After bringing our little Mary (also referred to as “Marigold,” “Little Darling,” and about 100 other nicknames) home from the hospital the day after she was born, I diligently coached myself not to rush, to take things slowly, and to be patient. This isn’t my first rodeo. I know that having a newborn changes everything. Yet I was secretly hoping, even expecting, that somehow I’d dodge it. Alas, I’m human, and I hit it…the slump.
Let’s consider the perfect storm I have found myself dancing, er, flopping around in. This isn’t complaining, rather, acknowledging reality…
-Hormones. These suckers don’t mess around. One minute I’m fine, and the next I’m crying. Chewing noises cause me to use every stinking ounce of my reserve of self-control so that I don’t scream. In short, my emotions are a bit heightened.
-Physical discomfort. Post delivery pain, soreness from sustaining a hungry newborn and an aching back leave me feeling out of sorts. Ouch.
-Lack of sleep. Lack of sleep. Lack of sleep. Have I mentioned lack of sleep?
-Fuzzy brain. I keep finding myself at a loss for words. I’ll be halfway through a sentence when…blah, blah, blah, I have no idea what I’m trying to say.
-Unpredictability. I can’t even guess what next week, let alone this afternoon will bring. I’m a planner. This kills me.
-It takes time to bond with a baby. Don’t get me wrong, from the moment I embraced Mary, and even before that, I loved her to bits. I’d do anything for her. But I didn’t know her. It takes time to connect.
-Needs. Our home now contains 2 adults, 4 children and 2 dogs. Each has unique needs. EVERY. BLESSED. WAKING. MOMENT. It can be a bit overwhelming.
-Grey days. These equal grey feelings. Meh.
-Funerals for this season. For as long as I can remember, I’ve hoped for 4 children. While I was pregnant, and clothes didn’t fit, and shifting in bed made me feel like a beached whale, I was happy to announce that I never needed to be pregnant again. But now that I’m packing away maternity clothes and moving Mary out of newborn diapers, for the first time I’m not just putting things away for next time…I’m putting them away for good! Cue the tears.
All of these factors completely collided on Sunday. I considered my options:
A – Stuff my feelings. I chose this life. I set myself up for the chaos and fatigue. I have no one to blame but myself. This slump is my doing, and no one else needs to deal with it. Besides, plenty of people are enduring far worse. I have no room to complain.
B – Take it all out on Ben. Just because.
I mostly avoided both of these options after choosing to believe, as my husband encouraged our church family in this past weekend’s message, it’s okay to not be okay…even when it’s because of hormones; even when it’s your own fault; even when, from another’s perspective, your life isn’t that bad. Slumping is a part of life, and rather than avoiding it, we might as well embrace it and do something healthy with it.
And I did. On Monday I asked friends for prayer. I took Ben’s advice to get out of the house. I processed it with Ben, who was incredibly supportive and didn’t tell me I was nuts in spite of the snot and tears plastered all over my face. Funny thing is that by Tuesday morning, I felt like a new woman. Fancy that.
Friends, everybody slumps. Whether you’re smack dab in the middle of a slump today, or the next slump is waiting around the corner, know that, while unavoidable, they don’t have to take you down for the count.
Praying for all of us to find the courage to admit when we’re not okay, the strength to push through and the ability to celebrate making it through another slump.
Thanks for sharing..you are a great inspiration to us all….God bless.
Thanks, Lauren, for a great post. Even us non-mom, older folks hit slumps and I so identified with many of the things you were feeling. And, like you, I had to figure out a way to handle my slump without damaging others. Thankfully I have God, good friends, a great church and an understanding man in my life which gives me options on where to turn. So, I did…talking to God first, then with Greg, remember and re-reading Ben’s words from church, and talking to friends.
So, I’m happy you gave yourself permission to have a slump and work through it. You are an awesome woman, not just an awesome mother, and I appreciate all that you do.
Oh, Lauren. What a sweet message. I’m glad you chose to ask for help. And prayer.
I still remember all of the days you watched our babies at ‘mom group’ so we could gather and encourage one another. I pray for these same blessings for you.
Thank you for sharing.
I remember those days fondly. It’s funny being the mom myself now 🙂
Hope you’re all doing well!
My dear Lauren, and to think we came to see you on Sunday…had no idea! You cover yourself well. Always know that we love you very much and if we can EVER help, pls. let us know. God Bless You Beautiful Lady and Mother of Four. We’re here for you!!! Love you, Aunt Nancy and Uncle Paul xoxo
Oh Aunt Nancy…you and Uncle Paul were a breath of fresh air on a grey day 🙂 I appreciate and love you guys so much 🙂
Thank you so much for your transparency Lauren! This blog helps us to really feel that we are all in this together and don’t need to always keep up appearances or be fake. Well done!
We are in this together!
And she laughs! The joy of the Lord is our strength! Most days I think He is laughing Himself off the throne at our antics, at our thoughts of self sufficiency, as His heart breaks, as ours often does, thru our tears! This too shall pass, as will everything ,but God…Love you, sister! My prayers surround you!
Amen, Lauri! Thankful for you!
So very true that prayer and friends lift us through our slumps and bumps in life…..those times help us recognized the peaks in our lives. We often have dinner chats about the “peaks and pits” of our day. It has given me insights to how each of our kids deal and express the highlights and not so bright moments in their lives. Thanks for the reminders that it’s ok to not be okay!
“Peaks and pits,” I love that!!
Oh Lauren, I just love how real you are. I was right with you on Sunday – hardcore slumping!! It is so amazing how God puts the right people in our path to get us back on track! This last slump actually revived my faith, because I found myself in constant prayer and more aware of His presence in my day to day life. Thank you for this post, we will continue to get up and brush the dust off together! <3
Great point about slumps reviving faith!
Hope this week has been better! 🙂
I so appreciate you….from the first time I brought my kids to the Creek and they came out from Cedarville saying how much they loved “Explorin Lauren” to when I had the extreme pleasure of listening to you at the Fabulous conference “unpack” all of your “stuff”. …..you were then and still are such an inspiration that everyone goes thru these down days and it’s ok not to be perfect. So thank you. Thank you for not only being there but putting yourself out there for all of us to learn from. God Bless you and your family!! ❤️