Thursday, February 16, 2012

Simplify {and Circumstances}

A friend of mine from Grace has started to write more blog posts recently as well, and I'm beginning to realize why there are SO many mommas blogging out there... for so many of us it is most definitely relaxing! :-) As I got myself hyped up about blogging again, I started to think of some ideas for posts, so there will at least be a few more posts this month, and then maybe I'll continue to stick with it further into the year, too, hehe :)

My thoughts today are about simplifying. This word has been rolling around in my brain and heavy on my heart basically since I went back to work when Jordan was 7 weeks old.

Ohhhh, where to begin. And can I make a long story short? We'll see. Probably not!

Following student teaching Fall 2010, a few months pregnant, I prayed about what God wanted me to do. I did not desire to be a first time mom and first year teacher at the same time, but I wasn't sure what else to do. The family I had nannied for over the summer told me, though, that they would like to have me back, to care for their son and their second (on the way at the time). We prayed about it, and I thought that would be so ideal. I could care for their boys and when mine came along, he could just join us! I would get paid to work, but also get to be with my son. PERFECT!

The first few weeks of being back to work after I had Jordan, I was hardly ever by myself. My mom was there a week, Josh was there a few days, their mom home a few days, Abby over a few times and their dad helped some too. Even with all that help... it was so hard. But I stuck with it. We got into a better routine, the youngest, Miles, became a little more independent, but it was still SO HARD.

A month or so back into nannying with the three little boys I adore! (I need to take a new pic of the three of them!)

A big part of it was that I was so tired. I was not getting much sleep at night, and of course did not have much of a chance to rest during the day. I was strung so thin between all their different needs, and things were progressively getting worse. I did not ever feel like playing, with any of them. I could not invest in any of the children as much as I wanted or they needed.
I simply longed for nap times. When they didn't nap well, I fell apart. When I came home, I fell apart and complained. I felt so much negative oppression and just could not escape it. I prayed for God to rescue from the despair I was feeling or help me to see the hope and joy of my current circumstances. I fell into more despair. Everything was way too busy, way too complicated, and way too much for me. At Jordan's 6 month checkup I took the postpartum depression survey thing they give me at every checkup and I scored higher than they like to see... This was sort of a breaking point of realization for me. Josh and I had discussed many times how things probably needed to change, but I just didn't know how they could. I struggled, thinking that I was just not trusting God enough in my current circumstances, in this case, another lie from Satan.

We met with the family I nanny for and came up with giving me one day and one afternoon off a week. But, even with a couple weeks of that, things were still not good. I had time away with family for Christmases and was just still so overwhelmed by the oppression. I love the family I nanny for, they love me, and we need a little extra income, so I just could not quit working, but I did not know what to do. I dreaded going to work. I prayed that God would give me wisdom, and I started to feel like maybe I should just quit. Then Heather called me. She said they had discussed some things and come up with a schedule change, with the help of another gal interested in helping care for their children. My new schedule: Tues, Wed, Thurs afternoons. She said she felt the Lord telling her I just needed rest. I cried. My heart was so overcome by the love I felt in such a decision. They wanted to remain invested in me so that I could remain invested in their boys. It was hard for me to let go of being their primary daytime caregiver, but I knew it was best for everyone, and that I might not survive if I didn't!

Rest. Exactly what I did need.

So, the next step was, how do I achieve the rest I need in order to be the mommy and wife I know God has called me to be. Simplify, of course. Sometimes we are definitely called to find peace through Christ in our current circumstances, but sometimes we have to have the strength to change, as well.

The first few weeks of this schedule were still a little difficult, especially with a sick baby, but things gradually got "easier" as I was able to catch up on the things that needed done and relax a little. The best part? Finding my desire to just sit down and play with my son grow daily! I had been longing for that to return and it finally did! As I began to simplify our schedule and lives even more I began to feel the weight lift from my shoulders, the oppression lift from my heart and the despair to cease. Praise Jesus.

Now, I continue to try to simplify. Even the really little things make a difference, like my change in bib storage. Making our own baby food and wipes is not only easy, but also saves us money! (Posts to come on these?) Yes, working less equals less income, so we need to simplify how we spend our money as well! (See my homemade crib rail covers as well!) Turning off the TV and leaving the computer and phone off to the side also have simplified our lives. One thing at a time, focusing on Jordan as much as possible. Doing dishes after Jordan goes to bed so they're not a bother when I need to get our meals ready the next day. Keeping his bath stuff, diaper changing stuff, toys, etc, organized in baskets so time is not wasted searching for what we need. So many simple ways to simplify!

One of the reasons I'm excited about blogging more is to hopefully share some more of these "recipes"  for simplification that are really helping us! Excited to find more ways ourselves as well :-)

1 comment :

  1. Hi honey! I think you are very brave to write about your experiences and your struggles! I am very impressed by your resilience. Thank you for writing me--it's so nice to hear from you. I have a new phone number too, so email me at if you want my number. I left Facebook in...hmmm...October. Best decision ever. It's one of the ways I've tried to simplify my life, and wow do I experience less stress now! Your blog is wonderful, and I look forward to reading about your life. Love you dearly!