Sweet Jen sent me an email when I first asked for guest bloggers with this piece from her personal journal. She wrote this (for herself only) when her little girl was only a few months old and she was at "new-mom rock bottom." I immediately felt privileged that she would share such a vulnerable piece of herself with me (and you); and, I recognized the place she wrote about. I've been there too. I know it. Today, her baby is eight months old and Jen says, "When I read this now, only three months later, I'm amazed at how (mostly) at peace I am with the teeter-totter lifestyle of a working mom. Go figure: I quit beating myself up about the things no one else cares about and now I'm in a better place." I am so honored to share this beautiful message for new moms today...
|Why I'm Breaking|
Fighting My Inner Worst Critic
We do This, and it really sucks that we do This. I do This when:
I look in the mirror five months after having a baby and think I should look like I looked before I got pregnant - before I got pregnant when I was hardcore working out at 5:30 a.m. every weekday.
I have stacks of things everywhere -- stacks of ungraded papers, stacks of unfolded laundry, stacks of unfiled bills and unshredded important papers -- and I think, "Oh my gosh, I am the worst fill-in-the-blank ever." My life is defined by stacks.
I look at other moms and think they have their crap together, that they really have this working mom thing figured out because they do things like workout on a regular basis, make their own babyfood, have their kids dressed in something other than a white onesie, decorate their house for every.single.holiday, and get their kid to sleep through the night.
Josh is working weekends, and I drop Anna Lynn off at church nursery not so I can attend the service and be spiritually fed, but rather so someone else can spend an hour with her because frankly, she's getting a little needy and mama's tired. Sorry God.
Why is that God has more than enough grace for every person who has ever lived, and I don't even have enough grace for me?
I am my own worst critic. No one else cares if I breastfeed or don't, if my clothes are wrinkled, if my house looks like Pinterest threw up, or if I can grade 60 essays in a week. So why do I care? Why am I in an abusive relationship with myself?
Why I used to watch Oprah or Dr. Phil episodes focusing on abusive relationships, I always adamantly proclaimed that I would leave. I would leave that SOB in a heartbeat. No one would ever lay a hand on me or talk to me that way.
So, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to leave my abusive relationship. It won't happen overnight. It'll be more like Julia Roberts in Sleeping with the Enemy or Jennifer Lopez in Enough. I will carefully plot my exit, teaching myself what to do if I ever run into This again.
Starting now, I will teach myself to love me the way me deserves to be loved. The way that God loves me.