- Leah Outten
The Silence in Survivor Mode
It has been quiet around here, I know. I'm just getting out of survival mode.
At 12 weeks pregnant now, my need for survival mode has lifted in the last week or two. But, the months before that I have been exhausted to the point of daily necessary naps, living off boxed mac and cheese (at least it's organic?) and take out, and ignoring my large mountain of laundry. My kids watched way too much TV and it literally was weeks in between seeing playdates and friends. Sigh.
This wasn't how I planned my summer. I had grand plans to have some kind of activity every day for the kids, whether it was the library or playing in water outside. It's just not happening this summer. I have guilt that I can't do and be what everyone needs right now, but I'm learning to be okay with that...for now. I'm learning that it is okay to let things go, like the dishes, and do them when I do get a spurt of energy. And while I know I should be eating healthier right now for myself and this new little one, I know that when I am feeling better I can make the healthy changes I need a whole lot easier. 'Cause I'll have energy to chop a zucchini and onions again! I'm getting there.
I'm also learning that survival mode looks like humbling yourself and asking for help. I have the best friends, I really do. I have had people do my grocery runs and offers to watch my children so I can nap or brought us a REAL homemade dinner. People have even offered to fold my mountain laundry! I am so amazed and blessed by the support I've received simply by asking for what I needed. It was hard to do, but it has really lifted some weight in the last week. In turn, it has been easier to just enjoy the moment of where we are in life right now despite it not being what I had hoped for this summer break.
To be honest, I feel like my last year has been a survival, since last summer after Ashlyn's birth and I hit a late PPD. I was just getting out of the pit that I felt I was in and feeling like me again. I was in a good routine for cleaning, getting ready early in the day, we had a set TV time that limited their watching to only when I needed a break, I had a set writing schedule for my blog and other various articles or book writing, I even had a set night out once a week to visit friends or go write (and enjoy a rare piece of cheesecake..hmmm). Pregnancy has thrown all that out for now, simply because I do not have the energy. I'd rather nap than write or be in bed at 8pm than just be going out to visit others at that time. Not being able to fill up my own self-care cup has taken a toll and I started sinking into that pit again. Now that I have energy, it is much better. That, and a refreshing vacation for 10 days visiting family and a trip completely alone with my hubby for 6 glorious days. But that's another post.
While I've climbed out of the pit again so far, I'm nervous for what will bring when this baby #4 comes. I'm obviously very sensitive to my needs to sleep, and my babies are not very conductive to that need! Ashlyn is just now sleeping through the night at 18 months, in fact. It has been a long, tiring road raising these babies. But, I know the difference next time around is that I have tools God has given me this past year while climbing up and out. And I now have the perspective that it is just a season, a fleeting part of our lives that is also filled with moments of joy and I can make it through.
What about you? What has put you in survival mode? What tools get you out of it?