This season has been hard, but it helps to think of it in those terms... as a "season". It is easier than saying "life" is hard. If I think of it as a season, then it may pass like winter into spring and spring into summer. This season has been a battle with anxiety, depression, hormones, and exhaustion.
There I said it out loud. I love my son dearly and he along with Clara are truly a delight on most days. On others, they can overwhelm my senses and my rawness comes through. Since my son was born, I rarely have days where I feel like myself. Anxiousness over the littlest things. Depression that causes physical pain. Exhaustion because I can’t get him to a normal sleep cycle. Hormones because I have been pregnant or nursing or both for three and a half years.
All of these things make me feel very alone yet I know I am NOT alone, I know mothers all over the country feel this way but NO ONE talks about it. When you see other mothers in the grocery store or at pick up or drop off, they look polished, professional, rested, excited to be contributing to society. I feel like I am spending every drop of energy I have to put one foot in front of the other. I make myself eat, hold down my breakfast each morning and live off coffee. I have lost all my baby weight and then some. I am told how great I look, but I feel like my life is in shambles. I am portraying an empty shell that I feel is expected of me.
Recently, after a night of jagged sleep and stopping to pick up a new med for anxiety (which didn’t work by the way), I was holding Sam Henry in the store while trying to keep Clara from rearranging the shelves at the pharmacy. During the process, I was told by someone that I looked happier than I have ever looked. I almost cried! I wanted to scream, "I am miserable! Yes, my children are beautiful and yes, Clara is so smart it is almost scary but the last word on my lips would have been HAPPY!" I would have given anything to know when this season would turn.
I struggle with comparison -not feeling good enough. Rather than focusing on the gratitude I should be focusing on I tell myself I am not enough,,, not good enough at my job, not good enough as a mother, not good enough as a wife, not good enough as a friend. This is just a season of not good enoughs. Comparison is killing my soul. I see other mamas and think certainly they don’t have it as bad as me. Their kids sleep or if they don’t sleep, the moms don’t work so what's the issue? If they have to work like me then they…. Fill in the blank. It is ridiculous.
OK, so now you are depressed or anxious too (if you have made it this far). Here is the truth that I have to remind myself of daily, hourly sometimes even. I am NOT enough but that is ok. God is enough and through Him, I AM ENOUGH. He has provided me with more than I can ever imagine and through Him I am equipped to conquer all that He needs me to conquer. I might not have enough on my own power to handle these things (and trust me they are little things in the grand scheme of the world) but if I lean into Him and trust Him, I will be just fine. Yes, sometimes I wish He would just remove these burdens from me, these voices that tell me I am not enough. It would be great if the anxiousness that overwhelms me from out of nowhere that I can’t explain and the exhaustion that pervades my daily life would disappear. I would love for Him to take it all, but right now He has not chosen to do that. Right now, I am just walking with Him daily trying to see His grace, taking the little moments as I get them, breathing deeply when I am hurting, resting when I can, and knowing that someday this will be used for good. That someday, I can take another mother’s hand and instead of saying, "They grow up so quickly. Enjoy them while they are little", I can say, "I have been there in that season and it is very hard. Please know you are not alone."
Nancy Lee Zimpleman
It is so hard to be transparent as moms. Social media has made us feel we are supposed to have the perfect children, keep the perfect home, throw the perfect parties, and display the perfect appearance all the time. Who really does all that? Not our wise friends, not our genuine friends, not anyone truthfully. What if we all decided to take off our masks as Nancy Lee has done? Would we all relax a little? Who are we doing it all for anyway? Our husbands? Our children? Our neighbors? Who then? Do you think our husbands would be okay with a little less "perfection" and a little less "stress"? Mine would be thrilled! Do you think our Heavenly Father would be more pleased if we throw that birthday party that rivals Pintrest, empties our bank accounts and causes short tempers in our family or would he rather we go more low key as everyone relaxes has a chance to experience His love through us? Think about it then give yourself a break. Thanks Nancy Lee for being a truly genuine friend through your words!
Mom 2 Mom
Being a mom is not the easiest job in the world but it's one of utmost importance. Sometimes we just need to share the ideas, difficulties and joys in the journey of raising children. We pray Mom2Mom can help.
If you have any ideas or advice to share with our readers, please click the button below to share with us.