Thursday, July 12, 2012

joy

Man.  The past couple of weeks had been rough for me.  I don’t even know how it started…yes I do.  It started with my period, which lasted two (2!) weeks.  Worst of my life.  Then afterward I think maybe my hormones didn’t right themselves like they should have because I just kept spiraling down.  Everything became so difficult.  I’d get up in the morning dreading the day ahead of me, and Olivia seemed like just so much work.  I was sad a lot.

Then I started to feel guilty.  Because who has all of the blessings I do and thinks life is hard?  I felt ungrateful and weak.  Here I was at the end of every day feeling down and worn to the bone with only one child.  Many women I know have 5 or 6 children and they do it with much more energy and grace and optimism than I do! 

At this point my self-esteem took a nosedive.  I didn’t feel deserving of a child as wonderful as Olivia because she was so sweet and all I could think about was how hard it was to be a mom and how if I had to clean the kitchen or wash the high chair one more time I’d probably lose it and shave my head-Britney Spears style.  I knew I had an amazing husband who was home with me all day and I wanted for nothing, but I couldn’t be happy and I couldn’t get on top of even the little things.  I had no energy.

By Sunday I was at an all-time low.  We were in a new ward.  Everyone had been released from their callings, which meant that I was no longer where I felt needed or comfortable and I missed the Young Women.  I felt ugly and awkward and out of place and my trouble meeting new friends magnified as I sat in Relief Society.  I felt like everyone had a new calling but me, and it must have been because I was horribly inadequate. 

This time hadn’t gone unnoticed by my husband, but I didn’t know how to voice to him what I was feeling because it made me feel so ungrateful.  I hadn’t even been praying those past few days because I felt that my problems were so selfish when I had been blessed with so much.  Who has trouble taking care of one little girl and keeping a nice house clean??

On Tuesday night Jack sat me down and asked me what was wrong.  He’s so perceptive.  It’s one of the things I love most about him.  I still couldn’t voice the negativities that had been festering for over two weeks so instead I just opened the floodgates and sobbed.  He decided it was time for a Priesthood blessing.  Many things were said in the blessing and let’s just say that I came out of it reminded that my Heavenly Father is always mindful of our struggles and nothing is too big or small to take to Him and receive His support and guidance.

I was now able to talk to Jack about my insecurities and sadness and we discussed the blessing and how Satan wants us to focus on the negative things in life and how Satan can turn even our greatest blessings into something negative by telling us that we don’t deserve them.  Jack reminded me of a quote I had emailed him a while ago that said Comparison is the thief of joy, and it didn’t matter if a woman has one child or ten, being a mom is hard work; and it’s okay for me to recognize that and ask for help when I need it.  It is NOT okay for me to focus on how hard it is though or feel bad because of it.

Wednesday was a new day.  I knelt to pray in the morning and started focusing on the good things about my day.  I had more energy and I dismissed any negative thoughts that could make me feel negative about myself or my abilities as a mom, wife, and friend.

I share this because I know that other people go through funks and it’s important to remember where the damaging thoughts are coming from and that they can only serve negative purposes.  It’s okay to think that being a mom or wife is hard, because it really, really is: in any circumstance.  For everyone.  Getting down on yourself is normal, but it is important to lift yourself back up and ask for help. 

       Comparison is the thief of joy.
                                                          –Theodore Roosevelt
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