When I first met John serving him in any way literally felt like the biggest honour. Friends of ours still joke to this day (7years later) about how many times I would offer John a drink when he would come over. All I wanted to do was look after him & be his wife. He could ask me to cook in the middle of the night & I probably would have popped on my dressing gown & started frying chicken with a smile on my face. I wish I had that same enthusiasm for midnight cooking now, but the truth is I can just about rustle up dinner these days. Before, I could hide away in the kitchen for hours, creating a healthy feast for my John. I would add all the trimmings & find enough time to do my hair, nails & makeup too. I had so much head & heart space for my husband & for others. My friends got quick replies to texts & my legs stayed smooth & shaved. ; )
Ohhhh how things have changed since Joah was born. The majority of my time & attention goes to him now. At just 16 months there isn’t very much my son can do without me by his side. Of course being his Mummy is the joy of my life but between cooking, explosive nappies, breastfeeding, sleep training, cleaning, trying to maintain a healthy prayer life & being a good wife, there doesn’t really seem to be much time for anything else. As a result, many of my friendships have fizzled out & the 3 course meals I once served my hubby are now a rare treat. Lie-ins are a thing of the past & I literally have to write to do lists in order to get anything completed, otherwise I forget what needed to be done.
For so long I’ve fought with myself over these changes, blaming myself that I should be doing more, that certain things are my fault & that a monobrow is simply unacceptable in marriage! But every night I go to bed exhausted & having given my all to my loves & my job (yes, being a Mummy is my 24/7 job.)
I’ve struggled with the whole “what about me” thing too, feeling sorry for myself that I’ve not had time to myself & that I’m overwhelmed with responsibility. For many months I’m embarrassed to say, I even mourned parts of my ‘former’ life. Does it sound like I’m complaining or being ungrateful? I’m not meaning for it to sound that way, I’m just being honest.
You see, the thing is I think all Mums & wives feel this way at times & that's ok. If we can learn to be gentle on ourselves instead of setting the bar unattainably high, I think we will do a better job in juggling all that we do. Sure, it's great to read your child Bible stories, to dress up cute for your husband, to send out Birthday cards to the in laws & to clean the dirty windows, but if you can't manage that all in 1 day don't worry. Be kind to yourself Mumma. This time in your child's life will go so quickly so enjoy it & be present in these moments. This is just a season amongst many & just like the weather this testing time will pass.
Time & time again I'm reminded of a few very important things -
♥ God understands. He knows our every thought, He understands each pressure.
Don't struggle alone, involve the only one who can truly help to lighten your burden. Even in the busyness of Motherhood, make time for Him. Just as a car stops with no gas we need to refuel in His presence daily.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11: 28-30
♥ Isolating yourself won't help. When you feel the tension or exhaustion rising, lean on your husband. Ask for extra help. Don't wait until you're in floods of tears, let him step in before you get to that stage- but if it's too late, cry it out, our babies aren't the only ones who need a good cry.
I'm so guilty of trying to do everything related to the home & my son alone, because I feel like it's my job & main responsibility. I've literally refused John's help at times because I want to be superwoman, but the truth is even superwoman needs her superman!
In the same way that we want our husbands to come to us if they need help in their work we need to learn to accept help in ours too.
♥ Love is all they need. Ok so it's not 'alllll' your child needs but setting an atmosphere of love & peace will bring stability to your child. I guess what I'm trying to say is that loving your child without condition or expectation is of greatest importance. Love speaks louder than a tidy house or a new toy. Love is what they desperately need from us.
♥ Even when it seems impossible, make time to remind your husband that he's your first love. This is so so key, even though our husbands may happily take a back seat when children arrive on the scene they still need to know their place in our hearts. Numero uno of course! Remind your man weekly how much you appreciate him, the things you love about him etc.. Don't let your 'Mummy badge' block the way from your hearts (& bodies) connecting. I know it's really hard, especially when you are beyond exhausted but it always enriches your marriage to do so.
♥ Take one day at a time. Commit each day to The Lord, pray & do your best. Remember that millions of Mothers around the world are in your shoes & the exhausting, non stop days of responsibility won't last forever.
As I write this blog post my son is napping. I have a messy ponytail in desperate need of a wash & laundry in the machine that's been waiting a little too long to be hung out (hides face.) Busy non stop Mumma/wife, you aren't alone. Keep going & stay close to God.
If you have any tips or loving advice for us Mums & wives please comment below.
All my love,