Do you ever feel like you don’t know when your day ends or when your day begins? You’ve been up more times than you care to count, your feeling rundown, tired, emotional, stressed, worried. You are constantly pulled in 1,000 different directions, taking care of need after need and just when you think you may get a minute to breath, your toddler throws up all over the kitchen table.
You may or may not feel like this, but right now, I do. Life is hard….like really hard. My entire focus is 100% directed on two little people, day in and day out, which causes me to feel guilt in all of the other areas of my life. My friendships are affected, my marriage is affected, my job is affected, and my own personal mental being is affected. Never in my life have I been so incredibly desired in such a way that makes me want to ball up and cry most days. Never in my life did I think I would be “that” person that says she forgot to eat or can’t find a second to pee or change her vomit covered shirt. But here I am, undoubtably “that” person.
And you know what….I’m owning it.
I often think back of what my life was like before I had kids, before I met John, and before I had many responsibilities other than my 9 to 5 job. I always had time to shower and put myself together. I often splurged on nice things for myself or spent hours at the salon. I went on trips, I went out to eat, I sat down and relaxed. Sounds appealing doesn’t it? Well, what I’m not telling you is that despite all of that freedom, I was hurting. I was unhappy. I lacked that soul defying joy in my life that I longed for so badly.
When John and I got married, I was seven months pregnant with Grayson. Things were still easy for us in a sense. As soon as we welcomed our firstborn, we quickly realized that our marriage was going to be tested and boy was it ever. We endured a lot that first year, but we made it through. When I got pregnant with Isaiah, we once again found ourselves facing all new trials, this time bigger than before. And then was he was born, our worlds were shaken so badly that I found myself crying out to God most days to make it stop. But despite this all, my relationship with John only got stronger. We leaned on each other more than we ever had. We prayed together everyday and we held on so tightly to the beauty of us, that nothing else that hit us would even make a mark.
Life with a toddler diagnosed with autism and a newborn is unbelievably impossible most days. My time is divided and there is absolutely no such thing as “me” time in our everyday routine. I worry constantly that I’m not enough or that I’m not measuring up. I let the baby cry longer than I want, I let Grayson watch too much TV when I can’t seem to get anything done, I guilt myself into thinking people notice how much of a train wreck I must seem right now.
And just when I think I can’t take it anymore, I’m given a glimpse of beauty in the chaos. God has a way of doing this. He gives us challenges to face but lets us know we are not in it alone.
I am no longer the woman I once was five years ago and I am no longer on the path I was making for myself. And even though life is messy and unpredictable and just plain hard right now, I wouldn’t go back on that path for anything in the world.
This is my path now….being called to love two little people in more ways than my heart even knows, putting my marriage first, and above all, allowing God to do incredible work in all of our lives. It’s a humbling experience when you realize the joy that comes after the storm. And even though we may still be navigating this storm in this phase of life, I could not be happier, more fulfilled and more myself than I ever have been.