
Being a mom has a way of showing you how to pour your all into others, so much so, you forget to refill yourself. Instead of finding real rest I have beenrelying on other things to fill the void. Binge watching shows on Netflix, eating, isolating. All of the habits and unhealthy coping mechanisms that have proven time and time again to get me no where, I run back to every time. As a result I do become full. Full of anger, loneliness, worthlessness, and doubt, while overflowing with a nasty attitude, craving control, and lashing out at others.
God understands the importance of rest. Numerous times in scripture He rests.
“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2:2-3
Did you read where he watched an entire season of the Office in a day? What? Me neither. He rested from all of his work. Raising humans is work. Hard, guilt inducing, anxiety creating, beautiful, loving, fulfilling, work.
A big part of what God has taught me in regards to my feelings and emotions is that sometimes it is okay to not be okay. Somedays are going to be worse than others. Somedays are going to be full of laughing kids that sleep through the night, folded AND put away laundry, and dinner made by 6. Other days everyone is going to cry, you included, no one will sleep, laundry is a faraway thought, and you’re telling your already tired husband to run by McDonalds on his way home. It is going to be work.
On those days you are allowed to rest. It is okay to cry and not get out of your pajamas and think about why is this so hard. But it is also important to remember who gives us our why. Much of my life was spent in overwhelming sorrow. Sorrow I could not pinpoint or express in a tangible way. Sadness that left me with continuous guilt, but that why is what put me in a place of healing without letting me forget. As much as I hate the depression I faced and the years I feel I have wasted, those years have given me an appreciation for life that I can not explain. I will not let my own thoughts consume me when my thoughts of myself during those moments do not line up with who I am written to be. “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” It is impossible to be anxious when you laugh in the face of fear.There is no promise that life is going to be easy. He does promise us that life will be worth it and that we will always be prepared for whatever this world throws our way. “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I will take on today with strength and dignity because He’s got this…even if I feel like I don’t.