I took a much needed vacation from my blog last week. I’ve been writing 1-2 posts a week for about 2 months, and I needed a break!
I was getting burned out, overwhelmed, and depressed. I was having major writer’s block and hating the idea of sitting down at my computer to write.
As someone who has struggled with depression since I was 16, it is hard for me to keep a routine. For some reason, routine is one of my biggest triggers of depression. I think things start getting monotonous, which is actually the perfect word to describe how I was feeling. Monotonous can mean “repetitious,” but it can also mean “dull and lacking interest.” When I keep doing the same thing over and over, even if I love it with all my heart, I get tired of it.
I’ve been that way my whole life. I have quit so many things that I was passionate about. I’m an average guitar player. I have a 4th-grade-choir level education of music, as well as an 8th grade level education in art. There is a space in my closet where the multitudes of unfinished novels I started writing throughout my life go to die. There are several blogs and YouTube channels I have abandoned at some point out there floating around in cyberspace. I took tap for a week, just long enough for my Mom to buy very expensive tap shoes, and was in Brownies long enough to ride on the float in the homecoming parade (also a week). I quit marching band in 7th grade, got back in in 9th grade, and quit the last semester of my senior year.
The point of me dishing out my life story to you is this: I’m TIRED of quitting. As a mother, I get a chance to reinvent who I am. Who do I want to be for this child that I am bringing into the world?
I don’t want Joshua to grow up watching his mom quit everything she starts. I want him to have a dream and fight for it.
That’s why this blog is so important to me. I started it for moms who struggle to be perfect. I started it for me to hold myself accountable as a mother and as a person to stop quitting things that are important to me. And I started it for my son to have someone to look up to as a role model as he grows.
However, I have to learn to balance my newfound determination.
I’ve let myself get too overwhelmed over the past two months. I’ve become a blog writing robot. All I have been good for is feeding and changing my child, cleaning the house (haha), and writing blogs.
One day last week before I decided to take a “vacation,” I was having a very stressful day. Everything was going wrong, to-do’s were getting piled on me left and right, I just kept staring at the blank page on my laptop, and my son was basically crying all day!
I knew I wasn’t getting anywhere with the horrendous mental block I was having, so I shut everything down and just held my son.
As a mom, it’s hard to tell people your imperfections, because mothers are expected to know what they’re doing when it comes to child-rearing. But I have to be honest with you. That day, I played with my 2-month-old son and talked to him like we had never played and talked before.
I have to watch people to learn how to do something. I never anticipated that this would include how I bond with my son, but I guess it makes sense. I’m a socially awkward person, but I know how to adapt to act like I’m expected to act in a situation, so why wouldn’t that apply to interacting with my child — another human being? For the last 2 months, I would play with him like I had seen family members or YouTube videos play. I would read books to him and have tummy-time because I knew that’s what you’re supposed to do. I really didn’t think I, the Queen of Awkward, would be able to figure out how to bond with my child on my own. But that day, when I took a moment to just be present with my son, I learned some things.
I learned that my son is very aware of his surroundings. I learned that he likes looking at our dachshund, Toby. I learned that he loves the movie Sing and the book Do Your Ears Hang Low?. And I was hooked! I wanted to learn more about and bond more with my son.
So, I took the week off from blogging to do just that!
It was such a refreshing week. I learned Joshua’s cues for a nap and figured out all on my own through trial and error that he likes a dim room, soft music playing, and to be sitting in his bouncer while napping.
I bonded with my son when I wrapped him in his favorite blanket and rocked him to sleep. I bonded with him when he slept for a full hour in my arms and my elbow fell asleep. I bonded with him as I read him the first 3 books of Harry Potter and he fell asleep watching the first two movies with me.
I have loved my son so much over the past two months, but in the last week, I took the time to fall in love with my son. I took the time to get to know him and let him get to know me. I took the time to bond and cuddle and love. I took the time to learn his cries, his cues, and his patterns.
This is a week I will hold in my heart for his entire life because it was the first moment I purposefully spent building my son’s and my relationship; a relationship I pray only grows stronger and more secure as time goes by.
I started working on my blog again Monday, as well as really starting to get the house back in order for the first time since Christmas, but I hold last week in my heart as a reminder. A reminder to stop and enjoy the little moments.
Yes, I need to clean the house. Yes, I need to write a new blog post. Yes, I need to shower and brush my teeth — and I will get to all of those things. But one of my top priorities is being present with my son. He is only 2 months and 12 days old once. Before I know it, he will be crawling and talking! Just last night I had to put away his newborn onesies because he doesn’t fit in them anymore! He’s already getting so big! I can’t let all the important little moments slip away.
In the following weeks, I will be trying my best — because that’s all I can promise — to learn to juggle being a homemaker, an entrepreneur, and a mother. I hope to share my journey and my strategies with you once I get more comfortable with it. That’s not to say I will be a pro at this, ever! Each week, each day is a chance to evaluate the previous one and grow.
I’m going to have days where I feel like I fall short as a mom or as a wife or as a blogger, and that’s okay! You know why? Because I’m a human, NOT A ROBOT!
I foresee some blog “vacations” in my future; a week to just rest, reevaluate, and spend time with my son. And I encourage you to do that too, Mom! If you have a full-time or part-time job, maybe this looks like taking a “vacation” from something for the evening or for the weekend. It’s okay if the floor doesn’t get mopped this week or if you skip a day of dishes!
It is important to take care of our family as a wife and mother (Proverbs 31:15-17). But it is also important for us to rest. Even the God Almighty rested (Genesis 2:2-3). It is just as important for us to spend time with our families.
Mom, if you put keeping the house spotless over spending time with your family, you will get burned out and you will cause weakened relationships with your children and spouse. And if you’re like me, this will cause depression. If you are a mother of a newborn, it could cause Postpartum Depression (PPD) or Baby Blue’s.
What can you get to tomorrow or next week so that you can just be present with your children in this moment? Because, Mom, you can’t get this moment back. (Let us know in the comments! We would love to hear from you!)
I pray this week that God reveals to you how to balance life as a mom, wife, and employee. I pray God spotlights the moments that you need to just stop and be present with your children. I pray God shows you how to prioritize and make time for what is important. And I pray God shows you what isn’t so important that is keeping you from spending time with your family.
You’ve got this, Mom!