My son Austin was due on August 15, 2014. To my surprise, I delivered him on May 3, 2014. To my dismay, I didn’t meet him until May 5, 2014. I couldn’t hold him until May 12th, Mother’s Day of that year and we […]
Month: January 2018
Recently, my husband and I moved and decided to “start over” to an extent. We both had a bunch of hand-me-down furniture from college and decided to get rid of it and start fresh. New beginnings sometimes look like frustration and realizing that furniture is really expensive! In the midst of moving and mothering and being a creative and establishing something new, it’s been hard for me to kick the anxiety that comes with transitions. Here are a few hurdles I have to clear when I am struggling with anxiety.
Unclear or unrealistic goals
I get the most stressed when there is no process to my madness. I can set goals all day but if they are outside of what makes sense then they do more to cripple me than to motivate me. That doesn’t mean I think goals need to be easy, they just need to be practical. When I was an intern in college, we learned how to set S.M.A.R.T goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. I used to think that was just a “business” tool, but it helps me in everyday life to check my goals against something more than what I wish could happen. When I set a goal now, I try to ask myself is this a “SMART” goal? When I don’t do that I find I get the most stressed. It’s okay to scrap a goal because it’s not smart. Having the wisdom to know your limits is one of the biggest ways to combat worry.
Along with making smart goals, I find that I feel more freedom when I have someone to either help me make that goal happen or to just hold me accountable. There are things I still have to do by myself, but there is power in numbers. I am more motivated when I know there are people who are united with me for a cause, especially when I’m doing mundane things that feel like they are for nothing.
You don’t choose joy
I cannot tell you how hard it is for me to stay motivated when it feels like nothing is happening. discouragement can come at me all at once and even though I want to accomplish something, I can feel like I’m not good enough and start to shrink back. In motherhood, many of your day to day accomplishments are hard to quantify. You don’t necessarily feel like Queen Bey when you’re getting sneezed on and changing poopy diapers. You’re not willing awards or making money for what you to do to feel “worth it” or satisfying. The satisfaction comes when you decide to choose joy and not bitterness. Choosing joy is about tapping into the fulfillment in every situation -good, bad and ugly not based on how you feel but despite how you feel. Choosing joy can look like enjoying the cuddles and closeness of your child even though he’s sick. Choosing joy can look like embracing lessons learned after a divorce. Choosing joy can look like thanking God that death has lost its sting even after you lose someone so close to you. Choosing joy is hard, but stomps on the head of anxiety.
Reset your home
This is a big one for me. I don’t work well in messy situations. With our move into our apartment, a lot of our things are still in boxes and because we are still buying furniture, it’s hard to not have storage for somethings. This is a stressor for me and my husband both. When I deal with this, I have to reset my thinking first, “Calah the condition of your home does not define who you are as a woman, wife, and mother” and “this is temporary!” I am not a bad wife because everything isn’t perfect. That’s a popular lie to believe, I’m not buying into it because it’s done more to damage my sense of self than it has to build me up. After I reset my thinking, I reset my home. As of now, there is a lot I can’t do yet, but one thing I was able to finish was my kitchen! I’m celebrating my little kitchen being clean and tidy and trying to let the rest roll off my back.
I can’t go break the bank and deck out my home. I focus on the fact that we have what we need for today and each day is a day I get closer to being fully settled. Is that easy to accept sometimes? Ha! No! But when I’m inpatient I go back and reset my thinking. I believe that God gives us new grace for each season. Before I had a baby I think I had a certain level of grace and now as a mother, I think I have more than that. Each season equips us for the next if we let it. For a couple months we stayed with my parents when we moved back to Houston and it was rough going from being a family living independently from your parents to going back to a full house. That equipped us for living in our new apartment cause it helped me develop a schedule and a routine when it was easy to not stick to it. It caused me to fight for downtime with my husband and to put things into perspective. It made me reset my thinking.
You aren’t being fueled well
I hate to admit this, but for the sake of being naked here goes: as a mom, I neglect myself and my needs way more than I’m proud to admit. A couple weeks ago my son had double ear infections and while taking care of him, I totally forgot to eat well, rest well or hell, even shower! I’m just being real. My life was making him better and I’m still struggling to find the balance. Thank God I have a great hubby and a few days in he put the baby down, got me a card and some chocolates and ran me a nice bubble bath and told me to relax. Man, did I need that bath. I don’t fuel myself well sometimes. I run on coffee and popcorn sometimes and don’t have a real meal. That does nothing for me except make me feel like more of a hot mess. I can laugh at as many “I can’t adult today” memes as I want, but the truth is, if I don’t get the right fuel from the Lord in the form of grace, I won’t just be able to not adult, I won’t raise fruitful children either. My whole health is important. My physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health make me productive or not. When I’m not feeling productive, the culprit is one of those things.
When I’m kicking anxiety’s butt, I’m fueling through the word of God, good food, cuddles from my Hubby and baby boy and lots of rest. It’s okay to not have it all together, but it’s not okay to work in your own strength and strive unrealistically. We don’t have to work tirelessly because God gives us the strength to rest in Him. We let Him fuel us, work well, then rest well as He provides the increase in our work.
I challenge you to learn to rest well and watch how He gives grace over anxiety.
I love those Glade spritzy things. You know the air fresheners that send a mist of Hawaiian Breeze into the air every 30 minutes? I love those. Even though my diffuser loving friends say they are toxic, I love them because after trying plug-in air fresheners […]