I still can’t get over the fact that 1. There are deer right in our space and 2. Where the incredible view, here!
11 years ago, this girl had NO IDEA that the pain she was going to walk through over the next few months and years….it would be hard. It would be dark. It would affect her relationship with her fiancé. It would affect her future pregnancies. It would take time to heal herself, and her future marriage.
If you have lost a baby- no matter how long you knew you were pregnant… your pain is real. I have no words for the hurt and pain you are feeling, because although I have been there…your story is different than mine.
If you’ve been feeling the hurt and the pain for days, weeks, months, years…yes, even after you’ve welcomed other children into the world…know that you are not alone.
I can’t promise anything to you. I can’t promise you a rainbow baby. I can’t promise the hurt will never go away. I can’t promise that around certain dates your mood won’t be affected.
But there is one who is a promise keeper. And it may not feel like it now, but He is sitting with you through your pain.
And if you allow it…the pain you are going through can allow you to grow, heal, and see that the days that were associated with deep grief and hurt…new days come and they can be associated with joy, love, and peace.
Life is so weird….especially life in 2020…
Early in my 20s…it’d make me anxious if things didn’t go according to plan. I’d cling to the plan, and act like a toddler (if not outwardly, definitely inwardly) when things didn’t go how they were “supposed to go”.
I like to know what “the plan” is. I don’t like going into things blindly.
Somewhere, over time, I started to let go. If plans change, more often than not. . .I’m able to wing it. I think it was almost a coping mechanism. I couldn’t hold onto the stress of things not going my way, anymore.
So, I stopped making long term plans.
For my kids’ birthdays, I started planning last minute. And for most anything, it seems like my best plans always come together last minute, anyways.
When we started “planning” our road trip, I was so excited!! After years of not planning super far ahead, we had this plan of where we would go, and when we would be there. It was a general plan, but it was a plan that was starting to come together.
And then, 2020 happened. And I have to laugh. Because, like for everyone else this year. . .2020 has definitely not gone according to plan.
Through this year, I’ve been reminded of why exactly it is, I’m more of a “wing-it” girl.
The last couple of months have reminded me that not clinging to my plan, allows for God’s plan to unfold. And, His plan always ends up better than mine!!
Last week was super busy. In some good ways. . .and in some ways hard.
My husband and I had a lot of work and projects that overlapped. With all 5 of us being home, makes for tricky scheduling. We learned a lot about taking turns to get work done.
I was so thankful I’d already had a good week of concentrated self-care.
There was a natural transition into automatically doing self-care throughout the day.
I finished my read and finished my first fiction book. I was so proud of this, because I haven’t read fiction in such a long time. There was a sense of accomplishment. I FINISHED something.
I’ve learned that when anxiety is high, fear stops me from doing things. Most of the time, action helps me to overcome that fear. Completing a task helps me overcome that fear. Even the simplest of tasks.
Self-care I’ve been doing this past week:
* Brushing my teeth
* Taking a shower
* Listening to podcasts
* Playing worship music
* Time with Jesus
* Joining a virtual retreat with other moms- I didn’t get to spend the amount of time I wanted to this week to dive in deep. So, I’m looking forward to the next one!!
Some important takeaways from this week:
*Some of these self-care “activities” are not always self-care. If I’m doing good, brushing my teeth and taking a shower are just every day routine. But, on days when I’m not feeling it, things like brushing my teeth, taking a shower, and putting on a little make-up makes a world of difference.
* It’s super important for my kids and my husband to have self-care as well.
* Self-care resources are important and need to be shared!!
So, going forward in this 40 day self-care challenge, I’m going to start sharing resources that have been shared with me! I hope they will be helpful to you all!!
We spent a portion of this weekend catching up on cleaning.
I don’t know about anyone else…but, this is a form of self-care for me. Having everything clean and tidied up clears my brain and allows me to relax.
When things are cluttered, I feel anxious. My thoughts can’t stop racing on all the things that need to get done…
But…when everything is clean…I feel more peaceful. I feel more calm. I feel like I can operate from a place of peace and calm. I have found that my outer environment deeply affects my inner environment. And, often times what’s going on in my outer environment can be a reflection of what’s going on, on the inside and vice verse.
I also started reading book this weekend. I’ve loved taking moments here in there to a) get lost in a story, and b) set an example for my kids.
Right now, we have a “Summer Rules” paper up on the fridge. My kids have a list of things they have to do, before they can have tablet or tv time.
Some of them are self-care. Some of them are prepping us to get into our school season. One of the rules is reading for 20 minutes. Kids, they pay attention to what we are doing, as adults. Are we holding ourselves to the same standards?! Are we making ourselves have some self-care, are we making ourselves read and write everyday? Are we spending time cleaning and taking care of our environment?
It’s a lot easier to do what we say, when our actions and our words match up.
So, I’m thankful for creating these habits of self-care, so that I can have the energy to do the things I say my kids should be doing.
I didn’t fall asleep until after 2 am this morning…so, self-care today, looked like sleeping until 10 am.
Thankfully, my hubby works completely from home, now. Otherwise, that wouldn’t have been possible.
Over the years, I’ve learned that making sure I get enough sleep is sooo important.
So, in previous seasons, I have napped when the kids were napping.
Or, when my hubby has gotten home from work.
It makes for a weird schedule, sometimes…but, I’d rather have a weird schedule, every now and then- and be able to show up for my hubby, kids, family, and friends….than be frazzled and burnt out.
Making sure I have enough sleep also helps me be able to cope with anxiety, better.
I’m learning that I need to be in tune with each day, to know what I need each day to care for myself.
Today, we were mostly inside. (It still gets hot super quick in the day-and also…we are just around a lot of people, currently…so…social distancing!)
One trigger for me lately has been all of the asking “Can I watch a movie” “Can I be on my tablet?” “I don’t wanna _______.”
A lot of days, I let my obstacles get the best of me…
Well, I can’t ______, because of _____.
1. Am I really going to allow ________ to get in my way?! Really??
2. Am I really about to teach my kids to make excuses for why not to do something that is going to be helpful? Really??
So, today, while my husband and the kids were outside for a few minutes…I wrote out 3 pieces of paper that I feel like will help our house run smoother, and will give clear expectations on when the kids can have their tablet and TV time.
This is self- care for me…because, I need a flexible-structure. My kids need a flexible-structure. Also, too rigid of a schedule just doesn’t work for me. I used to be more rigid when I had one kid, but with each kid…too much structure just stresses me out…I don’t know why..it is the way it is.
So, flexible on the timing, but knowing x,y, and z will happen in a day. This is how we work best.
This structure helps with my kids knowing that when they complete x, y, and z…then, they will get to ______.
It helps them to feel like what they want, or how the day will go is not this obscure scene of events.
It lowers the amount of tantrums in a day.
And in return, lowers every one’s stress levels throughout the day.
Our flexible-structure creates self-care all around.
Has the day been perfect?! Far from it…
But, this really does create an atmosphere of peace, calm, and being able to work through problems in a healthy way throughout the day.
Today, we are moving from Eufaula, Oklahoma to Branson, Mo. We break up our long trips into 3-4 travel days. Driving 3-6 hours in a truck with three kids…can be hard. Today, my self care is to breathe through the hard parts.
Kids fighting and yelling?! Take a deep breath in, and let it out.
Kids loud, laughing, and having fun?! (This is hard because loud in general makes me feel anxious and tense) Take a deep breath in and out, and remind myself to enjoy their joy.
One kid whining and complaining about something that he doesn’t want to help with?! Take a deep breath, and teach him that our family unit helps each other.
Breathe in, breathe out.
I’m thankful my watch as a “relax” setting. You take two minutes to breathe in and breathe out, and it vibrates to prompt you for each inhale and exhale.
Now that I’m thinking about it, it might be helpful for my kiddos to use, too!!
This was super helpful during the day….Now, I need to extend practicing taking deep breaths at night…when my kids are still not asleep at 9 pm, asking for this, wanting that, and getting out of their bed for the 100th time…and I just.need.a.little.peace.
I was getting better at this….
“Your homework is to spend at least an hour, a week, doing something for you”. I had just gotten done telling my counselor that I wake up, go to work, eat, sleep, repeat. “Well, that’s no way to live. No wonder why you’re so anxious”.
I was in my first two years of teaching, we just had our second baby, and my husband broke his leg. And, I was barely hanging on by a thread. I had let so many other things take priority…and I had forgotten, not only who I was, but what gave my life joy.
So, after my counselor “gave me homework”….I didn’t really know where to start…I remember asking friends… “What do people do for themselves??” I had no idea what I liked. So, I set out to learn.
My husband would often kick me out of the house, for me time, and I would go try stuff…anything…
Enjoy a dinner by myself and read a book, at Wingstop.
Meet up with friends.
Go on a run.
Go sit by the river and take pictures.
Go on a drive.
And, on the days that I had the kids by myself, I’d stay up a little bit later and:
Watch a movie or tv show.
Spend time in the word, or just listen to worship music.
Switching from a smart phone to a regular phone.
Dictionary.com defines self-care as the practice of taking an active role in one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during times of stress.
So, why is self-care important?!
Well, I can only answer that from a place of personal experience.
When I’m not taking care of myself…I’m not myself. I am more anxious. I get more snippy and frazzled. My body is constantly tense. And, when I’m in that state of mind…I can’t be who I’m made to be as a person, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, society member. I can’t be who I’m made to be for this world.
And lately, I have not been doing what I can to make sure I’m taking care of myself? Honestly, right now it’s just so hard. It’s not as easy. I can’t just go grab a cup of coffee and sit and chat with a friend. Or go grab wingstop and read a book. Or go to a yoga class.
And the self-care that I typically do at home, well…we live in a super small space, and it’s just harder. (Yes…I know that I chose this life..and no…that doesn’t make it any easier).
We are in a major transition period, and I’m finding with each passing day, that I really need to be making time to take care of myself.
It takes 21 days to create a new habit. I really need something to focus on, something steady that I can control. And, for those in that moment..asking that same question I was asking… “What do people do for themselves??” I want to give resources and ideas…because stuff like this sure did help me, when I was first starting out….
So, I’m going to a 90 day self-care challenge.
I’ll post once a day on what self-care I chose, and how I felt at the end of the day.