We all have seasons where extending ourselves grace is beyond necessary.
These seasons can look very different for every person, but one thing is for certain, we can all recognize them. You know what I’m talking about. One day you’re sipping your latte, your anxiety level is at a 1 (if that), your kids are (for once) being civil with each other and then, BAM, out of nowhere you’re sideswiped like a piano dropping on Wiley Coyote’s head.
This can be because of a death, job change, job loss, move, birth, relationship problems, financial strain and so much more. As moms one of the most common seasons of grace we encounter are the days, weeks, and even months after giving birth.
No matter how many kids you have or haven’t had, giving birth and adjusting to that new life is a huge change and takes some time to find your feet again. For me, it got harder and harder with each kid. I think mostly because my attention became divided again, and again, and again.
In the beginning I went from focusing on my husband and relationship with God to adding in my oldest daughter, then my second daughter, and most recently my 3rddaughter. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids more than life its self, but it doesn’t take away from the cold hard fact that the newborn stage is an adjustment period for every mom. Period.
Something I learned while my second daughter was an infant was that being a ‘Mom’ didn’t have to be my only focus in life. The dreams and desires I had in my heart were actually ok to chase, and in fact made me a better mom for taking time to pour into myself. That my friends, was the moment The Deeply Rooted Mom blog was born.
From the beginning of creating and launching this Blog it has set a fire in my heart and soul that I never knew could exist. You can ask my husband. I don’t know how many days he came home from work and I made him sit down so I could read him the posts I had wrote that day. God bless him. He always sat, listened, and then complimented my hard work. He is truly my biggest cheerleader with this whole thing!
Well, while I was pregnant with my third I had this grand idea that I would continue blogging just 6 short weeks after she was born. So, with this plan in mind I spent weeks preparing posts and getting them scheduled during my 6 weeks of maternity leave. I was so prepared and had my crap together. Proud was an understatement.
The day came, and our sweet bundle of joy entered this world and with it came a whole new life. I was now a mother of three. THREE! Can you believe it? I still can’t, and my baby is almost 6 months old.
Becoming a mother of three was like nothing I had ever experienced before. It was like my feet were kicked right out from under me.
The baby needed me most of the time, the other kids didn’t like that my attention wasn’t focused on them, and my day to day stuff seemed to be stacking up. Just trying to do the dishes and lightly clean the house was about all I could add into my crazy day, and some days that wasn’t even done.
The moment I started to catch my feet again and figure out day to day life our household got hit with the RSV cold. (Basically, a nasty cold that produces A LOT of thick mucus.) With the virus filling our house our 5-week-old baby didn’t stand a chance. She eventually caught it and boy it the saddest thing to watch.
If you have ever had a baby with RSV then you probably know what happened next. Yep, we ended up in the PICU for 4 days. This came with sleepless nights, grumpy toddlers, and missed work. We all eventually recovered from the virus, but unfortunately life didn’t slow down.
A few short weeks later my oldest started Kindergarten and then 6 weeks in we decided to pull her out and do homeschool. (That’s a story for another day though.)
So, can we say busy?
About the time Ella got RSV I realized my ambition to start writing again at only 6 weeks postpartum was not going to happen. For one, I was exhausted and could barely catch my own breath, let alone carve out time to write, edit, and post. Second was the fact that my older daughters needed me. This was an adjustment period for us, but more so for them. They had to go from being the center of my world to now having to share my attention with another little human. For tiny toddlers this is a HUGE adjustment.
Join the Deeply Rooted Mom community and get inspiration, encouragement, and a whole lot of freebies sent straight to your inbox!
It isn’t perfect, and some days are better than others, but this was what I did to embrace this current season of life with grace and joy, and how you can too.
1.THESE SEASONS DON’T LAST FOREVER
No matter the season of grace you’re in, (loss of a loved one, an unwanted diagnosis, a lost job, the birth of a baby) it won’t last forever. The grief will pass, you’ll find your feet again, and things will move on. Just knowing that this season will eventually come to an end can bring you just enough comfort to keep you going.
2.THE NEWBORN STAGE IS SHORT LIVED
If you’re in the newborn stage of chaotic motherhood the best thing to do is to remind yourself that this stage is short lived, and you will never get it back. So, snuggle your baby a little longer and just soak it up. If you aren’t in the newborn stage then just skip on ahead to number 3.
3.COMPLIMENT YOURSELF REGULARLY
We can be our own worst enemy, especially during seasons of hardship. We sit down at the end of the day and naturally start thinking about all the things that went wrong. The projects we didn’t get to, the moments we blew up at our kids, and all the things we wish we would have done differently. When I start doing this, I make myself stop immediately and switch to compliments.
“You’re a great mom. You spent quality time with your kids today. Today you made memories that will last a life time. Today you put your kids first and they saw it. You are loved by more people than you know. You are seen and heard. You are important.”
We are all great moms and it’s about time we start seeing that in ourselves each and every day.
In these seasons you have to learn how to prioritize. That means that some things have to fall off your plate for the time being and you need to be ok with it. I knew that my blog would be waiting for me when life slowed down so I put it on the back burner. At times it was frustrating that I couldn’t just sit and write, but I kept reminding myself that this is only a season and shall pass. If you don’t prioritize everything in your life, then you’ll be left standing there trying to balance it all. This is the perfect recipe for a major disaster. Don’t do it. Prioritize and just let some things take the back burner.
5.SOMEDAYS I JUST SHOWED UP & THAT WAS ENOUGH
There were days that were a complete shamble. My toddlers were constantly fighting, the house was a hot mess, clean clothes were hard to come by, and the baby was glued to me. At the end of these days I complimented myself on the fact that I showed up and that was enough. Let me say that again. Showing up was enough. IT WAS ENOUGH! I WAS ENOUGH! I showed up, parented my kids, and they lived to see another day. Some days showing up is enough, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
I’m still in a season where I have to extend myself grace upon grace. For example, it took me 4 different times to sit down and write this post out. Every time I kept getting called away by a waking baby who needed to nurse, a toddler who woke up crying, or a husband who needed help with his job search. Once I finally finished writing this post my sweet baby came down with the Flu which kept me from getting it posted.
It’s a crazy season but reminding myself that my kids are only young once and I’ll never get it back, allows me to extend myself grace during this time and helps me let the little things go. Always remember, your goals are something you should chase after. Your dreams are worth fighting for, but sometimes they have to take a back seat for a season and that’s ok.