Monday, February 16, 2009

Shhh. Listen. I Hear Violins. Do You Hear Violins? Because, Yep, I'm Pretty Sure Those Are Violins I'm Hearin'.

I've been thinking about writing this post for weeks. Debating back and forth the merits of sharing a little bit more of myself than I'm fully comfortable doing. Will I just sound like I'm whining? Asking for attention? Throwing myself a good old pity party? Because that's really not my style. I'm supposed to be FriedOkra - happy, perky, cheerful, life-is-perfect FriedOkra. It's what I expect of myself and it's what I expect you to expect of me.

And then I read Steph at Adventures in Babywearing's recent post, When I Can't Meet You Halfway and realized that maybe I'm not alone in feeling the way I'm feeling, and that maybe if I blogged about it, it'd help me. Maybe it'd even help someone else not to feel so alone or abnormal or guilty.

Here's the deal. I'm spent, people. The difficult(ish) pregnancy, the unexpected C-section, the adjustment to a whole 'nother little human being in my family, the Bean starting preschool, the husband starting a new job and commuting over an hour each way while studying full-time for a degree (who is nevertheless still amazingly helpful and supportive, of course, for the record), the sleepless nights, the long blurry, bleary days, the endless work of running the household, the attempts to keep up with my blogging commitments, the being a thousand miles away from family and the familiar, the harsh weather, the flagging economy and its added strain on Al, the body not bouncing back the way I'd hoped it would after Peabody, the endless maternal guilt about not being able to properly balance the needs and wants of both my children - all of this has just worn me to a frazzle.

I'm just sorta, well, I'm toast. Not always physically, but certainly emotionally. Certainly. Emotional toast.

And it's weird to me because I feel more depleted now than I did in the months immediately following Peabody's arrival. It's blindsided me more because I honestly thought I was out of the woods a long time ago. My confidence in my own ability to just suck it up and DEAL has been dealt a harsh and stinging back-handed blow seemingly out of the blue.

Now don't get me wrong, I know I'll be back. I'm like the durn phoenix or the cat with nine lives - I just keep comin' back, time after time, thanks to God's grace and an undefatigable resilience I inherited from both sides of my family. I'll even be stronger. I know this. But right now? Well, right now I'm just out of gas.

The thing is, none of this means that I don't need people or that I don't long for company and friendship, or connection to the world around me. In fact, I probably need those things now more than ever before. It's just that the part of me, the lively, creative, out-going Megan who loves to entertain, loves to step up and join in, loves to be the life of the party, loves to plan fun events and bring people together? Well, she's just necessarily been set aside so I can take care of what needs to be taken care of every day utilizing my depleted energy source, or on the worst of days a rusty, dusty creaking old back-up generator.

So this Megan who might look (and sometimes feel) like a woman holing herself up and away from everyone and everything is actually the same old Megan, who just doesn't have it in her to meet her world halfway right now, but looks forward with eagerness to being a fully-functioning part of it again and in the meantime hopes her world can find a way to meet her where she is.

Do you know this place? Have you been here? What did you do to get back to "normal?"

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  1. I can truly understand what you are talking about! I feel that way a lot and sometimes it feels as if I won't ever get out of this "rut". I know it will pass, like you said, God will guide us through! Thanks for writing this, it does make it more real to see it is writing.

  2. I'm in a similar situation but a few months behind you. Difficult second pregnancy, my husband doesn't have a commute, but he works across the street and that has its blessings and difficulties, my first pregnancy was difficult as well so I'm redealing with the emotions from it, my family (and my husband's family) is a 10 hour drive away, and I'm terrified at how in the world I'm going to handle a 1 1/2 year old and a newborn, which is what I'll have in a few short weeks. I can't wait to hear the advice people give you!

  3. I wish I had advice. Or at least helpful advice. I know I have been there, not too long ago. It took at least six months after the birth of Butterfly (who will be one in less than two weeks) for me to feel like I was starting to get a handle on life. I did all of my usual things, I looked liked I had it together, but I know I felt like I was faking it a lot of the time. I'm blessed to live near family. And even more, to have friends that did not care if I showed up at their house in my lazy clothes with a glazed look in my eyes and a desperate need to see another adult face. Friends that would come over and not care if my house was a mess and my kids were running wild. And I think for me, the thing that helped the most, was to just acknowledge that it was hard and I was tired and feeling overwhelmed and it was OKAY to not be superwoman. My husband encouraged me to call a neighbor so I could go to the store at some other time than 9:00 p.m. when I was so tired I would forget what I was there for and come home with things we already had. Or he would insist that I go to bed and he would handle the kids and to stop being so stubborn already.

    I think what you have written will help you get to a better place. I hope it will.

  4. OH big giant hugs to you.

    I've been there, many times. As moms, I think we are always harder on ourselves.

    For myself, I'm just waiting for the sun to start shining more in our neck of the woods.

  5. Maybe you could try to let go everything you hope to be again and just try to enjoy and embrace what you have before you right here and now. I think if you tried to be satisfied with where you are that is the best advice I can think of. I do know this place and have been here awhile. I'd like to learn to embrace the here and now and not think back or ahead. Remember where you were when she was little and pat yourself on the back for taking on ANOTHER person. You're doing an excellent job. Just gaze at their faces. They are happy and healthy and loved. All is well. This is a season. There will be others. Enjoy this particular one as much as you can despite all it's 'shortcomings'.

  6. Have you seen a doctor about this recently? It could be that you are low on something important? Are you taking any vitamins?

    Hugs to you!

  7. My 1st diagnosis of thyroid disorder still stands. Humor me and have your Dr run some bloodwork. PLUS, it has been a hellacious winter here in Illinois. The sun always helps me. Hugs to you, I really wish I were closer, I'd step up to help out and give you a much needed break.

  8. I can totally relate!!! I just posted on Facebook about fact that I am playing hooky from church meetings tonight because I am not safe for public consumption tonight.
    Maybe I should add, "consider yourself warned". LOL!

  9. Hi Megan-
    Your body has just gone through a MAJOR change. Your hormones are shifting and your schedule does not allow you the time it needs to get enough rest to recover. You have about as much control over being depressed as you do changing the weather. Try not to be too hard on yourself. You know it will pass but it doesn't change the fact that it's an awful thing to go through. Try to get yourself out of the house with the kids as often as you can. I think it helps to not feel so isolated. One other thing, Fried Okra is not just about being there for your readers, we're there for you too.
    Hang in there!

  10. i think that the first step to you easing your way out of your funk is to admit that you have a funk! so you're off to a good start.

    sometimes i feel like such a debbie downer when i vent about being worn out or being in a funk... but its just're allowed to be having a hard time, to feel tired and worn out. you're SO allowed.

    i don't have kids or a husband... but i'm in graduate school and have two jobs - one of which is a social work job that can be pretty draining. sometimes if i'm just feeling so worn out from it all, i'll just call my mom and cry. or go into my room and cry and blubber to myself about how i don't know if i can make it through my grad program, or face clients the next day... sometimes you just to get it all out in the open.

    so, keep talking. on your blog or in a journal. let it out! you're not alone. god loves you and so does your bloggy audience.

  11. All I can say is, been there done that, but seriously you should see a Dr. first to make sure your not anemic or as someone else suggested thyroid issues, Then go from there. So often us women think we need to be the super mom. Take the help that is offered to you and don't feel guilty to say I need a break. Hugs to you BIG TIME!!!

  12. Heck yea, girl. I was there most of last week...with 2 friends and a friend's mother passing away in a 2 day span. Then my sister's house was robbed.

    It all just took its toll on me. I took a few days off and got my thoughts together with the Lord and this week, I am back.

    Take time for yourself. And I'll say a prayer for you too! ;-)

  13. Been there? Oh, yeah, several times. I have a spell once or twice a year when I'm just exhausted and totally unengaged in everything in my life... even though the rest of the time I am a glass half-full kind of girl.

    I don't have any answers for you... just sympathy and understanding from someone who has also been there.

  14. I think you need more Megan time!!!! I know you feel guilty and tired but you need to stop and think about something you want to do and do it for kids, no husband...just YOU! Whether that is a walk on the treadmill for a half an hour or going out by yourself to the store and not feeling guilty about it. If you do not take care of you, it will be impossible to take care of three of the most important people to you! Let the schedule and the pressure GO! Please know that your children will never remember if the house was sparkling and the household duties were fulfilled. They will remember the things you do with them. Get out of the house and take them places, even 6 month olds are learning and taking it all in. Plus it makes your kids more flexible and open to trying new things. DO SOMETHING FOR YOU! That is the advice my own mom gave me and she had four of us!

    I also agree that you should see an endrocrinologist (Sp?) or ask your regular doctor for the full work up of your thyroid levels. I think that is why I was in such a funk after Kevin. PLUS YOU ARE GOING ON VACATION SOON! The sun is due to be shining down south right!


  15. i totally know how you feel. my two are 18 months and 3 years and I have a bit of a perfectionist problem. It does get easier though, it does. I don't remember the magic number but it does. hang in there. it doesn't help that it's February and it's such a blah month...we've had snow since nov and it will be here until april! I wish I knew what to say...

  16. I'm laughing on the inside at that question, "have you ever felt like this?" Oh, me.

    We moved here when I was pregnant with Jack - the first move I'd ever made away from my hometown. I knew nobody. I gave birth to a baby who never stopped crying. My healthy kindergartener began to get sick and ended up with surgery. A brother died. I had a ruptured ovarian cyst. My husband developed kidney stones. We couldn't find a decent church. My husband had a new job that frankly, he didn't want at the time (now he loves it).

    So, yes, Megan. I've been there.
    Ha! Ah, yes, I can laugh about it now. :)

    I am normally a social person, and talking to people about my life VALIDATES it in some weird way! Or it used to... until that year.

    That is when I learned that if a tree falls in a forest, yes, it is still down. :) But if it stands and does the best it can, then yes, it stands, it really does. That year got worse before it got better, but wow, it's been EIGHT YEARS this summer and I simply cannot believe it.

    My girls clear the table every night and fold all the laundry, vacuum floors, feed pets, and empty the dishwasher every morning. They fix most of their own lunches and dinners. Courtney can babysit, and Jack can play by himself. They can leave me alone for an entire day if I'm sick. I mean, am I living on Mars or what???? Time warp - when did this happen to me????

    What I'm trying to say is that IT DOES HAPPEN and you will get there, and take all the time you need. And keep talking to Al. That is my biggest piece of advice to you: don't be afraid to tell him how you feel and make sure he isn't afraid to talk to you about his stress, either... I have experience in this dept. In trying to shield each other, we compounded the problem over time. It got fixed, but it was hard and emotional. We're so much better for it, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

    So keep on truckin', Megan. You are doing a noble task.

    Lots of love,

  17. Yes, of course I've been there! You are already doing the MOST important thing...recognize that this is a will not last forever.

    During those seasons, I accept it for what it is, but I also try to push into the grace that God offers in those things I find nourishing: exercise (impossible to find the time, I know!), sunshine (it's February!), and people. This time around that means that hubby and I have made a commitment that we'll have somebody in every week. If the floor is dirty and the meal is a pot of soup, doesn't matter. He tells me to quit whining because he knows I NEED PEOPLE. For encouragement, for perspective, to get my eyes up and off myself and my little world and out to the world around me.

    A favorite Bible verse for Mommies during these "seasons" is Galatians 6:9..."And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Remember will reap!

  18. oh at least once a year I am in that rut. It takes time to pull it out, but it feels so wonderful when I do.

    Take all the time you need, no one knows you better than you. You know what you need to feel better, and do better.


  19. So sorry that you are feeling this way Megan. We all get into our funks and face it as mom and women we spend so much time for other people that we lose ourselves. We need to remember that sometimes we need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. Take time to take care of you and when you need us we'll be here!! Sending you lots of hugs!!!

  20. Awww...I'm so sorry! I only have one, and I feel like it's been getting progressively easier since he was born...I'm in a really good place emotionally right now (after 14 months!!). I know it will get easier for you!!

    I guess the one thing I've learned so far...try not to worry about the housecleaning as much as possible- you'll get back to it when you can, and would you rather have your kids remember a clean house, or fun times with you??? That's how I justify my housecleaning (or lack thereof) anyway. :)

  21. Oh, I so know how you feel. When my first daughter was 4 months old, I realized I was pregnant again. We had just moved from the city to a suburb where I didn't know anyone, my husband was working full time and going to school at night and weekends for his MBA and he also traveled at least 1 night a week for work. School and the travel lasted until that second child was 3.

    I have no idea how I got through the fog I was in especially in the first year old my 2nd baby's life. Some days were worse than others, but just take each day as they come.

  22. I probably don't need to add anything. But I think the switch from one kid to two is REALLY hard. Especially if you were hands-on and affectionate with your first. It's easy to make yourself feel guilty about "neglecting" the older one.

    First, Bean will NOT be able to remember much of her life pre-Peabody. Really. My son is 2 yrs older than my first daughter.

    Therefore, Bean will not hold any of this against you. ;) HOWEVER, she will be sad at times. I thought my job was to meet all of my child's needs and always make him happy. It's kinda doable with one. Impossible with two. So don't equate her disappointment with your failure.

    Second, if you're doing the best you can, you're not failing. Even when you feel depleted, God gives you enough love for both of your kids.

    Third, don't do what I did. I holed up like a hermit and never went anywhere. I went thru this in winter too, and staying home alone all day with two kids who needed a lot of me - and eventually got bored - was not helpful.

    If you can get together with at least one other mom in the same stage as you, it'll help you a lot in feeling normal and sharing the load. (And moms ahead of you in the journey are almost always eager to help and snuggle the baby. LET THEM!)

    It WILL get better. Probably a lot sooner than you expect.

  23. Megan,

    I too feel this way right now and think it's the winter dragging on. My mom's friend (who had 5 kids) called Jan thru March "Hell months" b/c it's dreary, you are wiped out from holidays, the kids seem restless and cooped up, etc...It hasn't helped me that all my babies thus far were born in December and February. They are 7, 4 and 2 now and I am due the first of May with #4. I remember going through ebbs and flows of energy with mine happens sometimes that you are MORE tired when you think you are in the "hang of it" than the first few months when the baby is new and sleeps a lot, etc. They get heavier too and lugging a bigger baby can wear you out more than you think!!

    Girl, I was bawling tonight b/c I feel like everyone but me has it "all together." I was also looking at the kids pictured from last Easter and thinking how that was a YEAR ago and look how mch they have grown and I can't rememberr every little detail!! Having more than one sure makes you less of a "hover-mother" about every little thing they do and sometimes I feel guilty about that. I want all of mine to feel "special" too and not just like a "herd" of kids. I also have trouble letting go and accepting help, even if it's from my oldest who can help get his brother dressed or pour him some juice etc while I get the 2 yr old ready to go somewhere. I feel like I should be the "mama" and do my "job" for them all the time! That isn't really best though b/c as someone pointed out above, they learn from doing and it is not our job to keep them happy all the time!! In "real life" they have to learn to make themselves happy and deal with not being the center of the universe, you know? They won;t be very successful adults if their expectation is that everything will always go their way and work out how they want it to. I myself struggle with this sometimes b/c I feel my mom made things work out for me if I "did the right things" and honestly, we are not guaranteed that in this world! Sometimes you do all the right things and the "result you expect" doesn't happen...I'm still learning to deal with that b/c I was "taught" otherwise, so it's a struggle sometimes.

    Sorry to ramble but I think ALL mommies go through this. We love our kids with every shred of ourselves but sometimes we forget (or feel GUILTY) to do things for ourselves that aren't about our kids or the homefront. It wears you out to devote all your energy to everyone but yourself, so be sure to get some "Megan time" in there somewhere.

    Hang in there and know that your kids have been given a great gift...the gift of parents who love them, a sibling to grow with and a very flexible nature to absorb what they are presented with and accept it! If life includes dirt or mis-matched clothes sometimes, they really won't care as long as that's the attitude you teach them to have! LOL

    You're a great mama and a wonderful blogger. Hearing how perky and great everything is all the time is rather boring if you want to know the truth...I'd much rather hear makes me feel more "normal" myself! ;)


  24. So much wonderful, encouraging stuff has been said already!! You've got an awesome readership. :o)
    The first thing I thought of was that it's winter, and it's been a pretty crappy one at that. You've had Peabody in the house for most of his little life, and that's hard on a mama. Turn the lights on, get some more houseplants, paint some sunshiney pictures. :o) I've been through a few bad winters, and it's SO hard to realize what's going on till the sun is out again. :o)
    My second thought was something I repeat to myself (and family members) often "This is our new normal. We have to change our expectations of ourselves in order to fit into our new normal." Every. Single. One of those elements you listed have a BIG impact on "normal" -- and your normal has changed. You acknowledge that it's a fantabulous normal, but it is hard to adjust to. And, yes, the "old" Megan is there, too...waiting for her chance to resurface. We all know she's still there, but we love you for who you are right now, too.
    Share - or don't - as much as you want, and as much as you have time for. We'll be here when you are.
    We'll meet you more than halfway. :o)

  25. Megan--

    Is Peabody sleeping through the night yet? Because sleep deprivation really saps your energy, y'know! One thing I did when I could, when I was in that stage, was to go to bed early--like 7 or 8--one night a week. It REALLY helped!

    Also, during discouraging seasons, I have gathered Scriptures and quotes and put them in an order that makes sense to pray. It helps to start with confessing inadequacy--"Apart from You, I can do nothing"--and pride, in thinking I can do it all alone!--and going on to Scriptural promises, comforts and encouragements. Starting my days this way helped me face some very difficult mornings.

    Also, remember that this IS a season! It WILL pass--and you just need to have grace for yourself while you're in it. Take care of yourself, cut back on some commitments and trying to do it all, get some extra rest--and give it time.

    One last thought--do you have a girlfriend to trade prayer requests with, and ideally, pray with in person? I know that also helped me get through some of the discouraging seasons!

    Hang in there, sweetie--


  26. Prayer got me through! And God sent me a really really good girlfriend when I needed her most. And she has kids the same age as mine. And we get together almost every single day.

    Without God and my friend, I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago. Being a mom is hard...especially with a baby.

    Hang in there and pray and God will give you what you need right when you need it.

  27. Megan, we all get there from time to time...and we all feel guilty about it. Let it go, do what you have to do to get yourself into a good frame of mind again, and DON'T feel guilty about it. If you have to take a break from us, we'll understand and will be here waiting for you when you're ready to come back. Hugs!

  28. I'm right there with you--difficult pregnancy, no sleep for 4 months, long winter. Part of me is functioning normally but the inside core in still in zombie-mode.

    Here's to spring, and a brighter mood for all of the moms who are struggling in this season of our lives.

  29. After my fourth child was born I was incredibly exhausted. He cried a lot, day and night, I had a toddler, and I was homeschooling two older children. I used to fall across the bed at odd moments begging God for the answer to the promise Jesus gave us: "Come unto me all you who are weary, and I will give you rest." I PLEADED for rest.

    Finally, when the baby was three, my husband took the kids to Granny's and packed me up for a two-week driving trip. It took two days of staring out the window at the scenery for me to remember my kids' names! It was a life-changing trip and I came back refreshed "as a strong man to run a race."

    Hang in there. God will provide what you need, sooner or later, but it's always on time.

  30. Girl. We've ALL been there, but some of us have been there longer and deeper than others. You will be back, but it's okay to take it easy for now. Guess what, after 3 kids I have NEVER returned to the entertainer/homemaker that I once was. I have found other interests (internet, cough, cough) but also? It's almost IMPOSSIBLE to keep up the house with 3 people tearing it apart as soon as I put it together. They tell me that WILL get better. They get bigger, they get more helpful, they get more independent. But now? You just have to go with the flow. Be willing to say no. Admit that you can't keep up the way you want to and then be okay with that.

    (((HUG))) If you need a break from CC, for however long you need, feel free. Don't ever let that be a noose around your neck!!

  31. My little man is 3 1/2 (older daughter is almost 8) and it has been only within the last couple of months that I have gotten back to wanting to entertain and cook and bake again. They are just so high maintenance at such a young age and it just zaps you. Period. I just commented to my dh this weekend about how glad I was that our kids were old enough to allow me to do all those things again. You will come back... yes, you will. Just give your kids some time to get a little older and a little more self sufficient.

  32. been there, dear! it took me a year after #2s birth to get back. just needed lots of sleep and to let people help me. i hate asking for help, but boy did i need it.
    my grandma gave me $$ to get a sitter one morning a week so i could go get away from the kids and i swear it saved me!

  33. I can't think of anything to say that hasn't been written here more eloquently by someone else already. Just know that one more person who cares about you is sending positive thoughts, hugs and a few prayers your way.

    I bet that as the days get longer and warmer things your mood will brighten a bit too. To everything there is a time and a season - and you are adjusting to a lot of little changes right now. Eventually you'll find a rhythm that works and feel more like yourself again. I'm sure of it.

  34. Hey Megan,

    SO glad I went back in my twitter stream far enough to find a tweet @ this post; my heart is plumb full for you.

    Yes, as a mom of three, I've been where you are; you're VERY normal right now. What isn't normal is this isn't normal for YOU! (huh?) This is unfamiliar terrain, it doesn't fit the Megan you've always known yourself to be. You think you can just will yourself out of it, but it's not so simple. The circumstances surrounding you weigh heavily and they're ever present.

    That being said, can I (try to) offer you some encouragement? I wish I could bring you dinner and sit a bit and just listen to you, but in lieu of that, here are some thoughts--

    a) As others have said, this is a season, and it will pass; you even said that. Sometimes I had to chant it in my brain while simultaneously willing myself to savor each moment.

    b) Involve the Bean as much as you can to "help"; bringing diapers and wipes when the baby needs a change, singing to the baby, whatever you can think of to offer involvement. Feeding time was always a good time for reading, that way while the baby's being fed, the Bean gets extra reading time in (win-win :) ).

    c) You "know" all the right "religious" answers; you know how you're supposed to respond as a child of God...but sometimes that can be cliche and tired and enslaving and trite. Now before "anyone" thinks I'm speaking heresy, sometimes prescribed Christian faith-answers can be defeating. God loves you; He knows your heart; and maybe He just wants you simply to Be Still...and know HIM.

    In the past when my circumstances have been bearing down on me...almost to the point of suffocation, my prayer became NOT to remove the circumstances (though I would've been grateful for that), but to change ME in their midst, conform me to the image of Christ. It changed the way I looked at those cruddy times.

    d) Last, I really think it has a lot to do with the winter season...shorter days, less light is proven to affect people. My body's just happier when the sun sets at 9:00 p.m.!

    Thank God those days are just a few months away, and each day until then is getting longer!

    Praying for you...and blessed by your sweet reader-responses. You're a rich girl, Chicka!


  35. Megan,
    Great responses from everyone. Been there and done that. Here's my funk-free recipe:
    1. Drop the guilt, immediately!
    2. Pray
    3. Exercise (I know you don't think you have time, but this is a great and Bean sweatin' to the oldies)
    4. Eat a chocolate kiss every day.

    Hang in there - it gets better. I promise.

  36. God bless you for your honesty!! We can't do it alone, we're all in this journey together!

  37. You know, I think you've been given excellent advice here thus far. I can only speak for myself as a mom of a singleton, and say that it wiped me out. I can only imagine a second, which isn't in the cards for us.

    I had a mild form of post-partum depression, and a course of anti-depressant medication helped me tremendously. Got me over the hump, so to speak, until things began to look brighter to me. Only my experience, and I don't want to ascribe mine to your situation.

    Either way, it will get better!

    Nate's Mom

  38. Been there?! I think that I just recently escaped from there!! You are NOT alone. I think that ALL moms are either there or have been there. You've gotten a lot of good advice here - but mainly take care of MEGAN. I'm sure you've heard the saying "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" It's too true!

    And remember that the kids will only be kids for just a few years -your house will be around forever!

    Ahh Sleep Deprivation - It was probably 9 months before I got a full night's sleep. Any time I heard one of the girls cry, I'd snatch her up and feed her so that she wouldn't wake up her sister. It took us 9 months to get up the courage to let them cry it out. And you know what? It took 2 nights and they did remarkably well. They didn't wake each other up (and best of all - they didn't wake me up either). We did have set-backs here and there. Nights of sickness, nights of nightmares, nights of bedwetting, but overall I have great sleepers (me included).

    Don't stress - ignore the mess - you are the best!!!

    hugs - you

  39. I read this post last night but didn't have time to leave a comment. You've been on my mind since - hope things lighten up soon and that you can return to feeling more like your true self. I know exactly what you are going through. I'm hearing thoses violins too. Good to write it out and so glad this post got so many comments of love and support.

  40. That 3rd paragraph? tears. I know that place. I'm there right now.


  41. WOW! YOu have received some really fabulous advice and support here.
    Hugs! I don't have much to add, but I'm in the camp of thinking that just BEING who you are right now is okay. Let go of who you were, and embrace who you are. I know that I am a different person than I was 5 years ago. I have learned to love the new me.
    I have down times, but they are short lived (thank goodness). In those times, I just try to give myself some grace, and possibly encourage myself to do something special just for me.

    more hugs!

  42. Meetin' ya where you are, girl... cuz you know I'm right there with ya. Just know that the ones who care about you in this corner of your world will be there with you no matter where you are.

    Sending lots of hugs.

  43. Everyone's given fab advice and support! I therefore feel a bit flabby and not-too-useful in the advice dept, as I have none (apparently) but FEEL I should, with the 3.5 small children running me into the ground all day! ;)

    I just wanted to comment so you know I've read and thought of you, and to send you hugs, assure you that it WILL get better, and also to tell you (as you probably remember) that the transition from 1 to 2 children was unbearably difficult for me. I was a complete mess a lot of the time for the first 6 months or so, and then my hormones went from post-partum style to shouldn't-I-be-having-another-baby-by-now? style, so the storm lifted and all was peachy again. I know the winter and the sleeplessness will NOT be helping you. I think that another couple of months will find you in a whole different place.

    I'm praying for you, Megan! Hang in there! xxx

  44. Oh hang in there! When Aubryn was a tiny baby, I felt really, really lonely. I knew that I needed to get out more and see my friends and do all of the things that make me, well me, but it was so overwhelming to balance it with a new baby. You will get there, I promise!
    I'll pray over this for you!

  45. I am so glad you've been getting such great advice and encouragement on this post - I know it's been an encouragement to me just reading them. Because they are exactly where I am too. I think it's almost harder now because at first, with a brand-new-born, you feel like you're "allowed" to feel down, tired etc . . . but for me the hardest part has been since she turned four months and just stopped sleeping - flat-out refused to sleep, nap etc. And then this week, my grandma died and I got the flu so I couldn't go to the funeral . . . it just sort of brought me to a breaking point where I feel like "I can't do this anymore" -- so I know where you're at and all I can say is that I'm praying that you (we) will find comfort and rest in our Savior!

  46. Oh my goodness - have you read my infrequent, gloomy blog posts lately? I'm feeling ya sista! This pregnancy and trying to go to school and take care of two kids, manage 3 homes and keep up with just being me --- well, it's not happening! I feel your pain and I'm glad you're sayin' it 'cause sometimes I do feel like I'm the only one in this spot (BTW, you said it much more eloquently than my SOS call out on my blog!)

    Hang in there girl! Wish I had some powerful advice. All I know is it's a season - and it will pass.

  47. Thanks for sharing how you're doing. As for me, I'm just plain tired. I do hole up with my kiddos at times, until I have the energy to be with people - even the people that love and support me. When I'm tired, life just is a bit askewed. I think I need to go take a nap... : ) Hope you can get the rest and time you need!

  48. I would get the shakes for MONTHS - MONTHS! - after I had The Baby. These things take time.
    And I've been holed up all winter.... stupid depression. Things will get better.

  49. T-I-M-E. It finally got easier for me when Adelaide wasn't nursing anymore and started walking (around a year). Hang in there. Don't feel guilty about letting some things go. We can't do it all and shouldn't expect ourselves to.

  50. As you know, I understand that place. I am proud of you that it took child number two to put you there...I went immediately after child one. It has been getting better lately...I think a lot of it comes as the child gets older and is not so dependent on you for EVERYTHING!!

    My best advice is to remember that just about every mother on earth, whether they are telling you or not...has or is there. Everyone acts like everything is perfect...but the second you open yourself up to them, they begin to divulge their own struggles with the same thing. It's so prideful the way we try to put on a front. We are here to help others go through the same things...and it really helps just to know you are not alone. #2-Forget all the "need to take care ofs"--housework, supper, supermom stuff. They don't all have to be perfect ALL the time. It's ok to have a dirty house, as long as it's not unhealthy for the kids, it's ok to order pizza or cook a boxed meal every now and then. Enjoy these precious moments...remind yourself that they won't be this little forever. Each new stage brings new joys and new struggles. Soon, you'll have more time to clean...but you'll have less time with those precious ones who mean so much to you. You can't be perfect. Let yourself have some fun, and let those other things least on occassion. And know that I am always here if you need a listening ear...or someone to complain with you. Love Ya, Girl!!!

  51. Megan, You have such wonderful supporters on here. My thoughts are that you do indeed need more Megan time. You need to go shopping on a Saturaday morning, without anyone...maybe a girlfriend (MAYBE) and just be with Megan. I think you struggle with the same things that I do. Not being able to just be present, in the moment, and not worrying about expectations and what things need to get done next. I also think it might be a good idea to check your iron levels (are you still taking the supplement?) and I have found Omega 3 to be a life saver for the "blues". So much good research on it out there to treat feeling down. We love you, Megan. Being a mommy changes everything and it is such a travesty that it has to come with so many emotional ups and downs!

  52. This has occured off & on for me since I had my kids. I don't have any wise words for you but know that you are NOT alone & it happpens to the best of us. Like I said, it comes & goes depending on my mental state & changing issues with the kids. Hang in there Megan, it will get better!

  53. I occasionally hated commercials for baby products, which showed peacefully sleeping babies, skinny moms with perfect hair, etc. Ditto for TV shows where the baby is seen only as an accessory, while mom is shown doing all kinds of other stuff when it seemed like I was always a.) sitting on the couch nursing or b.) washing poop out of baby clothes from blow-outs. :o)

    Like everyone else has said, though, these days will soon be over! By the time he turns 1 (at the latest!), he will be much more able to entertain himself so you can cook a meal, etc. without velcro baby needing to be attached to you.

    In the meantime, try to get a babysitter one morning or evening a week so you can be by yourself while Al's schedule is so crazy.
    Hang on!

  54. P.S. Please, please share all of yourself, not just the happy, cheery parts. It's a much richer, fuller picture of you that we have thanks to posts like this one . . . and then we know we're not alone.

  55. I think there's a lot of emotional toast going around right now. You're in good company. Take a mind check, a bubble bath... Watch the Oscars tonight and bask in the fact that you're not some ridiculous celebrity... Seriously, hope you feel better soon.

  56. Gurl, have I been there? I designed the town and was the mayor!

    Yep, you'll come back. Right now, however, you are in the perfect place for God to become your everything. take the quiet moments and give them to Him. Let Him energize you and remind you of your calling both in the home and out.

    There's a verse I want to show you: Isaiah 40:11 "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those who have young."

    That last part, that's for us. He has a keen eye on those of us with youngin's and He is gently leading us. Rest in that my dear bloggy friend.

  57. Urgh I'm so soprry I haven't commented on this yet! I was sure I had :S
    Anyway all I wanted to say (since you've had so much fab advice already) is that I found the second 6 months of two children much harder than the first! Once my boy turned a year old though it just got easier and easier and has every six months or so ever since. Hang on in there honey, you're in the hardest part but it is so worth it :D
    Huge hugs xxxxxxx

  58. time my dear. :) Stick your nose down, hang on tight, do your best with what is necessary, let slide what isn't. Soon you will look up again and realize that you have breathing room again. It will get easier. You are almost through. And you will be stronger.

    It's like running a marathon, it will end, you just have to hang in there in the middle.

    It really doesn't last long compared with the rest of your life.

  59. I had my 2 little girls very close together (14 months) and I had post partum after both - and please believe me when I am say that I don't think you have PPD - this was just me. Some of the things I have done and still do on a regular basis are: I used to close the bathroom door and read my book. I would have a bath every night - some nights the kids wouldn't get a bath. I would buy special food, just for snack on if no one was looking or I had a moment where they both actually asleep at the same friggin time. I looked forward to Sunday nights to watch America's Funniest Home Videos because laughter is great medicine and so often I couldn't find the humour in my own days, but I know I needed to laugh. I blogged alot about it....actually, about a whole year on my blog is all ppd related.

    My husband works late hours and there is just so much to get mom didn't parent this way. Maybe modern motherhood is sort of like the state of the economy every where right now - about to bust! It could be a good thing for us super, over achieving, beat up on ourselves moms - and by the way, are you a Virgo...because I am, and we are perfectionists to the tee.

    Good luck - and I have been reading your blog for sometime now and love it!