I have writer's block. That's why I have been absent for so long. (and LIFE has been happening) I have a lot to share but it is hard to get it coherently from my mind to the keyboard. I enjoy being in the moment with a mom (does that make it a mom-ment, sorry) and trying to help her problem solve what is right in front of her. It is harder to come up with a cohesive program of teaching or training for a new mom. I am trying to write a class for new moms but I feel it is something you find on-line at any time if you knew what you were looking for. I don't want to come off as a know-it-all or worse, just be another opinion a mom has to wade through. So how do I continue blogging when I am stuck? I guess it is exactly like motherhood. I will have to continue through trial and error and with the confidence I can muster. I will trust that God will use my words to help someone and give grace to cover my shortcomings. I don't know what the long term fruit of it will be, just like motherhood. I will make decision after decision. Really there are very few things that we do that we can predict all the variables and know it will come out how we wish. How much more with something so very open as blogging, and more so as parenting? Being a parent, you may have the illusion that you can control the outcome of parenting but truly the outcome is based on so many factors. I saw this especially in my children's temperament. They were each so different from birth. Even the birth experience was different with each one. I thought going into the birth experience with my second daughter would be the same as my first or better because my body and mind knew what to expect. It was night and day. There was so much that was different, I couldn't begin to list it all. One of the biggest things was that my middle daughter had the cord wrapped around her neck and she quickly was in distress. Something like that, I could neither predict or fix. My youngest had the best birth, laboring at home with a doula and friend and my mom and husband until I felt ready to go to the hospital. It was the easiest even though she was the biggest of the three babies by a over a pound! I had birth plans or ideas of what each of my three girls' births would be like and each time they were different, from each other and from what my idea was. Birthing a blog is similar in that it is different than I expected and has challenges I could never have foreseen. Life doesn't happen in your own timing either. You can plan and then something traumatic happens and you are thrown off your game. Nursing, you think, is natural and will be easy. More and more women are finding this hard. Lack of support and environmental and food source changes are some of the reasons for this. Suddenly, baby is here and breast feeding is a formidable challenge. How do we adjust? We press on, but remember to feel those feelings when you do. Feelings of loss and discouragement are real and do not go away when we push them down. Like a float in a swimming pool, you might be able to hold it under for some time but when you release the effort of holding it under, it will come back up with force. I am learning that the ways I was taught to deal with my emotions was not helpful. I hope you have someone with whom you can share your feelings and be accepted. Maybe if you are not blessed with someone you can talk face to face with, you can find someone online in a mom group who needs support too. Just knowing you are not alone can make a huge difference, especially if you are pregnant or are after birth are still experiencing postpartum hormones. (PS this can take years to regulate and I know some who are changed forever, sorry). But find someone who gets what you are going through and also please be a friend to yourself. I am the best at ripping myself apart, I'm definitely my harshest critic. I am becoming more aware of my self-talk though. Trying to rewrite that inner dialog is tough though.
SO my encouragement for today is, that God can take your parenting and birth story and hormones and self-talk and whatever else you are struggling with and make it for His glory. One more story, I lost my cool one day, my daughter was pushing my buttons over and over. She was talking back and being sassy and I lost it. I took her face in my hand and squeezed her cheeks between my thumb and middle finger squishing those big cheeks into her mouth. She had made me so mad that I wanted her to see what she was doing with her mouth hurt. But I did not think! This did not bring the outcome I wanted. I calmed down and apologized. She accepted and we made up but it can never be as good as if I had calmed down first. Another day, I caught her doing this awful maneuver to her young sister. I was mortified. I never wanted to hurt my daughter and now she was using what she learned from me to hurt her sister. How did God use this sin I had committed against my daughter? He is the master and so full of patience towards me and them. First, I apologized again to my daughters and they saw what repentance really looks like. Then, I was able to see how I could calm myself and make better choices for correction. (it looks more like consequences for actions). I also saw how God corrects us (consequences too, we reap what we sow) and forgives us when we repent from the heart. Mommies, let's press on. We feel the lack, we know we cannot do it in our own strength, so we grow closer to our God by asking His Spirit to help us. He promises to.
Paula is a single mother of 3. Follow along on her journeys of motherhood and her fulfilling work as a postpartum doula