Getting Through the Hard Times
It takes a lot for me to skip a week of writing. I can usually throw something — albeit unimpressive — together in the hours before the time I normally post.
And then life happens.
I don’t mean the already-stressful life of a working mom. Whether you’re a SAHM, WAHM, or work out-of-the-home mom (which I am), you know how crazy things can get sometimes. Besides my actual job I get a paycheck for, I have to worry about school drop-off and pick-up, walking the dog, and making sure my kid is eating more than Nutella by the spoonful (no? just me?). But we moms (much like immigrants – Hamilton shout out!) get the job done.
We all know how fine-tuned our routines become, and often all it takes is one tiny little wrench to throw everything off kilter. Well, I’ll let you use your imagination on what happens when a GIGANTIC wrench comes your way.
Let me take a little time-out here to say that I am a firm believer that everything is relative – pain and suffering included. I can easily say that I have so much to be thankful for in my life. I can also say beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are many people out there who have had to endure much more than I ever will.
Sometimes, I think it’s okay to say that things suck, and right now they kind of do…which brings me (finally) to the point of today’s post.
HOW DO THEY DO IT?
By “they” I’m referring to other bloggers, specifically of the mommy variety, and by “it” I mean continue to write endlessly peppy posts on their blogs and social media.
I’m not naive enough to think that every mommy blogger out there really has a picture perfect life 100% of the time, and yet that’s definitely what many of them would have us believe. That’s the job, I suppose.
It’s just not me. Not yet, and possibly not ever.
When I feel sad – not spilled-coffee-all-over-my-new-pants sad, but REALLY sad – I basically shut down for a minute. No blogging, no social media, no nothing.
But again, moms have to get the job done. Being sad is always allowed, but there comes a point when you have to get back to the business of life – of work and blogging, of motherhood, of friendship.
Easier said than done, right?
I’ve already had a couple of people comment on how stoically I seem to be handling things in light of recent events (perhaps I’ll share that another time), but the fact of the matter is that you have to move on. Let me say that again: You. Have. To. Move. On.
So, what’s my secret? I wish I had one. What I do have are some tips that just might help you through your next rough patch.
(1) Be sad…but just for a little while.
Not forever, probably not even for a long time if you still have kids to take care of, but at least for a while, a few hours after the kids are in bed or a few minutes hiding in your closet (no? just me again?), just be sad. Have a cry if you need to. No one can tell you how to feel, and if there’s anything I know it’s that you can only bury things for so long before they find a way of pushing their way out. Let them out.
(2) Accept help, even when you really don’t want to.
I HATE asking for help. I never want someone to think there’s something I can’t do on my own, but guess what? There are LOTS of things I can’t do on my own. It’s unfortunate that it sometimes takes so much to push us (me) to finally reach out for a hand. But if you’re lucky enough to have people reaching out their hands to you (family, friends, church…), TAKE THEM. I’m a pretty tough cookie, but I sincerely have no idea how I could have gotten through the past few weeks without support.
(3) Get back to work.
I started out this year with a lot of excitement over potential projects in the months ahead. My job was going well, my social media following was growing slowly but surely, and there were a few great ideas in the works. Then I let my sadness, along with things that are far out of my control, deter me. This feels like the first “normal” week I’ve had in a while, and it feels so good! Are things perfect? Not even close. But I’m slowly regaining my focus and realizing that it’s okay for me to live my life despite other things.
(4) Pray, like a lot.
For some reason, I felt led to read the book of Isaiah in the Bible recently. I’m only about halfway through it, but let me say that so far, not the most encouraging collection of scripture. Then I realized it’s all about perspective. Much of what I’ve read so far is about God’s wrath against some disobedient people. At first it seemed way harsh (Tai), but when I think about it in relation to the God I know now as a loving father, it’s more sad. God was sad, people! And He was and is going to do/allow whatever it takes to get us back to Him…whether or not we understand it (see Job 42:3 – if anyone had a reason to be sad, it was that guy).
My rough patch isn’t over yet, but I feel okay. And beyond that I feel happy that I feel okay. It’s all about baby steps, right?
* I am by no means a medical professional, and I know sometimes these steps just may not cut it. If you’re ever in a dark place that you just can’t seem to pull yourself out of, contact a professional. You should be proud, not embarrassed!