He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9


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Midnight Mentoring......Advice to Myself

Tonight I am needing a little support and encouragement.  So…I am telling myself – out loud in writing - what I wish some warm wise woman would tell me.  It's fixing to get REAL up in here. Care to listen in? 


"Honey, You will not always smell like baby puke.

It’s not your fault your kids can’t sleep.  It’s probably a full moon or weird barometric pressure.  You fed them and did your routine and got them to bed at a very good hour.  You did okay. They’re just weird, weird children.

It’s okay that you didn’t get the dishes washed and the laundry finished and the house straightened tonight. You did several things right today.  Take note of what you did accomplish rather than beating yourself up for what didn’t get done:

  • ·        You welcomed your neighbor into your home today.  You chose to be warm and happy and relaxed even though when she came to the door,  the house wasn’t straightened, you had to throw a robe over your ghastly nightgown, the sink was full of dishes and there was a HUGE pile of poop smeared on the bathroom floor.  You remembered to invite her to church again.
  • ·        You made homemade pizza (the kids didn’t even mind too much that it was overdone and a little gross). 
  • ·        You worked on preserving some family memories.
  • ·        You read some fantastic literature to your 3-yr-old
  • ·        You spent time with your big kids and kept most of your normal evening routines, in spite of baby screaming and pressure from outside deadlines.
  • ·        You spent some time feeding your heart with inspiration.
  • ·        You fed the 3 adult dogs and helped a little with the puppies.
  • ·        Your new puppy ad sold a new puppy today!
  • ·        You fed and changed and rocked and loved on your 4-week old baby.  That is enough.
  • ·        You had meaningful conversations with your husband and talked through some weighty stuff.
  • ·        You tried be gentle with your kids – even when they were mighty irritating
  • ·        You accomplished 2 major projects on your “ministry outside the home” to-do list
  • ·        You did laundry (it’s okay that one load is piled at the end of your bed and 2 loads are still in the washer and dryer. The process is happening.  Everyone has underwear.  It’s okay.
  • ·        You answered several texts & messages….part of the process of keeping up with the neverending, stress-inducing stream of messages that come in from so many places.
  • ·        You made contact with 3 of the most important friendships in your life today….taking care of the relationships.
  • ·        You prayed and worshiped
  • ·        You shared some great music with your kids and made happy singing
  • ·        You did wash dishes!  Your bottle and pumping equipment. …over and over.  And this is exactly why you stocked up on paper goods while you were pregnant.
  • ·        You tried to take a nap. (The kids forgot – multiple times -  that they weren’t to come in and wake you unless there was blood or fire.  But you tried to rest.  That counts.)

  • ·        You only cried once today!

It’s okay that you still feel so tired and still pretty brain- muddled 4 weeks after delivery.  You were very sick for awhile and that set you back. Your body needs sleep to function at its best.    And you aren’t getting enough sleep -  and there isn’t much you can do about that right now.  This too shall pass.  No one expects you to be any certain way right now.  You are worrying when you don’t need to.

Many of the expectations that make you nervous are either your own or your imagination.  You expect yourself to bounce back as quickly as others.  Good grief, you don’t even know how other new mothers bounce! Besides, who cares?  You are doing your best – a good job. And it’s okay to be where you are.  Let everyone else bounce. You just keep on plodding.

You WILL have time for a shower tomorrow.

Your house is beautiful.  Your kids are beautiful.  You will someday not look like an exhausted witch. 

Don’t feel guilty that your baby eats every 2hours and it takes at least an hour for each feeding/burping/puking/calming/pumping/washing process.  That doesn’t leave very many hours in your day.  But it’s a pretty big accomplishment to keep a newborn baby alive under these circumstances.

3-hour Scheduling can be good, but you KNOW it isn’t the only way in the universe to feed a baby.   It will come soon enough, when his body is ready.  You know how to schedule a baby and scream it out and all of that.  You know what you’re doing! You’re good at this! Quit worrying.  You are just blessed with fussy tummies.  Christian has a tiny stomach that can’t tolerate much more than 2.5 ounces.  You have committed to pumping since Christian can’t nurse.  Breastmilk ALWAYS digests faster than formula.  Christian is a gassy/burpy/puky/fussy baby.  This makes feedings time consuming. This is NOT YOUR FAULT.  Relax and accept that this is your life right now.

If you have to postpone going back to teaching lessons an extra week….that’s okay.  Even if someone gets slightly irritated and your students have a short semester, there will be no significant or long-term negative effects from that decision if you have to make it.  Try to speak truth to that nervousness that hits you whenever you feel pressure to hurry back into things.  It is going to be very challenging to teach with a fussy baby like this.  Don’t rush it.  Do what is right for you and your baby right now.  You don’t HAVE to do anything.  You are in charge.

Just about 3 days ago most of your house was beautifully clean and shining and company-ready.  Today it’s NOT.  But Legos on the floor and dishes in the sink happen.  It’s really not that big a deal.

It’s okay that you’re typing encouragement to yourself right now rather than making lunches for everyone for tomorrow.  If you don’t get the lunches made by 7:45, you can always drop them off by lunchtime at 11:30.

You. Have. FIVE. Children. 10 and under.  You're doing okay!

You get to go to bed soon!  Christian will probably wake to eat up in about 8 minutes, right after you finish pumping.  Then you can sleep for 2 or 3 hours in a row!!!

Don’t muddle this precious new-baby time with unnecessary guilt. (What if this is your last baby!?)  No one is going to call the police if you hang out in your pj’s.  It won’t be long until he’ll be crawling around and you can be superwoman again.   Relax and be okay with where you are.  

Hold him and feed him and kiss him and pray while you walk the floors.

Now drink your water and go make that baby a bottle....then go to bed, girl.  You're gonna be okay."
Angie Davis said...

I read this and laughed--only because I'm far enough past this phase to manage not to cry.

If it helps you, no new Momma really bounces--it's really more of a splat. But we all survive, and you will too. None of us care if piano lessons take a little longer to come together, or if you have a poopy floor. We love you! (And we'll all been there too!)

Keith and Crystal said...

(((((Hugs Mama))))) You ARE doing a great job and you are NOT alone. :) You encouraged me today. :) We also have five (in 6 years) and I have felt this way many times.....but this too shall pass.

Like the last poster said, nobody really "bounces" back - a splat is a much more appropriate term to use. :)

Keep your head up! You're doing just fine.

Wish I lived close enough to come wash your dishes. :)

Stephanie Lynn Burley said...

Oh, Sarah...there were many days I wished someone would call me and say these words. And I only had 4 kids. I knew number 4 would be the last one, so I did what you are doing and just enjoyed every single minute of being able to hold, cuddle, and focus on my precious baby. I don't regret it...even though my house was never 'company worthy,' and my kids ate way too much processed food.
Blessings to you today, as you 'rest' in the love of our Heavenly Father!

Alanna said...

Hugs! Hugs! Hugs!!! It's all going to be okay!!! :-)

Kathryn said...

Love this post! I too, laughed, b/c I am far enough away from this state of being to do so. But I also wished that I was close enough to rush over, take you to a spa and keep your kids for those 1.2 hours between feedings ;o) You are already superwoman!

Stephanie said...

This made me tear up & laugh out loud at the same time! I was having "one of those days" (minus the newborn!) when I heard the song "Everything you do, do for the glory of the Lord who made you."...I thought to myself "even this, Lord!?" Yep, was His answer. You got this, girl! You're doing it right. Hugs!

Kimberly said...

i have not been exactly "there" but i've been at other "theres" :) you're pretty amazing!:) i visited this weekend with my cousin who has Eight! beautiful children....so much love....you ladies are somethin else! (in fact, you shine!) blessings...

Roseanne said...

Prego with #5, due in 7 wks...and sooo needed to hear your "encouragment to yourself". I shall leave this page open and read it again tomorrow, when I feel like weeping cause of one more spill, and the bathtub that needs scrubbed, and the pile of laundry, and the never ending pressure to "keep up". And I shall post on my fridge "Splat Happens"!! LOL. All that pressure to bounce really is overwhelming and most of the time our apparent "Bounce" is only an illusion. Thanks for sharing!!

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