We’ve all been there. It’s almost nap time but for some reason, we’re buzzing through the grocery store trying to grab a few items. That’s when it hits. The terrible twos. The toddler who was so sweetly holding your hand is now laying on the ground screaming, kicking their feet, angry about what, you’re not quite sure. The struggle continues either until you make it through the line, into the car, and finally to their bed or when you give up and let them have that *cookie, action figure, pack of gum, etc.*
I never need to look far for bitterness to come calling.
Something will happen, or someone will rub me the wrong way, and without thinking I snap my fingers and bitterness comes running over, wrapping me in a bear hug and covering every bit of me.
But bitterness is not my friend. Bitterness doesn’t comfort me; she doesn’t make me feel better. She doesn’t serve me at all. She clouds my brain. She taints my colour. Bitterness actually grasps hold of my heart and twists it, forcing me to respond to things in ways that I usually wouldn’t. She takes my tongue and pushes words from me that I don’t usually find myself saying. She even invites her friends Jealousy, Offense and Righteous Indignation in, chuckling “Come on guys, it’s party time!” So what kind of self-destructive person am I, that I would cry out “Bitterness! Come to me! Let’s wallow together!” – knowing that she’s going to make me feel worse, not better?
Morning or night person,
routine-driven or spontaneous person,
melancholy or sanguine person;
we all have a unique blend of characteristics that shape how we live out our days. Whichever of these we are, whatever it is we do, it’s important to take stock and reflect if what we’re doing is working for us.
Every now and then I begin a new habit, sometimes to replace an old one and sometimes to add to my current ones. Being intentional about my habits helps me to spend my days the way I want to spend my life.
When you become a mum, you get to join a highly populated community of seemingly isolated people.
Hear me out. It’s a good thing.
Motherhood is a crazy, intense mixture of being opened up to a wonderful society of women who have given birth and are available for support, advice and encouragement… while simultaneously beginning a journey that is actually just about you and your child, slogging out the everyday together as you learn how to function as a new family unit.
Self-care has become an idol for many of us. Don’t get me wrong: we absolutely need to care for ourselves. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Neglecting that temple would be wrong. So yes, we need to care for it. But more than that, we need to pour ourselves out in love and honor the call of the Holy Spirit.
I am the first to take time to binge watch on Netflix in the name of self-care. Make-up is a passion of mine. I can spend hours pouring over a book while my kitchen sits dirty. Neglecting myself is not something I’m likely to do. Neglecting those around me is.
There has been a lot of talk lately on being vulnerable in motherhood. Admitting the struggles, being honest about feelings, asking for help. I think it’s a great “movement”; it’s time for us to get real about the fact that even though this journey is more than amazing, it’s also extremely tough. It can be very lonely, immensely confronting at times and let’s be honest: downright scary every now and again.
As great as vulnerability is for our own mental health, we often forget about the other spin-off; the positive effect it has on the people around us. I don’t know about you, but most people I know have a deep desire to make a difference, albeit seemingly small, in other lives. If you are brave enough to open yourself up and become vulnerable, you can create a wonderful two-way street where you receive support and the person you are leaning on walks around with a sense of purpose.
Image credit: Amelia Hambrook Photography
Do you like birth stories? I do.
At first I loved them because I needed to hear how labor and birth could be – for others, all normal and beautiful and full of love and connection.
My first birth experience was quite the trauma, and I went to see a therapist when my first baby was 4.5 months. I realized it was probably not normal to still be in tears every day, think it’s okay to leave my baby by herself in her bouncy chair thing, and notice her stop smiling.
Next year our three becomes four. We are elated… and a tad terrified. During my first pregnancy I remember reading and researching, pondering the changes in my body and the growth of the baby inside, leisurely perusing the literature and rubbing my belly. This time around has already been a very different experience. I’d love to share with you five ways my second pregnancy is different from my first.