All posts by lynne

Motherhood. How hard is it???

MOTHERHOOD IS VERY HARD!!!  No-one really sits down to tell you this before you have your first child.  No-one really tells you about the lack of sleep that you will have… or that you will have days where everything just seems so hard to cope with that you just want to curl up and cry.

I have 3 children (two girls aged 7 and 6 and one boy at 4 years old).  Yes, at one point in my life I could say that I had three kids all under the age of three!

OH MY WORD!

How on Earth did we think that this was a good idea at the time? We often got comments from people that we were either very brave, or just absolutely mad!  I am still trying to work out which one we are!

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My husband is an only child and he is the last one alive to carry on his family name. I so wanted a boy so that we could do this.  Well, third time lucky and I got my wish.  And boy, didn’t I know about it.  Let’s put it this way…We did originally want a big family and to have 4 children, but having my little man has absolutely wiped me out.  Being constantly knackered is no fun. The sleepless nights that I had for the first 2-3 years of his life were awful.

I remember one night it felt like the kids were playing tag during the night and each one were taking it in turns to get up.  I had one child awake screaming because she was teething… oh, and did she have a pair of lungs on her! Once she was dosed up and settled, my other daughter woke up coughing and spluttering. She had one of those irritating coughs that once it starts, it just doesn’t stop.

If that wasn’t enough, my son then had a sickness bug and he really knew how to throw up.  It was the projectile type of throwing up.  You needed to duck and get out of the way before it was all over you.  I walked in to him crying and I lifted him out of his bed and it hit me… literally! I was absolutely covered from head-to-toe in vomit.  It was horrendous!

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I got through those horrendous nights though.  It DOES get a little easier.  I do get SOME sleep now.  Admittedly, there are different challenges now though, and yes, I still find it hard to cope at times.  I’m just pleased that I am not where I was 3 years ago…

…Struggling.

It’s hard to admit that, but yes, I did struggle.  It’s not easy trying to live up the expectations of a perfect mother.  It isn’t going to happen.  You just need to roll with it.

I just want to encourage anyone reading this that you are not on your own.  Feeling helpless is normal at a time when you are sleep deprived.  It WILL get better though.  Hang in there.  You are doing a wonderful job.

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Finding a rhythm in my rest

For the last couple of months I have mentioned a great book a few times called “Rhythms of Rest” and how it is helping me to see how good rest is. I mean, resting is just as good as taking a pill! It’s the best medication that we can have.

Mind you, it’s fine me saying this now, but just a couple of weeks ago I must admit, I struggled. Why? Because I was in pain.

“But that is when you should rest, isn’t it?” I hear you say!

Yes, it is!

And did I?

Erm…No!

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When life is going well, advice is always easier to take on board. Situations seem to sail along quite calmly.  However, when the tide changes and the seas get a bit rougher, that’s when it’s hard to see the clear skies ahead.

A number of weeks ago, I had a great week making time each morning to read devotions and pray. During that week, I was really productive in getting as much done to prepare for the weekend…trying to get all the washing done (including folding it up and putting it away!) running all the errands that needed running, getting food in, cleaning the house…this was all in between working a full time job and having kids.  I think you get the picture.

What was so important at the weekend that I was breaking my back getting all this stuff done?  I was preparing to have a full day of rest on the Saturday.

Yes, you did read that correctly…A FULL DAY!!

Shock! Horror!!

To think a busy, working mum with 3 kids could actually do that. But I did…and it worked.

Kind of.

Don’t get me wrong, the day was fantastic. It’s what happened the following days later.

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My mind was fully refreshed and charged up after a day of rest,  but my body was nudging me quietly and telling me something completely different.

Was I listening? Was I paying attention to the little signs?

Of course I wasn’t. I’m a stubborn northerner and I think I know best. Anyway, things needed to be done so there was no way that I could stop.

What happened though, was that I had done so much back-breaking rushing around during the week to prepare for one day, that I didn’t notice how tired I was really getting. I mean, tired to the point that I was struggling to stay awake.

After my day of rest, I went straight into rushing around again preparing for the next day of rest, which was to be a week later. In all the rushing around and not listening to my body, guess what?

Crack! I did my back in.  Doing what? Unloading the dishwasher. Of all things! Seriously!! Pain shot through my body.  How ironic that all the back-breaking work I put into having a Sabbath day actually made my back crack!

I really struggled the week that followed. To the point that I was walking like some old woman with a zimmer frame. I couldn’t lift anything. Every time I sat down it hurt. Every time I stood up it hurt. Every time I tried to walk it hurt. Even sleeping in bed hurt. Suffice to say, I think it hurt!
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In Shelly Miller’s book “Rhythms Of Rest”, she writes about how we need to take baby steps towards achieving our Sabbath and how not to feel guilty in doing so.  She makes a whole heap of sense in her book, but unfortunately, like the true Northerner I am, I still really wasn’t taking it in.  I have learnt the hard, and painful, way of trying to rest with a rhythm .

Do you know what my problem was?  Why my back went out?  I hadn’t actually made rest as a rhythm.  The title of Shelly’s book really hit me at that point.  Sabbath is not just about one day, or a specific day.  Sabbath is spending time with God – whenever, wherever, and however. It doesn’t matter if I spend 10 minutes sitting on a bench thinking, or if I spend 10 minutes having a little snooze.

Seriously? Sleep? Yes! Why not? Oh how that was such a revelation to me.

When we make a special meal for someone, sometimes it’s not the first time we have tried to make it.  It might be 3 or 4 times before we perfect the dish, using different ingredients each time.  It’s kind of like that with Sabbath.   We are creating a special time with someone and it takes time to get the right ingredients, and plenty of trial runs!

I loved that day I had, spending time in His presence with my family.  I wanted that day again so much.  It’s just not going to happen though.  Not at the moment in the season that I am in anyway. Having a young family, a job that has a lot of pressure and is very physical,  outside commitments, my health, home stuff and being a wife, I struggle a whole heap.

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I am slowly learning that not everything can be done at once.  I am also finding, just like my life, that I need to adapt more.  I need to be more flexible with my time and not to restrict myself too much.

Shelly covers all these issues, and a whole lot more in her book.  She shares encouraging stories and practical advice in a way that really helps to restore your soul. If you are finding, like me, that you are struggling a little and you need a bit of guidance, then may I suggest that you get her book.  It’s available right now through Amazon.

She has been doing a book tour in the US over the last couple of weeks spreading the message of her much needed book. She is coming back this week and will be launching her book in the U.K. very shortly.

She will be starting on Saturday 12th November with a book launch at the church I attend at St Barnabas in Kensington. If you are free, why don’t you come and join me and hear what she has to say in person. Believe me, in this busy world that we live in, her message is what we all need to hear.

Precious Child – I Have Been Carrying You

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I am taking part in a writing series called “Write 31 Days series”. This is where writers will write on a certain topic every day for the whole month of October. The one that I am taking part in, along with a number of other writers, is 31 Days of Miracles: Who is Our God and this is hosted by two inspiring people: Anna Louise Smit and Debbie Barrow Michael

Today, I share Part 2 of my story on their website (Part 1 is located here). See below for a snippet…
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The second miracle…
My pregnancy was pretty average. No complaints. I had the usual morning sickness, but to be honest, I just ate more. I love my food, so for once I didn’t feel guilty about how much I ate and what I ate. You could say that this was turning out to be a text book pregnancy (if there is such a thing).
Until one day, our whole world changed in 10 minutes! The week prior to this earth shattering moment, I started to feel ill. Not just the usual morning sickness though. I had blurred vision, dizziness, sickness, I couldn’t stop sleeping, really bad headaches and heart burn like I had eaten a vindaloo twice over . . . classic symptoms of pre-eclampsia – but I didn’t know this. I just put it down to feeling tired and I was entering my third trimester. This was normal, wasn’t it?
A week later after the symptoms started, as we came home from church, I sat on the sofa with my hubby discussing what we were going to do about the nursery. We were going to go out that afternoon to get things prepared. I was at 31 weeks and 4 days at this point, so we thought it was time to get ready.
We had only sat down for 10 minutes, and it hit me. Excruciating pain…

If you would like find out what happens next, then hop on over to Anna’s site to read the full version of part 2.

Rhythms Of Rest

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A few weeks ago, one Sunday, our family was absolutely wiped out. Why? Because we did too much! It was a hard week that week with the kids going back to school and  my husband going back to work. I was getting into a new rhythm too of getting up early, getting things prepared and doing the school run. Over the summer, I had no worries about having to get up before the kids because there was no rush to get anywhere. Well, apart from going to work that is. But I had an extra hour in bed. ONE WHOLE HOUR! That’s like a lifetime to any mother I think.

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My body is taking a little longer to adjust to the early morning routine now though.  I am taking the kids into school earlier so that I can get into work earlier. The idea is that I can leave work earlier too, so that I can get time at the end of the day getting the little bits done that’s needed for home.   Trying is a bit of an understatement though.  It’s more like I am running a race, and I have an elastic band around me that is constantly pulling me back from reaching the finish line.

We also had an event that we needed to go to on the Saturday with the brass band that we play in. This meant that we were going to be out of the house at midday and not return for another 13 and a half hours later!  We did about 6-7 hours worth of travelling altogether.  So yeah, when we woke up Sunday morning at 6:30am we just wanted to hit that snooze button just a few more times! How we managed to leave the house at 8:15am to get ourselves to church I don’t know.  I think that God must have been driving.

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You are probably wondering why I am arduously undertaking fitting in so much during the week when I can spread it out at the weekend. (I think a part of me is wondering that too if I’m honest). I aim to change though the way that I do things for one reason – SABBATH! I want to enjoy some time at the weekend where I can rest with my family, and with God.  I want to be able to do the things that I love doing. I don’t want to be rushing around trying to get things done that really no body cares about.  I mean, seriously, what will my kids enjoy more…me playing with them, or me making sure that their clothes are clean?  I know which one I would rather do.

Starting a new rhythm though is not easy, but with the help of Shelly Miller’s new book “Rhythms Of Rest“, it has given me a little more grace to make it easier.  Her book is being launched on October 4th and is available for pre-order NOW!

imagePhotograph taken by Kris Camealy.