Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Red Gatorade and Face "Fime"

Eating our breakfast eggs.  I am going strong on Whole30 and love it. Jeff asked me what is one thing I could eat off the plan and I said, "Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate" and he said, "Do you want to take some time to think about it?"  But honestly I feel SO much better I don't miss anything that much.

Working out with me.

Face "fiming" Abbey. Janey asks to facetime Abbey and Isaac every night. One morning she woke up and said, "Did Abbey leave? Did Abbey leave?" because she was having some sort of dream about her. So sweet.

I put some chicken on the grill for lunch and went up "just to straighten upstairs really quick".  Darn. I should know better.

Tea party. She asks all day long to sit with her at this little table and play. 

I am going to soak up the baby cheeks and lips as long as I can.

And thankfully I don't have a picture of this (that would be weird) but we had a stomach bug (knock on wood, only one child) who drank a red Gatorade at a relative's house the night before he was sick in a nice trail from his bed to our bed.  I have never been a Gatorade buyer but from this point on I have announced that red Gatorade will never be consumed by any member of my family till I am dead in the ground. I worked on that stain forever and I am now calling in professional help.

A reader sent me this lovely article. It is wonderful to read this message. My Dad worked two jobs for a long long long time so we could manage while my mom stayed home. I love how this mother is so appreciative of this.  I wish a story like this would be published every month on the front page of every newspaper.

I love this. I have been thinking about this quote from the article:
"My husband and I had similar values — we talked a lot about what was best for our children and the decisions we made, we made together. It was never about what we read, what the new research showed, or what other parents were doing. It was about our own children and what we thought was best."

I will link to this article also, because it's one of my favorites on sticking our heads in the sand and I think it's the right message.  

"We cannot properly tend to our God given duties when we are trying to solve the world’s problems by debating others online.  Or shushing a 4-year-old’s joy over a newly painted picture because we are engrossed in a news article.  As we fill our time with researching these disturbing world events, anxiety crowds out faith, hope and charity at an alarming rate.  We grow tense, short tempered and depressed.  We suddenly realize how out of control we really are.  And how vulnerable.  We get scared.  And our family suffers."

We are doing big work and part of that big work is protecting our moods and our mental clarity and FOCUSING on the task at hand. I really feel like this is key for mothers today. There is too much exposure to experts, articles, experiences, advice.  Too much advice that is NOT homegrown. Too much information in general, and not enough attention at hand.

I also understand the hypocrisy of my words as I link to two articles and type a blog. Of course we all really are "forced" in many ways also to use the internet today. But I have learned I must keep my world very small right now to feel settled and happy. Thank God I know what "normal" feels like since I didn't grow up with all this instantaneous widespread interaction-in the ancient times back then. I feel sorry for my own kid's generation who won't know what that feels like in their brains. I said in my last post I think, that I don't think our brains are meant to process so much information-even if that information is good stuff-about family updates.  It's not all meant to be coming at us at once constantly.

We are in the thick of basketball season with some overlapping indoor soccer but it feels so manageable now that Janey is three. One of my New Year's Resolutions (boy I have a lot) is to do things without rushing NO MATTER WHAT. No matter if we will be late (I hate being late), I will remain calm. I have successful at this almost all the time, but I wonder if it's more just because of the time of my life. 

It was SO SO difficult to be somewhere with a nursing baby or work around a nap schedule etc. I always felt such time pressure and the coordination sometimes made my head spin, and I was so so tired much of the time. I give so much credit to those families that I see in church with new babies. (I have been drooling in church as there are quite a few of chubby babies all around. I look at them coming back from Communion in their mother's arms with envy.  Why are they all dressed in those one piece pajama like outfits that accentuate those chubby baby thighs? Or asleep with their little mouths open and their cheeks squished on their parent's shoulder?  My mouth (and eyes) water.)

I want to remember the difficult things too. I was asked to speak at a mother's group in April and one of the things in the inquiry was that with my spread of ages I can still relate to younger mothers-it's not all this glossed over forgotten time period.  But I have to tell you-it's hard not to forget the baby stuff, the little things because of a broadened perspective of it all because all those days become sweet days. I don't want to though. I want to remember how much work it was raising all these kids-teenagers AND babies. Because it was (and still is sometimes) hard.  HARD. Really really draining. 

I want to remember bouncing on the darn exercise ball at 3 a.m. under the bathroom heater with a baby who was colicky. I want to remember that screaming feeling in my head of stress when the baby would cry in car line and it seemed to take forever and I felt like yelling, "Move it people, don't you know what we are going through in here!" as my heart broke. I want to remember never getting a minute to myself for weeks and weeks and weeks (and months and years.). I want to remember going to the bathroom with a baby carrier on with an infant in it because God forbid I was going to put that baby down and wake him/her up after finally he/she finally fell asleep. I want to remember being so thirsty nursing a new baby that it felt like I was a dried up frog on a summer sidewalk. I want to remember never wearing a cent of makeup for a year or two or three, and if I did probably not taking it off at night, and never having a chance to exercise or even think about it. I want to remember wearing the same old black leggings (this is back in the 90's) for a year before I fit back into anything, and then every baby it was something different-the ONE thing that fit and was comfortable. This last year I have had terrible hip pain that led me to a chiropractor. After x-rays, he told me that the hip I carry babies, toddlers on is lower than the the other one. 21 years of never trading hips, who knew?, will do that. I had to laugh and you know, I don't care. Of all things to have hip pain from, carrying babies is worthy enough, and I wouldn't change a thing. It's a small price to pay.

There are definitely different emotions and duties and strains and stresses with each stage of parenting-and they are all worthy of understanding, all deserve their own validation.  It's not supposed to be easy. We aren't supposed to have time to ourselves all the time, we are supposed to give, give, give.  Give to the point of hurting.  Every mother who has walked the floor at 3 a.m. with a baby in arms and an aching back knows this. 

That's just the beginning isn't it? It's lifetime and it is truly the refiner's fire because it changes us like nothing else could and leads us to such a rich, deep life that we could never have imagined. I read a text from an old co-worker of my husband's-she sent a picture of her first, and she said, "I could never have imagined this feeling, this incredible love." That says it all. It's unimaginable but so so beautiful. It's worth giving everything to. Nothing is more important, and more rewarding than that mother love.


33 comments :

  1. I love this. I needed this today. Thank you!

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  2. So well said, as always! You are such an inspiration!

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  3. I've been reading your blog for at least 5 years. I think this is the very best post on motherhood, parenting, and giving of oneself I have read! Perfect - just perfectly expressed! Thank you so much for your writing - what a gift you have given to all of us who follow you.

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  4. See? Here I already forgot about the starved-for-a-drink-of-water-while-nursing, bit. Hey (speaking of not being on the computer too much), have you seen the photo of a baby hand reaching under a bathroom door? Ahhhhh.

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  5. Thank you for your beautiful and honest words. I am pregnant with my first and find your posts so refreshing and encouraging in this Internet world full of too much overwhelming and unnecessary advice. I have been reading your blog for years and am so grateful for the wisdom I have learned that is preparing me to be a mom!

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  6. Do you have a post where you talk more about Whole 30? Recipes or tips or advice? I'm considering it, but need some more ideas.

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    1. Hi Lori! I am afraid to write about it because I've not completed my 30 days yet. So far I LOVE it.

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  7. Sarah, just move to MA and become my neighbor and take care of my babies. Mkay?

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    1. Only if you can promise that it never snows again? :) I'd be there in a second.

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    2. HA! My brother got me to move from FL to MA by telling me winter was only three months long.

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  8. Janey is the reason I have my third, she is so cute and I was inspired by your blog, lol. I am now expecting my fourth at a ripe old, impossible age! hA! Take that, medical world! I did my masters in the middle of having these four babies in six years, but work just one day a week to keep my license up. Paid work is overrated, family is underrated. Your blog has been hugely influential to me. When I feel a bit lost, I come here. The advice on babies and magna tiles has served me well!

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  9. Well, thanks for making me bawl! I've been reading your blog for at least 5 years and I love every post. I have 6 kids too, but my oldest is 10. I love being a Mom and am grateful I have been able to stay home with them. Thanks for your uplifting messages. They have helped me so much.

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  10. Well, thanks for making me bawl! I've been reading your blog for at least 5 years and I love every post. I have 6 kids too, but my oldest is 10. I love being a Mom and am grateful I have been able to stay home with them. Thanks for your uplifting messages. They have helped me so much.

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  11. This was so perfectly true!
    As a mother of many children spread across the ages...I could see myself exactly in these words.
    I heard a Pastor preach the other night and so many things he said about giving yourself over to your vocation, ours being motherhood and homemaking, really struck me. But after reading your words, I wanted to share this particular one.

    "Our culture teaches us to give til it hurts and then stop when it becomes painful. God's word says to give til it STOPS hurting."

    So painful hips, and sleepless nights, and long days are so worth the giving!

    Loved this today!!!

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    1. That is beautiful Kristin thank you for sharing that.

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  12. You made me teary-eyed again. I really do love your posts and hope you never quit writing!! I see in an above comment how you don't want to comment on the Whole30 plan since you haven't finished the 30 days, but could you just tell me if you had any of the horrible symptoms they described in the book? I checked the book out from the library and read through it, but seriously (and how crazy is this!?!?) I have put off starting it because they describe all the terrible feelings you can have while on it. (Like hating people and feeling foggy and sluggish, etc). I have 5 kids and can't really put them through that:-)

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    1. Hi Kelly! No I feel awesome BUT the first week I had a headache for sure. Not a headache that made me crabby, but just a different kind if that makes sense. They call it "sugar flu" but I never had more than that and it honestly wasn't bad. I have so much energy, sleep great, feel calm and more in control. I will write about it more so you know how I do it with a big family (I eat separate meals). I never felt the "I hate all things" stage (which totally cracked me up) BUT I am not a coffee drinker or a pop drinker, so I really think that might be the caffeine withdrawal? I just stayed really focused and really motivated, and dwelled on what I could eat, not everything I wanted to eat.

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    2. That is good to know, thanks for replying. I do not drink coffee or pop either..... but... SUGAR. THAT'S the problem!! :-( And the "hate all things" stage is what scares me, so I am glad to hear that isn't the same for everyone!

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    3. Kelly, I had the "carb flu" and it was hard to push through, but it was really worth it! Some people get it and some people don't and for some people it's really bad, and for others mild. You just don't really know. But please don't let that stop you! Start on a Thursday; the worst won't hit until Saturday comes and you can rest extra through the weekend. Once it is over you will feel much better than you did because you started -- your energy will increase and be much steadier, and you won't have that "I have to eat NOW NOW NOW!" feeling anymore. It really is worth it.

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  13. Such a true post. Encourages me to turn off the 'noise' and tap into my mothering instinct. All my worst moments come when I ignore it. Too bad we are encouraging a culture that causes us to doubt ourselves and losing the mothering traditions being passed on in everyday life. Thanks Sarah.

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  14. Gosh this is a beautiful post! This worn-out pregnant with #7 mama needed the pep-talk! I love your perspective.

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  15. One of my favorite posts you have done. Sometimes I am jealous of my Mom raising kids (the 80s), she didn't deal with Facebook, Instagram, people writing parenting articles every 5 seconds...basically not nearly as much noise. As I have gotten further along in my parenting road I have been so much better about tuning it out and doing what works for us. I also want a full Whole 30 Post! ;)

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  16. I love your posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the general public. Your perspective is spot on. I wish I had six of my own. I have two and I know you gain so much experience and wisdom with each one. Your children are beautiful too. :)

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  17. What beautiful words! I loved the articles you linked to. I have cleared my life of social media, news, and blogs (except 2:) ) and I am fiercely devoted to God and the gift he's given to me as a wife and mother of 4. Thank you for always encouraging moms!

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  18. Well, your words always make me want to go look in my babies eyes and play with them more...so please keep writing. I laughed so hard over the red Gatorade...classic. Love the articles you shared as well. Thanks for sharing such goodness consistently.

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  19. Again, a blessing. I agree so much about the internet. I luckily had my childhood, but there are definitely days I wish I'd never ever gotten that darn smartphone (after my second baby). I too drool over the babies in church, and hope and pray I'll have more than my two. My youngest is four now. God bless you for sharing your thoughts and experience with us.

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  20. I absolutely love to read your thoughts on mothering. I love how beautifully you express what is in so many of us mothers' hearts and on our minds. I hope you never stop writing because I truly feel you have a gift.

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  21. Such a great article for parents to read especially in todays generation. I, too am very grateful for growing up in a non-tech home, and not having the social media. It's helped me to teach my kids that we don't need to display every part of our life on the internet, and if do...to use it for good. Use the internet for good. As you know I also have a huge age gap among my kids, and am literally the oldest mother in my church with a six year old. I love it because it helps me relate more to the younger moms like you mentioned. Thank you for your post, and for sharing the article of the mother with nine kids! What an amazing example. Anyway...hope your week is fabulous, and that you enjoy your time with Janey! She's growing up way too fast! As all of our kids are!

    xo

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  22. I know you took a hiatus from your blog a while ago, and I had no idea you had started writing again. I came back just in time. My oldest is off to college this fall and my baby just turned 4. (six kids in the same gender order as you!)

    My heart is aching right now. I had to catch my breath as I read your blog, because seeing Janey all grown up made me take my mom goggles off and see my own baby girl, not as a baby, but such a big girl too!

    You always remind me to slow down and soak it in. I miss having a baby in the house, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

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  23. Sounds like Janey might be ready for preschool?

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    1. No not yet-only three! Maybe next school year for a couple hours.

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  24. Ok, seriously. I'm not a crier and I am fighting tears. My "baby" is 6 now...(my oldest is almost 16) and I'm still torn daily. I know we are done but oh the bitterness of "done"...remembering the sweetness of a new baby will always torture me. I homeschool my children and I just know I've got all I can handle (and more) on my plate.

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