Internet has a funny way of altering reality, doesn’t it? I enjoy the outlets of social media such as Facebook and blogging, especially now that we’ve moved and I’m physically away from most of my friends. It’s great being able to stay connected online. But we all have a tendency to present only the best part of ourselves online, don’t we? It’s really not reality. I mean, when is the last time one of your friends posted a photo of their child throwing a tantrum, or of herself crying at the end of a hard day? This whitewashed view of people’s lives around us can cause us to judge our own lives wrongly, and can make us feel inadequate and incapable. And I am not immune.
This morning, after my quiet time, I sat on the couch trying to figure out what to blog about. I’ve been quiet on my blog for a week or so now, and for the past few days I’ve been thinking about different ideas that I’ve had for possible posts. I even posted about my dilemma on Facebook. And a dear friend gave me some great advice: Just be real. This morning, as I was pondering my different blog ideas and my friend’s advice, I realized that to blog about any other than what I’m about to write would not be real. So here it goes!
As I was saying, I am not immune to the nuances of internet communication. I both struggle with judging myself based on other people’s cute haircuts, happy kid pictures, and awesome dinners, as well as the temptation to always present myself as put-together, with a happy family. So today, I want to share about my week – my real week.
Things have been kind of challenging this week, and many evenings I wanted nothing more than to get into Mark’s car and drive away for a long time. We have struggled with a nasty cycle – you know, the one where your children have had a rough week, which makes you feel inadequate and cranky, which makes them feel & behave worse! Yeah, that’s been our week. For some reason, my 6-year-old, who is normally mature and able to reason very well for her age, has been struggling with a lot of anger and has had several tantrums – one of which was in the grocery store. Ugh. My boys have been fighting and hitting/pinching a lot. And my babe is cutting 4 teeth, and hasn’t been sleeping well, leaving both of us extra tired all day long.
And as a result of this, I have been feeling very overwhelmed and inadequate. I’m having a hard time connecting with them (and therefore not able to give them what they really need to work through these issues). I’ve been testy with my dear husband. It’s just been an “Ugh” week that I’ve been looking forward to seeing the end of. So, here I am at the end of it. I’m very thankful for a husband who understands my need for alone time, and has graciously given me an hour this morning to read, pray, think, and hopefully reset.
Now that I’ve done that, I can honestly say that I feel a lot better, a lot more capable of being the mother that I want and my children need me to be. I’m giving myself some grace, replenishing my cup with God’s word and the encouraging words of a great author, drinking a yummy cup of tea, and taking a deep breath. My job as a mommy is the highest calling I have. HaShem has entrusted me with these 4 little lives, and He chose me to be their mother!
Maybe you’ve had a week like mine, and can relate. I want to wrap up this post by listing out some things that I can think of to help you in your attempt to reset:
- Give yourself some grace. Remember that ups and downs are normal and even beneficial. Those down times can teach us a lot too!
- Be thankful. Keeping a gratitude journal has really helped my maintain a healthy focus and perspective. I highly recommend it!
- Take some time out. Go out to coffee by yourself or with a good friend. Go for a walk/drive.
- Talk to God. Be real with Him about how you feel and your thoughts. He knows them anyway and it can feel really good to voice them!
- Enjoy something beautiful. Music, art, and poetry have a powerful way of working in us. You may enjoy creating something as well.
- Find some alone time with each of your children and talk to them. Apologize. Apologies are powerful for restoring relationships, and it sets a godly example. Encourage them with things you appreciate about them, and how God wants to see them grow and develop.
- Go on a date with your husband, and talk things through with him. Sometimes husbands can be a great source of encouragement and healthy perspective.
- Do something physical. Sometimes we need to release stress in a physical way, whether that be going for a run, doing some gardening, or lifting weights.
Do you have another way that you reset from a hard week? Share in the comments! And now, I’m off to nurse my teething babe!