simply put: i struggle too.

Recently I hung out with a rockin’ momma to two boys. Our crazy boys ran wild and we talked. I felt at ease around her and like I didn’t have to worry if she saw just how crazy my life with my boys can get. What I loved is how very real she is: authentic and genuine. She shared her heart and struggles and thoughts. I appreciated it oh so much. We were talking and I realized I hadn’t seen her for months. Life gets super busy and while I know that was a part of it, I also realized something else this morning. I’ve tried to connect with other momma’s in the area, to be turned down, often. (This isn’t a pity party post, I promise :))

I have come to realize, that a lot of the struggle is me. Unless people really take the time to get to know me, they feel I am not relatable. Why? I’ve recently figured this out.

And oh.my.word. it breaks my heart.

I share a lot on social media, photos-wise. I share beautiful moments from our lives – down to the daily life that I find cute, or a meal, or I share creative things, places we’ve visited, things I’ve made, silly moments, etc. Over time and a handful of conversations later I’ve come to realize, people are intimidated. I guess from the outside looking in, mostly via my sharing photos, my life might seem like I have a lot of things “together” or “going for me”. I definitely know the reality of my life is far from these things, but maybe a struggling momma would see this differently when she sees a photo I post?

Today, I am here to say, I am not. I am sooooo far from having it all together. And I am so sorry if that is how you feel I’ve portrayed my life. It breaks my heart that in sharing, people might believe this to be true. After hearing little remarks/comments such as me being referred to as a “pinterest mom” or “super mom” or “that mom who makes all others look bad”, etc I know the importance of wanting to clearly share and portray my heart to you. I feel sick knowing that I’ve caused others to feel intiminated or downcast or like I am not able to relate.

My entire hope is to:

a) document our lives

b) encourage and uplift and inspire others in things I post: whether about life or in creativity

c) focus on the more positive because of where we’ve walked in life. I {have} to focus more on those moments or I sink deep into my depression.

I am weary of others either feeling I am unable to relate to struggle or that what I post is a facade. I’m here to say, I STRUGGLE and this is not a facade.

I know what the “world” says in successful and it’s truly a facade. It’s so difficult because we feel we need to put on these facades, to show the world that we’ve got it all together. When the reality could be, we are struggling, we are lonely, we need community. We need a safe place to share honestly and feel no judgement whatsoever. That is exactly why I recently started a momma’s group.

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(found this via pinterest and loved it!)

If we allow it, there is an intimidation that we sometimes feel when it comes to others and how we mother or even how we live our lives. Desiring their giftings or perhaps, when it comes to the lives we see online or what we think we see face to face.

 I struggle because I want to share the more positive because that truly is an honest outlook on our life. Some of this is wired in me and some of this has really become a part of me since we’ve lost Eisley. I feel more aware and thankful for things I once took for granted.

But sometimes I struggle. I mean really struggle.

Sometimes Ted gets home from work at night and I have yet to shower, I’m in boogy and food covered yoga pants, dinner is only just getting started (if that), laundry might be done but folded – no way. Sometimes I am in tears or just bone weary.

I struggle because I know that I can’t have the house clean all of the time – that is unless I go mad-crazy and decide to clean all day long. I struggle because I don’t like to cook – I’m a stay at home momma who actually, dare I say, HATES to cook. I have no creativity or passion when it comes to this area. Zilch. I struggle because I have never been good at a strict nap schedule – or really, any kind of schedule – for my boys. You wouldn’t believe how often I feel guilty that it isn’t my strong area. My boys more often than not, stay up way too late and get up way too early.

I struggle because some days I yell at my kiddos or cry way more than I “should” in front of them.

I struggle lately because my sweet Chaseyboy has become mouthy, rude and keen to tantrum throwing when he doesn’t get his way.

I struggle when my boys seem to they fight more than love on each other.

I struggle taking passive aggressive things people post online (that have nothing to do with me) personally.

I struggle when others think I have my life together when I feel so often it’s messy and I’m often lonely and living as a broken and depressed and (still) grieving momma.

I have been struggling lately as I hear the comments that continue to flood in. I’m a sensitive soul and a people pleaser and I try to be as authentic as possible.

I actually feel so dumb saying it, but I’m truly trying to share the more difficult moments as well. I share here on my blog a lot about my struggles with depression, or about the loss of Eisley or even about Ted and I and about Chase and our struggles with him. I haven’t shared those sort of things on facebook and other social media sites as much because to be honest, after we lost Eisley I realized it made people uncomfortable or people didn’t want to hear it. People didn’t want to know what was going on. And also, passive agressive comments fly around on facebook so often about people who use facebook as a diary – and at times, reading and hearing videos of things people shared regarding this – it broke my heart. Here I felt lonely and shared online because of this (is this right? probably not, however when you aren’t a part of a community of people who want to hear what’s going on, it’s hard not to want to reach out – which is lame, but for me at a time, that meant through my blog and through my facebook. Asking for prayer and hope and encouragement. To know we weren’t alone.)

Something that has helped me a lot recently is a book called Abba’s Child by Brendan Manning. I feel like I am accepting my broken nature and learning who I truly am in Him.

I was sharing with a friend my struggles with these comments and how I’ve begun to realize how people perscieve me. It breaks my heart. If you know me or have followed me here, you know I love to document our lives. A part of who I am is that when I feel inspired, I pick up my camera. I don’t often feel inspired when I’m battling through a tantrum with my almost 4-year-old or when my boys are pummeling each other out of anger or when my husband and I are arguing. Or when my house is a wreck. Or when I’m up for 4 hours straight with my 1 1/2 year-old due to weaning. Or when I’m popping in my anti-depression medication right before bed each night.

Photos and posts about this, it is actually harder for me. Not because I don’t want to share those moments in fear of judgement – no, in fact I’ve come to realize people judge less when I share such photos. And when I share positive, I feel even more judged at times. It is mostly harder for me because I truly want to focus on the positive. I want to capture the beautiful moments – and now, I am working on capturing the more difficult ones as well. I have realized that people feel I am more relatable when I share these moments as well.

There are comments and things I have to brush off as someone’s judgement of me, but as I’ve heard from people I respect and admire myself, I realize, even those who aren’t judging me tend to believe this true of me. It breaks my heart and I hope today I was able to share a bit more to help put things into perspective and explain my heart.

I struggle too. Every day.

It’s just that for me, I {HAVE} to create and I {HAVE} to focus more on the positive. This is for me personally.

If I wasn’t such a people pleaser and an empathy-person, this post wouldn’t be happening ;) However, any time that even ONE person has a struggle with me, I’m torn. So this post may be more for me than for you, but I hope I’ve clearly portrayed what I have hoped all along.

Authenticity, possitivity and inspiration.

Love, Jami

mommahood; lies, struggles & finding freedom.

Today was one of those days that I wish I could just rewind, wake afresh, inspired, hopeful, and start again. Today was what I sometimes call a “momma fail”.

I’ve decided to do a small series on mommahood. It has been {so} heavy on my heart for a long time now. It’s a collaboration of things that have been slowly stirring up in me since I became a momma. I’m gonna jump right in and begin with when I became a mom and the struggles that immediately followed.

 

From a young age I’ve loved children and dreamt of being a momma. So before mommahood, I had a lot of ideas of what it would be like. What I would be like as a momma. What I would and wouldn’t do. How my child would or wouldn’t behave {insert huge smile here}. What they would or wouldn’t be allowed to eat or drink. What my body would look like after a baby. How I would interact with other mommas (a part of this series). How I would continue to do the things that are me (a part of this series), etc.

Entering mommahood was quite eye-opening and caused a sudden shift in all that I had previously thought. Of course I’d stick with the values and principles I wanted as a parent, but even that can shift with each season of mommahood. I’m not here to talk today about parenting tips or anything like that, in fact, I just want to kind of be real about some struggles I’ve had in my short but swift journey of mommahood with the hope to encourage someone out there.

I remember coming home 5 days after Chase was born. We laid him in his crib and with baited breaths just watched him sleep. Neither of us slept much that first night (seriously, who’s with me with this one?). We had left the comfort of the hospital and knowing that nurses and doctors were there in a heartbeat if needed.

I remember the very first time I was ever home alone with him. I sat holding him, just staring at his beauty and trying to wrap my head around that face that he was mine (I sometimes still shake my head in awe). That was the first time that I remember the fear and lies swept in; Who am I to mother this child? In my sinful nature, I am to be the one who molds this child?! What if I don’t do it “right”? What if I mess him up?

That was the first of many lies to come.

On days like today where I feel like I’ve failed as a mother, house maker, wife, etc, the lies quickly follow behind my heels, trying to grab hold of me and bring me down.

Today, I had enough. Enough of the lies.

I Paused. Closed my eyes. Took a deep breath. And clung to truth. The truth is we really cannot do this on our own. And actually, it is that very thing that bring my heart the most comfort. It is not by our strength that we mother – teach and mold, take care of their every need and cry, discipline, comfort and console, feed and nourish, etc.

We need Him. We need truth.

Imagine if we believed that we are all He says we are.

Imagine if we walked in full victory and pushed away the lies that every so quickly weigh our momma hearts down.

Imagine if we let joy permeate our momma heart fully, undeniably.

Imagine as that very joy pours out into our children. 

Imagine if we let go of the lies that often entrap our minds and hearts as mommas and we trust that we can do this, that He has made us capable.

He is our greatest help in our time of weakness. Our strength and our strong tower (Psalm 61:3).

This joy and belief would not be a facade but in fact the very opposite. I don’t believe it would eliminate a child’s bad behaviour (though it might help it in some ways), or eliminate the messes, or the 2.5-year-old that still eats paper sometimes and chews on his sleeves all the time, if he has a shirt on. ;) It doesn’t mean that He will eliminate the struggles, no. It means that amidst the struggles and chaos that sometimes comes our way, there is a stillness within – of joy that stands firm in knowing that we are called to this and we are who He says we are. We are his and we are capable.

{Yes and amen}

Mommahood can be oh so hard and trying. But it is not by our strength alone and that brings this momma’s heart comfort tonight.

He.          is.             our.           strength. 

Breathe it in. Soak it up. Walk in it.

Rest well within mommas.

“Preparing my heart for something big…”

This May, prior to when I began bleeding the first time, I was driving home one evening after running errands. I used to take the time I had alone in my car to talk with God. I have had some amazing and much needed conversations with Him while on the road. But at that point, in May, I was at serious odds with God. I was struggling with the same thing I always fall back to, my lack of trust in Him. So all that to say, we weren’t talking on this car ride home. In fact, I was flipping thru radio stations, searching for a song to sing along to. Nothing.

I decided to switch to a christian radio station and was immediately drawn to the conversation. A couple was on air, speaking of walking through an intense tragedy of losing their daughter. I kept turning the station because I was afraid of listening to something like this while pregnant, but I would going back. I was so drawn to the couple’s intense faith and trust in God, despite everything they had walked through. I wanted what they had.

{I wanted the faith and the trust they had despite their tragedy}

I listened all the way home and then sat in the driveway until it finished. When it finished, I began talking with God about where I was at and I felt His prescence so strongly and then I felt he was {preparing my heart for something big}. But I didn’t know what that meant and I tried to process everything I felt inside onto my journal through words and art. (I also wrote this on my facebook status here that very evening)

Side note: Let me just say… I do NOT believe he’s caused this high risk pregnancy to teach me a lesson on trust, I don’t even believe he’s caused it. I believe this happened and that he’s here with me and he did prepare me, yes. But he did not cause this.

This week, He reminded me of our conversation that evening and I was in awe as I pieced it together. Was this what he’s been preparing me for? I feel like that is the only explantation for how I am dealing with everything. {It’s not on my own strength, it’s with his}. I’ve been telling people, as we’ve walked through this, I have felt him intensely and that if it weren’t for him I would honestly feel completely helpless. Prayer helps my feeling of helplessness more than words can say.

I just wanted to share where I am with all of this and mostly, about how I feel he’s prepared me for this season. I’m so thankful to him. And I’m incredibly thankful he’s put such great people in my life (like you!) who’ve prayed for our sweet baby throughout all of this. Thank you and please keep praying!

A Struggling Momma.

I am worn out, spread thin, overwhelmed, emotional. I’m exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally. (I am also slightly dramatic. I blame it on my crazy pregnant hormones.)

I feel like I am failing in someway or another lately. I can’t seem to break my way out of the negativity and this sense that I’m a failure.

Selfishly, I want to hear words of encouragement. I want to affirmation from someone, I need understanding, that being a mother can be incredibly difficult, exhausting, overwhelming at times and IS indeed a full time job. I want to hear I am doing a good job. I want to know I am not failing. I know there are many out there that can relate.

Today was one of those days where I just want to give up. Don’t get me wrong, Chase is an exceptionally great boy, but he barely naps and when he does, it’s usually a cat nap. He doesn’t like sleeping. He wants to go, go, go. So you’d think, because he takes cat naps instead of hour long ones, he’d sleep better at night right? Not at all. Especially while weaning him.

I also finally admit that I might be struggling and have been since I’ve had Chase. The most ridiculous thing is the fact that it boils down to my new look, my new body, my new weight. I’ve always been petite, small (minus age 13-15) and the reality that I am not anymore, that it’s going to take a lot of work to get back to my natural size… it’s incredibly hard. I cry about it a lot actually. My weakness is eating. I eat all of the time (even before prego). I fight my emotions with food. Always have, but this time, it sticks to me. The truth; I hate my body and what I’ve done to it. Somedays I don’t even go out because of my “depression” with my weight. I can’t help but looking forward to losing it after baby #2 but wonder if I ever really will. I mean, I know of mother’s, my aunt included, who lose is a year or years later, but I don’t want to have this clinging to me anymore. I sold some of my “skinny clothes” from before I was pregnant with Chase, yesterday. It was so hard. I am nearly 4 sizes bigger than before I started and 6 sizes bigger than my wedding day. I can barely handle thinking about it…Please pray for me and my state of mind with this.

Yeah, basically today I’m worn out. I’d LOVE a nap. I actually did something I never really do, I handed him to Ted and went for a drive. By myself. I feel better, getting time to myself, but I realize, I’m missing balance. I need “me time” desperately, especially since I have another little one on the way. I need to figure this out now or I will be one of those frazzled mom’s of 4 before I know it!

I just needed to write. To process. Thanks for readin’.

-J