Thursday, May 8, 2014

All of Me

Sometimes I see pictures of little children who are grown up now. The ones that always strike me are the children I babysat in highschool or ones that went to my church. Many times it feels like I just left my old life in Missouri. Then I see a teenager on Facebook and it's them. I see a picture posted from their parents of when their baby was little. And I think to myself, wow it happens that fast. My heart hurts a little for the moments I wish away. When I have babies in my lap and just want to do something for myself. I see those pictures online and that little baby is my baby. That teenager is my baby in such a short time.

I don't think I am going crazy. But there are moments when I feel close to it. When I take a step back and look at my day to day life I understand why I would feel a little crazy. When Andrew and I talk about life right now I know it is so many things all going on at once. We have two very small children. We live in an apartment with no yard and on the second floor. We are moving in a month or two. We still need to figure out where we are living. I only have a couple of friends here. It is hard for me to get out alone with both girls in a big city. These are all facts. They are not necessarily good or bad but they can be trying.

So much of the time I am in a place between feeling so thankful for my life and my children and so completely exhausted. Maybe I have some postpartum depression. Maybe something is wrong with me. Maybe I am just only one person, trying to help everyone. Some days are just so unbelievably hard for me. I feel very alone and like I am failing in a lot of ways as a mother. I try so hard not to loose it with Blanche. I had no idea a child was capable of fighting sleep as hard as she does. It takes me a good hour of working with her to get her to nap during the day. Sometimes I simply do not have the energy to make her, but I can always tell that she does need one. Blanche needs me to help her fall asleep. She is like me in that she has never been able to cry and be upset and just pass out, she has to be at peace. Just last night I was wide awake with my emotions and the craziness of the day. I wanted to wind down and work on some photos, but Rosemary kept crying for me so I felt chained to the bed. I ended up feeling like I was having a complete anxiety attack. Like a feeling of wanting to rip my skin off. It sounds crazy or dramatic but that is the only way to describe it. So, I partly do understand when Blanche has trouble relaxing and winding down. But at the same time I feel so exhausting in trying. The last thing Blanche said today as she was about to drift off was that she liked my nails. And then she closed her sweet little eyes.... after fighting it for an hour, of course pretty much the duration of Rosemary's nap.

I understand all my problems in life are pretty minor. Just yesterday I read about a lady who lost her three year old after he was hit by a truck. I know I do not have real problems. It is just that sometimes my own life and all the little things add up to one huge emotion. A feeling of being completely overwhelmed. Andrew says to journal and read my Bible. I told him this morning that honestly, I can admit that I don't want to. Right now, in this season I feel like all I am doing is giving my time to everyone else. I rarely even have thirty minutes a day to myself. I do not want to spend my little time without crying or needs to be met, giving someone else my time. Even if it is God.

I think it is important to be honest. To say how I feel. Even if what I think is not really correct. I had a Sunday school teacher that always said it was best to be honest with God because he already knows how I feel anyways.

For some reason any time I do try to read my Bible I am always lead to the Proverbs 31 woman verse. Which is a bit ironic because a huge part of me use to always roll my eyes a little at the Proverbs 31 woman. Sometimes she seems like a lady that would never want to drink or smoke or travel or dance or have a good time. And I want to do those things.

I am having one of my very best friends do something for me. She is a beautiful soul and artist. She calls us kindred spirits. Sam just gets me. We understand each other and have since the second grade. I have posted about her Etsy shop before. She has been making banners and I have one for Blanche that says "Wild One" in bright felt letters. I have one for myself that is hand stitched and says, "Dream Believer." I asked her to hand stitch a large section of Proverbs 31 for me. Today as I was almost in tears after finally getting both girls to sleep, Sam sent me a text saying, "Just wanted to let you know, that you are awesome. And that you are a wonderful mother. Your children WILL rise up and call you blessed :) I love my time working on your special banner. That verse is engrained in my brain because of it! What a good one to have in there lol."

Then I pretty much burst into tears. I told her thanks and that she had no idea how much that meant to me at that exact moment. She said she had been working on the Holy Spirit thing, and it was the spirit that led. This is why we are kindred spirits.

I was talking with my brother yesterday about the balance between emotion and logic. I had been thinking about it for quite awhile. My brother said yeah, "Logos vs. Pathos." Sometimes he reminds me I am not the only one thinking about these things. You know, philosophers have been for a long time. I know it is about a balance of my emotions and remembering truths and reminding myself that things will and are getting better.

I once told Andrew a very true thing. I give my children the best of me and the worst of me. It is because I give them all of me. And I know no other way.

(And for those of you who haven't checked out my friend Sam's work, you should. Everyone needs art in their home.


  1. What a sweet hard post. Sweet because it's obvious you so want to be the best you can be at everything & hard because facing the impossibility of that is painful. We so often lose the good we can do in striving for perfection. Or we can't give grace to ourselves when we are too worn to even do good. You sound very normal to me - not crazy. Andrew gives great advice too. And yes - say whatever you want to God - he can take. He's heard some pretty rough things from me & I think the struggle is what brings me closer to Him.

    As always - I love your beautiful photographs.

    1. Thank you for always posting so much sweet encouragement to me Jenny. It always means so much.

  2. I just found your blog. Love your honesty and man, I wish we were closer so we could share in this journey. On my birthday just a few weeks ago, I was quizzing Eve about me. "Eve, what is mommy's favorite color?" "Eve, what is mommy's favorite thing to eat?" and then I asked, "Eve, what is mommy's favorite thing to do?" I immediately regretted asking it because I realized I was pretty insecure on how she would answer. Would she say my favorite thing was to sleep? To be on the computer? To watch TV? How did she really see me and did I want to know the answer? But then she said, "Your favorite thing to do is play with me! And draw with me and cook with me and take me to parks..." Right then I knew that I saw myself in a completely different light. I know that Blanche will not remember this brief period of impatience or exhaustion or even a lack of attention with a new sibling. She will remember the times in between...the small moments where true love is shown and I know there is plenty of that in your life. You are doing a GREAT job! I should blog like you do! Maybe I will write a post about this very thing=)