Thanks for joining me!
Since I was a young girl, I dreamed of my calling. For years, I felt that my calling had to be career focused. That drove me through school and led me to many of my experiences. Like many, becoming a mother changed me in different ways. I knew that I would enjoy being a mother from a young age, but I did not know how much I would truly love the beauty in motherhood. It is through this passion and love that there is much anxiety and fear. When my daughter was born, I started to feel anxiety like I had not in my life. I would become overwhelmed, agitated, and fearful – for no reason, at least not obvious to me. In not truly being honest with myself, I could not be honest with my healthcare team or my support team. So, I thought and was given the message that my feelings were very normal.
Then I found out I was expecting my son. My second child in a short period of time. This was not my plan, but God’s plan. I needed to continue to remind myself that God does not give us anything that we cannot handle. For some reason, I was to have two children in a short period of time. They are meant to be here and born into my family to my husband and I. Although there is some comfort in this, for a type A person that wants to control EVERYTHING, there is much anxiety in this as well.
In my true form, I purchased a home, moved, and had a baby in a two month time frame. This is just how I roll. Having one child was easier than I expected, but having two was harder than I imagined! I spent much of maternity leave feeling even more overwhelmed, anxious, and tearful. I felt most often like a complete failure most moments of the day. Much of time, my daughter, my son, and I were all crying together. My poor husband was our support and did an excellent job moving us through this season in our lives.
Several months later, I decided I needed to be honest with myself and those supporting me that I needed help. I was so overwhelmed in my day to day. I spent much of my days crying (like really ugly crying) and feeling like I was failing in every aspect of myself. I did not want this to be the memories of my children’s childhood. My children, my husband deserve better. I deserve better for myself.
I needed to give myself permission and time to get better. This came in many forms. I needed to allow myself to take medication, to see a therapist, to keep my routine appointments with my healthcare team, to ask for help from my support team, and to allow myself to feel these emotions. As a mom, I think many times, we do not give ourselves permission to feel, to grow because we do not want to take away from our families. It is through this process, that we can actually provide better for our families. Through feeling these emotions, I was able to and continue to be able to sort through my thoughts and worries to determine how I can manage/control this current state that I am in. How did I do it? Well, I am continuing to work through it. I am very much in the pretty early stages of working through this opportunity.
Now, I know that using a word like opportunity to describe depression seems very odd. I did not come to this conclusion overnight and I do not expect everyone to feel this way. I am choosing to live more positively and think with more positive thoughts, which has been helpful to me. I am looking at my current mental health as an opportunity for me to grow and become stronger in my relationship with myself, my husband, and children. In turn, I will become stronger in other relationships in my life.
So, I needed to start somewhere. After much thought, I realized that there were certain things that cause anxiety or me to feel overwhelmed that I can control. Some I cannot. I wanted to start with the things I can control. One area of my life that has always been an outlet for me in through cleaning and organization. However, I found that I was spending A LOT of time doing this and not well. My house always seemed to look like a frat had taken up residence, trashed it in a drunken fit, and left. Not a good feeling. Maybe slightly over exaggerated, but this is how it made me feel. This was something I COULD control. I would NOT let it control me. I still needed time to be present with my family – a value that is very important to me.
Through this process, I also learned that I had been organizing our house and designing it in a way that made sense to me, to my brain. I was creating fun, detailed organization processes that inspired me. However, these processes did not work for my husband or my young children. I needed to learn how he organized, although different from me, to find a common practice that would work for my family. I also needed to keep in mind that I have two kids under the age of two. So, my design needed to encompass the toys and their life style too. This was a big job, but the freedom from clutter was very inspirational to me. The freedom in intentional design was intriguing and I wanted to find this dream of mine for my family.
I am still on this journey, but after about two months, I heard the words I needed to continue to put the effort in. My husband looked around our home yesterday and said to me, “Is this really our home? It is organized and clean. It is Wednesday!” He was right. It was pretty organized. Not as perfect as my former self would have liked, but the frat no longer partied in my home. Cleaning no longer took a whole weekend. My stress was beginning to recede.
I have developed a method I call Co-Organizing. It allows you to take your family values, understand each person’s organizational style and develop a sustainable, organization system that allows you to be more in the moment with your family!
That you for joining me on this journey and I hope that you continue to walk alongside me no matter what season of life you are in.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton