Sunday, December 28, 2014

mommy guilt

Motherhood demands of many things. It demands our time. It demands our energy. To be quite honest, lately I have really been struggling with guilt on many levels.
Guilt #1- I love nursing my babies, not just for the many health benefits, but its something I really love (i know, i know, im a little crazy maybe).  Two months ago I made the decision to quit nursing #3 for many reasons some of which included being able to leave the house for more than 2 hours, and I was ready to lose the lingering baby weight. Since switching to formula my sweet boy has been sick with one thing after the next, and although I know it is not my fault, I feel so guilty thinking that had a kept nursing he could have avoided all this crummy sickness. Like even tonight he was up coughing, cant breathe and all I could think was, I wish I would have kept nursing him so he wouldnt be this sick.
Guilt #2- My amazing mother taught me several years ago from a book called And Then I Had Kids by Susan Yates (i think) that I was a "DO-er" and so the toddler years were going to present several challenges for me.  There are "Do-ers" and "Be-ers" ..and my synopsis is horrible...but basically "do-ers" always have the list of 10000 things that need to be done (laundry, dishes, ect) and really struggle to sit down and play and just "be".  And so "be-ers" are just that ...they are good at sitting and enjoying the now and they will worry about the to-do list later. (Horrible explanation just go get the book and read it!) Point is- at all times I feel like/ and want to be doing the 1000000 things that need to be done around the house and I really struggle with feeling guilty that im not good at just sitting and "be-ing" and enjoying the chaos. I literally have to tell myself daily to stop "doing"and enjoy making messes and letting the kids just be kids. Laundry can wait.
Guilt #3- That I am heavier than I would like to be right now. Yes its the holidays, and yes I just had my 3rd child..but seriously I just would love to be back in a size 2 (ok so maybe I havent been a 2 since 8th grade) but I just want to lose the weight like yesterday.  
Guilt #4- I never give my husband the best of me. Most days by the time we get all three kids in bed I wanna pass out in an XL tshirt on the couch and read a book. Not that I do (well ok, some days...most days...lets be honest yoga pants and a tshirt are my wardrobe of choice.) 
Guilt #5 That Im not a good friend.

And to be really honest, I am melancholy (go read Spirit Controlled Temperaments by Tim LaHaye for more on that) and I could dwell in the negative frustrating parts of my life all day long...and to be honest, ive been having a mighty  big pity party in my head for the last 6 weeks or so and have decided enough is enough.

I was in my sister in laws wedding with a sweet girl who since wrote a book and I was given it as a gift for christmas! To say the author has a gift is an understatement. Kate Conner powerfully shares some truth especially geared towards teenage girls, but one part spoke hugely to my heart-

"YOU ARE ENOUGH... I suspect that all of us would be undone as we, battered and bruised, climbed out from under the weight of all the things we've been measuring ourselves for our entire lives. You are enough. This is the truth with which we wage war on insecurity...This truth-the scandalous love of God that calls us beautiful and valuable and enough- will rescue them, and us, all over again."

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend I confess that I have been battered and bruised by the weight of expectations I have had for myself. The truth that I am DEEPLY loved, wholly forgiven my the creator of the universe is enough. He calls be beautiful. He calls me valuable. He has rescued my heart, mind and spirit and he will continue to rescue me over and over again.  

If there is one truth that resonates in my life as I look back it is that The Lord is faithful. He was faithful then, He is faithful now and He will be faithful.  

I can stand tall and proud in the truth that I am his child and I am enough. 

So today I will be the best mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend that I can be. I will give the BEST of me to the ones I love. I will love that my body was able to carry my 3 sweet children, and I will chose to be joyful with the few extra pounds as I continue to pursue being the healthiest me. I will forgive myself for not being perfect and most importantly choose to TRUST that I am enough.

how it started.

Making a decision on what college to attend was extremely hard for me. What was even harder was the fact that they seriously wanted me to pick a major. Now to some, this is not a challenge, they always knew they wanted to be a teacher, or lawyer, or doctor, nurse, or maybe a coach. Or maybe a zoologist, archiologist? Point is, I had  NO STINKING CLUE what career I wanted to do for the rest of my life! All I knew was I really loved helping other people, and I wanted to be a wife and have lots of children.  So fast-forward from my college years, I got a degree in dental hygiene, married my high school sweetheart and best friend, worked part time in dental hygiene for several years and now I am home with my awesomely crazy kiddos and helping other people with their health and finances.  I would not consider myself a “health freak nut” or a “crazy workout gooroo” but what I LOVE and what makes me get fired up is helping other people make the most out of their lives.  Two and a half years ago, I was struggling with the exhausting reality and demands of mothering two little people. Only 19 months apart, adding the demands of a newborn to that of a toddler were definitely more than I expected. I was EXHAUSTED, overwhelmed and struggling to figure out in the world I could manage this new normal and become the mom I really wanted to be.  I wanted to be able to play hard and engage with my kids, have the patience to discipline and instruct my children well and instill values and character in their lives. This is WHY I wanted to be a stay at home mom in the first place, but now I was trying to figure out how to make it until nap time without falling asleep on the couch!  My sweet husband was very VERY patient and loving and encouraging during this transition to say the least!  So when my mother in law gave me several Spark samples to try and said it should give me the boost I need...I was pumped.  Spark was a game changer. After the long nights waking to nurse a baby I could wake up (drink a spark) and quickly get breakfast made, enjoy playing with my sweet daughter, lay them down for naps and for the first time in months NOT nap, but actually had the energy and focus to get the house picked up, laundry started (i forgot to mention my extremely spit up/reflux child that changed clothes 6x a day) make dinner and feel great when my husband walked in after a 10 hour day at work. Now that I had energy, I knew I could commit and get on track with getting healthy again after falling into the fast/convenient/ processed/ quick and easy trap and invest in become the best me again. I was able to get the baby weight off and more importantly create lifestyle habits that have become a normal part of our lives. To say the least, AdvoCare products have been a huge help in becoming the best wife and mom I can be.  While Im still not at my ideal weight from baby 3, I am able to have the energy to keep up with the demands of motherhood and focus on being the healthiest I can be.  All of that is to give you some back ground so I can encourage you with my current, here and now reality.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Where do I start...

So my brain has been on overload lately with a million and 1 things and every time I need to start blogging again, I sit down and never know where to start! So, here goes nothing!

First of all, since the last time I posted I was pregnant with #3 and now he is 6 months old here is the most recent picture of my precious kiddos!

I may be a little biased but I think we had the cutest little Jesse, Woody and Buzz Lightyear for halloween this year! I could go on and on about all this preciousness but Ill spare you for today at least...

I have been reading a book called The Best Yes by Lysa Terkhurst.  Managing a home, mothering three of the cutest little munchkins in the world, being a wife to the most amazing man on the planet, being a sister, friend, daughter and leading a team of incredible champions with our AdvoCare business, life has a way of sneaking by and I often find myself as Lysa Terkhurst describes in her book as "a woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul."  I find myself committing to many good things, but that often leaves me empty and lacking the energy and passion to fight for the great things that God has given me a passion for.  As I have read this book and had many conversation with some dear friends, family and my spouse, the thing I can't put my finger on or wrap my brain around is why this seems so incredibly simple but impossible at the same time.

Some times the decisions that need to be made boil down to good things verse bad things. But often the case is deciding between two very good things, or even harder two great things. I do not claim to have many answers, but I am a perfectionist by nature (a melancholy in particular but that would take many posts to breakdown) and so my soul wrestles for a long time over making decisions because I DO NOT WANT TO FAIL.  Two years ago as I began facing my fear of failure in various different experiences, I realized the immense value in seeking wisdom.  I realized that taking risks, doing some things that were new to me brought on a greater risk of failure. Like I mentioned earlier my fear of failure had previously prevented me from doing much of anything because what if I step out and do something but fall flat on my face, or totally fail and make a fool of myself.  Anyways...I began reading books.  I started with several John Maxwell books that had nothing to do with fear actually, but more to do with how to lead and how to step out and be the BEST you. After hearing Andy Andrews speak, I began reading many of his books my favorite being The Seven Decisions (featured on Good Morning America which you can see here.) All that to say, as I began reading, I was gaining lots of wisdom, strengthening my weaknesses, gaining confidence in myself as well as realizing my strengths and passion to help other people.  I found myself actually wanting to read instead of watching TV at night, when I didn't have time to read (having 2 toddlers and an infant often make this difficult) I would download podcast, or listen to books on CD in the car, I wanted to hear more and learn more to gain knowledge and insight on how to become the best me I could be.

Ok so fast forward two years and I have still been processing the "how to" behind beginning the process of making better decisions. Part of me really felt like I needed to be hit in the head with a two by four in order to wake up and smell the roses and force myself to seek wisdom.  After walking through hard life situations with many friends who have landed in places they never dreamed were possible I have even stronger conviction in the truth behind Andy Stanley's book Principle of the Path "direction, not intention, determines your destination."  He also says "Our problem stems from the fact that we are not on a truth quest, That is, we don't wake up every morning with a burning desire to know what's true, what's right, what's honorable. We are on a happiness quest, we want to be-as in feel- happy. And our quest for happiness often trumps our appreciation for and pursuit of what is true."

My challenge today would be to take time to evaluate where you REALLY are in life. Look at your marriage, how you are parenting/ disciplining/ raising your children, your finances and the choices you make every day of where you're spending your money.  Andy Stanley in Principle of the Path says "Wouldn't it be great if there were a yellow brick road to wherever it is that you want to go in a marriage you want to come home to...better financial security?..If that were the case, you would stop looking for solutions to problems, and you would start looking for the right path...There is no fix for being lost. To get from where we don't want to be to where we do want to be requires two things: time and change of direction. There isn't a quick fix."

So be honest and really evaluate where you are. Where the path you are on is going to lead you. I would love to post soon about something Lysa Terkhurst book has taught me on chasing down decisions you make so we will save that, but there is power in taking a really good inventory of your life. I am frequently challenged and so I challenge you to take a good hard look and identify the things in your life that are there that you DONT WANT anymore, and then things you don't currently have that you do want.