not for the weak

I don’t talk a lot about deep, heavy stuff on this blog for a few reasons: 1.) Real life is heavy enough, so I like…

I don’t talk a lot about deep, heavy stuff on this blog for a few reasons:

1.) Real life is heavy enough, so I like to keep things light and fun here in my little corner of the ‘ole internet.
2.) I don’t feel like people visit this site for that kind of stuff.
3.) Honestly, I don’t think some people will like what I have to say if I get really real.

But I’m ready for that to change. I want to be real.

I believe with all my heart that one of the reasons we go through different experiences in this life (the good, the bad, and the really ugly) is so we can help others who are going through the same junk later on down the road. No one can relate like someone who has been in a similar situation. For over a year I’ve been thinking about how there are so many unfair misconceptions and stereotypes about motherhood, and I’m completely “make-me-want-to-vomit” sick of them. I’m tired of women acting like they are perfect; like their families are perfect. And it seems like “Christian” moms are often the worst at adding fuel to the stereotypes. We’ve created unrealistic expectations for ourselves and for others, and it’s wrong. Since I don’t post anything here with a negative vibe I don’t want you to get the idea that I’m one those women. I’ve never met a perfect mom who had it all figured out! I certainly don’t. Most days I feel like a “hot mess”. We all have very different experiences, and I want to share a little with you about my journey becoming a mom… the real story.

So, get ready. Or get off this site while you still can!

I wasn’t one of those girls who daydreamed about my future children. In fact, I often said, “I’m not having kids.” I wasn’t really drawn to children the way a lot of girls are. I didn’t even babysit much. I had other dreams, but having children wasn’t on my list. I felt like having kids would put me in a tiny box, and that scared me. I wanted to do things. To travel. To go to college. To have an exciting career. To be surrounded with fun friends. So I did those things! It was great, but something was missing. Out of nowhere I started to really want a baby. But my excitement was about the next adventure to add to the list. It was something else I could check off and say, “Hey, look what I accomplished!”

Then I found out I was pregnant, and it didn’t feel real. I had no idea what to expect. I refused to read any books, because I didn’t want to be consumed with all-things-baby. I had friends who did that, and then had nothing else to talk about. I was paranoid that I’d turn into one those know-it-all women I mentioned in the first paragraph. Plus I didn’t want to worry about all the “what-ifs”. So, I guess you could say I was as unprepared as possible.

Thankfully, I had the easiest pregnancy ever. No issues at all. I felt good the whole time! Then it was time to birth the little guy. It wasn’t what I expected. There were complications. Really dangerous ones. I didn’t get a chance to bond with my baby, because I was on a lot of meds. Then we went home, and it didn’t take long to realize something was really wrong with me. I was a complete wreck. I cried a lot, didn’t want to see anyone except my parents and Anderson and still didn’t feel any kind of bond with my son. I’d heard so many people describe the overwhelming love they felt for their babies, and I didn’t know why I didn’t feel that way. I tried to explain what I was experiencing to Anderson, but all I could say was that I felt like I was falling into a black hole. Falling deeper and deeper. Darkness was surrounding me, and I was scared. It wasn’t until later that I realized I was experiencing something between typical baby blues and postpartum depression. What? I thought people who claimed to suffer from depression were dramatic and weak. How could this be happening to me? God was teaching me something major. He’s always had a way of dealing with pride in my life. You’d think I would learn eventually!

That’s when I started reading Psalm 40:1-3 over and over. Every day. All day.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in him.

My Bible stayed open to those verses. I didn’t need to read them because I knew each verse word for word, but there was just something about seeing those words on that page. I believed that God would pull me out of the darkness. I still can’t read them without crying! It took time for me to start feeling better, but God was so gracious to me through the whole ordeal. He sent a friend who had experienced severe postpartum depression to help me, He prompted my Mom to visit me everyday so I wouldn’t be alone, He sent friends to our house with enough food for a football team, He gave Anderson the strength to be patient and understanding (even though he had no way of actually understanding), and He did indeed put a new song in my mouth! A song of praise to my King for blessing me with a healthy sweet, happy baby. A song of repentance for being so judgmental to other woman and for not embracing what an amazing blessing it was to have a baby.

A lot of people say that the biggest lesson they learn from becoming a parent is the depth of love they are capable of having for another person. I get that. It blows my mind too! But the biggest thing I’ve learned is not to judge other people, especially other moms. I don’t care if they let their kids eat fried chicken nuggets and french fries at every meal. I know how hard it is to fight with a kid who doesn’t want to eat. And I don’t give them rude looks when I see them in the grocery store in sweats with dirty hair. I know what it feels like to be up all night with a sick baby then have to run out for milk and not even remember to look to see if you’re wearing shoes. I don’t think they’re ridiculous for choosing to home school or for working full-time or staying home full-time or for going to “mommy and me” groups. Their experiences aren’t the same as mine, and I have no idea what they’re going through. So instead I choose to encourage them to keep on. Being a mom is tough!

So don’t invite me to your baby shower unless you want my speech. It goes something like this: “The first few weeks after you have a baby are Hell. HELL! You don’t sleep and you might be on strong meds. If you choose to nurse, you will feel like a dairy cow. (It’s very sexy). The most exciting thing you will do some days is shower. You might feel depressed and lonely. If you do, CALL ME! Hang on. It gets easier. If I can do it, you can do it. Get a calendar, and put a big happy face at the two week mark then a bigger one at six weeks. Look at that calendar everyday and know that when you hit those marks it gets a lot easier! Don’t let anyone make you feel bad. Your experience is not like anyone else’s. Don’t worry about enjoying every minute. People who tell you to do that have either forgotten how hard it is or didn’t have the same experience as you. You’ll get to the point where you can enjoy the experience as a whole. You can do it! You can do it! You can do it! If you don’t need to remember this speech, you won’t. If you think I’m an awful mom, because it’s all roses and home cooked meals at your home, that’s fine. But we can’t be friends anymore.”

I feel like God has called me to do and be things other than Kingston’s mom. But that’s definitely near the top of my list now; right under being Anderson’s wife. And that’s where it will always be. Wait! Who am I kidding? I don’t even have a list anymore. If I did I wouldn’t be able to find it! And while I’m really thankful for the stuff that was on my list before, it all pales in comparison when I hear a little high pitched toddler voice say “Mamma” and realize he’s talking to me!

42 comments

  1. Just wanted to comment and let you know I read every word.
    For what it’s worth, I still think you’re the bee’s kness and I’m glad you kept it real. Baring your soul is often necessary.

    P.S. The box thing is a HUGE fear / panic I also have.

    1. You’ll be so great when the time is right. If I can do it, you can do it!! And I will come out there and help if you ask! Give Carl permission to summon me if it gets bad. 🙂

  2. amen amen amen amen. Happy face on 2 weeks and bigger on 6….couldn’t have said it better myself!

    Girl! I had no idea you had such a rough time! I had a hard time too…right about 6 weeks I guess was when it clicked for me. I loved him. He LOVED me. It’s hard to explain it to someone who hasn’t felt that way…but I too felt like I was lost. Like I was just going through the days. The next nursing. The next diaper. Until that 6 week point. And bam. Holy moly, I LOVE THIS KID!

    Thank you for sharing your honest. You’re right. We don’t have it all together. We’re totally kidding ourselves if we think we do! I mean…just this morning, I had a 2 year old screaming because he didn’t want to wear his red khaki shorts….they are ‘not soft pants’! HAHAHAH!

    But…it does really all boil down to- IT”S TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!!!!

    I love you even more after reading this post!!!!!

    xoxoxoxo

  3. Thank you so much for posting this. When my youngest, Natalie, was born 6 months old she made for 3 babies under 4 yrs old. I thought I had parenting down pat. Boy was I wrong. I experienced that same “black hole” you mentioned.I isolated myself from people as much as possible. I was diagnosed with PPD when she was a month old. I still have a bad day once in a while, so thank you for the scripture. I’m going to put it up in my house as a daily reminder. I needed this thank you!

  4. I adore this post because it’s real and people need real. I LOVE IT; I LOVE IT; I LOVE IT! I think I need to save it for the future, should God bring children to this King clan. Love and miss you girl!

  5. So perfectly said! You are a blessing and know that God uses you to encourage others! I know I receive a blessing with every post!!

  6. I love that you keep it real! So many moms need to hear this! It made me cry reading it, thinking back on my own experiences. I’m so thankful for a God who knows and understands our hearts, even when we are in the black hole! Been there and came back, praise God! I’m so thankful for my boys and my sweet Lord!

  7. Now I know for sure that you and I were birthed from the same gene pool (with the exception of the fact that you got the great legs and I’m African!)…this is my story seriously to a T, career & experiences, hello baby!, meds & near death, postpartum, and most amazingly: anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I wander around murmuring Psalm 40: 1-3 to myself ALL DAY LONG. But, the only reason that I have been able to do this 4 times and stay not only sane, but really happy is to tune into the Holy Spirit and what he and only he wants…the voice that never fails, the voice that says “yes, you’re a hot mess but you’re MY hot mess”. Praise God that he cares a whole lot more about us and our babies and our men than he does about any silly perfect (churchy or not) false image. It’s good to be free. xo

  8. Lyndsay, you’ve said it PERFECTLY! My friend and I always talk about how we should write a book called “What They Didn’t Tell You To Expect While You’re Expecting.” 🙂 I honestly don’t think I enjoyed mommyhood until Asher was about 3 months old … but now it’s one of the most rewarding parts of my life!

  9. You have such a way with words and express what every woman who has had a child wants to say. Your next Career Path should be to write a book. I would love to read it!

  10. Girl…I love this post…because it is real. I learned a long time ago that no one has a perfect family, a perfect life, or perfect kids.They may look like it on the outside but what happens on the inside is a different story. My Clay ate Fruit Loops and Eggo Waffles for 6 years. Look what he eats now. Logan took his diaper off in Chelsea’s 1st grade class and stood on a table at Open House…NAKED…yes… Dr. Greenhaw’s youngest son did that! Oh no…Call the judgement police! Logan recovered…Chelsea…not so much.
    Keep being real.

    Oh and by the way…you are “one hot mess”…in a good way!

    Love you bunches!
    Lauri

  11. Lyndsay, it’s even more worth it when they give you grandkids! As my boss says, grandkids are the reward you get for not killing your teenagers! Glad you had an easy pregnancy–i threw up for 7 months the first time and 5 months the second, but the delivery was easy. We all do this differently, for sure.

  12. Lyndsay,yes I am crying! I am so glad you shared this with the world! I know God will use you to encourage so many other mothers . Thankyou for being real. I guess thats why we have so much fun together. You are a great mother married to a fantasic babies daddy! love you

  13. I am so glad you shared your heart and you let people know that its ok to not have it together. Trust me, as much as that sweet baby of yours threw up, I found a little of what you were going through. Haha! Love you and love that sweet baby boy of mine. Ha!

  14. Wonderful, never truer words my friend! So proud of you for “going there” and yes, it is SO worth it!! Now, come see me in 12 years when they enter teens… I got a few true words for you! Stay real sweetie!

  15. Oh Lyndsay!! This is absolutely wonderful and perfect and thank you so much for posting it!!! I cried when I read it because I can relate to it. Just yesterday I was feeling guilty about the fact that my kids eat things like spaghetti o’s and chicken nuggets while other moms feed their kids fresh vegetables at every single meal. The Lord spoke to my heart through your post, so thank you thank you thank you for sharing from your heart!!!

  16. I’m Keri’s mom, she told me to come read this post.

    You are right on in everything you say. I was blessed to not suffer with post partum depression – – – but I certainly remember how hard it was to just accomplish routine things like dishes adn laundry during those first weeks.

    I was not a perfect mom – – – in fact I lived in the south at the time and it was a COMMON PRACTICE to let your baby have ICED TEA in their bottle. Southern iced tea is so sweet it is like syrup and little Keri would slurp those tea bottles down (even though I watered it down a lot) like they were candy – – – ’cause they just about were.

    When she was about 8 months old she “discovered” what you did with a straw on her daddy’s strawberry milk shake and she drank it to the quick (I didn’t even have her on cow’s milk yet at the time) and we could NEVER have a milk shake again but that SHE THOUGHT she needed to drink most of them.

    So – – – nutritionally I was evidently, by many standards of today, an ABYSMAL FAILURE and yet look how wonderfully the Lord has helped my little Keri turn out.

    When Keri, my first born, was a tiny baby a cousin who was an RN already mom to at least 5 gave me the best parenting advice I ever got and I tried to follow it religiously. Here it is:

    Love them and keep them relatively clean and the rest will take care of itself.

  17. Punk, thank you for using your spiritual gifts, heart, ability, personality, and experiences to impact others for Him. The most comforting thing I know is – when crises come, He either sent it or allowed it. It didn’t take Him by surprise because it is part of His sometimes mysterious plan to reproduce His character in me. It ain’t always comfortable but it is always good in the end (Rom. 8:28-29). Thank you for being real but thank you most for loving Him and allowing Him to use you. I love you!

  18. probably my favorite post EVA that you’ve written!

    I couldn’t agree more, since becoming a mom i have realized how many mothers struggle, and how many judge other moms. it makes me so sad, we should be encouraging each other reguardless of if you nurse or not, work full time or stay at home, etc, etc.

    I have a huge heart for motherhood in this way. I just want to tell everyone of them YOU’RE A GOOD MOM! Believe it. 🙂

  19. i absolutely LOVE this post. i actually read it on my phone yesterday but due to the hecticness i’m just now gettting to commment!
    people always tell you the good but they leave out the bad and the ugly! maybe because they don’t want to scare you to death or they’re just afraid to admit the truth. either way, parenting is the hardest (i don’t even think hardest describe how hard it really is..lol) and the best job that God has given me!
    thank you for sharing your heart and being real. you shared what most mothers have gone through or will experience at sometime.

  20. Mark and I were sitting in the office working the other day and he said, “You need to go to Lyndsay’s blog and read her post.” I LOVE THAT… my husband sending me to read your words of wisdom 🙂

    Then, I was pressed to comment today when my devotional ended with these lines, “Satan makes us believe we have to act like we have it all together, but you can struggle with things and still love and trust Jesus. If we are all faking it, how can we help each other?”

  21. Lyndsay – THANK YOU for sharing. This post was pretty emotional and I really am fighting back tears now thinking of my own struggles. Being a mom is hard – but really the best thing ever. Its good to know I am not the only one who is fighting a child to eat(dont know where he got that from because I LOVE TO EAT). Thank you…you are an amazing woman.

  22. Just found your blog, LOVE IT! UGH…I could have totally written this blog post. 16 months later I think I am finally accepting the fact that I am a mom now…Crazy reality check, but a role I am FINALLY willing to accept and be proud of. Thank you for your honesty and post!

  23. Pingback: ??????????????????
  24. Pingback: ??????
  25. I’ve read a few just right stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.

    I wonder how so much attempt you put to make one of these excellent informative website.

  26. This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a
    reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start
    my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I
    really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how
    you presented it. Too cool!

  27. Pingback: ???????????
  28. Pingback: ????????????
  29. Pingback: ??????????

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *