Children are a wonderful gift from God. Sometimes I feel like my girls teach me more than I teach them. My oldest daughter Reagan is definitely in the process of teaching me patience. She’s two. Need I say more? I love every minute I get to spend with them. With me working, it’s hard finding time for family and house and school and husband. Throw in a little bit of some postpartum hormones (because let’s be real, there are plenty) and you are looking at one big party of craziness. Moms, I know that you love your babies, but I am hear to tell you that it is okay to have a mommy break. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s essential to your health and happiness.
When my first daughter was born, I had postpartum depression pretty bad. It is definitely a real thing. I stayed home with her for 13 months and then we sent her to daycare. During those 13 months, I battled myself everyday. I felt like everything I did was taken for granted and that I did everything in my life for someone else. I lost sight of who I was and it was tragic. Now, listen closely. None of that was my husband’s or my children’s fault! It was all me. I let myself get to that point. In fact, my husband very regularly tried to help, but I don’t let people help me very easily. I was angry, sad, and in a bad place. I was having a hard time losing the 50 pounds that I gained during pregnancy and I didn’t know how to get better.
I say all of that to say if I had given myself a mommy break and taken time for myself to enjoy my hobbies I wouldn’t have lost them and I wouldn’t have felt like my world was being rocked. I mean obviously when you have a child you’re world is rocked, but you can help keep it as steady as possible by taking care of yourself. As the mother, you set the mood and tone for your family. If you are angry and sad all the time your family will ultimately begin to feel that way as well. Reagan can always tell when I am upset. She looks at me and says “Mommy, you alright?” It’s unfortunate that my two year old has to even know what anger or sadness is. Her world should be happiness not tainted by my emotions.
Life is crazy, especially when you add little ones to the mix. Make time for yourself. Mommy breaks are crucial to helping you reorient yourself. I lost sight of myself. I sacrificed so much of myself that it tore me up. I didn’t know what hobbies I had, what music I liked, or what I even liked to wear ( I pretty much lived in sweatpants). When I finally decided that I did not want my girls being influenced by my poor mood and sour attitude I noticed a change. I prayed that God would give me the wisdom I needed to be the mother and wife that my family deserved. I prayed that He would help me to be a strong Christian example of what a woman should be for my girls. And you know what happened? God went to work. I started running and eating better and eventually I lost the baby weight and then some. I started feeling better inside and out. God was transforming my heart. He was taking that evil that was nesting there and He was kicking it out. I began to make time for myself. Drew would take Reagan with him to feed the dogs (we have many) and I would get that time to run and clear my head. In the evenings I started to read. I found that I absolutely LOVE a good book. I started to become the woman that I wanted to be.
After Sadie was born (she is 5 months old now), I prayed that God would help me get through my postpartum. I would love to tell you that I am completely through it, but unfortunately I am not; however, I am coming up on the other side of it. I let the evil take root in my heart for awhile, but I am ready to be better. It’s a struggle. It truly is, but I just want every mom out there to know that you are not alone in the emotions and thoughts that you have. Postpartum is a real thing. It can transform your life if you let it. Sadie was in the hospital for three weeks after she was born due to the fact that she was 4 pounds at birth. She couldn’t eat or hold her body temperature. We lived two hours away from the hospital so every day for three weeks we would drive to Ft. Worth and then drive home in the evenings to spend time with Reagan. I had a lot of anger build up during that time, and it has taken me awhile to work through it. The good news is that I am working through it and I feel a lot better. I give myself a mommy break every night to read and just relax. Slowly, I can feel the change. It is so amazing to feel God at work in your life. He has saved me from myself multiple times. It doesn’t matter how many times I have been angry at Him, He always forgives and loves me.
Postpartum is a very difficult time for moms. I just want you to know that it can and does get better, but you have to put in the time and effort for that to happen. Make time for yourself (even if it is just 5 minutes) to sit down and gather your thoughts. When you have children, a house, a husband (or maybe you are a single mother, in which I say you are amazing!), and a job or school your thoughts run everywhere and that adds to the chaos your emotions are already wreaking all over your mind and body. Take a mommy break. It’s okay, I promise. It will help you to feel like yourself again!