The plan was never to be a work at home mom. When I got pregnant with Pacey Claire a mere year after we had gotten married, we pretty quickly decided I would stay home. I wrestled with the idea of no contributing financial for a while, but – as you’ll hear me say often – I am married to one of the greatest men to ever live. He quickly pacified those concerns by reminding me of how valuable being home with our child is. About 6 months after Pacey was born, I started my wedding planning business. The business did pretty well, better than I had expected. But I need to make an internet confession – I never really worked very hard at it. I took in the brides that came to me through referrals, but that was about it. After Elliot was born, literally laying in the bed in the hospital holding her, I heard God tell me He had something else planned for me apart from wedding planning. So right there, with a few hour old baby, I closed my wedding planning business.
Two months later Magnolia Ink was born, and my passions were lit on fire. How had I come so far without knowing how much I loved helping others build their business and achieve their dreams and goals? Where had this unreal (and completely legal) high been all my life? Between Magnolia Ink and officially re-launching myself into the blogging world, I’ve honestly never felt so fulfilled in my life. But then came the guilt. Guilt about prioritizing business work over house work some days. Guilt about pulling my laptop out in front of my kids. Guilt about working late nights while Jeremy watched TV next to me in bed. So I started searching for a balance. Trying to figure out how to successfully do it all, which is impossible and left me even more frustrated than I was when I just felt guilty.
There are some links sprinkled through this post, they’re all Bible verses that intertwine with the things we’re talking about today.
“It’s just been a really long week.”
My answer to the inevitable question my husband is going to ask at some point between the days of Friday and Sunday: “are you okay?” I don’t say inevitable in a condescending way, I say it because I completely understand why he asks. It has been a long week. I have a three year old, a seven month old, a business, a home to keep up, and about 1000 other plates to keep spinning. I’m pretty sure every week will be long for the foreseeable future.
For the foreseeable future, personal space is some mythical concept that will always be out of reach.
For the foreseeable future, getting things done in an orderly, time effective manner will be downright laughable.
For the foreseeable future, the laundry will never be done. Neither will the dishes or the disciplining or the cooking.
For the foreseeable future, my needs come last on a very long list.
This is my reality. A reality that is very easy to get bogged down by. I don’t mean to be negative, there is so much joy and goodness in my life sometimes I get absolutely overwhelmed by it. But are you with me that it’s just all so much? I want to make sure we’re calling it like we see it. Yes, being a mother is so dang beautiful it’s ridiculous, but holy cow – it’s also hard. They don’t call it in the trenches for nothing. I’m here to tell you that I spend a lot of my time overwhelmed, bogged down, grouchy, foggy. There’s a reason my husband and I have a weekly standing are you okay conversation. Because honestly, a lot of the time, I’m not. I feel somehow entitled to this shitty attitude. Like look how hard my life is, do you see all this crazy? Of course I’m pissy and checked out, I have to do everything (um, lie). It’s a vicious cycle that I think if we’re being honest, we all get caught in one way or another. Your negative emotion just may look different than mine.
I hadn’t even pulled the three year old out of her bed before she started asking for things. A certain stuffed animal. Some juice. A banana. The barrage wouldn’t end until we put her to bed that night, and even then, it’d probably continue. She is kind and so funny, but as most three year olds are – needy. Obviously not as needy as the five month old, who has an affinity for being held and a staunch objection to sleep. They’re the light of my life and all I’ve ever wanted, but they drain me. I’m here to say that they drain me and they frustrate me and every once in a while they make me question my decision to become a mother (or have anymore children, if we’re being truly honest). Tonight, after my husband and I spent 10 minutes pulling out the couches in search of our eldest’s favorite figurine so that she could go to sleep, as I sat giving the youngest a bottle after an hour and a half of my boobs not cutting it, this term popped in my head. Holy work. I’ve heard it tossed around in bible studies and podcasts, but I’ve never really dug into it. And therefore, it’s probably never made the impact it really could, you know?
The other night as I lay in bed, attempting to quiet my non-stop brain and get some sleep, I started thinking about fear. Real fear, in a deep, tangible way. Moving aside the things that just give me the heebie jeebies like roaches and tornados, I started dialoguing with God about what I’m actually afraid of. What strikes a chord deep inside, that something isn’t right. And the same phrase kept repeating.
I wasn’t really sure what I was afraid of missing, as I rolled to my back and stared at the ceiling, I started that real childish way of praying that I tend to get stuck in. But what, God? But what? Missing what? Will you tell me? Huh, huh huh? Until I was honestly annoying myself, and let everything go blank so I could maybe, you know, hear the answer. And then it started to come through, slowly – like a pinhole of light.
I realize as I sit down to write this that I never wrote Pacey Claire’s birth story, even though I totally intended to, just for myself. If that’s not the epitome of motherhood, right? It can be summed up fairly simply: her due date came and went (that’s always a fun day), and 3 days later we induced. I had gestational diabetes with the Pacers, and my doctor was a little worried about her getting too big. All good. I know we both barely slept from excitement, got to the hospital around 4, & started the pitocin. Going into her birth, med-free was the plan. Going into September 22, it was obvious meds were going to be involved, but I was hoping for no epidural. 6 hours into pitocin-level contractions (which, come to find out, are regular contractions on steroids), I went ahead and got the epidural. She was born and hour and a half later. All together in labor for 8 hours, pretty sure I pushed all of 4 times. I remember through the haze my darling OB mentioning something about my body being “made to make babies”.
Fast forward to now. Pregnant with baby girl Guichet number two, all prepped and ready to go for med-free birth, attempt two. The books are read, the playlist is made, the essential oils/diffuser/bluetooth speaker/birthing affirmations are packed. The postpartum necessities are bought. I am ready. I’m even thinking if for some reason we have to induce again, even though I’m GD free this time, we can just take the pitocin a little more slowly and I should be able to get through it. The 35 week ultrasound rolls around, and we’re all super excited to get to see baby sister. The ultrasound tech nonchalantly mentions “and she’s breech”. I’m fairly certain I blacked out. Not really, but I definitely tuned out. I could feel the oh crap vibes pulsating off of my poor husband sitting next to me. When the tech walked out of the room, he quietly asked if I was okay, and I answered with a simple and short no. I was very not okay.