Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I like real blog posts. 
I like when someone actually takes the time to open up even just a little bit. As much as I love another Paleo recipe or pictures of perfected fall crafts -- I like to hear from real people about real problems in life 
Because I can relate. 

Why don't we open up more? Why are we all so concerned with what other's are going to say or think or perceive of us more than we are that our words could possibly help someone in a similar situation. I am far more encouraged when I read or hear from a friend who's struggles are similar to mine than I am by her clean house or cute kid crafts....not that those are bad at all. But I wonder why we honestly open up so rarely if it is so valuable to our community of friends and family. I think it's because we think no one wants to see that mess....we want to live in some delusion that things look perfect like in a magazine. But that's not real life. And it certainly isn't my life. 

The danger with living in this state that things have to be "perfect" all the time means that when real life struggles and trials come our way they undo us. Instead of taking them in stride as a part of this life we allow our entire identity to be rattled by them. 

My life is always messy. I am short with my toddler, I waste time, I get tired of bouncing a baby around all day. My house is usually messy (unless I hear you're coming over then it gets cleaner in 10 minutes than it has all week!) My toddler watches more tv than I vowed she ever would and projects than I have started are strewn throughout my house. I am commonly unshowered and unrested. I am unrested because I waste time on the computer or on my phone when my children are distracted instead of taking time with the Lord. I am short with them because I am not taking time to find rest and refueling from God who is the only one who can provide the strength for this job. 
And the other things just come with having children :) 

I have been reading "Loving The Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic and wow...have been convicted, challenged and encouraged in this tiny read. I want to share this snippet from today about motherhood:

"The opportunities for growth and refinement abound here--but you have to be willing. You have to open your heart to the tumble. As you deal with your children, deal with yourself first. This is what it looks like and feels like to walk with God, as a mother. God treats us with great kindness as we fail daily. He takes the long view of our sin--knowing that every time we fail and repent, we grow in our walk with Him. It is easy for us to accept this, because our sins are, well, ours.
But our children sin against us, annoy us, and mess up our stuff. We want to hold it against them, complain about them (if only to ourselves), and feel put upon by their sin. We have a much harder time accepting that every failure from them is a wonderful opportunity for repentance and growth an not an opportunity for us to exact penance. 
It is no abstract thing--the state of your heart is the state of your home. You cannot harbor resentment secretly toward your children and expect their hearts to be submissive and tender. You cannot be greedy with your time and expect them to share their toys. And perhaps most importantly, you cannot resist your opportunities to be corrected by God and expect them to receive correction from you."

This has been my prayer these days. To allow God to work in my life and accept the growth that motherhood demands instead of fighting to regain control and work things out my way. Motherhood and child rearing can bring so many things of our own heart to light for us to work through with God and grow from OR it can make us bitter, unhappy, frazzled with the chaos of our life and selfish. 
Anyways! Hope you are challenged as I am to take the words from this great book to heart! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Bouncing" back after a baby --- ya right!

I have been talking with so many friends lately about this desire to bounce back post pregnancy both in the physically arena and in our productivity.

Before I say what is on my mind, trust me I all about getting back to they gym and eating a healthy diet for both your recovery after pregnancy and to help with energy and breastfeeding! This is not a post about just letting yourself go and eating garbage and not being active. But this time around for me that awesome "fluff around the middle" has hung around a lot longer -- in fact it's still there! After my first baby I was back in all my jeans shortly after and I really didn't know what all the fuss was about with losing weight after a baby. I know that is going to sound SO bad but honestly it just went away, no work really required! I even loaded up on food I wouldn't normally eat due to "breastfeeding" haha. It has been humbling this time around to have expected all the weight to melt away like last time and to see it still sittin there! This isn't about me seeking some kind "you look great" praise from you all, I just want to express how that pressure to bounce back to our pre-baby bodies is not only unrealistic........I'm not sure it's healthy. 
We for some reason crave comments like "wow you don't even look like you've had a baby!" or "look at her you can't even tell she's had a baby" and I realized -- Do I even want that?
I have had a baby!
2 babies! Do I really want to look like I did before my body had carried and delivered two children? Sometimes I do! But I have also been coming to terms with while I want to lose the rest of the weight and be healthy.....things will never look the same, and that's ok. For those of you that have had children you know what I am referring to! That little pillow around your belly button is the hardest to get rid of if ever :) 
I am still of course getting my butt back in the gym and getting back into eating foods that give me energy but I have been mulling over these ideas lately of why do I want to look like I haven't had a baby when I have?

This also HUGELY applies to life after a baby. I have been reading a lot about other cultures where a women who has just delivered isn't allowed to cook for weeks, or go in public for a month, or have people over. She is supposed to be at home, resting and bonding with her baby. In the US we are so productive based that we want to be "up and at it" as soon as we can after a baby. Myself included! I did NOT want to be one of those people lounging around doing nothing -- but what is the cost of going at it too soon?
  • Your recovery will be longer since you aren't allowing your body the time it needs to rest and heal.
  • You will feel emotionally spent and frazzled because you really are trying to accomplish too much! 
  • You could even have complications with breastfeeding like clogged ducts, mastitis, etc.......just ask me I know. ;( 

Be ware of craving those compliments about "look at all she is doing! I can't believe she just had a baby!" I have been challenged lately to just take time with my children. Sit and read books, do puzzles, go for a walk. All the things you "need to get done" will still be there later. 

This is all to say, you know yourself! And if your an extreme doer like me then you need to take a break, take a breath, and relax. You will still have all those things to do after you've rested! I have found such joy
and peace in letting things go that I would normally have stressed over getting done.

What are your thoughts on this?! Do you think too many women do too much? Or do you think too many women take it as an excuse to not do things that need to get done?