As I was going through old posts, I took a stroll down memory lane, as I came across a couple of pictures of me when I was pregnant with Annabel.
It has been hard, but also fun this first year. Hard, because I'll admit it has been a bit of a fog. I've been going through old pictures, and it has just made me happy. And thankful.
Pregnant with Annabel
Baby Annabel- 1 month old
Baby Girl~ sweetie
"ever since the day you put my heart in motion..."
this warm and sweet one will turn one tomorrow! *sniff*
a few more from memory lane....
Last year at Halloween
Frances and Madeleine ~
almost exactly one year ago~ They look so little to me. In just a year, Frances' cheeks have thinned out and she looks so much taller to me now.
When we lived in D.C.- Molly was just a toddler, and that's Frances in the ergo!
Frances as a toddler
I just can't believe how time flies.
Time. Flies. It does. It seems like overnight we had 5 kiddos although I know that's not true.
You have to lasso the time... which makes me think of this movie quote: "Do you want the moon? just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down..."* That is how it feels to be a Mommy, friends.
And so I bring you...
7 things I would encourage all mothers everywhere to remember,
In honor of the 1st birthday of my 5th child:
1. Keep Perspective
Remember that each week that you live with little kids is another beautiful week to remember and to consider "under your belt." When the days are long, look back at old pictures and consider how special every single week with these little ones is. The cheeks thin out and the legs get long. It can make you wistful and sentimental, if you're anything like me. And it will inevitably make a wiser Mom out of you, when bumps, bruises, burns, and teeth make you feel crazy.
2. Choose Thankfulness
Whenever I'm struggling with my self-love (or lack thereof), such as weight issues or just generally being dissatisfied when I look in the mirror, I try to list off in my head as many things as I can that make me thankful. Did I make blueberry muffins with fresh, juicy berries this morning? I can thank God for that.Did I right a wrong- such as, did I apologize for anger with a stack of freshly folded laundry and a cupcake-date with one child? I think the thing here is to embrace reality and the present, because sometimes life is so hard, we would rather escape the big changes and the difficult struggles for right against wrong. Choose thankfulness for the things in life that are going well. And try to align your life to the standards of your heart, rather than the physical.
3. Do things for yourself, but don't let those things become an idol.
I love to do adult coloring books, I love podcasts, I love walks, I love reading. But at any point when these things have become an idol, I have had to take a break from them and, GET SOME PERSPECTIVE!!! Even though it is a good habit, even exercise can become an idol. It can make us feel better and superior, or we can be carving out too much time for it, and ultimately these feelings of pride crash and burn into self-loathing, and we all know that's no good. You've got to find your self-worth in Christ.
4. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Enjoy it/them.
On the hard days, hug a little closer, snuggle a little tighter. Have a tickle fest. Enjoying your kids is another way to enjoy motherhood. Jot down some specific things you love about each child. Write memories in a journal. (Do it!) As you would wish someone would send your child a card or little gift, send a card or gift your your niece, nephew, granddaughter, grandson. Enjoy and appreciate the little ones, for they keep our world going 'round.
5. Don't rush it.
Time flies. You look at your watch, and the hour drags, but I'm telling you, the week will fly. Fill your calendar to overflowing like I do, and the month will fly as well. Busyness may not be your cup of tea. If not, - I've always said that there's nothing a little bluegrass music can't cure. Cheerfulness a la some Indigo Girls or Nickel Creek can be a salve to a wound on a very bad day. To all of you in the trenches of motherhood: take heart! Your job as a mother is important as all get out. Keep doing what you do.
6. Get Support
I just recently started counseling again, after my former counselor moved out of town, about 6 months ago. You guys, I can't begin to describe how helpful this has been for my spirit. My counselor is cheerful and a strong Christian, and talking to her always puts my feelings and fears in perspective. It is comforting to talk with someone who has studied and has a ton of wisdom - in the specific areas in which most people struggle- in a snug and cute little office. It is actually kind of fun! And cathartic! I can dump on someone, so I don't feel the need to a) dump on friends or family and b) carry those bad feelings around with me.
7. Don't Compare
When looking at old pictures, it's easy to think thoughts like, "Life was better then," or "life was easier," or "I didn't have the cares that I have now." We all know it, but it serves as a good reminder that those wistful thoughts of times past are nice, but never really based in reality! Things were just as hard then as they are now. (Maybe for different reasons). And reading blogs, or scrolling insta, where other people appear beautiful or charming, can also be a violent tournament of emotions warring in our minds and hearts, if we are tempted to compare our shitty lives with a false version of reality! So don't!
Finally: Dweej/Dwija from House Unseen (awesome instagram account!) has some amazing advice for you right here so do go check that out before you forget. ;)
Happy Friday!!!! :-)
And remember: we are all in this together. And at the end of the day, there is nothing more fulfilling.
*name that movie
if you missed it, I also published my monthly recap this week and you can read it here