Its taken a long time for me to gather the courage to write this post. Like, a really long time. I've started and deleted many times. I figured if I didn't just DO IT already, I never would.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret. After the birth of The Bug, something weird happened. I grew very anxious. I'm not talking "oh man, bills worry me". I'm talking along the lines of panicking almost to the point of blacking out every time we drive over a bridge. Not being able to control my thoughts and dreams. Imagining the most horrible things happening to my newborn daughter and convincing myself they would come true. I cried. I sobbed. I spent countless nights not able to sleep because I was checking on the baby every five minutes. Every creak in the house was a burglar. Every noise outside was a murderer. Every body of water wanted nothing more than to swallow us up.
Fast forward a couple years. The birth of Monster was such an amazing moment. We somehow seemed more complete as a family. But along with the normal feelings of love, joy, and awe, came feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and uncontrollable crying. For months I hid it. Even from Mr C. I felt ashamed. HOW COULD I, A DAUGHTER OF THE KING, FEEL THIS WAY? Finally, after talking with Mr C, we decided a trip to the doctor was in order. You see, along with thousands of other women, I was dealing with a very real case of postpartum depression and anxiety.
I've been on medication for about three months now. It's helped. Especially with my anxiety. Boy is it nice to be able to drive over bridges again. Having a clear head has also enabled me to see other aspects of my life clearer. Which leads me to the real reason for this post. My resolutions for 2014. By the end of 2014 I would like to be off medication. That is my goal. And these resolutions are now I intend to bring a new balance to my life.
READ MY BIBLE WAY, WAY, WAY, WAY MORE. Also, pray my days away. I know I cannot do this without God. I know this because I've been trying for three years.
STOP TRYING TO BE THE PERFECT MOTHER AND START TRYING TO BE LIKE JESUS. My greatest desire in life is to see my children come to The Lord. I am the person they spend the most time with, so it only makes sense that I should be the main Christian influence in their daily life. Maybe not the greatest influence, but for sure the one they are with most often. Being a good mother will follow when Jesus is at the center.
STOP DIETING. Seriously. I have an unhealthy relationship with food. I always have. I love it too much for my own good. Any time I try to purge something from my diet, I do myself a great injustice because I just end up eating more of it than if I were to just limit it. Food is just so good. Of all the gifts on this earth, amazing food is my favourite. So I aim to eat healthy, but also to eat that cake if I want that cake.
STOP TRYING TO LOOK LIKE A MODEL. I think I have this idea in my mind that I need to look how I did before having kids. I really don't think this will ever happen. For one thing, pregnancy has changed my body forever. I have wider hips, stretch marks, and a figure that is a strange new world for me. I aim to stop looking at these things as bad changes. I need to start looking at my body for what it is: a healthy and complete body that has grown and given birth to two amazing little humans. Far too often I duck out of pictures because of how uncomfortable with how I look. What kind of example am I setting? Not a good one, that's for sure.
STOP WORRYING. Am I a bad mother if I don't feed them all organic? What about the carcinogens? How many books should I be reading to them a day? Is that too much TV? Do I yell too much? Is that safe? Should we spend more time outside? Should I be working to help support the family?I'm sure I'm not the only one worrying about the above. Yes , there's always room for improvement. But constantly stressing about things won't do any good.
STAY OFF PINTEREST. Let's be honest here. I won't succeed at this. Pinterest has, in my opinion, been the best and worst thing to happen to motherhood. On one hand, mothers these days have an endless supply of inspiration and ideas. On the other, we now also have an endless supply of guilt at the fact that we aren't doing it all. So yeah I'll be on Pinterest gathering those ideas. But I aim to cut waaaaaaaaay back and just spend more time going with the flow.
DRINK MORE TEA. I love tea. It doesn't go much deeper than that. Who doesn't love tea?
READ MORE, WATCH LESS. Hello, my name is Amanda and I am addicted to watching entire TV series on Netflix at one time. So I aim to read more. Actual words written on actual paper. The smell. The feel. Stay up turning pages instead of clicking "next episode".
DO MORE THINGS FOR ME. This can be taken two different ways. I intend to do both. First, do more things that I enjoy. Second, do more things that will benefit me. Walk more, bake, dance, and generally enjoy life.
SERVE MY HUSBAND. 2013 was a hard year for my husband. I spent a lot of it in bed sick, or crying my eyes out. And Mr C picked up everything that I slacked on with a smile on his face. And still managed to find time to dote on me. How did I get so lucky? This man is probably the best ever. Its his turn.
SEND MORE LETTERS AND LESS EMAILS. I love getting letters. Other people must feel the same!
TEXT LESS, SKYPE MORE.
TAKE LESS PHOTOS AND MAKE MORE MEMORIES. There's a difference between experiencing something through a screen and seeing it with your eyes.
SPEND LESS MONEY. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, wheremoth and rustdestroy and where thievesbreak in and steal,but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21.
There's more but I'm sure this is a long enough post as it is. I would love to hear some other resolutions out there! I truly hope that 2014 will be an amazing year for all of you out there.