30 till 30

30 days till I turn 30. Sometimes, I think I am freaking out that my 20’s are over. That is what everyone does, right? But honestly, I don’t really care (that much). I am too busy, too tired, to worry about some arbitrary number. Do I magically transform overnight from the 14th to the 15th of next month? Will I wake up and FINALLY feel like a real adult???? Finally feeling like an adult would totally be worth turning 30. But I have a sneaky suspicion that this won’t be the case. And to be honest, being in my 20’s didn’t really mean much all that much. My 20’s were not spent how society depicts in all forms of media, anyway. I got married relatively young, had babies right after. My 20’s are honestly a whirlwind blur of diapers and bottles and playtime and coffee.

I did not have a long list of lofty goals for myself. I wanted to graduate from college- √. I wanted to get married before I turned 30- √. I wanted to have kids before I turned 30- √. I wanted to travel and live in different places- √. I wanted to live in a place that feels like home- √.

So why do I still feel like I have nothing to show for my 30 years on this planet? Because my life doesn’t make for a very exciting Instagram story? Because I don’t have perfect children with perfect photos of our perfect life? Is it because real life is hard and my marriage is struggling? Because my health (both mental and physical) are such a mess? Because I have a kid with special needs and the process of making any progress is more difficult than for typical kids? Maybe because I feel like I have to live up to expectations of origins unknown?

I think the fact that my life feels like it is a hot mess just happens to coincide with the fact that I am turning 30 in a month. I could be turning 21 or 25 again and if my current life situation was the same, it wouldn’t matter that those are “exciting” milestone years. Besides, 30 might have seemed old when I was 12 or 15. But 30? 30 is not old. 30 is just 30.

So cheers to messy life and another decade spent on this crazy planet.

Attempting to Just BE

In a world that strives to do more, be more, see more, earn more, I am trying to just be. I am trying to be content with what I have. I am trying to live in the moment. I am trying to be thankful and grateful for all of the blessings I have. I am trying to focus on the good. I am trying… Sensing a pattern yet?

Trying. I am trying to do all these things, but I have never been very good at them. I am an anxious person. I am a worrier. So much so that I have had to go back to the medical community and ask for help, medication and counseling. I have had to admit defeat once again and allow other people, strangers, into my brain to assist me on the journey back to “normal”. But ya know, this time, I am focusing more on the fact that it is okay to need help and less on that fact that some people might have an issue with it. I want to be the best wife and mother I can be, the one God created me to be. I am praying and seeking God’s guidance, but I also know that He has given us doctors and therapists and medications to help. It so happens that my brain does not like to function properly and it is no different than the medication my thyroid, my reproductive or my musculoskeletal system need to function. Having to see a team of doctors to get my mental health back in order is not something I am proud of or thrilled about. But it is a necessary part of my life. It is not something that I am going to be ashamed of anymore.

Life gets messy and heavy in the ins and outs of the everyday. We add more and more on top of the things we HAVE to do, and for what? I am not suggesting that kids cannot participate in extracurriculars or that Mom and Dad can’t have hobbies or activities that they do. We all need something that is ours and that we enjoy doing! But we all push ourselves and then push some more. I know that God wants us to live our lives to the fullest and enjoy those lives, while focusing on His purpose. But He also does not want us to burn ourselves out in the pursuit of what we think life is all about! It isn’t about making the most money, having the fanciest car or the biggest house! So why are we killing ourselves to achieve those things? We could all benefit from taking a step back and breathing. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and a good book. Take time out of the busyness of the day to read your Bible and talk to God. Lay on the floor and build a tower with your kids. Do a puzzle. Relax. We don’t have to run ourselves ragged to prove our worth to anyone. And if someone makes you feel like you do, maybe reevaluate or work on that relationship?

2018: The year I am ready to see be gone

     I spent most of the last day of 2018 how I have spent most every day for the past six months: on the couch, watching my kids play. Usually Friends is on in the background. Sometimes Harry Potter. Some of you may know that Friends is one of my “self-care”, coping mechanisms. It’s like a comfort blanket type thing… (Pretty sure there is an explanation about it in a past post.)
New Year’s is never my favorite. I miss my best friend that has been gone for 8 years this New Years and I still miss him like crazy. It’s definitely not the best time of the year.
      I keep up a pretty good facade. At least, I think I do. But to be honest, things have not been so great for some time now. I get up and make sure everyone is changed, in clean clothes and eats. The house is not dirty and the clothes get clean. But most days, that’s about it.           
   I think feeling guilty about not meeting perceived expectations for motherhood is just another negative thing to deal with, piled on with everything else… There was a whole big thing typed out, but I realized that was a rant for another post. 
     This whole year has been a difficult one. So many changes- some good and some not good at all. The last six months have been tough. Really tough. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I wanted to be blogging this whole time, keeping up with life and using writing as a cathartic exercise. More often than not, however, when things happened, it was easier to just shut down. Keeping a very surface, basic presence wherever I am is so much easier than allowing others to see what is really going on.  I don’t blog when we are having major trouble in our marriage. I don’t blog when I am struggling to parent my children. I don’t blog when I am struggling with my physical health. I don’t want to blog when life isn’t going how I want it to. Allowing people in when things are out of (my) control doesn’t happen. Maybe it should… When does it become oversharing? When is opening up about “real life” too much, for me or other people? I have always been a writer because it has always seemed like a healthy outlet. When I started letting people in, however, that seemed to change. 
It seems like, when you share, one of a few things happens: 1) people share words of encouragement or advice that are always from a well-meaning place, but cannot always be accepted, 2) people feel awkward around you and pull away or 3) nothing changes because it just doesn’t and you start to wonder why you even bother.  
       I am so tired; so worn out. I feel like I have nothing left. Every little bit of me that I have goes to my children, which is exactly how it should be. But I’m not sure how much is there to draw from anymore. I have always kept going because there are no other options. This time around, I just feel like I need a break but I don’t know what that looks like or means.  
       All I can say to 2018 is BYE.

Depression Can Kiss My….

Yeah, that’s right. I super want to post this with profanity. But I super try not to use it! Dilemma… Use the “stronger” word to express my true feelings? Use the non-controversial language and hope people understand the depth of my frustration? That’s probably my best bet…

And here I go again… Going off on a tangent to deflect from the actual issue at hand.

Depression. Anxiety. Feeling like I am literally drowning in my own brain and I cannot come up for air. Wanting to do nothing but lay in my bed, maybe eat a cookie and watch Friends on a loop. Maybe Harry Potter (but that would require setting up the blu ray player in the bedroom and that just doesn’t make sense since we are in the middle of moving). I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t want to do anything.

But that’s not an option. I have a husband. I have three tiny people who depend on me for EVERYTHING. They have school, therapies and appointments. They need food and clean clothes. This is my job.

I talk about my physical health issues pretty frequently. They are a big part of my life and, usually, not a huge deal to discuss. Sure, some of my friends/followers might not want to read about my troubles with my uterus and the monthly (sometimes multiple times in a month) torture it puts me through. That’s fine. I tend to shy away from going into graphic detail. It is not necessary. If someone has questions about the issues I have, they can look them up or ask me directly. No big deal.

Talking about my mental health issues… I don’t usually do that. I know it makes other people uncomfortable. It is not an appealing idea for me to put all my junk out there for everyone to read (and potentially judge).

What do I have to be depressed about? Why can’t I just snap out of it and be thankful for the many, many blessings I have? Why can’t I just be happy to be alive? To have a house, running water, indoor plumbing and food?

If I could snap my fingers and “just get over it”, I would have done it a loooooong time ago. I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts since I was 11 years old. 18 years of dealing with this crap. I have no desire to feel like this.

Depression is not glamorous.
It is not romantic.
It is not cool.
It is not fun.
It might make for good music, but you already have to be an artist so there is really no benefit there…
Anxiety makes things that I enjoy doing painful. When my anxiety is heightened (and I can rarely pinpoint a cause) doing anything outside of my house is mentally and physically exhausting. Phone calls are almost impossible, but when you are mom (and a special needs mom, at that) phone calls are a huge part of the job. When I am feeling anxious, I majorly struggle to control my emotions. I might cry for a seemingly ridiculous thing. I lash out and yell at super stupid things. I can hear my voice and how it is coming out (and I HATE it) but I can’t control it.
I do not like who I am as a person. I never wanted to be the kind of mother that gets so overwhelmed and frustrated that I either 1) yell because no one is paying attention anyway or 2) I shut down and just let things “go with the flow” because I have zero control.
I hate that, for whatever reason (be it a chemical imbalance or an issue caused by my thyroid disease) my brain often refuses to function at a balanced, reasonable level.
I hate feeling like a “crazy” person who cannot control their own thoughts, emotions/feelings.
I don’t want to be this person. I don’t want to feel “defective”.
But here we are…
So there you have it.
I am not sure what caused me to put this all out there except for the fact that I am tired. I am so very tired. And done.
Putting one foot in front of the other is a struggle for me right now and I don’t know what else to do but write.
If I encounter you and I seem less than interested, it’s not you. I promise.
If I blow you off and seem to not care about your feelings, it’s not true. I do.
I just don’t know how to process what’s going on in my head and still do my normal, daily “mom stuff” while making any extra effort.

I’ve Heard It Both Ways

I am turning 29 tomorrow.

I am not really sure how that happened, since I SWEAR I just turned 19 and was mourning that “loss of my teens”. Why that was such a struggle for me, since my teens did not go all that well, is a mystery to me, but hey. I thought that this existential crisis I am feeling would come next year, when I will be turning… I can’t even type it. But at the same time, I keep thinking, “What’s the big deal?! 29 is not old… Right? No. It’s not. I’m good.”

Maybe it is because my 20’s went from being sick, depressed and stressed out to married, a mom and living all over the place. I know I am definitely not the only person to get married and become a mother while young. 23 is not even that young, compared to many people I know.  But for so many people in my life, their 20s is/was a time of traveling, making huge mistakes, learning from them and having all sorts of adventures.

Don’t get me wrong, marriage and motherhood are most certainly adventures in their own way. But it’s still different.

Now, at only 4 months postpartum, I am stuck at a point in my life that I am not ready to be at. It should not be something I have to think about, but it is pretty much ALL I can think about.

With all the issues I had with my pregnancy, labor and delivery with S and now all the health issues I am trying to get a handle on, I have come to a fork in the road. I can ignore the health troubles I am having, from a medical perspective, and try to manage them with diet and exercise (which I am truly attempting to do, regardless). I can have an IUD put in and hope it helps with the debilitating pain of cramps and monthly anemia. I can seek a second opinion about the suggested hysterectomy. I can just kind of fly by the seat of my pants and see what happens…

When we started having babies (despite the warnings of infertility), I said that I wanted to be done having children by the time I was 30. My 30s would be about raising my children and finding new interests/hobbies. 30 is now 12 months away. 52 weeks. Do I go back on what I said? Do I push it out to 32? 35? What about my health issues? What about the fact that my oldest has special needs and caring for the younger two already is extra challenging because of that? I have to think about the children I already have and the husband I have… But for some reason, no matter how many cons there are to even thinking about adding another Little Love Nugget, I cannot shake that desire.

I have been told that the desire I have, the longing in my heart, might never go away. There might always be a part of this Momma heart that wants to carry and deliver and love another child. I have also heard that I will just know when I am done with this stage in my life. So which is it?

After all, let us be honest here. There are not many other things I am all that talented at. But I do make adorable babies. Those of you whom I do not know in real life will just have to take my word for it. I won’t share photos of my kids outside of my private, secure social media pages. I promise you, though, I am not just saying this because every mother thinks (and rightly so) that her kids are super cute. Mine really are!

So here I am… On a precipice (I love when fancy, weird words totally work!). All of these choices- that I cannot make alone. All of these consequences, good or bad- they do not impact just me.

I am in a season of waiting, wondering.

Will I be a mom of three? Four?

Is adoption in our future?

I know that I need to pray. I know that I need to take advice from wise, trusted friends. I know my husband gets a huge say in the matter.

If you know me well at all, however, things not being in my control make me uncomfortable. I like to know what is coming next. I need to know what is coming next.

Maybe that is the lesson that I am to learn from all of this.

Let go. Look to the Lord. It is not about me, alone. I need to get my stuff together before trying to make big decisions.

Any (all) of these lessons apply.

So, I guess now I wait. Wait, pray and try not to go bonkers in the process.

Christians Cannot Have Mental Illness

Ever heard that? Or worse, ever had it said to you?

“If you are a follower of Jesus, you cannot have ‘mental health problems’ You just can’t. You need to pray and ask God to help you have more faith. If you struggle with depression, you are not trusting in God and you need to repent from whatever is holding you back…”

I wanted to respond with, “So does that go for other health problems, too? Can Christians not have cancer? Or migraines? Alzheimers? Common colds? Learning disabilities? Physical disabilities? I could go on…” But I didn’t say any of that. I didn’t say anything. I was stunned.

This person standing in front of me believed it was a sin to struggle with depression and anxiety.

“Those things are not from God. You cannot have struggles in your mind if the Holy Spirit resides in your heart.”

I walked away because I was angry and didn’t want to say anything in that anger. I wanted to question them. Have you not read the Psalms? Job? There is an entire book called Lamentations!!

I am not suggesting that Mental Illness is okay and from God. Mental illness was never part of God’s plan for humanity. But neither were cancer or migraines or Alzheimers or the common cold! If we treated people struggling with mental illness like we do anyone else who has parts of their physical body that are sick, things would look a whole lot different. Our churches would look a whole lot different. Instead of being ashamed and hiding in the shadows, maybe people would be seeking help in the arms of our Savior and comfort amongst those that claim to be His people!

I think the biggest part of the problem is that so many do not understand what mental illness is. When your body is not working properly, when there is a malfunction of a system, that is an illness. When your brain is not working properly, that is an illness. When you experience trauma and it affects your ability to cope with stress and life, that causes an illness. Things like chemical and hormonal imbalances are not sin. Struggling to deal with past trauma is not sin. We have come so far in the understanding of how the brain works, but we still have so far to go.

This topic stirs up so many feelings in me. I have been on the receiving end of judgment and criticism for the struggles I deal with. I have been on the receiving end of love and acceptance, as well. Unfortunately, the judgment and criticism stays with me well beyond what it should. I should focus on the love and acceptance, but they get drowned out by the negative.

I can tell you for a fact that my brain chemistry malfunctioning or struggling to cope with stress, anxiety or past trauma is NOT a reflection of my faith and trust in the Lord. My struggle with getting up and out of bed because my anxiety is raging is not a lack of faith. Not being able to make a phone call or making my husband order something for me because I struggle with social anxiety is not a lack of faith. Sobbing for hating who I am as a person because my jacked up brain is telling me that I am worth nothing and am just a burden might happen because I am not looking to God in that moment, but it does not negate the fact that I know Jesus loves me and died for me. As a matter of fact, I don’t know that I would trust and rely on Him the way I do if it were not for my struggles with mental illness. When I have been at the end of my rope, literally staring into the face of wanting to die at my own hand, He was there. He held me when I was at my lowest and kept me from breaking. I have loved ones who have lost their battle with depression. I still do not believe that it was a lack of faith that led them to end their own lives. Being that broken is exhausting and devastating and unless you have been there, truly been there, you have to no idea what that feels like. You have no idea what it feels like to not want to exist. If you do, my heart breaks with you because I do know how that feels and no one should ever have to go through that.

These struggles are not from God. His heart breaks when His children hurt. When anyone suffers for any reason- even in the event that our own decisions caused consequences and now we are dealing with the fallout- that we have here in our earthly, imperfect, temporary bodies, our Father’s heart hurts for us. He has the answers… but I don’t believe that we always get to experience them in the here and now. Just like with cancer, MS, diabetes, etc., the resolution of our pain may not happen in this lifetime. Good thing we have hope in the resurrection.

Even Paul struggled. Paul. Sold out to God, giving up his life for Him.One of the greatest missionaries… ever. Check it:

“Three times I pleased with the Lord about this (thorn in the flesh from Satan), that it should leave me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Corinthians 12:8-10 (ESV)

There is such controversy, and often discrimination towards those who struggle with mental illness in our society. From ‘gun control’ to the stigma of medication, everyone has an opinion.. everyone thinks they have a solution. But until we find an actual solution, we will have a problem. I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t know what to do about the legitimate epidemic we have… I just know something has to change.

So if anyone ever tells you, “You can’t be a Christian and have mental illness!”, send them to me. I’ll fight them for you. I will straight up fight anyone who says this to anyone. It is not helpful. It is hurtful. Do not believe them.

Maintaining a juggling act- when I don’t know how to juggle

I wanted to have 12 kids. I thought having a huge family would be the most awesome thing! We would live in a big, old farm house. We would have chickens and goats, maybe a cow or two. A pond with some ducks. Rows of vegetables and maybe a fruit orchard… I had this image in my head of my kids running out in the fields, barefoot, playing tag and hide-n-seek for hours. They would come in to wash up for the homemade dinner I made, from scratch, consisting of almost entirely food from our farm. Dinner would always be the time we sat together and talked about our days (with the occasional sibling squabble, resolved by a touching sitcom moment)…

When I was 17 years old, a doctor told me I would never be able to have children. I cannot say my hopes and dreams were dashed, but I was bummed. But if you have read my blog before (if you haven’t, it’s ok, this post will more than catch you up to speed) you know that they were wrong. Straight up wrong. I have three (3!) kids. All I had to do was say “I do!” and I got my first baby 9 months later. Baby 2 and 3 were not as easy. I had fertility issues (not necessarily conceiving, just some super unpleasant reproductive health organ issues- PCOS and endometriosis) with both of them. We had a loss before I got pregnant with E, and S was not planned because I was having all sorts of crazy health stuff going on. S was, by far, my most difficult pregnancy, labor and delivery (that post is coming- I’m still working on it!).

God has a sense of humor (for lack of a better way to put it). Doctors- “No babies!” God- “3 in less than 5 years!”

Now, I am juggling chronic (often debilitating) health issues, depression and anxiety, a marriage and motherhood. I wish I knew how to juggle… I keep dropping a ball (or 3). I don’t think I need to have it ALL together ALL the time. But having some of it together most of the time would be awesome.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder, along with depression, an anxiety disorder and PTSD in college. When I was diagnosed with my thyroid disease, it was suggested that I might not have any of those and it might just be my hormone regulation. It doesn’t change any of the symptoms, either way. Also, there is a study that I read that the cause of depression is more complex than originally thought. Here is a link: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

Does it matter what is causing depression? Does knowing the cause of crippling anxiety change the feeling of drowning in your own mind? Does hating who you are as a person and wishing, praying, begging to be different suddenly stop when you know what chemical imbalance is causing it? I don’t think it does…

I know a courageous, bold, well spoken young women who very openly blogs and posts about her life, struggles with mental illness and a tough past. I find encouragement and hope in her daily FB posts. Seeing her so open and honest has inspired me to become more open with my own struggles. If we continue to hide in the shadows, afraid of being judged for something we have no control over- depression, anxiety, self harming habits, suicidal thoughts- they win. If we allow the darkness to consume us without a fight, what is the point in all of this? I know God never designed us with the intent for us to mentally suffer (or physically, for that matter). That was most certainly not His plan.

But crap happens. So we struggle. We all do. Some of us just happen to struggle more than others in certain areas. For me, all of my illnesses/issues are “invisible”. I do not always walk with a limp- even when every muscle/joint/fiber of my body is screaming at me. You cannot see my migraines. You cannot see my thyroid attacking itself, as I wait for the day it inevitably gives out for good. You cannot see the battle raging in my brain, day after day. Frankly, I really wouldn’t want you to. The things that go on in my brain scare me sometimes and I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to see that.

Every single day I wake up, I struggle. Mentally, but also physically. Mentally, sometimes I just don’t want to have to face the day, the world. I want to hide under the covers till the monsters in my head finally pass out. Physically, it takes a while for my body to get going. Everything hurts. But Mr. H is up at the crack of dawn (literally, as soon as the sun peaks a tiny sliver over the horizon), ready to go. Getting him ready for school every morning is a battle in itself. H has his own war going on. Being autistic is not for the weak, I can tell you that much. I have to wake up E, which is a crime. Who wakes up a sleeping toddler?! I do. Almost every day. Now that S is in the mix, things are even more crazy in the morning. He usually wants to eat as we should be out the door. But those three small humans I just mentioned? They are what gets me out of bed every single morning- literally and metaphorically. On a daily basis, my children bring me to the brink of insanity and then pull me right back with their hugs and kisses. The get on my last nerve and then love it all right again.

I struggle… a lot. I am short with my kids, my husband. I am moody. I am exhausted. I want to crawl into bed and stay there for days. I am blessed beyond belief. I HATE when people tell me always look on the bright side of things, look for the good in everything. “It could always be worse!” I know they are a 100% right. They are!

So, every day, I stumble, fail miserably and ask for forgiveness. I make sure my kids know I love them and am so thankful to God for them. I am so far from a perfect mom, but I am learning that there might be no such thing and that’s ok. As long as my kids are loved, fed and clothed, I am doing my job. That’s enough… at least, for right now.

Adulting is “hard”

What does it mean to be an adult? I am seriously asking this question. What actually makes us an “adult”?

Age? Responsibilities? Independent living? Marriage? Parenthood? Being self-sufficient?

I meet all of these supposed requirements/suggestions and yet, I still do not feel like an adult. I am almost 29. I am married and I have 3 kids = loads of responsibility.

When I was in my late teens/very early twenties, I worried about the normal stuff. College. Boys. A car. Boys. Eating right. Did I mention boys?

I wanted to get married and start a picture-perfect family. I thought that the cares and concerns I had as a single, working, college student were tough and I needed to just get past that stage. I laugh at who I was and what I thought was a worry.

At 22, I became someone’s wife. At 23, I became someone’s mom (and again at 26 and 28). Major, life altering things. Seemingly, no change in how I view myself.

I am not judging and certainly not making light of any concerns you have if you fall into any/all of the categories I mentioned (single/employed/college student/young). Each stage of life definitely comes with it’s own concern. But I put so much time and effort into pushing through those stages to get to what I thought would make me 1) happy and 2) feel like an adult. And while being a wife and mom does me me happy (and a little batty), no manic switch went off. When does that happen? Does it happen?

I have 3 kids- do I need a 4th? We rent our house- do we have to buy one? I own my vehicle- do I need one I make payments on? Do I have to have a job outside of the home?

None of those, necessarily, seem like good options. Definitely not right this minute, for absolute certain.

So what is it? What is the secret? Do you feel like an adult? Why?

Just Another Day…

Do you know you’re at your breaking point when you get to it? Or is one of those things where you end up breaking and realize it after the fact?

“Yup. Right there. That was the last straw… The proverbial camel 🐫 has a broken back.”

I have felt at my breaking point before. I struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for years and years…

But this time, it feels different. Surreal, almost. Different because every night , I feel like, “This might be it. I’m going to snap. I am going to lose my mind for good this time.”

I yelled at them again. I HATE yelling at them. It is not their fault my body feels like it is trying to give up on me. It is not their fault I did not get enough sleep (usually). It’s not even entirely their fault they are still struggling with the whole listening thing. They are still little kids, after all.

The biggest kid had a good day and school and is now spiraling out of control because he used up every ounce of strength to hold it together. Or he had a rough day at school and it is carrying over to our afternoon. Autism is rough. We are all adjusting and trying to figure things out as we go along.

The middle one is at the stage of one tantrum or struggle after another. This week, she was diagnosed with a significant speech delay and will be receiving speech therapy. She wants to talk, but it just isn’t coming out. It most certainly adds to her frustration level (and mine, as well). One minute, she is all cute and giggling. The next minute, her world is crumbling. Being almost two is tough.

The “baby” is growing up so quickly, already. At only 8 weeks old, my brain is telling me that he is basically off to college already and I should be a sobbing mess. Apparently the post baby hormones are not all the way gone like I was hoping.

Approximately 15-20 diaper changes and the endless washing of the same bottles over and over again… it all accumulates and I am worn out.

This stage of life is tough. More difficult than I anticipated as a wide-eyed, eager, 21 year old, desperate to get married and start a family. I did not anticipate financial struggles, major health issues, how trying (emotionally and spiritually) being married can be. How trying being a mom can be.

I love my little family with everything I am.

I love when one of the little ones climbs in my lap and gives me a hug for no apparent reason. Or the baby grins at me with his big baby smile. Or my husband brings me home Taco Bell because I am craving crap and just don’t care. Or I have a friend talk me through something that I needed some support doing. Or I get an invitation in the mail to a dear friend’s upcoming wedding. I smile and realize that there are always going to be difficult times and struggles. But they are all worth it.

So that is why this is not my breaking point. It might be a “go hang out with adult friends for a few hours, maybe have a glass of wine” point. I am so over this week, over this day. I might do nothing but keep the kids fed and clothes for today… maybe tomorrow, too. But I am not breaking. I have far too much going for me and far too much to do.

I Need More Patience…

Starting with myself.

I had our third child on Christmas Day. He was 9lbs 2.9 oz, 20″ long and I had a rough time getting him into the world. I had to be induced because my blood pressure was getting dangerously high. It was time for baby boy to come out and my body needed some extra help. It still took a long time and by the end, I was so relieved to be done. I was not thrilled with how things had gone, my birth plan being tossed out the window again. This time, it was because of medical intervention/necessity, but I was still not pleased. Our son was safe and healthy after a difficult (and for a few minutes scary) delivery. That is the part I have to focus on.

That was just over three weeks ago. For some reason, though, I have gotten it in my head that I should have everything back to “normal”. I should be back into a routine already. My chore schedule should be the same. The kids should be dressed and ready to go in an orderly, timely fashion. Meals should be cooked and on the table at the appropriate time. I should have more energy and not be so run down. I should not still be in my pajamas at 4 in the afternoon.

None of those things are true. Except the pajama part.

However, I am actually dressed today and it isn’t the first time. The dishes and laundry get done on a regular basis (more so than when I was in my third trimester of pregnancy, for sure!).There is generally some sort of a meal to eat (many times, thanks to wonderful friends from church!!). H was at school on time all last week (including one day where I delivered his airport made of boxes and cardboard while wrangling all 3 kids). The house is not a disaster and my kids are doing just fine.

Where am I failing? The question really is this: Why do I feel like I am failing? No one has made that suggestion to me. My kids are alive. They aren’t all healthy, but I can’t control the flu virus (unfortunately 😣). H hasn’t been to school all week, but only the one day counts because Monday was a holiday, the rest have been snow days and the poor kid has the flu! They have clean clothes and food to eat. My husband has not complained (he has not complained for almost 6 years, I don’t think he is going to start now…). So where do these thoughts and feelings come from? I have been a mom of 3 for 3 weeks and 3 days. I had a ton of help from my sister for almost a month before the baby came and then my mom and dad were here. My sister in law and mother in law helped a ton, my daughter being with them for almost a week. So really, I have been doing this parenting them “alone” during the day for just over a week (and that is not entirely accurate, either!) It’s going to take some time to get into a routine. And then it will change again because S (#3) will be going through a new phase, a new stage.

Normal is not a label that can be applied to this family.

I am a tired Momma with a bunch of health issues. I am raising three amazing children, the oldest recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (High Functioning /Aspergers), adding a whole new dynamic. I have a newborn baby, changing everything that had just changed. Again. My husband works his butt off to make sure I can stay home with our babies. It isn’t easy, but we are making it work. It is going to take patience. A lot of it. And I need to start with myself.

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