common illnesses don’t really amount to much, unless they’re strung together like popcorn strings on your christmas tree. then they can feel much bigger than the really are.
after the stomach bug hit all of us — jones TWICE — i was feeling rather weary. bryan and i had it in the middle of the night, and jones took a turn with that, as well. doing all sorts of cleaning and laundry when you should be sleeping is a fast-track to craziness. it was a particularly nasty bug, and all of our stomachs were tender and we weren’t able to eat much until about 10 days after we caught the bug.
then i caught a fever-and-chills type of cold at the same time as ezra. then he started getting four molars at once, which has turned into a three-week long process. (come in already!) then hay fever started, and despite the weather being sunny and beautiful, my itchy eyes and plugged nose have confined me to the house. ug! (not to mention that i need a haircut and my butt is getting bigger – ha!)
it is so very, very easy to feel depressed and beat-up after a line of things of this sort — physical ailments, little sleep, crying babies, taking care of kids while healing up, being PREGNANT, etc. not gonna lie, i fall into self-pity rather quickly. and when i feel that way, i don’t want to go anywhere. and when i don’t go anywhere, i feel extra bored and i eat a lot. then when i eat a lot, i feel guilty and go further into the pit than before. i start seeing the blocks on the floor, the books on the table, the little piles of little things, and feeling very overwhelmed. how easy it is to feel like a failure at times like this, right moms?
yesterday, i was doing okay, but two particularly trying interactions with jones just took it all out of me, and i was bone-weary. i laid on the floor of our office for a little bit, thinking about how i didn’t want to think about what to make dinner (much less actually cook it!), and it came to me that i should ask God what He wanted from me, just for the next 20 minutes. grace! i never think those things on my own. he said, “sit with your boys.” so i did. i went and i sat with them in their bedroom. they played around me, and i just sat there, but i could smile at them when they looked at me and i could touch them when they passed me, and it helped me remember that the simple ways of loving my family are not as difficult to do as i imagine, even when i’m tired.
i hate being in survival mode, and after a month of illness, entering my third trimester with baby #3, it is inevitably where i am. how many of you feel like failures for not being able to keep yourself out of this place? i know that i do. i know that i live with the thought somewhere that i should always be on top of things, with organized lists and daily bible readings and plans for how i will teach my children and a freezer stocked with made-ahead meals for these not-so-simple days, no matter what my life looks like. bryan hears this and immediately calls it out for what it is — craziness. he encourages me to let it go, its just really difficult to do.
moms who have been there, moms who are here right now — how do you get past the utter weariness of having to do the same things, day-in and day-out, no matter how you feel? how do you know if you just need to give yourself grace and be okay with “survival mode,” or need to kick it up a notch and work a little harder? how do you let go of your standards?
praying that God will help me cultivate some gratitude, which will help me let go of the bitter and depressed feelings i hold toward the place i currently find myself, physically, emotionally, spiritually. praying for hayfever season to pass quickly, so i can go outside again and enjoy being there. praying that i can manage to get a few things in order before this baby arrives. praying that i can learn to feel “at home” in this house, which is still difficult for me — i have yet to find a quiet, “retreat” spot in this new home, which is so very essential to surviving the days for me. i suppose i’m praying, too, that God will give me one of those spots in this house!
praying, too, for you other moms out there — the ones who have gone before, giving thanks that they can offer encouragement, and the ones who are along with me now, grateful we are not alone in the amazing trials and joys of being mothers.