Confessions of a Tired Mom
I almost feel like I need to introduce myself again. It has been so long since I’ve had time to sit down and write out my thoughts and process what I am learning here on my blog. Mostly because I am just plain tired. I am in a season where I am waking up very early with Addilyn and staying up too late at night to get everything done that didn’t happen during the day (not to mention Olivia isn’t falling asleep until 10:30pm every night and last night I went into her room six times for potty breaks, drinks of water, and reassurance).
I keep thinking back to the blog post I wrote before Addilyn was born about my fears of how I would handle two children. People keep asking how it’s been with two and I smile and say, “Well, just about as hard or harder than what I thought.” I think people may be a little taken aback that I respond more than, “Great. We’re loving it” but instead give a transparent answer about our adjustment.
I’ve actually learned an insightful lesson as I’ve walked through this as-challenging-and-tiring-as-I-thought season: I can do hard things. I can do hard things with a grateful heart running on little sleep and patience. I can do hard things as God equips me with the strength to endure. Even when what I feared actually happens, God gives me the grace to keep putting one foot in front of the other. (And this is so much truer when I walked through cancer–that even when my greatest fear happened, God gave me the grace to walk through what I didn’t think I could. Amen and amen.)
As Jared and I process the challenges of life with young kids and a busy career, I keep stopping us when we say this is HARD (like I just did above). Yes, there have been some hard moments as we find our groove but our life is actually beautifully wonderful right now. We have two sweet, healthy darlings, a stable job and income, parents who love and support us, healthy bodies, and so many other gracious gifts from God.
HARD was when I sat in a hospital bed for five days in a row feeling nauseous with no hair on my head. HARD was waiting to get pregnant and wonder if we ever could. HARD are the tragedies that many others are enduring right now. So as much as I am trying to transparently embrace this crazy season, I am also trying to do so with a grateful heart of how GOOD life really is in this current window of time. Beautifully wonderful and yet insanely tiring juggling a fussy baby and a determined toddler.
Late last night as I checked on Olivia in her bed and then walked to Addilyn’s room and checked on her, I had such an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness and tender love toward my two sweet answers to prayers. I read somewhere that moms should always watch their kids sleep because they look like such angels and it erases the memories of the hard parts of the day. I have to admit, that is so true. As I walked out of their rooms, I thanked God for the immense privilege I get to be their mom.
But boy, am I tired. Have I mentioned that?
And more than tired, I feel a bit conflicted in my mom-soul. That is probably why I haven’t written much here. Beyond the tiredness and the lack of a consistent nap-time window to write or energy to put words to thoughts at the end of a long day, I honestly haven’t known how to express my thinking. I love being a mom but it is waaaaaay more difficult than I was expecting. The whole sacrificial-love thing and continual-putting-others’-needs-before-your-own thing hasn’t been easy. I love being a wife but it is waaaay harder to choose gratefulness over resentment when life is full and tasks don’t always feel split evenly. I love teaching about writing but I’ve struggled with juggling work life and home life, and always feeling like someone is coming up short. So all of these thoughts have been bumping up against each other in my brain like a pin ball in a game machine. And I haven’t known how to blog about them without coming across as ungrateful about the challenges of these immense gifts in my life.
However, my goal is to try to do more of what I’ve done this morning: just sit down and write even if the word choice isn’t spot-on or the flow isn’t particularly smooth. Because what I do know is even if this post speaks to no one, it is cathartic for me to spill these thoughts onto a computer screen. And I leave feeling lighter and freer even if I haven’t solved a thing.
What I really planned to do this morning in this entry was introduce a post I read a couple of days ago on the blog Gracelaced. I have found her work and writing so insightful as she mothers and follows her passions. I felt particularly encouraged as I read what she wrote below and I wanted to include an excerpt from it. I felt like in so many ways she wrote what I have been processing with the exception that part of my full plate right now is just how it is going to be with two young girls. I’m still working through how to accept that reality while also following my passions, being disciplined in writing, taking care of myself, spending good time with the Lord, and building into my marriage.
All I know to do is embrace the joys and challenges of this season, let go of the idealistic plan of how my teenage-brain pictured life as a wife and mom, extend a lot of grace to myself and those in my life, and depend wholeheartedly on God for strength, wisdom, and perseverance.
Here’s to that. And maybe a little sleep along the way.
Excerpt from Gracelaced by Ruth Simons:
HERE ARE JUST 3 REASONS WHY I’VE HAD WRITER’S BLOCK IN THIS SEASON:
1) You can’t do it all. When I added my paintbrushes, my tools of language shifted in a way. Not permanently or even for the better. It just has, for this season. Running a thriving business with my art has definitely cut into my time to write. There are only 24 hours of the day. How we choose to use them often reveals what we feel we can’t live without. Sometimes the mediums we use to express ourselves change from season to season…I’m learning not to be surprised when I can’t use every medium, all the time.
2) Some say: IG (and social media apps) ate the blog. I love Instagram and find my groove there. But with all the daily practice, I now think in shorter sentences, I read shorter thoughts, and my attention is captured more quickly by the accessibility of relationships formed in the ever-changing world of micro-blogging that is Instagram. It still works for me…but I think we’ve lost something.
3) And, perhaps this is the most poignant for me in my current season, and relates to the former:
A FULL PLATE OFTEN ROBS ME OF THE APPETITE FOR READING, LEARNING, AND MEDITATION ON THOSE VERY THOUGHTS AND MORSELS OF TRUTH THAT MAKES FOR GOOD WRITING…WELL THOUGHT OUT WORDS…INTENTIONAL STORYTELLING.
There’s very little to flesh out at length when what you take in is only skin deep. There’s so much vying for our attention that we skim read, catch headlines, and entertain ourselves by simply scrolling. But those are only temporary boosts of information…like a cup of coffee that gives a surge of energy and alertness to what’s around. But there’s no shortcuts in the art of chewing, lingering, processing, rejecting, and receiving what’s worthy of reading. There’s simply no Cliff Notes to soulful thinking and richly digested content.
There is no creative freedom or flowing of the pen when the soul suffocates in the tyranny of busyness.
So to all my fellow bloggers, writers, thinkers, and creatives who wonder what’s happened to their voice, their storytelling, their ability to think a thought worth wrapping 350 words around:
PERHAPS YOU HAVE LITTLE TO SAY BECAUSE YOU’VE NO SPACE TO THINK. PERHAPS YOU HAVE NO SPACE TO THINK BECAUSE YOU’RE TOO BUSY DIGESTING BEFORE YOU’VE TASTED AND SAVORED. A LACK OF EXPRESSION IN WRITING HAS LESS TO DO WITH HOW MANY TOOLS WE HAVE AND MORE WITH HOW LONG WE SIT AT THE TABLE….TO DINE.
And so I leave you with the familiar words of our friend, Jack:
Rather than reading to stay up on the latest…rather than posting to satisfy a schedule…rather than creating to simply be heard…
…I’m convicted and committed to SAVORING MORE and letting what is written here overflow from a life well-watered and well-fed. I’m overcoming writer’s block with a greater appetite.