Stronger Than You Think
I haven’t been able to blog as much as I have wanted to lately. This is in part because now that the holidays are here things have just seemed to have zoomed by and the days are flying and the weeks are passing and everything feels like it is happening so quickly. But then there are other days that just crawl by. Or weeks like last week when my husband was away at a work training and it sometimes felt like I was suffocating with the stress and pressure of being with our toddler and baby by myself (with the help of friends and family, thank God), and I would just like to touch on that today.
You don’t know how strong you are until you actually do something. When I was pregnant with our second baby, I would sometimes get the biggest sense of dread wondering how on earth I would handle putting two children to sleep for bed time or for nap time. And then when I was finally forced to just DO it, I realized that all my worrying and wondering and fretting was for naught. It was fine. Some days are difficult and some days I thank God for how smooth it can be, but it is fine. The same thing happened last week. I was worried sick how I was going to handle dinner and bed time and bath time with an almost 3 year old and a 7 month old baby. I was terrified for how my nights would be, as my son still wakes up throughout the night to nurse and I was praying that it wouldn’t be as awful as I was imagining it to be in my head (without the support of my husband, right next to me and helping me), and I was shocked each morning when we all woke up. I was proud of myself. I was proud of my kids. We did it. We made it through the night just the three of us.
This may seem silly to some people. There are SO many harder and more difficult things out there that people have to deal with. But I cannot personally attest to those things. I can only write about what is going on in my life. And my life right now is all a huge learning curve. I had assumed that with my second baby that I would have everything down pat. I had already had a baby so I knew what to expect. What I hadn’t taken into consideration, however, is how very different children can be. My daughter would wake up about every 1-2 hours at night, and she did this for about a year. So my husband and I had thought that we were prepared for whatever our son could throw at us. We had already had a year of sleepless nights, how worse could it get? Well I will tell you. While our daughter did wake up with that frequency for a year, I had the benefit that I could just nurse her back to sleep and then I could fall back asleep. What I did not expect with my son was how he falls asleep differently. Sometimes he will nurse back to sleep. Sometimes he wants to nurse AND be rocked back to sleep. On some truly difficult nights, he wants to be nursed AND rocked AND be swayed and shushed and patted back to sleep. Those next days I don’t even bother putting my make up on.
But here is the thing. You are stronger than you think. Sure there are days where I will just cry because I am sleep deprived or stressed out or feeling sad that I just want a little time to bake something or make a lovely home cooked dinner. But there are SO many more days where I look at my family of four and am just so happy and blessed and loving our life. Where I want to freeze time and just take in all of what is happening. Really watch my daughter’s imagination at work as she uses place mats to “build a yellow brick road”, or watch my son as he continues to work on his hand eye coordination and learn to feed himself!
So my two cents for today’s blog post is this: You are stronger than you think. If you need help, ask for it! There is absolutely no shame in calling a friend or a family member to come over for a few hours to give you a break. Or even if you just need to vent or get a good cry out, that’s ok too! And if you are dreading something that is coming up, or something that you have to do but are worried that it will be super difficult? Maybe (hopefully), you will surprise yourself that it was not as bad as you had feared. Anyway, I hope you are all having a great weekend and I apologize for not being able to write more. Hopefully I can continue to carve out more time for this, and in the mean time: You’ve so got this mama!