This Saturday marks the end of my 28th week of my 2nd pregnancy. It’s been over 6 months since I’ve written a blog. Needless to say, life has been different lately in so many ways. We all know the challenges and craziness 2020 has brought to our lives and throwing a pregnancy on top of that has been a little overwhelming for me. I have felt the need lately to start journaling and writing again – so here I am. I tend to shut down when I get pregnant. I focus only on the little one inside of me and mostly just trying to survive. I’m blessed to have fairly easy pregnancies physically, but my mental health take a toll and starts to shift the moment I find out I’m pregnant It’s definitely something I’m working on becoming more aware of and in control of this time around.
I also want to fully acknowledge the privilege I have to be pregnant at any given time. I have struggled with infertility to a degree and I have experienced loss. I know the impact it can have on you if you are the one in the middle of her struggle. It can be hard to hear any pregnant woman complain or be negative for one single second. I see you Mama – and I pray and hope for women just like you daily. ❤
Lately, I’ve felt the need to re-connect to myself. I’ve come out of survival mode this pregnancy, entered into overdrive in my 2nd Trimester and now as I approach my 3rd – I’m crashing a little. I’m seeing tidbits of my postpartum experience show up now. I’m seeing the overwhelm creep in. I’m starting to feel like I can’t do this. It’s time to stop these thoughts in their tracks.
The way I like re-connect with myself is to just slow down. I start my days slower and finish them reflecting instead of distracting myself until I fall asleep. I .start looking inward at my life and the “shoulds” that have taken over. I have spent many years living the way i “should.” My own opinions about my life were sabotaging my happiness. I was choosing to live and be a certain way even though I had no idea I was. Through endless hours of trying to learn who exactly I am, I’ve realized that I don’t have to live any certain way. I’m in control of my days and I really don’t have to do anything I think I have to do. I get to choose.
I chose the paths that led me here and I get to choose the ones that lead me forward.
It’s almost as though there was some alter-ego of myself telling me what to do before I even had the chance to question it. She’s the one who made me wake up and start the day hating my body or the way I looked in the mirror. She’s the one who thought everyone around me was judging me and told me to stay small. Be invisible. She’s the one who stomped on my confidence until it barely existed. She’s the one who made me feel like every choice I made as a first time mom wasn’t good enough. She told me my son was better off without me many, many of those days. She told me that I would never be “that mom” I wanted to be. And she was right, because I chose to let her be the authority. I was who she told me to be.
This voice inside of you – you don’t even hear it half the time. It’s just there. It IS a part of you. Unless you choose to contradict what she says. Unless you wake up and choose the direction you want to go in, instead of letting her blindly lead you. Do you want to listen to her? Do you want to be her? Do you even like her? Get up and fight against her. You tell her who you are and what you do and she will start to listen. She will sit quietly and let you lead. Take the reigns back. Little ones are watching you. You have a choice.
I know my life is about to change dramatically, again. I know my mental health will suffer. I know I will be tired. I know it will be hard. But I also know that I can handle it. I have the choice to focus on the hardships or to find the light within them. I refuse to lose myself again. I refuse to let the world tell me who I am and how I am supposed to live my life. I’m choosing to look within now, before it gets here. I’m hoping that I can avoid a lot of heartache by just lowering my expectations, looking inward, asking for help and praying for mercy. Perfect is not a standard I’m interested in – it’s not even on the table this time.
Your entire family could benefit from the real you. The one not trying to be perfect. The one who knows who she is and what she wants. The one who knows how to lead her family because she is leading from her true self.
If you don’t take the time to get to know her, to fill your own cup, you will never feel like enough.