5 Steps to Being A (Mostly) Sane Mom

I’m just over nine weeks into my job promotion as Chris liked to call it before I actually earned said promotion. Let’s define some terms.

“Job Promotion”-doubling one’s mother and household workload with no added pay or vacation. Incentive is in the form of baby snuggles.
“Earned”-Doing this

Let’s move on.

My sleep schedule is becoming much more predictable as nap and bed times are consistent as are the two, three, sometimes four times I wake at night to feed our 16 pound man-child. Sixteen. Sixteen pounds of chunky provided by none other than some high cal mama milk. Nicely done, self.

Because there has been predictability in C’s sleep schedule and K’s erratic behavior has died down (typical of a child whose world is rocked with a mom and dad abruptly gone for a few days, a new baby creature brought home, and two weeks being raised by grandma’s as the mom and dad adjust to the crazy…) I’ve been able to function thanks to the good Lord above, caffeine, and a few other helpful tips that are so simple it’s stupid. Even stupider (that’s a word, yo, because there’s no squiggly line under it and that justification enough for me) is the fact that I frequently forget to prioritize these things. Encourage me to do so when you see me while remembering to tell me how good I look after not showering for a day or three.

1. Quite Time with Jesus
I vented a few weeks ago to my sweet friend Anne (Hi, Anne!) about how my late night feedings were filled with lots of useless internet searching. Yelp reviews, blog posts, Facebook, ANYTHING but the Bible most times. My thought process was I was barely conscious so why would I invest in the Bible knowing I wasn’t retaining anything. Her response: you’re retaining something. Even if I was unaware, my soul was being encouraged and my relationship with Christ strengthened even if my quiet time didn’t look like it used to. My mornings with a stroopwafel and cup of tea uninterrupted with in depth study of both the Bible and a study guide, or Dr. Constable.  It doesn’t look like it used to but it doesn’t mean it’s not important, useful, and absolutely the crux of  my ability to function aside from myself during the day. The times I heed to my flesh I am quick to get angry with K and my husband and find myself having the “Kerrigan, mama’s sorry she (insert action/reaction here). Will you please forgive me?” conversation a billion and twelve times a day. Granted the modeling of owning mistakes and asking for forgiveness is essential, but I’d like to have to do it much less frequently.

Lesson learned: any intentional time with God, regardless of how I think it should look, is better than any other media I could pursue.

2. Consume Caffeine
I’m addicted. I have midday headaches if I don’t have a latte, iced coffee, or hot tea  in the mornings and ain’t nobody got time for that.

In order to clean the house or stand up with both eyes open I need a little help. This stuff at $5/bottle is far more economical than the drive thru. And it helps to not have to load up Thing 1 and Thing 2 just to hear Thing 1 inform me that she NEEDS  a hot chocolate and Thing 2 cry when the car slows below 45MPH.

3. Invest In Your Man
I may fail here more than I do than reading my Bible. C goes down between 8-9 at night and more often than not I follow suit. He sleeps a solid 4 or 5 hour stretch and it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. The nights I stay up, even for half an hour, and cuddle with or talk to my super hot husband I feel better and our relationship is much more connected. We bicker less, we serve each other more, and are generally in a state of happiness until one of our tempers flare.  He’s the reason I succeeded in “earning” my “promotion” and my conviction of putting him on the back burner is strong. Encourage me on this one, folks. Before I was a mom I was just a wife. Sometimes the blessing to be married to such a wonderful man gets overshadowed by what I think are my immediate needs. Note to self: work on this.

4. Prioritize Alone Time
Between 1 and 1:30 every afternoon C goes down for a nap and K has quiet time in her room. If she doesn’t nap she plays on her Kindle or does some other activity in her room to decompress. I take this time very seriously-my brain needs it. Sometimes I spend intentional time in the Word, other times I blog, shower, clean, or otherwise sit on my backside and just zone out. Chris and I are always “on” lately. One of us is either engaging or dealing with a child’s immediate needs, cleaning, eating, or doing something that requires more than a dozen brain cells. It’s amazing what a small break can do. I assure you I’m a better friend, parent, and wife if I have a moment to just turn it all off. Don’t be offended when I ignore you during this (or any) time. My sweet friend Becca (Hi, Becca!) shared this today. Watch it and understand why I don’t answer my phone or texts in a timely manner that wouldn’t be perceived as rude. I assure you that you’re important but my attention span is that of a gnat lately and I’m sure there are many calls and texts not yet returned. Consider this me asking for forgiveness from the blogosphere rooftop.

5. Don’t Forget Your Girlfriends
For the past three years I have walked with some amazing women. Some women who have faced unimaginable tragedy and have never stopped giving glory to God. Women who aren’t afraid to tell me I’m being dumb (or spell the word in case a toddler is listening…you know who you are). Women who understand the importance of good food in the form of bacon  and chocolate. Women who love my kids enough to discipline them and train them up in the way they should go. I am infinitely blessed by their wisdom, selflessness, correction, and humor. The ability to call and confess when I’ve spoken harshly to my kiddo, had a beer before 5PM, or simply am losing my marbles is the greatest gift.

I’m thrilled to have been on this new journey for nearly 10 weeks. I’m no expert, in fact I don’t even know how I manage to keep two humans alive day after day. I’m functioning-some days barely. I’m thankful for the blessing to have two sweet kiddos entrusted to me to raise up and love the Lord. This season of walking around in a haze trying to figure out a new normal is becoming less overwhelming. There are days when a trip to Target is literally a miracle and days when someone asking me to leave the house, even with the promise of food or a million buckaroo’s would sound like the worst idea ever. I’ve learned sanity is subjective but regardless of how you define it this promotion is definitely worth more than any salary increase.


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