Isolation

I’ve found being a SAHM to three 2 and under to be quite isolating. I’m sure it’s a shared experience no matter how many children you stay home with. But going from working mom to SAHM has been a shock to the system. In 4 short months, my life has become unrecognizable and I have been transformed in ways I’m only now beginning to see.
The thing is, I’m not sure that all the changes have been good or healthy for me. Which is really hard to admit since staying at home was and still is my dream.

There are obvious benefits, and I’m not doubting or regretting this season of my life- being a SAHM is rewarding, fulfilling, and wonderful. I love being here with my children every day.
But, like anything, there are adjustments to be made and I suck at change.

I started this process with the biggest perma-smile you can imagine. I was super mom. I did it all. I was so happy for my dream to finally be a reality, that I did everything I imagined SAHM moms do. Crafting, cleaning, educating…schedules, routines…I had to make up for lost time. I had to be fun. I had to be good at this.
And since I’m type A to the core, my eye started to twitch with all this new pressure I had place on myself.

I feel like I walked off a cliff. In many ways I kind of had to- I DO have my hands full over here. My cliff dive has made me feel like I’ve lost a bit of myself in my goal to be thebestmomeva. It’s not just that I had less and less time for friends, tv, personal hobbies, adult conversations, reading…but more that I’ve noticed a shift in my thinking and responses to people.
I’ve gone into myself a little. Stopped saying what I think and feel. Pulled away from social situations where I normally thrived. I even feel incapable of socialization some times. I get frustrated more easily with things that didn’t bother me before (especially my own children).

Part of me knew this was going to be a sacrifice. Not only being a mother, but staying home for my children. Everyone tells you how hard being a mom is but not many people talk about being a SAHM. Financially, emotionally, physically (#whodecidedmomwasajunglegym). At first I joked. “See everyone in five years!”
But that feels more real than I had intended.
I’m officially a hermit. Can we just say that?

My kids don’t like it when I eat my own food, watch tv, talk on the phone, edit pictures or hold one of their siblings. So there’s that.
What’s going on in the world? How do I know? The weather? Not a clue.
And you know that? IT’S OK.
This journey is new to me, and I’ve been hermiting away because I have a 6 month old and two busy toddlers. I’m out numbered by little people who don’t listen. But oh how I love them. They need me so much right now and I need to be the best I can for them even if it makes me uncomfortable.

I’m starting to come up for air. Slowly. You might see me out in sweat pants. Or without makeup. You may see me braving the store with all three kids or trying to go to the park. I’m trying and it’s not enough for someone else to recognize it. I need to see it too. I need to give myself that grace, accept this short season in my life and embrace it even when it’s difficult. Because eventually they won’t be little, and eventually I won’t be donning a wardrobe of sweatpants every day.

The blog post below has so resonated with me this week. I relate to every thing she talks about. I need that grace. I need that love. But I need to give it to myself first, because that mom guilt can really be killer.

So here’s my virtual “tip of the hat” to all the SAHM’s before me. You’re awesome and kudos for coming out of it alive. To my mother, her mother and her mother before her. You ladies are warriors. This stuff ain’t for sissies.
Sometimes loving comes easy. Other times, it nearly kills is.
Faith can be work, love can be labor, hope can be long.
1 Thessalonians 1:3

Dear Mom Who’s Trying,

I see you…rolling out of bed to the sound of the grumpy cries (and bickering) of little people…the same crying that drenched your day yesterday, well into the time of night you claim as “me time.” You didn’t get enough sleep…and you’re ready to quit before the day begins.

I see you…trying to remember how funny you used to be, how *those* jeans used to fit, how light-hearted you used to feel — before the responsibilities and turns in life became weighty.

I see you…doing the next thing, cleaning up from the last meal in time to prepare for the next…perpetually chasing the tyranny of the urgent.

I see you…checking social media like a drug, hoping for that thing that will inspire you, but find yourself crushed in your spirit with discontentment, guilt, and anxiety.

I see you…clinging to your favorite Bible verses, but really longing to cling to Christ himself — Christ, who you know is closer than breath, but yet feels elusive somehow.

I see you…loving and holding your children tight, but so quickly letting their hearts crash to the floor with your piercing and angry words…and you say, never again.

I see you because I see me.

I see us giving ourselves pep talks, and pulling ourselves up by our boot straps, and proclaiming, “I am enough. I will be brave. I am an overcomer!” And yet, in the quiet, honest moments of our day, we know that pushing through, pressing on, being brave …in themselves, is simply NOT ENOUGH.

And so, some of us, who aren’t brave enough, strong enough, optimistic enough…give up. Because striving in our own strength can only result in pride or hopelessness, greater self-righteousness or greater discouragement. You can’t win by might.

‘NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT,’ SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY. (ZECHARIAH 4:6)

Sister, of course you feel like you can do better tomorrow. Of course you think you’ll be less grumpy when your circumstances change. Of course you want to be beautifully brave like everyone else you see. It’s only normal that we think more trying, more striving, more “me making myself more” is what it takes.

“…by my Spirit” is only by faith, only by humbling yourself, only by decreasing that he might increase. By his spirit means that we “cease striving, and know that [he] is God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Today, if you feel defeated before even trying…or if you feel confident and on top of your game…

…consider if the on/off switch to your bravery is fueled by might and power…your own.

Dear friend, if it is, you are in for a roller-coaster. You are strapping in for a ride that can only take you high on self, or low on self-loathing.

But, if we might take our Redeemer at his word…that “he is before all things, and in him all things hold together,” (Colossians 1:17) we might be reminded that our true identity and state is that we have nothing righteous, good, or noble to offer. Any strength, bravery, overcoming, or victory is paid for by the blood of Christ, who made us worthy.

So, let us not fight for a good day today through will power, pep talks, or peer pressure. The best good we will know this day will begin and end at the person of Christ. To that hope, we sow good works and obedience and let this sink in:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Taken from: http://www.gracelaced.com/blog/dear-mom-whos-trying?utm_content=bufferca3ef&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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2 Replies to “Isolation”

  1. My Dearest oldest Daughter
    How I know that cliff of which you have written so beautifully about. It was not to long ago I took that same step. As you are now recognizing – I nor anyone else can help you see but you – how amazing you are! Being a SAHM is the hardest job you will ever do in your lifetime but the most wonderful – amazing job you could ever do!! You know right now I’m sure your thinking Really?? But I can tell you – I watch you from afar and I am so proud of the Mother you are!! I look at you and wonder how in the world did I do all of that – and one day like I have told you before – all those babies will be grown and you will be standing in the same spot as me Amazed by your children and what wonderful parents they turned out to be!! I Love you and YOU make me PROUD!!

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