Motherhood: The First 6 Months

Our little girl (our first child) turned 6 months a week or two ago. And although, I don’t want this blog to be solely about motherhood or parenthood, it is the season of life that I’m currently in. So, I just wanted to share some things I learned as a new momma.

  1. Being a parent is HARD.
  2. Being a mom is HARD.
  3. Being a stay-at-home-mom is HARD.

LOL. Talk about stating the obvious.

When I first began this post, I wasn’t sure where I was going to go with it, but then a friend of mine posted something on her FB wall that really resonated with me. She talked about feeling isolated as a stay-at-home-mom. I understood those feelings all too well. Then, after talking with a few working moms over the weekend, I realized it was most moms–regardless of working status–that felt this way.

While I love being home with our baby girl, some days are good and others are very challenging. Some days baby girl goes down for a 2 1/2 hour nap in her crib, while other days she won’t let me put her down. Some days she wakes up at 4 o’clock in the morning crying, for no apparent reason, and I’m wracking my brain to get her back to sleep; but other days she sleeps for 7 hours straight. We love our children, and love being able to stay home with them, but it can be lonely and exhausting.

I think it’s because, being a mom often means that our own needs are set aside for those of another. However, it’s far too easy to get caught up in this idea, and never put ourselves first. Which, I feel is a mistake. I love my baby girl, but sometimes I need time to myself. Whether that means asking the hubbs to watch baby while I go to the gym; do some grocery shopping; cook or clean; or take a nice, long, hot shower; I need some time unattached, if only for 30 minutes. (I’m going to be honest though, I know my husband doesn’t always understand this, and it’s frustrating; but I guess I need to just do a better job at explaining it to him.)

Perhaps that’s where our loneliness and exhaustion comes from…thinking we need to be able to do it all on our own. Maybe we think we’re a “bad mom” because we can’t do it all; or because we need some “me time.” We shouldn’t think this way. As I often tell baby girl, “Mommy can’t feed you, unless she feeds herself;” in other words, we can’t take care of another of we aren’t taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually speaking.

Instead, we need to ask for help when we need it; and as believers, it’s incredibly important for us to remain in the Word and prayer, and in community with other believers (Hebrews 10:24-25).

I understand that when you have a little one–or more than one–it’s sometimes difficult to just get out of the house, forget trying to get together with others. It takes a ton of planning to get everybody up and out of the house, but it can be, and should be done.

I realized this after the first few weeks of being a STAHM. So, here are some things I’ve recently begun implementing in our home…

  • Attending a Wednesday morning women’s Bible study, so I can connect with other women. (My husband attends Saturday morning with the men.)
  • Weekly library visits.
  • Monthly visits to the children’s museum.
  • We (my husband and I) have begun getting together with different couples from church each month.
  • Planning a family outing once a month.

Lastly, I mentioned this previously, in my Learning to Appreciate the Silence post, we need to be wary of our social media usage. First off, it’s a huge time sucker; you go to check one thing and by the time you know it, 30 minutes have gone by. Furthermore, it’s so easy to get caught up with things others are doing, to feel hurt or offended when we feel we’ve been forgotten or excluded. If we weren’t watching the every move of others via social media we wouldn’t even be worried about such things. Finally, it’s way too easy to go into comparison mode, thinking that others have it better than us; or that they have everything all together; or sometimes, even worse, thinking we’re better than another mom! We forget that FB, Instagram, etc. are just the “greatest hits” reel, where we usually get to see people at their best. We don’t often get to see their struggles or insecurities–and believe me, EVERY mom has them. We’re all different and just trying to do the best we can with what God has given us.

Although, it appears that I’m trying to figure this mom thing out on my own by creating schedules and getting together with others, I must reiterate the need for spending time in prayer and the Word. Ultimately, our peace and strength comes from the Lord; and try as we might, to do it all on our own, we’ll only end up exhausted, bitter, and feeling like utter failures if we don’t rest in His presence daily. So, let’s take a lesson from David, when we’re feeling overwhelmed, and seek refuge in the shadow of the most high.

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is overwhelmed and weak. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I [a rock that is too high to reach without Your help]. For you have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever! Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings! Selah ~ Psalm 61:1-4, AMP

Emotional Defeat

I woke up this morning, with the intent to write about hypocrisy. However, it seems that as my day progressed, and my tormentor discovered he was nowhere near breaking me–as he’s been attempting to do these past few weeks–he moved on to the thing that always trips me up…my emotions.

It began at my doctor’s appointment. I’ve been praying, hoping, and waiting for healing, for a few years now (about 7). In fact, I stopped praying for healing not too long ago, because I figured God just doesn’t want to heal me, because if he did, then he would have done it by now. I’ve just accepted that it’s a part of my life and I just have to deal with it. However, recently, I’ve been reminded a few times not to give up and to continue requesting healing, so I sat there praying again, while I waited for the doctor to come in.

Finally, my doctor comes in…Last time I was in her office, she was pregnant, and now, she explains to me, her son is two months. As she’s telling me about the delivery I notice her eyes move toward my left hand and I get the feeling that she wants to ask me if I plan on having any children, but as she realizes I’m not married, she withholds the question.

As she moves forward with the appointment, she apologizes for taking so long, and explains that she had a 16-year old patient that she was talking over things with (did I mention this is an OB/GYN appointment?). I had seen the girl in the waiting room and I wanted so desperately to shake the girl and tell her to wise up! To tell her she didn’t want to be like me!

I headed home after the appointment feeling completely defeated. Feeling unloved, undesired, alone…I see my friends with their families–children and husbands–every day, and I don’t feel like this…but today…*big sigh* I guess my emotions have just gone haywire. I’m sure I’ll feel better in the morning.

Lord, please be with me; I know You love me and have a plan for me and I’m sure it’s much more than what I could ever imagine or accomplish on my own. In times like these, I need your strength and comfort more than anything else; and I want to know that I haven’t been forgotten.

Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)

Thank You for reminding me.

More than a Feeling

About a week ago I hit a wall. I felt incredibly alone, unloved, unwanted, and misunderstood. It’s during these moments (days or weeks), when I feel like God doesn’t care; like He’s not listening to my cries or see my tears. I feel like He’s walked away during my time of need.

Then I remembered that His word says:

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38)

And I realized that He’s always with me, no matter how I feel. If I feel alone, I’m not alone, because He’s right there beside me! If I feel unloved, I’m not unloved, because He loves me! If I feel unwanted, I’m not unwanted…He sent His son to die on a cross for me because He wants me! And I’m not misunderstood; He alone, understands, my hurts, fears, and deepest desires.

I am truly blessed to have a relationship with the most loving, loyal, wise, and intimate friend a person can ever have.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4)

Britt Nicole: All This Time