I had a conversation with someone last week that really got me down. It was not her intention to make me feel like an idiot, but that's where I went after thinking it all over.
The conversation was about the increased risks that are more likely statistically to exist in a pregnancy of a women over the age of 35 (I turned 36 this last spring). I think that it was this conversation and the lack of sleep that created the perfect storm for me to feel foolish and condemning of myself.
As the baby increases in size, my pain also increases, especially at night lately. I sleep in a slightly wrong position and wake up with a burning pain where the new hernia is forming. It's a pain that takes my breath away and I have to rub some balm on and try moving in different positions to get it to decrease. Eventually it does, but sometimes it takes a while and often I have a hard time falling back to sleep. This, on top of starting school with the kids a couple weeks ago, has left me feeling so exhausted.
As a result, all kinds of negative thoughts have bombarded my mind. Juggling four homeschooled kids and a toddler is hard enough, you are going to fall so behind once you add a baby in the mix. You were stupid to get pregnant again, you knew how painful it would be. It's all your fault you are having these hernias; if you hadn't waitressed for so many years and had all these babies, you wouldn't be in this pain. You are selfishly putting this baby at risk of stillbirth because you are older.
A bunch of stupid lies, right?
It took me a few days, but I finally snapped out of it. I counteracted these lies with some truth:
I will adapt to homeschooling more children with a newborn in tow, I always have before.
Children are a blessing from heaven, this baby is a gift from God.
My father has never been pregnant and never waitressed a day in his life and he has had just as many hernias as I have. These hernias are caused by genetics, and are not my fault.
Upon doing more research I found that, because I have had five previous successful live births, I'm actually less likely to have a stillbirth than someone younger than me.
What kind of lies are making you feel guilty, mama? What is beyond your control but you are still blaming yourself for? What are you dwelling on?
Do you feel guilty because you have to work to get the bills payed but feel like less of a mom because you can't stay home with your kids? Stop it. You are doing a great job providing for your family.
Did you lose your temper and snap at the kids and now you are certain that you are a terrible mom and they would be better off with someone else? Stop it. You are the one that God has chosen for these children.
Are you labeling yourself a slob and an incapable woman because you are having a hard time keeping up with the housework? Stop it. Housework is hard to keep up with, ask for help if you need it, but know that you will get to it eventually.
Is the baby weight taking it's own sweet time leaving and you feel like you are disgusting every time you look in the mirror? Stop it. Your beautiful body carried life, so many women wish they could say that about themselves. You have your whole life to work on your health.
Mama, you can't let these negative thoughts rule you! Yes, sometimes there are things we can do to change our circumstances and taking those steps and making things change is awesome. But it is hard to do that if you have a negative, guilty mindset. You need to shake that off and fill your life with some truth.
You are beautiful. You are unique. You are loved.
You are the only you that has ever been created. You are not a mistake. You were created for such a time as this. You are awesome.
I love you, mama!