I’m BACK. And I have 5 things to tell you.
Well, everyone….after two whole years…I’m BACK. ☺
I want to take a minute and just tell you about what has happened to me and in my heart since I last wrote to you. This entry will be longer than usual because you and I, we have a lot to catch up on. Make a nice cup of something hot and enjoy the baby pictures!
THIS. THIS is what happened.
This small human is my life’s best masterpiece so far.
And yet…the way we have gotten here has been a rough ride. When I was due to bring this incredible little guy into this world, I thought I would continue my coaching and my speaking and my writing…with perhaps a little break to “get used to” being a new momma. * face palm *
As it turns out, God and this fiery little red-haired boy had other plans.
Suffice it to say, the birth did not go NEARLY as planned, the recovery for my body afterward took approximately 10 months longer than anyone had told me was possible (read: I couldn’t walk for 4 months and had to do 8 months of PT before my body and joints worked properly), and this lovely tiny human did not plan to sleep longer than 2-3 hours in a row until he was 16 months old.
I know, you probably have advice for me on that. So did everyone else. Not super helpful when the number of brain cells I was functioning with paled in comparison with the number of minutes per day that this independent little being was fighting all the well-intentioned “guidance” we tried to follow.
“Try the stroller, all babies love the stroller.”
NOPE. (insert shrieking and crying here).
“Try a car ride! My kids all loved the car and I even drove them around in the middle of the night to get them to sleep and it works like a charm!”
NOPE. (more shrieking and crying…Every. Time. We drove…)
But you want to know something? My son is now 2. He is trending toward low maintenance. He is funny as all get out. He has a chipmunk voice and a cheeky smile, and has recently crossed over into the realm of “most enjoyable little human I’ve ever spent time with.” They tell you it will be worth it. But I never could have understood just how worth it it would be until now. I’ve experienced it for myself and I’ll never be the same.
Motherhood has taught me a few things and it fits in nicely with my mission to help people become empowered in their situations and to strategize breakthroughs in confidence and performance. Also, it has made me funnier… (And slightly more swear-y….) Or maybe that’s just the exhaustion speaking…. Someone pass the wine?
So here are the five things I have (L)earned from this past two years of difficulty and triumph:
1. We have everything we need to face the situation at hand. And in some cases, you find out that you have strength you never knew about. Who knew it’s possible to sustain one’s own life and that of an infant (who literally feeds off the nutrition in one’s own body) for a year and a half on shockingly small – we are talking straight-up terrorist-torture-method – amounts of sleep? Ha. I found out I have another gear I can switch into (you with me, parents?).
It’s the same for every other tough situation we face. We don’t know we have that extra gear until we have no other option. That’s when we really get to know ourselves. Not super fun…but the benefits make it worth it.
2. Live in the present moment. One day at a time, one minute at a time. Regret cannot change the past. Neither can hindsight. Would I have been less shocked at parenthood if I had ONLY known? Meh. Not worth spending energy on the answer to that.
Also, anxiety and worry cannot help the future. Being here now in the present moment is the only way to fully be prepared for what comes next. To be fully ready for tomorrow, I need to fully experience today. Even if today is hard. And if today is hard, read #3.
3. Find the gratitude in this moment. No matter how hard things are, there will be something you miss later about what is happening right now. When I was up at all hours of the night with my body only half functioning and my brain barely there, I held my crying baby and thought about this. Everyone says, “It goes so fast – enjoy every moment!” At some point I made a pact with myself that the next person that said that to my tear-stained, sunken in, beyond exhausted face would get a fork to the eyeball.
But it did make me think about the fact that at some point my son will be big. And someday he won’t fit in my arms anymore. So I memorized what it felt like to hold a tiny being in the crook of my arm while I sang to it. And not only do I still truly remember what that felt like, but it actually helped me through those hard moments. Gratitude is the answer to all hard things.
4. Trust yourself. There are “experts” everywhere on every topic that matters to you. They will all have contradicting opinions about how to achieve success. Thankfully this doesn’t happen in the world of parenting. Ha. Haha… see? Funny.
Ultimately it comes down to you. Pray. Trust your gut. Make the best choice you can with what you have to go on at the time. And then move on. Welcome mistakes, because the more we make mistakes, the more we own the wisdom we gain. It’s ours. And very few mistakes are unable to be fixed.
Except for forgetting to put a mat down before you change a stinky diaper. That one is tricky.
5. Don’t go it alone. This may perhaps be the most important thing that I have learned in the last two years of my life. Someone who didn’t deserve the trust I gave them told me that being a new mom would be best enjoyed without too many other people in the mix.
When we are pressed beyond the normal amount, we must surround ourselves with safe people who can speak into our lives and carry us when we can’t walk. Sometimes literally. If you are going through a rough spot, find someone who gets you and accepts you unconditionally. Ask them for help. For support. For prayer. Then wait and watch the burden lift off of you.
I’m forever grateful to be coming out of the most difficult time of my life. And I am super excited I get to keep my red-headed prize. Know that if you are hurting, if you are stuck, if you don’t know what the next right thing to do is…you aren’t the only one who has been there. You won’t be there forever. And chances are there is someone who would be honored to be in it with you. Invite them in and see what happens. Can’t wait to share more with you soon!
Comment below with what helps you get through your hard times!