I wrote this post about a month ago, when my son was 5 months old. I have been going back and forth in my mind about whether I should actually publish it or not. I finally conceded that it might help someone else going through the same thing. You're not alone.
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I'm being very transparent here with you all! I'm sitting here feeding a bottle to my 5 month old son, trying not to start crying. I've been kind of on the verge of crying all day. To be honest, I succumbed once, but not for long. I know that it's because I'm physically tired, but I also know that's not all.
Our 5 month old son was sleeping through the night a few weeks ago. It was wonderful and I felt great because I was getting a solid stretch of sleep most nights. Now, starting last week, he decided that he would start waking up at night again. Most nights it's just once, but some nights it's up to three times a night.
Our "night" isn't like most families. Our 5 month old goes to bed around 5 as we go to bed around 6:30. We like to have some down time if we can each night before going to bed. Why so early, you may ask? Well, we get up at 2:30 each morning because I start teaching online at 3am. Our son was waking up between 6 and 8 to eat and then he would sleep until around 3. Great! My husband would feed him before he left for work at 4. Well, this week, our son has wanted to get up around midnight. Not fun, especially when I have to get up in about 2 hours after he's done.
So, yes, I am physically tired since my days seem like non-stop right now because of the nights. That's par for the course with an infant. Granted. I also don't eat right and I don't exercise, so that isn't great for me physically, either.
I am also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually tired. These can be all tied together sometimes. I haven't been in God's Word lately or praying much, either. Most days, I'm just trying to maintain some sort of organization. The guilt is what gets to me. I carry around so much guilt that it's difficult to breathe sometimes.
I feel like I'm not:
~ teaching/pushing/guiding our older boys enough with their homeschool
~ keeping up with the housework
~ doing a good enough job feeding my family healthy meals
~ doing enough
I feel as though I am failing as a:
~ homeschool teacher
~ online teacher
...you name it.
I'm drowning in the guilt of not holding up to MY expectations of myself. I know if you would ask my husband or the family members that know me well, they would say that I'm doing great. My kids would probably acknowledge that I'm always tired, but then say that I'm doing okay.
I sat down, by myself today, with my bedroom door closed, thinking. Actually, it was more like a battle going on in my head. Here's what it sounds like:
"I'm so tired."
You only worked three hours this morning.
Then you get to stay home in your comfy clothes.
Why are you complaining?
Everyone else works harder than you.
You have it easy."
Then I feel guilty because I'm complaining, to myself. Seems kind of silly, doesn't it? I make myself feel guilty for not living up to my own expectations.
Sometimes I get sucked into what the world thinks that my life should look like. I have had too many people, in not so many words or actions, tell me that I have the easy life and that I have nothing to complain about. In their eyes, I'm just a housewife. I even had someone ask me, "Don't you think that you are wasting your Master's degree because you just stay home with your kids? You could be teaching at a university somewhere."
I don't care if you work part-time, full-time, two jobs, or don't have a "for pay" job. We all have guilt. We all want to be more.
Why is it never enough?
We should not be trying to live up to our own expectations or those of the world, but of God's Word.
God's Word should be our guide to how we should be living our lives.
**Update** Since I originally wrote this post, our now 6 month old is still not sleeping in longer stretches. Last night I was up 4 times with him. I took a nap today and felt MUCH better! And, guess what? I didn't feel guilty about napping. I had a very productive day and I feel great, even though I took some time for myself.
Moms ~ Take the time that you need for yourself or you will have nothing to give to your kiddos. Some days it just doesn't work out to take a nap or a little time by yourself. I totally get that. Take the time when you can and don't feel guilty.
I would love to hear your stories and what you all need help with. Let's help each other! Don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
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