Post Kids - "Getting Your Life Back"
I hear this often, "When will you get your life back?" "Will you have more kids?" Sometimes from people around me, but sometimes I hear it in my head. The question to me from others and the question to myself might look the same, but they are quite different. How?
After having our second child, I still lived like we had one. I was swamped, booked to the max in my calendar and chasing after time wasting stuff. I didn't realize that life should change a little bit to accommodate a new family member. Well, it should. However, I was determined to live like before, carrying tons of guilt and I was at the very edge of having a melt down. I felt, then, that I couldn't give the people around me my time, and when I did give it, (out of guilt) it took away from my husband and my children and precious resting time. I think that a lot was expected from me, and that I brought it on myself by being a people pleaser.
Reading through my old prayer journal, my number one prayer a few years ago, was that I would get more time with my family and that I would learn how to be present. Well, after our big move away from a busy social life and 3 jobs, I finally got the opportunity to focus on what God taught me, and still is teaching me.
At first, I wondered when I would make new friends and get "my life back" like it was, or similar to what it was before our move. Becoming pregnant with our third did not slow me down as much as we thought it would. I might've been less active, being sick and all, but the guilt that I carried (which activities we all should be involved in etc.) and my busy brain, still kept pushing ahead full speed.
I needed to, not only part from my life previously known, but to part from, well, nearly everything I made a habit out of. It was like LIFE spring cleaning. Out with the old, and little by little, after lots of thought and prayer, in with the new. Bringing in what was really important and good.
If this is the season for me to not make friends and not be active with the women's ministry, but completely serve my family, so be it. I have the perfect opportunity to make my surroundings my LIFE and my JOB, which I love. What am I here for? What could be a holier calling than to raise my children and mould mankind? It won't go to waste.
What from my life, then, do I want back that is so important?
A few weeks ago, I realized that I'm just running myself into the ground by trying to do things with three kids, that I did with two kids. It's not going to happen and that is OK. If you struggle with guilt and high expectations of yourself, get rid of them and let go. I encourage you to take this step. It is very liberating and you will also gain so much more out of life by doing so.
I have more time now with three, than I did with two, and it is nice for my husband to not live life at 300 mph. He also feel comforted in the fact that the kids get their mother and the attention that they require and deserve, which is opposite to pulling them from one appointment to the next as baggage.
I would try to pack our days with everything possible, so I wouldn't miss life. What I was actually doing, was in fact, missing life. I went from overbooking to underbooking, from one extreme to another, because I was afraid of choosing the wrong thing (what ever that could be?), and ended up choosing nothing. This too, wasn't good. Where is the balance? What is worth doing and where do the standards come from?
I think we take more time to think about what to do nowadays, rather than just doing whatever and whenever we like. We have learnt to value our time, and to understand how positive the idea of "just being" is. Not necessarily doing anything or going anywhere, but just being together at home enjoying family time. Hearing, seeing and acknowledging each other, fully.