Today I found myself weeping.
Weeping in the beauty of true rest. As a mom and a wife, I find now more than ever my title is "Cheif Do-er". Let me tell you, I'm not great at doing. I'm a dreamer, I love to create, and to serve. Serving and doing, are very different to me.
Serving is done with joy, doing is done out of lists and obligation.
I have found the to-do list too long, too overwhelming, too demanding. I found myself doing nothing. I felt paralyzed in my motherhood, in being a wife, for heaven sake I have even forgotten to feed the dogs in the morning when I should have.
I started to live inside my head, my world became too small, it was all too much, and I was doing too little.
The simple daily norms fell out of sorts, the coffee was never set the night before (not by me anyway), the house was cleaned out of obligation (and not well), the meal planning was never planned. I have so many thigs so overdue, thank you gifts, hospital visits to family... and I've done nothing, I've only let those weigh on my shoulders.
I desperately needed to recharge. I needed a good cry, a good pity party, a good friend to understand, and to REST.
I decided to handle my SAHM status like I used to handle projects at work, my version of control. I would create a weekly schedule, rotating the cleaning, planning, shopping. Then I surprised myself, I scheduled time for a morning devotional. I put on the You Make Me Brave album by Bethel Music, and opened my She Reads Truth tab on my browser... not sure I could be more trendy in my approach to God.
I found myself weeping, reading the Rest in Truth devotional and hearing *A Little Longer play in the background. It was like a giant hug just when I needed it. I found myself relaxing, allowing myself to weep, rest, and recharge. I thought I needed to control the situation better, and God found a way to tell me I needed to recharge.
"What can I do for you? You don't have to do a thing, simply be with me and let those things go"
- A little longer lyrics
“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
-Full story - Luke 10:38-42
Everywhere I turned. REST.
I'm still going to finish my weekly cleaning, planning, shopping calendar. Now it will have moments to rest, recharge, reconnect.
Have you found ways that work for you? How do you find your rest? How do you recharge?
*the version I linked to A Little Longer is an older version that I've always loved, the album version is great, but this one just moves me.
** I almost waited to finish the spreadsheet so I could share it in this post, there I go again... doing.
"I don't want to deal with pumping along with everything else we need to bring on this trip."
Famous last words. Instead I found myself asking where I could feed my daughter, wearing a cover, only to be shown the bathroom multiple times.
I was out of our normal. Normal routine, normal setting, normal serene nursery and boppy pillow..frantic to feed my little one who luck would have it was going through a growth spurt on our first trip.
Future me will time a feeding well enough in advance to have a conversation before my babe is crying. Future me will not give a darn what the fancy restaurant thinks and feed her in the booth.
First time traveling me had to figure out how to be more direct with what I wanted, which left me feeling rude and feeling more like a mama bear instead of Mary Poppins.
"Is there anywhere I could hide and feed my little one?" Is NOT how you get a comfortable setting, that's how you get a tiny stool next to a sink in a very busy restroom. Aside from the "eww factor" it was distracting and uncomfortable. Finally I gave up, stopped apologizing to every single person who came in to tinkle and asked to speak to the manager. I explained that I could feed her in the booth or maybe they had a private room that wasn't being used? Voila! Private room it was.
It was better, but too late. Peanut was past hungry she was now hangry and way tired. As the hubbs and I took turns trying to eat out fancy meal while trying to hide our frustration and embarrassment to our wonderful hosts, then made the heart wrenching 30 minute ride back to the hotel. She bawled, I sobbed... Everything was on overload.
Fortunately that was the worst part of traveling with an infant. She was great on both plane rides, slept well in the hotel crib, smiled and coo'd at everyone she met, and sang the songs of her people (read screeched like a pterodactyl). It was mostly delightful.
I totally understand if you hear "breastfeed" and you picture me whipping out a tata that may feel more locker room than ballroom. But if you realize I'm feeding a baby... Well I hope you've never hosted a diner in a restroom. Nor will I ever again.
I do recommend bringing your own crib sheet (our hotel gave us a pack and play so I had to tuck the extra sheet under, it still fit FAR better than the full sized hotel sheets they sort of wrapped around the mattress.
If you don't baby-wear definitely try it, I love the K'tan wrap it is SO easy to use, just two loops of fabric. No tying, extra fabric, just simple and fantastic.
Also buy some cheap onesies you wouldn't mind tossing if your little has a blow out and have her travel in that. Instead of a cute outfit you'll attempt to save later with multiple washed after the yuck all dried in your zip lock bag.
Other than that, relax. Do what you need to do for your babe and darn anyone who is put off by it.
My travel (and everyday) MUST HAVES:
Delightful Diaper bag
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Me: "hahah did you hear that? I'm wheezing when I laugh?!? THAT's new!"
Hubs: "I swear you're like an old fat man, you snore and now you wheeze."
- I guess I was snoring so bad the other night he tried to record it! What a good sport.
Baby book - to get foot prints
1 sleeper with mitten cuffs, 1 going home outfit
2 swaddles -one to bring home for the pups to smell
1 blanket -just in case it's unnaturally cold in Nov in AZ
Infant formula -just in case I can't BF, I'd rather get her on good stuff
Diapers & wipes - only because I'm picky about chemicals & such
Car seat - installed by the fire department
Toiletries, excedrin, eye drops, and what not
Snacks, water & gatorade
Lists of who to contact when we head to the hospital and when she arrives
Chargers for all electronics -including mom's
PJ's & a change of clothes -not forgetting that these clothes will be in photo's
Pillow - with a case that's not white so we don't forget it
Mom's "push" gift
PJ's- with button up front for easy access
Nursing bra (2)
Slippers & Robe -this way if I have a c-section I have something other than 1 pair of pj's for multiple days.
Comfortable going home outfit
Toiletries, makeup & mirror
Pillow - with different colored case
Breast Pump - so the LC can show me how to use it
Hemorrhoid wipes - just in case (everything postpartum provided by hospital)
Snacks - aka CHOCOLATE
Swim Suit - rooms have a giant tub
Dad's "deposit" gift -I'd tell you what I got him, but he reads these things