I’ve had this blog post drafted for about a month. It originally started with the fact that I’ve had one heck of a week. It’s been a month and unfortunately things only intensified since then, which is why I’ve been MIA around here. My goal for this blog was to serve as both a creative outlet and also a place to share my thoughts and experiences with the hope that it might bring inspiration, comfort, or support to others. So while I’d love to have beautiful inspirational content to post, I’d be remiss not to share a bit of what’s really going on. I’m pretty certain I’m not alone in all of this.
This phase is hard.
When I was a little girl, I daydreamed about the life I wanted to someday have. The career, the husband, the family, the house. I used to clip out magazine pictures and think about my future life goals (before Pinterest!). I envisioned all the good but had no idea was how hard it would be to not only get to that place but also to juggle it all.
As for what’s currently going on over here, there have been some major challenges at work lately that have been hard to disconnect from when I’m at home. We got our first bout of the stomach bug (both kiddos at the same time) which lingered for about two weeks. In the midst of that, I dealt with an unexpected illness and death of my grandfather that required me to be out of town for five days. I came back home to finish packing up before the renovation began. Also, toddlers are hard. Really hard. My kids are extremely active and the tantrums have been intense, leaving me often feeling like I must be doing something wrong that they aren’t as mellow or well behaved as other kids seem to be. We went through a stretch last week when Brylie was waking up nightly at 4am screaming and completely unwilling to go back to sleep in her crib. After trying to get her to sleep on her own, we were feeling exhausted and eventually gave in and let her sleep with us, which of course made me then worry that I was creating new bad habits (turns out she had an ear and eye infection so 🤞🏻 the antibiotics kick in fast).
Safe to say I’ve been a little (ok a lot) overwhelmed these days. It seems as though just when I get into a groove with this whole motherhood balancing act, something else pops up and I find myself second guessing and questioning whether I’m actually doing any of the things I’m trying to balance in my life actually right or if I’m just dropping all of the balls. Then comes the guilt that I shouldn’t even be complaining because I prayed and worked so hard to be a mama, and I should appreciate every single moment since I’m so lucky to have them.
Now let me just say that I totally recognize and feel pulled by the fact that all of these challenges I currently am struggling with are actually blessings. I’m lucky to have a job. To have a loving and supportive family. To be able to remodel our house. To be a mama to two spirited and wonderful little kids who are so full of personality and make me laugh and smile more often than not. But it is still hard and I think it’s ok to acknowledge that.
I recently posted a meme on my Instagram story joking about how I’m drowning through all of this and my friend shared this incredible concept about “floating” which she found from this article.
One time, when I was 10, my sister threw me into a lake. We were having fun. She had been throwing us all in, and we would laugh, bob up, and ask her to do it again. But when I opened my eyes in the dirty water, I panicked. I didn’t know which way was up. I didn’t know where to swim, and I didn’t know if I could hold my breath long enough for me to find out. It must have only been a few moments, but I thrashed and kicked, a scream pushing against my closed lips, until I found the light and the air again.
That’s what it feels like sometimes.
I told someone that story once, and she said, This is how people drown — by fighting it. You just have to relax and let yourself float up. Of course. I remember someone else telling me that it’s not the water that drowns people, it’s the panic. I should have just relaxed into it. Settled in. Floated up.
This morning, I woke up throwing up from a migraine. The kids are on spring break and I have deadlines and I haven’t been able to find the help I need for this week, so I have to scramble through and then throw a birthday party — and in the meantime, people need to be fed and cared for and provided with a warm, loving family environment.
It’s nothing dire, but I still sometimes feel like I can’t find which way is up. This time, I turned on the TV, made macaroni and cheese for lunch. This time, I floated.
It’s not without its risks. I worry my kids will feel the neglect of these days more than the relaxed fun. I worry whether I should have given them juice. Maybe I should go take the iPad away from my oldest. But then again, I remember, I can’t worry too much about things before I get there. Big breath. Settle in. Float up.
This story struck a cord with me. By letting my anxiety take control, I’m missing out on all of the joy. If I let myself get bogged down by all of the things going on in our life, I will drown. I need to learn to let some things go, worry less and remember that it’s ok to drop some of the balls, as long as I’m still holding the ones that are the most important. Like these two, who definitely make my hands full but exponentially make my heart fuller.