Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Am a Strong Woman!

          As modern women, we tend to want to do it all: have and care for children, keep up the house, spend time with our husbands, volunteer at church, and still work outside the home! Usually, one of two scenarios ends up happening. In scenario one, we say yes to everything and end up overtired and stressed out. In scenario two, we realize we can't do it all and end up feeling bad about ourselves for that. I currently fall under scenario number two. I breastfeed Daniel, make him homemade baby food, and cloth diaper him. I try to spend as much time playing with him and reading to him as possible. I also want to be able to keep my house spotless, the laundry hamper empty, have dinner ready for my husband when he gets home, have time to spend with my husband every night, make time to read the Bible and pray every day, pump milk to store and donate at least once a day, write blog posts at least every couple of days, volunteer at church, become certified and begin teaching Bradley method childbirth classes, train as a lactation consultant, help my husband with our Amway business, and still have some "me" time to read or just relax and I want to all of this without ever leaving Daniel with a sitter!
          Obviously, I'm not superwoman so I never get everything accomplished and I tend to beat myself up about it so much. I feel like I'm failing as a wife and even mother when I can't keep the house spotless or all the laundry done. I forget to pump all the time and haven't found anyone to donate to yet. I feel bad when I don't spend enough time playing with Daniel or forget to read him a story or when he cries for me to pick him up when I'm in the middle of writing a blog post. I ended up not going to Bradley training this year and will now have to wait till next year and I'm not sure I can fit in lactation consultant training at the same time. I don't volunteer at church. Actually, we are trying to find a new church close to home(our old one was about 45 minutes away) and are not doing so good at finding one. I don't always get around to reading the Bible or talking to people about our Amway products every day and I definitely don't get "me" time most days. Many nights, my husband falls asleep before I'm able to spend anytime with him. The only thing on my list I can say I accomplish every single day is praying. So I tell myself that I'm doing a horrible job at the things that I am doing and, in turn, doubt my ability to accomplish the things I haven't started doing yet.
          As you can probably imagine, this type of negative thinking has gotten me nowhere. It hasn't helped me accomplish more or do better at the things I already do. Instead, it leads to me feeling down about myself. So I have decided to end this vicious cycle and start by convincing myself that it's okay to not do everything. It's okay if I don't get all the laundry done. After all, I do have to wear my baby and walk down the stairs and halfway across my apartment complex while carrying the clothes, quarters, and laundry detergent in order to do it. I should be proud of how much of it I actually get done! I am blessed to have a great husband who cleans and makes dinner quite often when I can't and I am so thankful for that.It is okay to wait for Bradley and lactation consultant training, it'll be easier for me when Daniel is older. The same goes for volunteering at church. It is also okay to not pump or read Daniel a story every single day. Instead I will focus on making more time to read the Bible, spend time with my husband, play with Daniel, write my blog posts and talk to people about Amway and have some time time to myself to relax and unwind. But, if I don't always accomplish those things 100% , I will not beat myself up either, it is okay.
          I will remind myself everyday that I am only human and can only do so much in 24 hours and that my worth isn't measured by how much I get accomplished. I will also remind myself everyday that I am a strong woman. I have held a very demanding job in the past. When my marriage was struggling, I stood up for it, prayed, persevered, and never gave up until I saw God's power of restoration over it and now I continue to find time to work on it.  I grew a baby in my womb and gave birth to him with absolutely no medication even after a 24 hour labor and at least 3 hours of pushing, without freaking out. I didn't give up on breastfeeding and overcame tons of struggles and now we are doing great at a little over 8 months into it. I continue to persevere in my faith even in times of struggle. I am doing the best I can at keeping up the house even when I have to wear the baby in order to do it. I am doing my best at being a good wife and mother and I am still trying to make time to help others. I am a very strong woman but I often forget that and let the negative thoughts take over. From now on, everyday I will tell myself that I am strong and will remind myself of the reasons why and all of you should do the same. Stop doing too much and becoming overburdened or beating yourselves up for not doing "enough" and start reminding yourselves of what you have accomplished and how strong you are each and every day!

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