Saturday, March 3, 2012

Finding My Way

I've been writing this post for a few weeks now in my head but can't seem to find the story. I tend to overthink everything and not finding the story, the lesson, the message in the thoughts that are running through my head is pure chaos.

I've been off balance. It's hard to be intentional when you can't get your feet under you. When your mind flits from thought to thought. When what you need to be doing and what you really need to be doing are in constant conflict with each other. And so I retreat. I disconnect and remove myself from the very support systems that I should be reaching out to.

I am very good at disconnecting, I am not good at reaching out. There is only one person in my life that I trust will always catch me when I'm falling. Luckily he is my partner in life. But even with him I have a hard time simply saying "I need help".

It's hard to break a lifetime, or as long as my memory serves me, habit of extreme self reliance. I problem solve on my own. I have a Superwoman complex. Usually I'm able pull it off.

But these days its just not working. I'm struggling and those sweet friends who have noticed something is off have reached out. The husband who knows, he always knows, is stepping in and taking over. Still, I struggle. I'm not good at letting go. I'm not good at accepting help. I'm not good at not being Superwoman.

Starting in early February stress kept washing over me & I finally reached a breaking point. In an attempt to get a grip I listened to the song "Take My Life" by Third Day on near constant repeat. The lyrics "Please, take from me my life when I don't have the strength to give it away to you, Jesus" were a prayer straight from me to God. My prayer has most certainly been answered.

A few weeks ago Owen came down with a nasty virus & fever that eventually led to an ear infection. There is nothing that slows you down more than having a 21 month old glued to you for 108 hours.


Once his antibiotics kicked in I was back to work and while definitely a calmer version of the recent me I was still going at a pace that was likely too fast. Midweek the virus that took over Owen hit me and I ignored it. Foolishly I tried to power through and was at my sickest last Saturday.

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On Sunday morning I ended up calling the on call doctor due to some possible signs of preterm labor. I was told to take it easy & follow up with my doctor on Monday but to call again if anything got worse. At this point we thought this was related to my virus and violent cough. To my surprise on Monday my nurse told me my doctor did want to evaluate me to make sure everything was OK. It was only then I really got the message that I.must.slow.down.

On Tuesday we learned that Travis is trying to pull a fast one & my body is already making progress towards his arrival. I was lucky that I was not dilated any more than I was or else I was going to be "restricted". I've been asked to backoff of everything for the next few weeks so that we get to a point where my doctor will not try to actively stop labor. On Thursday I was 33 weeks & Mitch and I will count ourselves blessed if Travis stays in utero until at least 37 weeks.

Mitch has been nothing short of amazing at home. He already does so much around here, the finances, the menu planning, the pets, the grocery shopping, the tidying up and is very active with the boys. Without a word, except for me to rest, he has taken on all of my household responsibilities as well and has been coming home early from work to help with the boys in the afternoon. That my friends is true love.


Sitting here I realize I wasn't able to put any of this down before now because my story wasn't finished, the lesson had not been learned. It has taken the entire month for me to truly come to terms with the truth that I am not Superwoman and that is O.K.

Often I am asked, how do you "do it all" (whatever that means)? I quickly reply that I don't, because I don't, and share how much of the load that Mitch carries, how much we are partners in this life. However, what the last month has shown me is I'm not being 100% honest with myself.

I expect myself to "do it all" (my own personal all) because 70% of the time I am successful at being the boys primary care giver, contributing at home, and making time for my passions all while working full time outside the home in a high stress job.

The other 30% of the time, when I find that I can't power through, I let everyone down. Not because I'm not "doing it all" , they could careless if I "do it all" but because I don't know how to ask for help when I'm sinking. I don't know how to recognize my own limits. I don't know how to I always thought that this only impacted me (attitude/health/quality of life) but after several heartfelt conversations with Mitch I've realized that it does impact the ones I love the most in small and big ways. It took a potential threat to Travis' health for my heart to accept this truth.

So the last few days I've taken my husband's advice to heart and determined what is most important. I'm working on letting go of what isn't getting done and focusing instead on keeping in good spirits and getting in lots of rest for not only Travis or the kids or Mitch but also for me. I'm also working on trusting that when that friend or relative offers help their words are sincere and I'm learning to say yes.


So, if it's a bit quieter around here please know that I'm just working on being intentional about slowing everything down and that is a very.good.thing. I hope you had a wonderful Saturday.



Stephanie Howell said...

Oh Monica I understand this 100 percent. I can so identify with your heart and what you've written. I'm proud of you for realizing that it's okay to let go. And how amazing that you have someone there that can help. You are so so blessed. Sending you BIG love.xoxo

Melanie said...

keeping you and your sweet little one in my prayers. so glad you have such an amazing husband as well as others to take good care of you!

libbywilko said...

Just read your post and all I can say is I want to send a big Big Hug.

Take care of yourself get all that help, support, peace you can get... Hope Travis says in as long as possible to 40 weeks.

Lots of love and best wishes Elizabeth

MariClaudi said...

May God Bless You and your entire family.
Your words touched my heart because I can relate to your situation, with the exception that I am a Mom to 5 children.
I often feel judged by others when my house isn't so clean, but most of the time I let it go. It is hard to balance it all but when you have a husband who is truly a partner it makes everything OK.
I often get asked "how do you do it?" My reply is "I have a wonderful famliy."

Annette said...

Monica, thanks for sharing. You are definitely in my thoughts and prayers. Take care and take it slow.

Monica said...

Dear Monica, I'm so sad to hear about your problems. Good for you to slow down. What makes me most sad is that you are so not alone, there are so many women who honestly believe they have to do it all. We do not. There is a big difference between women and men, they can disconnect with what's around them if they need to if it get's too much, but we don't seems to have that switch off-button so we have to learn to say no and give ourselves a break. We are good enouth without doing everything.
Take care of youself and remember that your family is much bettet off with a mother who take care of herself. Love, Monica

Dalon Gage said...

WOW! I discovered your blog via Project Life somehow, and I want to say "thank you" for being so honest and open about your life and your reality ...

every word you used to explain your Superwoman situation was for what I feel ... thank you for giving me the words!!

and thank you for posting about everyday life - this is truly an amazing life we're all blessed to live, but it doesn't come without challenges ;-)

here's to your saying "yes" more often to those who love you - and taking time to recognize when to say "when" ;-)

Basement Stamper said...

Hope that you take care of yourself and rest up while you can. So happy that your hubby is taking over ALL your responsibilities. Hoping that little one stays put a few more weeks for you all.

Jayne said...

Glad to hear you are finding your way - it is a difficult thing to do! Hoping you are feeling well :)

Jenny Meyerson said...

Continuing to pray for you. And so thankful that you have such a good man to help you. He's right - continue to rest. I wish I was closer to help you out. I really do. You look terrific!-J

Janna said...

I totally could've written this!! I totally get it all!! Hope you can keep him in there as long as possible:) So awesome you have such a wonderful husband!!