Have you ever thought to yourself, I think I might be going crazy? Being a mom of 7 is HARD. And lately... well, lately I haven't been my best self. I have lost myself in the everyday shuffle as some might call it.
To say I'm in survival mode most days would be a true statement. ♥
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In all the crazy and stressful days known as life, I became stuck in a self destructing cycle.
I drank soda with little to no water. I sat around most days. I didn't shower when I should. And stopped eating except for dinner and the occasional Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups.
I gained sooo much weight. When I was going through my divorce(2013-2015 yes it took that long to finalize) I had lost well over 50 pounds and to gain it all back plus a bunch is terrible on ones self esteem.
I have always been overweight. I have always been the bigger person in my family. But this isn't all about weight.
No child should ever have to lose a parent so young. I was on a lunch break from a job I had while in college when my dad called me. He told me that I needed to come home and say good-bye to my mom. I cried the entire drive home. I lived about an hour and a half away.
I was barely 21 then(Oct. 2004). And had only been married for 5 months...
She had been diagnosed with ALS while I was a junior in high school. She lived 5 years with the disease before her body couldn't continue any longer.
The years rolled on like they tend to do and I had 4 babies. And after my 4th I kicked their cheating father out. I was harassed constantly, and still am to a certain point, that I had to get a restraining order. My life was threatened. My kids were in danger of being stolen from me.
This new crazy life seemed so scary. Luckily I have amazing friends and family that swooped in to help me. I reconnected with my now current husband during all this. He just happens to be the brother of my very best friend. I met him for the first time when I was about 15 and in middle school. And to be in my 30's with 4 children was lonely.
Time again passed on and we were expecting a baby. Nothing about the pregnancy seemed right. I debated even taking a test. When I called the nurse about bleeding they sent me for an ultrasound right away. It was then I knew something was very wrong. I had had several ultrasounds before this with my other pregnancies and there was no heartbeat, no anything that I could see.
They had me go straight from there to my doctor's office where he explained to me what was happening. A cornual ectopic pregnancy. You can read more about this in this post. The "mass" as they called it hadn't quite made it to the uterine lining. It got stuck at the very end of my Fallopian tube and was threatening to burst.
To not make this a super long post, I was rushed in for emergency surgery to remove the mass that was supposed to be our baby.
I never thought I would ever lose a baby. My whole purpose in life is to be a mother. And to have one in Heaven just kills me. Even 4 years later it still makes me cry.
I wasn't supposed to have any more. But by the grace of God we welcomed our little miracle son in October of 2016. And that was it. I no longer have Fallopian tubes and my uterus is too fragile to carry another baby.
I have had depression since I was in high school when my mom was diagnosed with ALS. Then came the anxiety when my ex-husband became a narcissistic psychopath on a rampage. And just recently I was diagnosed with PTSD due to my losses and traumatic divorce.
I am one of those people that let things build and build over time and then it's just too much. I have wanted to run away many days, but I got help when I knew I could no longer handle all these thoughts and emotions.
I see a counselor on Saturday mornings. Yes, I have dedicated my Saturdays for MY mental health. Having 7 children means having several appointments and activities during the week so Saturday just was most logical. Plus my husband is home on Saturdays to watch the kids... I also take several prescriptions to help me.
To feel stuck and undeserving of anything better is a sad place to live. I am taking steps, rather small ones right now, to become a better me so I can be the wife and mother my family deserves.
Self care has gained a lot of momentum in the last few years, or maybe I just seem to see information about it more in my constant searches for help.
The hardest thing about self care for me was not knowing even what that meant or where to begin. My counselor gave me some great suggestions along with a print out of some and other things to try.
I bought myself a gratitude journal. It is super simple. You just list 3 things you are thankful for every day. Have I done it every day since I got it? No, but I am making an effort to. In fact, I also made the decision to purchase one for each of my children(the ones that can read and write) and have them write in theirs after school every day. They are very inexpensive and worth the tiny investment!
I have also started to read again. When I was younger, before kids, I used to love to read. I'm currently reading 2 self help books titled, You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen. These are by no means pleasure reads, but helpful reads. I love to gain some knowledge any time I can so I can help someone else when the time arises.
The Positive Discipline book was a gift from my son's doctor. I had taken him in to discuss his ongoing anger issues and to find some help. I was at a super low point as a mother and didn't know what else to do. Anxiety and depression tend to make me very irritable most days and I tend to unfairly yell at my children.
I try to make myself a protein smoothie every morning. My 2 year old son(the only one out of 7 not in school) even loves them! He likes to push the button on the blender to make it go. What we put in our bodies is uber important. I also try to make balanced meals for dinner. I have found that using my crockpot or creating a meal plan can help me stay on track and not be tempted to order out.
I also have a water bottle that I try to refill several times a day. I made a rule that only water is allowed in my office. I work from from home on my Etsy business as well as this blog. Finding a good balance has been a real struggle, but I am slowly making changes!
One day at a time.
I was told that self care can be anything that brings you joy. I was also told that if ice cream is something that brings you joy, but you know you will eat too much, you should probably not pick that item as a self care item.
I often stay up way too late just so I can unwind and have an hour or so of either sheer quietness or listening to music uninterrupted. I have 7 children and life is in constant motion. So taking some time alone is very helpful to me. It's like a reset button for my brain.
If you are struggling and feel like you are at your wits end like I was, I want you to reach out for help. The first step is the hardest, but so worth it. Don't wait any longer. There is a better way and a solution waiting for you. ♥