Have you ever woke up and already felt defeated? Like I may as well not even get out of bed, because I know I am going to fail my children, fail my spouse, fail my boss, etc. That is how I felt this morning.
My two year old didn’t get changed out of pajamas yesterday. His diaper had gotten changed, at least a couple times. He ate food that was mostly nutritious. He played and laughed and went to sleep peacefully the night before. However, for some reason, I was stuck on the fact that I am failing because I can’t even get my child dressed in clean clothing.
I have a lot of negative self talk that swirls in my head. Often one little moment like this can eat at me and leave me feeling broken and unworthy. But that my friend, is a lie. Satan likes to tell us lies. Defeated, broken and unworthy is exactly how he wants us to feel. By allowing those thoughts to remain in our minds, we are actually giving Satan power over us. So what can we do about it?
Don’t let one moment of your day define who you are. Take time to realize all of the things you are doing right. Fight negative self talk with truth and positive affirmations. Instead of focusing on who you are, focus on whose you are. Although you are not perfect, God perfectly created you. He chose you specifically to be the parent of your children. Embrace it.
Being a parent is exhausting. I was exhausted at times before I became a parent. But there really isn’t any other kind of tired that can compare with the exhaustion of being a parent. It never ends. When they go to sleep, we are still thinking about them. Do they have friends at school? Are they learning all that they need to? Are they overweight, underweight, good at sports or any other extra curricular activity???
Earlier this week I was feeling extremely drained and weak. My muscles ached as if I had lifted too many weights the day before, except I hadn’t lifted any weights the day before. Besides my 35 pound toddler that is. Although I had slept well the night before, I was t-i-r-e-d. I have a lot on my plate at the moment. An upcoming work event, an upcoming vacation, a birthday party etc. I don’t have many moments to waste and as I struggled through some housework that had been neglected, I felt like I may drop where I was standing.
I called my husband to ask him permission to take a nap. What? Girl, you don’t need his permission! For me at that moment, I did. I explained to him briefly all I needed to accomplish, but I didn’t know if I had the energy. He told me to stop everything else and take a nap. Everything else could wait and my body was telling me I needed to rest. I was so relieved and I snuggled my toddler on the couch and we slept. His permission gave me the ability to switch off my brain for a moment and really rest. Things seemed a little easier to manage when I woke up.
I give you permission today to take care of you. Whether that means to find time to take a nap, take a hot bath, call a friend or family member, read a favorite book or drink your favorite beverage as you take a moment to breath. Your children give you permission to take care of yourself, so you have the ability to take care of them.
So what is it going to be?
In my first post I said: Depression. It is REAL. Mental health issues have often been misunderstood and there are still many who think those who suffer from it are just negative, whoa-is-me, sad people. I want to encourage those who are feeling lost, heavy, drowning or suffocating, probably all of the above, that there is HOPE.
I have struggled with depression off and on throughout my life. Although I think most people who know me, think of me as a happy and content person, I sometimes feel like a fake. On the outside, everything seems just peachy, but on the inside the darkness seems as if it may consume me completely.
After I had child number 4, I quickly seeped into a darkness that I battled on a daily basis. I kept myself busy to keep my mind off things and I smiled and went to church and was productive and all I wanted to do was not wake up in the morning. Even friends closest to me didn’t know how I was really feeling. At this time, we sold our home and moved to a new place for a better job opportunity . . . and then, twelve months later we sold everything we owned except minimal clothing and family mementos (and my husband’s baseball cards) and moved to the other side of the country to a new place for a better job opportunity. We move A LOT. In fact, in eighteen years of marriage, we have lived in 15 different residences. Some of those were meant to be short term, others just turned out that way.
After completely exhausting myself to avoid my feelings of hopelessness, I didn’t have the energy or desire to do much of anything. I was in a new state, even farther away from my family and I really felt that SILENCE was what I needed to make me feel better. We closed our home businesses when we moved, we sold most of our stuff so clutter was at a minimum. (You can’t fully get rid of it with four young children in the house!) I was not a part of any committees or boards. I didn’t even have a calling at my church! It was nice for a few weeks, but then it started to feel very lonely. I joined a gym and attended regularly because I just knew exercise would make me feel better. I played volleyball with a group of amazing women, because I needed some adult interaction. I volunteered for classroom parties because service always makes you feel good. But my depression continued to get worse.
I thought I had hit rock bottom, and then . . . we got bed bugs. That story is for another day. But it literally pushed me to a psychotic break. Luckily, I had met with a doctor the week before and we determined to start an anti-depressant. During this time though, it was the first time I ever considered admitting myself to the ER. My husband’s employer had an employee assistance program that offered five free counseling sessions. I had been contemplating making an appointment for months. But I was scared. I had even started to dial the phone number before, but chickened out. When deciding whether I needed to go to the ER, I decided to finally make the phone call for an appointment. The woman that answered had to ask a few questions to find the right placement for me. I explained that my feelings of depression were accelerating and I didn’t know what else to do. She kindly told me that I was doing the right thing and they would be happy to help me, but they couldn’t unless I ask. Instantly I felt a little weight come off my shoulders!
One thing I learned through this experience, is that everyone needs a counselor. You may think that you don’t, but everyone could benefit, learn and grow from meeting with a counselor. As humans we are created with emotions, we face conflict, we deal with moments of anxiety and fear. Most of us have never taken the time to really get to know ourselves, our passions and determine our best talents. A great marriage could still benefit from taking time to analyze how to make it better. This article explains more in depth what I am talking about.
If you have been considering asking for help, do it! If you can’t, have someone make the phone call for you. You will be so glad you did.
Fear holds us back from truly following our dreams. Fear has been holding me back from starting a blog for a LONG time. In fact some of these posts were written years ago waiting to be shared. I have a lot of thoughts in my head that I want to share. Everyone has a story to tell, we are unique and have all had interesting journeys that have brought us to where we are today. This is mine.
Here are some things that we will talk about here, in no particular order:
- How to gain confidence by truly loving yourself.
- How to live a debt free life, including how we paid off $25,000 of debt in one year.
- Depression. It is REAL. I will share how I am learning to live with it and be able to bless my family on my darkest days.
- Tips on being a Work At Home Mom
- My favorite recipes, including tips from my Husband. He is a better cook than me.
- Parenting tips . . . that I learned the hard way:)
- DIY project ideas and tricks
- Faith ~ I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
I dare say that this blog will be whatever is on my mind when I sit down to write, whatever seems to be weighing on my heart, whatever I feel will inspire you to live your best life.