Saturday, June 15, 2013

I just knew if I asked my husband to start cleaning the kitchen at night to ease my work load during our daughter's bedtime routine, he would be angry thinking I was trying to convince him to do my least favorite chore. I expected this so intensely that it took me over an hour to get the nerve to even start the conversation, and my body was shaking in anticipation. The memory of my counselor's encouraging face kept me from slinking to bed early in shame.

Boy, was I ever shocked when he laughed and said that if he tackled the kitchen or took over bath time with the girls would help me stress less and make the night smoother, he was willing to do so. Never had I known such relief!

The psychological and related fields call the internal predictions of ones emotional state Affective Forecasting. Humans tend to have an exaggerated affective forecasting thought process. I would like to speculate that moms do it best! How often do you expect the worst, and then chide yourself later for the stress you caused yourself? What situations tend to create these conditions for you? By seeing the patterns, you can train your mind to think more positively, and ultimately, ease the stress in your life and for your family. After all, "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wow, my last post was nearly six months ago and really that just ridiculous! So much has happened and I have so much to share, but sometimes blogging just doesn't fit into the two second increments I have between toddler induced disasters. As Mikayla grows, she is even more of a climber and Godzilla then Brylie was at this age. I never thought that would ever be possible.

My writing break is another sure sign that I was in fact dealing with depression. Mikayla's sleep cycle was non-existent and as a result, I grew more and more tired, angry and frustrated. I stopped actively working my Melaleuca business, but thank God my paycheck continued to come in each month. When prayer and encouragement from family didn't seem to help, and with my husband getting more and more displaced, and my girls both seeming to fear me in an unhealthy way, I seeked out professional help. And God led me to just the right place.

My counselor not only gave me a safe place to open up, but enpowered me. I realized that I was more then a half rate mother and that I had a right to feel what I felt. With amazing suggestions and the backing to make some big changes, she led me back to God and back to who I wanted to be. Let me just say, my confidence in Christ and myself is 100 times better then it was in November. I realized that not only did I have ridiculous expectations for myself, but that I had projected those on Nolan and thought he did as well. The first step was fixing my marriage's communication issues and telling Nolan what I needed from him. Surprizingly, he responded immediately, being once again my hero! With his support behind me, I then faced the biggest step I think I took through this whole process. I sat down and asked myself what I loved to do and why I wasn't ever doing anything for myself? True, we are called to be mothers and make sacrifices, but no where in the bible does it say be a door mat and don't take care of yourself. I took a few self dates, time by myself and felt guilty and bored because I had no idea what to do or where to go. After three or four of these trips, I sat down and made a list of things I loved to do. Some were out of my family's price range, but three things were pretty obvious: my passion for wellness and green living, and the joy I get from writing. And so, I began both again and with a vengeance.

Since the end of April, I have started a health routine that I hope to make habitual. Sparkpeople.com has been a huge tool in helping me accomplish my first physical goal of losing the weight I gained while I meandered through depression last year. Being realistic about my portions and choosing foods worth the calories was the first step. I want to emphasize that when I say worth the calories, I mean tasty. I had ice cream bars about every other day and still lost the weight because I love it! Then I started to go to the gym with my husband a few times a week, mixing in active playtime with my girls. Dancing around the living room for an hour with Brylie and Mikayla not only gives me a fun cardio workout, but creates silly laughter and makes nap time come earlier each day. And I have become someone that I never thought possible: a runner! Now, I crave the physical time and enjoy it. It has become a stress buster.

In the last six weeks, I have lost 20 lbs, tripled my daily water intake and quite frankly, just feel great! And all I can say is thank you GOD!

Now even more then the weight loss, I can't believe the transformation in my eternal outlook. God has shown me grace and love, but most of all hope. I think as mothers, its so easy to walk through stale days, surrounded by piles, attacked with failure, and wallowing in self pity. But Christ's message covers all our bases and then some. For me, I needed to know I was beautiful, loved for who I was, blessed beyond my understanding, and trusted with two children God loved as much as me. With these revelations, joy filled me in such a way that I could never, ever find myself in the low pit that I was in last fall.

If nothing else, I want any moms reading this to know that you aren't alone, that GOD loves you so very much, and that everything you have, good bad and broken is a gift to be treasured! When you feel overwhelmed, "Be still and know that [He is] God." ~Psalms 46:10