Monday I will be 36 weeks pregnant! Home stretch here I am, for better or worse I have arrived. The hard part is almost over, or is it...Yes my achy back and poor stretched out belly are about to be relieved but then a whole other part of my body has to ache and stretch to bring this baby screaming into the world! Beautiful imagery, I know...
Then surely the hard part is over. But then there are the sleepless nights and poopy diapers I get to relive. Then there will be the "terrible twos". Then, just when I think I have this parenting thing figured out it will be something else. There is one thing I know for sure. Each stage and milestone comes with their own unique sets of highs and lows. We talk about life in terms of phases, cycles, seasons, etc. Its the best way to make sense of life and to categorize and compartmentalize all of the various aspects into meaningful data that we can understand.
As this chapter of my life (mom of one) is coming to an end and the sequel (mom of two boys) is about to begin I am definitely having a lot of mixed feelings and emotions. Mostly they are excitement, gratitude, joy, and anticipation. BUT, if I am being honest I am also struggling. More than I like to admit and more than I have been willing to admit until now. I know how my life works with one child and it's been awhile since I have had an infant and I'm hoping it all comes back to me. I feel like I have so much to re-learn. I am worried about how I will split my time and attention between two kiddos. Landy and I have this incredible bond and I'm scared I'll lose it. I'm scared post part depression is lurking in the shadows waiting to steal my joy like it did when Landy was little. Seriously, every time I feel the tiniest bit emotional I swear its a sign that I already have it!! A little crazy I know...Anyway, there are just a lot of unknowns and I don't like unknowns. Alas, I have to suck it up and get ready because this ride is going with or without me!
Im not sure when I will learn to just deal with my issues head on...You would think after 30 years I would know what does and doesn't work! I try my best to bury the things I don't want to deal with and hope they will go away. They never do. They just lie there dormant waiting to strike at my psyche with a precision that takes my breath away and breaks me down to the core. Add in being tired, pregnant and emotional and its a recipe for disaster. So I shouldn't have been surprised when I finally cracked!
Wednesday happened and it felt like a tornado ripped through me. One minute I had it together and the next I was a sobbing mess. By the way, I am the queen of having it together... Not really, but at least outwardly that is what I want people to think; ALL the time. My husband knows better of course. Every now and then when life is winning I lock myself in the bedroom and cry for a good 30 minutes and then I'm good. I purge and then I move on, its actually quite therapeutic. I hate that my husband even knows this about me. Im not sure why I care so much....I think I just hate admitting that anyone or anything (life's circumstances included) can get at me in an emotional way. I feel out of control and Im pretty sure no one enjoys feeling that way. Anyway back to Wednesday......I sent this text to my husband at 10:51 AM "Please get home soon so I can get some time away. I need some space from Landon."
Yes, in my mind this was the text heard 'round the world. It was a public declaration that I didn't have it together and I was failing. It was a cry for help. It was admitting defeat and failure. I even felt like I was betraying Landon because God forbid I need space... I HATED that I had to ask my husband for help. I semi had it together until I started typing this out. As I was typing the message and preparing to send it my dormant anxiety and stress saw my moment of weakness and chose to attack right then and there. Suddenly my fears were being affirmed in my mind and worse, in my heart.
Immediately I just knew I was a terrible mother, I yelled too much, wasn't patient enough, had un-realistic expectations for my 4 year old, didn't play enough with Landon, allowed too much tv time, nagged too much, was lazy, was a terrible wife with a messy house...In my mind I was inadequate in EVERY way. I should mention Landon was in his room crying because I had just punished him and I was in the kitchen falling apart as I sent my desperate text.
Until the last couple of months I have felt pretty confident in my parenting abilities and where I am at with Landon. I thought I had my little guy all figured out! Ha, I guess I'm just lucky its taken 4 years for him to decide to change up our script. Since he has turned 4 he has just really come into his own. He is so opinionated and argumentative. And the sass and attitude he can have is shocking! A part of me has been wondering if its me. Like maybe because I'm extra tired and cranky I'm just impatient. Of course this is probably part of it, I don't have my normal level of patience and I can't keep up with my little ball of energy as well as I was before being huge and pregnant. But part of it is him. He is growing and changing and becoming independent! This is uncharted territory for me. So I find myself yelling more than I like and it seems like I am constantly nagging him and getting onto him. I am feeling so out of my element and because all the tactics that I used to use are now futile I just seem to be scrambling about like a crazy person. There is a part of me that knows this is yet another phase and we will get through this and figure it out. Landy is still an awesome and sweet little boy. Thank God that just today he told me I was his beautiful princess! But this other part of me where my deepest fears live sometimes get the best of me and I doubt everything.
So, as I am thinking about the new year and new year's resolutions I don't want to have a bunch of unrealistic expectations. I want to try to focus on balance and grace. I need to realize that the "perfect mom", "perfect friend", "perfect wife", etc don't exist. The allusion of them may exist in my mind but the funny thing is the more I strive for those ideals the crazier I make myself and thus the people around me are affected by my insanity. I remind myself that Jesus doesn't want me going down that rabbit trail, that trail is full of misleading signs and detours, and rocky mountains that ultimately lead to the rabbit hole. And once you fall in there...some weird Alice in Wonderland stuff might go down. So my hope and prayer is I will KNOW that I am enough, that I am adequate, and that I am sufficient. My best, not my friend's best, or the neighbor's best, MY best is good enough. I know this is true for my husband and my son, it just has to be my truth. And thats the tricky part isn't it?
We can know something is the truth but to make it YOUR truth, to own it can sometimes allude us.
To embrace truth I have to deny the lies the enemy throws at me. When I am down the lies that play on repeat in my head are meant to distract me and de-rail me. Even if I lose my temper and yell I don't have to let that one action define the remainder of my day and especially not my character as a mother. If my house is messy that doesn't mean I am lazy, it means life is happening. Maybe the house is messy because memories are being made while I play with Landon. I'll take that over the smell of pine-sol any day. For every perceived failure or mistake I'll think of five things I've done right. And when all else fails and I am at my wits end I will pray to the only perfect parent; my heavenly Father. When I can't give myself grace He will. When I am down He will pick me up. Where I fall short He will make up the difference. When the lies are coming at me from every direction I know that if I listen closely He will whisper truths into my soul. When I am broken and in pieces He will restore me.
Because of Him I get to be enough.