My newborn just recently turned 4 months old but seems to be obsessed with his mama. He is still nursing every 2 hours during the day and about 4 times during the night between 9pm and 6 am. Needless to say, I’m a bit tired. Unfortunately, I feel like I’m continuously in that new parent exhausted foggy state of mind. Also when napping during the day, little bean wants to be on this mama constantly, which becomes a challenge when I have a 4 year old who needs some attention or even just simple things like breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ha! So apparently it is not enough that we are in this limbo transitioning from military to civilian life but I too am in this state of never ending haze.
The problem with being so tired all the time for me is that it is so easy to forget how wonderful this time is. It’s so easy for me to wish it would pass by quickly. But the Lord, in all His mercy and goodness, knows I would terribly grieve missing this time of beauty watching my children grow if it went by too fast. No, instead I feel He is granting me a bit more time with my baby to bask in the deliciousness of his newborn smell, to enjoy the snuggles in bed on a lazy morning, and to remember the warmth my heart feels when carrying his little sleepy body around in my sling.
This is the attitude I must hold on to and keep in the forefront of my mind. I’ll never get this day back again so I need to stop thinking about how I haven’t been able to eat a hot meal, wash a sink full of dishes, vacuum the floor or even go to the bathroom without having a baby attached to me. When my husband is fishing for compliments because he held our son for an hour or two in the evening while little bean naps to “give me a break” (as he calls it, rather than just calling it what it is…parenting), I need to stop thinking of punching him in the throat. When my husband wakes up every morning telling me how tired he is and asking me how I slept the night before, I need to keep myself in check and not bite his head off with the fact that he knows NOTHING about “being tired” and that asking me to recap my evening of waking up every hour and a half to two hours just reminds me of how exhausted I am. No! I MUST remind myself that my husband is one of the good guys and simply has no idea how he takes his own life in his hands daily by saying these little things. J I need to actually focus on the reality that when I ask for help, my husband is the first to lend a hand. When I need a break, I just need to say it and he will be there willing to take charge. It’s not that he doesn’t want to help, it’s that he doesn’t know when or how he should help and I need to just “use my words” (as I tell children) and not be afraid to ask for help.
I wonder if we as women are so ingrained with the idea that we “must take care of it all” or that our husbands “should know when we need them” that we forget to simply communicate these needs? Do we fall into a cycle of self-pity while "trapping" our hubbies into a perpetual failure they feel of being husband and father? If so, how is this attitude helping me live out my vocation? How is it helping me uplift my family and share the generosity of Christ's love when I'm keeping track on who is doing what and when? Ut-oh...time for me to take a TIME OUT!
I think these moments are the times the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, likes to give me a swift kick in the pants to let me know it’s time to get it together and count my blessings because before I know it, it will be gone. It's time for me to carry my cross which I have said I accepted the day I took my vows. It's time for me to (as I love to say) "suck it up and do what needs to be done". I think sometimes being humans we forget that carrying our crosses will not always feel like a spiritual connection with Christ, a direct channeling of the Holy Spirit through our motherly words of wisdom to our families, a feeling of God's love flowing through us "like a river". Sometimes it will just feel difficult, exhausting and possibly never ending. But like all things, this too shall pass.
Today’s life lesson: ask for help when I need it and remember to count my blessings even in the midst of chaos!
Blessings to You and Yours,