Friday, September 28, 2012

tough times

I am really struggling right now. So much is piled up on top of my chest, so many thoughts twirling through my I'll just start at the beginning...

Four and a half months ago our family celebrated a very important day: the birth of our sweet little Brooklynn Mae. The birth of a child is certainly a precious, special, treasured time, for babies are sweet little miracles sent straight from heaven...but this time can also bring with it many challenges. I'll just share my own. After I had her, I was running off of pure adrenaline and love for the first few days; then the exhaustion started to set in, and with it came frustration. Brooklynn did not start out a very easy baby; she suffered from some tummy issues which caused a lot of spit up and a lot of crying: from us both. After you have a baby, your hormones go nuts. Everything is rushing around, trying to return to normal, but your body has forgotten what normal is...I've read many times that it takes a full year for your body to recover; I'm thinking it may be something more like 18 years. Those crazy hormones do some crazy things to your head; I didn't have the baby blues too bad this time, but I definitely had my weepy, stressed out moments.

The transition from one child to two has been way harder than I ever anticipated. Before I had Brooklynn I asked a few friends if the change was a hard one to make; some said yes, others told me no...I'm convinced they are liars. I have honestly had a terrible time of it. I think one reason is, I don't adjust to change easily or quickly. It takes me a lot of time. For example, we have lived here in California for two years...and sometimes I still do not feel like I fit yet. It's just how I am. For over three years it was just me and Ave, best buds, together all the time. She was (and still is) my whole world, my reason for living. Then suddenly there were two little people begging for my love and affection...I've had a hard time trying to figure out how to divvy it out between them. Then that makes me feel guilty. I'm a woman, a mom, isn't this supposed to come naturally?! Everyone else makes it look so easy, what is wrong with me? You'd expect Avery to have a difficult time, but I truly feel like it is me who is struggling. Plus their ages are just sooo different. I can only play with Avery so much at the park when I have a baby in the stroller, or strapped to my chest.  I just can't do all that I used to with her. And that makes me sad. But it's just how it is, I know it's normal.. but still it makes me sad..

I find myself in the midst of all these changes and struggles, so what do I do? I workout. Two, three times a day even. I'm training for a half marathon in November, so I have been running a lot also. I, for a while, was obsessed with getting my body back. I had worked so hard for that six pack, I couldn't stand the flab that was my post-baby belly. So I worked out like a woman possessed. I worked out when I should have been in the Word, doing my devotions, talking to God. I put exercise at the top of my priority list because honestly, my brain was too tired to sit down and read and think...but a twenty minute workout or a four mile run? No big deal, because while I do it I don't have to think..

And so now my husband is starting six months of work-ups; basically, for the next 6-7 months he will be busy, traveling to train. I will mostly be seeing him only on weekends, and not even every weekend. This brings with it more stress... Really it's not fair to say that his deployment will only be 8-10 months, because in all honesty I feel like it is starting now...I feel like I am beginning a 15-17 month deployment. And that is discouraging and daunting and depressing. All of this is new for us, we have no idea what to expect. Plus I have never been on my own with the two girls before; I feel so tired just thinking about that. And then there's the fact that Justin has been home with us for a year, which is awesome and rare in this career. I am so thankful for the time that we have had, but I am also so spoiled and I know this. Justin for the last several months has been home from work by 2:30. This week he worked later, and I could tell a difference oh my... Avery asked for him every day, often. One night he didn't get home until almost eight and she was devastated that he wasn't here for our nightly routine. If she is acting this way now, how in the world will she be with him constantly in and out?! Avery and Justin have really bonded over the last year, more than ever. They spent so much time together while I was pregnant/in the early weeks of Brooklynn's life. I'm very thankful for their budding relationship, but I really feel like that will make all of this even harder on sweet Ave. I always thought that this would get harder as the kids get older, and I believe I was right...

And so, there you have it. Mix all that in with the fact that Brooklynn has been waking up 3-5 times every single night and you have on your hands a woman at her wit's end, who is at the brink of tears at any given moment. I have been snappy, I have been irritable, I've been overwhelmed. And no wonder, since I have been neglecting to make time for the single most important thing in Creator. He is the only reason why I am good; without him I'm a mess (clearly). He holds me together when I want to fall apart. He is the only reason I am ever strong, joyful, peaceful, loving. He is all the good in me. So if I'm not making time for Him, of course I'll be a mess. Now, excuse me while I go read my Bible... :)

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