Near the end of my pregnancy with Conrad, I one day found myself carrying a load of laundry down the stairs backwards, holding Annabel's hand and waiting for her to trip and fall. She follows me around, so if I go upstairs to grab laundry, she'll come too. I don't want to waste a trip upstairs when pregnant, right? So, too, I'm literally balancing housework in one arm and a baby (or two) in the other.
So in real life I'm asking myself, "is this even real?" and meanwhile I'm posting my high reel on social media, and suffice it to say, I feel like I'm putting on a show. Post pretty pictures! Everything looks hunky dory! We're all fine and great-- look at our pretty life! But underneath the facade, by early May I was asking myself (and others with many small children): "How do you make it through the day?" How do you make it without becoming a very angry, screamy version of myself? I started to look in the mirror and honestly? I saw a big, fat dork (because, screaming) who didn't seem to be handling her life or adulting very well at all.
So .... I asked one of my very good friends how she holds it together with seven of her own children. And what to do about the mood?! We had a conversation and here are our insights into really fighting and winning the war against a bad (or sometimes horrible/horrific) mood:
sewing - learning embroidery with G-ma
1. Commit each day to the Lord.
For me, faith comes into play. I have to start by praying, humbling myself, and asking God to work through me. I know from experience that this is the only way to really see fruit in the spiritual life. The fruit of faith and the life of peace come about by the Holy Spirit. Without prayer, we don't have a chance at that reservoir of peace. Ask him to supply you with the love, joy, peace... and especially the patience of the Holy Spirit!
2. Seek the will of my Father in Heaven.
Truth be told I need to read the Bible each day. This is so hard because I clench my jaws around the raw meat of my desires like a hungry lion clutching its prey. But I glance in the mirror as I selfishly scarf a bowl of ice-cream and think, "Huh?! Who am I? Am I that greedy person in the mirror? Yikes!" I want to look in the mirror and see a woman of God who has peace and mindfulness. I think for me, the only way to align my desires to God's will is to read his word and study it. Take a passage from the OT, the NT, or Psalms/Proverbs each day and chew on its meat. If you see me, ask me how it's going!!! haha. #sohard
3. Take care of my physical health.
Just like plants in the garden need sunshine and water, I need good food that makes me healthy, strong, and regular :-O Oh, and I need a lot of water. I need long walks in the sunshine, and many days I need a nap. I want to get up and get dressed, and do my hair and make-up... because outside affects inside. #dontlookandfeeltired #momsfightthefrump
4. Go to counseling.
Right now I'm facing the very real prospect of post-partum depression with a newborn baby. I know my tendencies. I have to get help with bad patterns. Can you too take the pattern by the horns and wrestle it down? This keeps your mind healthy, which is just so important. It is as important- if not more important- than your physical health. It affects your physical health. If you prioritize your body's wellness by going to a gym, why aren't you prioritizing your mental health and wellness?! I can't sit in a deep dark well of my own sadness. I have to get help.
5. Get away.
This is just as important as everything else. Your health will benefit from a brief road trip or a bigger trip across the country or out of the country. Get away! Summer is the time. Take advantage of the break from school. If you have to, get away by yourself or with your spouse just for the weekend. Or go to a coffee shop for an afternoon to read, if nothing else! It doesn't have to be expensive, but in my opinion getting away should be a priority as high as the others on this list.
Having 6 kids. Hot weather. A newborn thrown into the mix. Everyone home from school.
This sounds like a recipe for Mama Complaining, and Mrs. Scary Bad Attitude, if you ask me.
Here's my challenge to you: Don't waste your Summer. Don't look back on these precious days and wish you had...
-made the most of each day
-a better attitude
-turned off the TV sooner
-stopped screaming and yelling
-planned and carried out your best intentions
Now's the time to pull out your planner, your Bible, and your pen, and start living life to the fullest. Why not start today?
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