For this first edition, I thought I’d give y’all another little Postpartum Check-In. Alternately entitled, “How Sleep-Deprivation and Whining Children May Cause Me to Lose My Ever-Loving Mind.”
And hang tight until the end, my friends. I’m so excited to be giving away a little something that y’all really need to get your hands on! 🙂
– 1 –
Sleep. Let’s talk about it for a minute, shall we?
That glorious elixir of life; that wondrous gift from God which gives parents the strength to face their ravenous offspring before 7am, and without which mothers everywhere morph into a cross between a tyrannosaurus rex and the Hulk.
It’s amazing to me how it’s both so necessary for successfully getting through really important tasks, like, I don’t know, parenting. And yet it’s so elusive, especially once you become a parent.
I’m not getting a lot of it these days, in case you hadn’t guessed. Little Miss Double-Chin loves to eat, aaaaall night long. And the boys like to wake up at 6am.
And so I’ve arrived at the part of postpartum life that I call the Mombie Stage. I shuffle through the day pretending to be a sane and competent adult, but always end up saying or doing something really dumb that blows my cover.
I can laugh about it some days, but in reality, PPD and PPA can set in fast for me when I’m not sleeping consistently. So there’s that.
(Actually, since I wrote that yesterday, Lucia surprised me and slept 4 hours straight last night! Hallelujah! Let’s hope it’s a trend.)
– 2 –
On the sunnier side of things, I’d forgotten just what amount of elation can fill the heart when a fresh, new baby smiles at you for the very first time. Not those fake ones that happen when they’re milk drunk or sleeping (although those are pretty cute). But those real smiles that happen when they actually make eye contact with you! I’m always a little relieved when they don’t burst into tears at the realization that they’re stuck with me as their mother for life. 😉
LuLu melts my heart, with or without a smile. But her smiles make the long, hard days and nights just that much sweeter.
– 3 –
I should mention that Lucia has hit a bit of a colicky phase — though not the never-ending screaming like my first two kids loved to do. I hate to use that dreaded C-word, but it’s the truth. She starts getting fussy around dinner time (great timing, kid) and then won’t really settle down until 10:30 or 11 (and she was up until 12:45 one night this week).
It’s exhausting pacing the house with her every evening for hours, although I guess it’s a form of exercise, so there’s a little silver lining. It does make me a little weepy when the whole family goes to bed and I’m stuck bouncing and pacing when I just.want.to.sleep.right.now.
However! This pacing in the evenings when the house is dark and quiet has actually forced me to be consistent about having a daily prayer time. I began the 54-day rosary novena back in June just after she was born, and so Lucia is helping me to stick to my resolve of getting through all 5 decades every night.
It’s actually been a gift, and I’m pretty certain that Our Lady has been interceding for me to make it through this postpartum without PPD (still no signs of it! although PPA is rearing its ugly head).
– 4 –
And as the homeschool year begins for us next week, there are plenty of reasons to stay faithful to my daily rosary! We’re putting the oldest two kids (ages 6 and 4.5) in a hybrid this year, so they’ll be at a brick and mortar Catholic school two days a week, and I’ll teach them at home the other three days. For us, it’s the best of both worlds — Catholic community and structured education (that I don’t have to plan!), and my husband and I are still the primary educators of our beloved offspring.
It will be quite a change for us to navigate, and the school is an hour away. And have I mentioned that I’m sleep-deprived? But I think we’ll manage. And I think after we all adjust, we will actually thrive.
Today, I’m working on organizing the homeschool “corner” (because we have four kids and our house is too small for us to actually have an entire homeschool room).
It currently looks like WW3 but hopefully I’ll conquer it by bedtime!
– 5 –
Totally unrelated, but this week I attempted my first ever trip to a store with all four children. BY MYSELF. No backup. At PetSmart. And we rocked it.
We got a beta, and the boys named him Caspian. (And if you don’t know that literary reference, go out right now and buy the Chronicles of Narnia!!!) (AND I have no idea why the picture won’t turn the right way around.) It was definitely the highlight of their week.
– 6 –
Behold the highlight of my week:
Ah, the life of mom. [It’s all clean, promise.] Just keeping it real over here.
– 7 –
[Ok, drumroll please….]
This is the reason I really wanted to write this post today!!!! [Giveaway!]
I recently got my hands on the much-anticipated new book from my friend and fellow Catholic mama, Hallie Lord. And let me tell you, this book is the best thing I’ve read in a log time.
Hallie writes about overcoming fear. But not in a way that’s full of platitudes or unattainable maxims. She’s experienced the same death-grip of fear like so many of us. So her words are real, down-to-earth, and humble.
Speaking as someone who has struggled with fear and anxiety for most of my life, I can tell you without exaggeration that this book is a life-altering balm for my soul. It’s so good to feel that someone understands your heart, and puts into words what you’ve been feeling but had no idea how to express.
I used to wonder where God was in those moments when I felt paralyzed by fear. Where was the deliverance form my anxiety I yearned for? Why did I feel so terribly alone? What I finally came to understand is that God gives grace for the situation, not the imagination. … To find God’s grace, I needed to step back to reality. We cannot always control what happens to us in this life. Our time on this earth promises to be both more beautiful and more tragic than we could ever imagine. What we can control is whether we let fear steal our moments of peace, joy, and happiness. That is for us to choose.”
Friends, you need to read this book!