Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My "Being OK" story . . .

7 months ago, I would have said I was fine. Not GREAT, but fine. Life was busy and sometimes stressful, but overall I was enjoying life. I was OK with where I was.

7 months ago, we welcomed our second daughter into the world. And she was perfect, and I loved her fiercely from the first second I laid eyes on her. She has been an absolute joy ever since.

But along with that amazing little bundle, came a flood of hormones and emotions that weren't so amazing.

The first weeks after Emma was born I was very emotional. I remember one night when she was a few weeks old, my husband came home from work and we were having a conversation about how his day was. Tears began to roll onto my cheeks, unbidden. I kept reassuring him that "No, no, I am fine. I'm not even sad I just can't stop crying!"

The random crying jags came to an end, but the crazy hormonal roller coaster only accelerated. I went back to work running a busy daycare in the lower level of our home when Emma was not quite 8 weeks old and the added stress and pressure of suddenly working 9-10 hour days combined with my already fragile emotional state brought me to my breaking point.

There wasn't one particular thing that was awful. Work, although very busy and demanding of me, was going well and I was getting to spend my days with my daughters. My husband was home on parental leave lending a hand and helping with Emma during the night so I could get some sleep. My older daughter had adjusted well to the new baby and Emma was proving to be a very contented happy little thing.

So what was it? I don't know exactly. I think it was just too much of everything. Adjusting to being a mom of 2, instead of 1. Having a husband suddenly around and underfoot, messing with my routine and my quiet during the day. Going back to work before I was ready because I felt pressured to. Working too many hours on too little sleep. Doing all of the cleaning and housework after becoming accustomed to a weekly housekeeper that we could no longer afford, because of the husband's parental leave. Taking on a second job on the weekends so that we can afford a bathroom renovation.

All I know is, I suddenly found myself sobbing behind the wheel of my car in the driveway late at night so no one would hear me. Crying myself to sleep at night. Struggling to get up in the mornings because I was dreading the day ahead. Slogging my way through each day, losing my temper, having a bad attitude, and feeling incredibly sorry for myself all the while.

I had added 29 Lincoln Avenue to my blog reader, after reading "Hope For The Weary Mom" earlier this year and one morning I was scrolling through my blog reader when I saw "How To Be OK With Where You Are" in big letters.

 I froze.

 I stared at the screen for a minute and then clicked.

Every Monday in the weeks that followed I went to my computer and read Stacey's posts. Really read them. Digested them. Took notes, copied quotes into my prayer journal.

And I prayed.

It took me a few weeks but one night I finally admitted to my husband and, in a way, to myself that I was not ok. And I admitted it to God. Like Stacey said, He already knows - you can't surprise God! Even if He wasn't surprised, there is a freedom in admitting it to Him that comes with humbling yourself enough to look, truly look, at yourself. He looks down and sees us, buried up to our neck in our mess, and yet so many times we just dress it up and pretend it's not really there.

It's only when we finally acknowledge just what a fine mess we are in that He can rescue us.

And He is doing just that. As I work through removing my veil of fine and giving it up to the One who knows anyway, I am finding release. I would be lying if I said I sit here, totally ok and happy with where I am. I'm not. Not yet.

But God isn't finished with me yet. He's still working. And I am inching my way out of this mess . . . some days clinging, rather than standing on the promises. Some days the comparison monster rears it ugly head and I find myself fighting insane jealousy toward my true "stay at home mom" friends who don't work 2 jobs. Some days I fail miserably at everything and I go to bed feeling like a total failure and I am not even sure where I am going to find the energy to face the morning.

But He is always faithful. I may be stumbling and taking steps in the wrong direction half the time, but He is leading me out of this.

You can buy Stacey's new book on Amazon!

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up. God is our salvation.

 -Psalm 68:19

(this post contains Amazon affiliate links)

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