Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Truth of the Matter...

Yesterday my friend Julie (mom of 3-month-old, Luke) asked me if I'm liking this mom gig yet. At first I was a little caught off guard by the question. Afterall, aren't I supposed to be loving it? I carried this child for 9 months... the last of which rather uncomfortably... all the while anxiously awaiting her arrival. Isn't it supposed to be like finally exiting the plane to your dream vacation, or finally walking down the aisle to marry your fiance?

But the truth of the matter is, I could not positively answer her question. My honest answer was... um, I guess, maybe, sometimes, like, between the hours of 7am and 4pm. When I really thought about her question, I realized it was one probably only another mom or dad, possibly as close to my shoes as she is, could have the honesty and wisdom to ask. 2.5 weeks ago I could not have imagined being asked, or asking, that question. But yesterday, the very act of being asked seemed to free me to honestly reflect and answer.

The truth of the matter is since my 1:30pm post on Monday, things have been more difficult. Elynor hasn't necessarily done anything different, but my emotions and fatigue seem to have gotten the best of me. By Monday evening I was wiped and had a minor meltdown (well, maybe major, you should ask Ryan). My recovering body was hurting and Elynor was screaming as we tried to get out the door for small group... and... AHHHHH!!!! as soon as Ryan walked in the door I lost it. We decided I should not only stay home that night, but I should take several steps back and just relax at home this week, not only limiting the outings, but forcing myself to just sit and sleep. Limit the chores, limit the visitors... let my body heal and get to know my daughter.

I did my best with this yesterday, but again, by the time Ryan got home, I was in meltdown mode. Maybe it has something to do with it getting dark around that time. Yes, of course, by that time I'm tired, etc. But that's not going to change. I think it has more to do with my attitude. For some reason, by the end of the day I find myself just wanting to get away... clock out, if you will, just like any other job. When I snap to the realization that there's no clocking out - that it just keeps going - that's when I go into bitter, bad attitude (mean to Ryan) mode. I'll spare you all the specific negative thoughts I have and words I say to my husband and simply say this is not how I want to live.

During some counsel from Ryan and some prayer last night, I was reminded of the following truths. So today I start a new day of motherhood with the following as my guides. Do I expect to never meltdown again? No. Do I expect to automatically start always liking or even loving this? No. But do I expect to make the best of this phase - the portion God has granted me - as much as I can? Yes. That's what I want to model for my daughter and really what living a joyful life is all about.
"Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus." Colossians 3:17 (written by the apostle Paul, who spent much of his ministry in prison... no matter how much I don't like this new gig, it's definitely better than living in a prison.)

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men (or baby...)." Colossians 3:23

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control." Galatians 5:22-23 (joy and patience are my focii this week...)

from a fave song... "The joy of the Lord is my strength..."

9 comments:

Liz Mouse said...

I 100% know exactly what you are saying. It does get better - way better. Before you know it she'll smile at you. Then she'll laugh (or at least you will think it's a laugh). Then she'll giggle and before you know it she'll sleep through the night. You'll wake up one morning and realize you've fallen in love...from the heart and not just the 'because you're her mom' love. You'll be in love with her personality as you see it emerge. On a practical note - this all happened for me around 4 months - so hang in there.

IndianaMomma said...

Sarah,

I really enjoy reading your blog with the vivid imagery, frank honesty, and yes, even grammatical errors! ;)
Actually, I am too dumb to notice any grammatical errors...Did I even spell grammatical right?
I am praying for you. I know you will feel like a pro in no time.

Karla

Kristian Aloma said...

well, we're not pregnant yet, but when Corky and I read this we thought - you are our perfect manual for when we do decide to have kids. KEEP WRITING, FOR OUR SAKE! :)

mom & dad said...

We are praying for you as well sweetheart! God will surely bless and reward you for your perseverance as you strengthen your motherly skills, patience and confidence. Remember, "you can do all things through Christ who strengthen you" honey. Also, "this too will pass:)" We love you Sar!

Roxanne said...

girl,all new moms have been there and if they say they have not they are either 1. lying or 2. on some serious narcotics. You can always call me- I can come by & listen! I have been there!

Sunshine Eyes said...

The best words of wisdom I heard when Brooks was a newborn was "Whatever you're feeling, it's perfectly okay. Whatever." I think they meant that I had the freedom to feel *everything* honestly - at times that meant being frustrated with my lack of control over my circumstances, annoyed that my life looked NOTHING like what I remembered it being just a month before, dead tired beyond belief, jealous that Eric's life appeared to continue on as (mostly) normal and maybe not a little bit scared that I wasn't feeling "fulfilled" to the depths of my being.

So many days I called Eric at 3pm and said if you're not home by 6pm, I might lose it!! Those late afternoon, evening hours were the worst. My mom called them the "witching hours" because by that point, most kids are fussy and tired, and most moms are just exhausted from the day.

You've made some good decisions - limit yourself to the necessities... keep yourself and your baby alive, and do what you need to do to heal and to rest ... sometimes for me that meant staying in my pjs all day and not going out (that incision really hurts when hauling a baby up and down three flights of stairs!) but sometimes that meant going out and trying to do something "normal", just to what I could do with a baby in tow.

I will say this, for me the exhaustion got better around 3.5 months. When Brooks started sleeping more, I woke up one day and realized "hey, I feel better! This new mom life doesn't seem so bad." There are still moments, sure, but it really does get better.

Keep talking to other moms - Julie, Liz, Kim, me, others. The community of those who really DO understand was just priceless for me. Keep talking to Ry - what a sweet supporter. Keep talking to Jesus - who somehow always seemed to give me just what I needed at the right time. Some of my best "quiet times", even now, are singing my favorite worship songs while I'm feeding the little guy.

We're praying for you.

Kimber said...

Sarah, how precious is your honesty. ALL of us have walked exactly where you are. Some days, I'm still there with a 3 month old. The late afternoon/evening hours always seem to be the worst. But SC's words coulnd't be any more filled with truth...wherever you're at is ok in that moment. Don't try to rush yourself to be something else in the midst of that because God is doing a work in all of us through this experience and unfortunately it usually takes longer than we'd like!

Practically speaking, it honestly does get better. I didn't believe anyone when they told me this and thought they just said it to make me feel better, but I'm now living it out and can say it does get better. And a time will come when you look at Ellynor and think how could I possibly love this baby any more than I do and you'll see how great this gig is. But give yourself a break and know that moment comes at a different time for every mom.

Biggest words...Don't compare yourself to any other mom's walk. We all get there but we all take different paths to get there. That is God's intention. That's what makes this walk so exciting, and so scary all at the same time. We love you and God loves Ellynor more than either you or Ry are capable of doing. So because of that, know that He is right there with you no matter what you're feeling.

SheWesty said...

Thank you everyone! How awesome is this little online community! :)

Sheila said...

Ditto on everyone else- what you're feeling is totally normal. In fact some days I still feel ready to clock out. The best resource for me has been connected with other moms. I actually *gasp* joined a MOPS group (for moms pregnant to preschoolers) when I moved and it really helped. I do love reading this, it brings back a lot of memories and I can empathize with the other feelings!