It has now been three months since I had my third baby. I have officially joined the mama of three club and now that I have crossed over, all I can say is wow. Having three babies is a whole new ballgame especially three babies that are so close to one another. Jadon is 4, Sophie is 2 and sweet Selah is 3 months.
This blog post has no official direction or three tips to get through the day, but what it does have is empathy. For all of you mothers and fathers out there with any children, I feel you. I see you. I hear you and I want to remind you that you were made for this.
When the days seem hard, know you are not alone and as I have said many times on this platform and to my closest friends, remember that you are enough. Also, remember you are not alone. This third baby has been a joy, but I will not sugarcoat it and tell you it has been easy because it has not. After Selah, postpartum hit me a bit harder than I expected. I never went through these emotions with my first two, but I immediately understood what was happening to me. It was if I was having an out of body experience. I would look down at me and question who she was. She was so sad, overwhelmed and lost… why was she feeling that way?
I still have those days. They are fewer than they once were, but they come and go.
I plan to post about postpartum another day and how I am handling the emotions and anxiety, but what I can tell you is diet and hydration have been greatly linked to my postpartum.
With that being said, being a mother of three is eventful, stressful, full of laughter, messes, overwhelming moments and beautiful ones all at the same time. There are highs and lows and in-betweens and at the end of the day (even on the bad days), I would not trade these moments for anything.
I am blessed to be a mother, messy and all.
I also am honored to be your friend, so again, know, you are not alone.
I am here for you if you ever need a shoulder to lean on.
If I am going to be honest, this blog should not be titled finding rest, but should be really titled ‘Learning how to Rest – for the first time.’
That is raw and vulnerable, but the truth of the matter is this has always been a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around. Over the past five years, I have been on a journey of dissecting what ‘rest’ looks like for me and understanding why I struggle with it so much. It is not that I do not like naps or enjoying a day off, but I internally feel guilty if I do not have a productive, “check off the list” kind of day. This has been a process of breaking this mental barrier of mine.
So, like I said, it has been a journey and as I have reflected and continue to become more self-aware of my tendencies, I have found that this is deeply rooted from and started at a very young age.
I will paint you a quick picture.
As a six-year-old, my favorite store was the container store. In fact, I got more excited about a new container then the actual doll that would be going inside of it. I started playing soccer at 5, piano at 8, flute at 10 and of course joined the student council in 4th grade, which soon led to me being student council president and senior class president throughout high school. I was involved with club volleyball and played every sport you can imagine. I also was in marching band, media club, prom queen, voted most likely to succeed and the list goes on. This followed me into college, where I joined honor societies and extra curriculars and in every way stretched myself to continue to achieve more. Now, part of this was to build a resume – I will admit, but a large percentage of the time, I thoroughly wanted and chose to be involved in all that I could stretch myself to do. From a younger age, I wanted the gold star and as I got older, I started asking myself the harder questions of why and is this worth my time?
I will admit, I am an over achiever and I happily accept that title, but in the last decade I have been trying to retrain my brain and reevaluate time and how it is spent. The last 3 years have been a journey as I have been finishing up my doctorate, building Imani Collective and growing my family. I am proud of where I am, but I am even more proud of how far I have come.
Many of you will look at my life and say ‘WHOAH – superwoman, you do too much.’ For me, you have to understand that I am high capacity person, I always have been and always will be. It is how the Lord built me, but in this new season, I am trying to take that capacity that I hold and place it in other areas like rest.
What does that look like?
I am actually not quite sure, but what I am excited about is the intentionality I am giving towards it. In about 10 days, I should be expecting my third child and in 2 days, I am for the first time taking a maternity leave. I will say with my second kiddo, Sophie – I at least wrote up a maternity plan for my team, but did not adhere to it at all and with Jadon (firstborn), resting was non-existent. I can still recall me holding a meeting at my house with my country director 5 days after giving birth. She thought I was crazy and still does, I just thought I was being supermom and keeping track to what Jenny always does best and that is ‘DO.’
Now as I look back… she was right. I was absolutely crazy.
With all that to say, I am excited for this new chapter, new intentions, new balance and new priorities. I am excited to give back to myself and learn a new way of thinking. This next step is not going to be easy and in fact, will probably be really hard for me, but I am not giving up on this. I have spent thirty years just going as fast as I can, as hard as I can and not really evaluating or more so, internalizing how I am being intentional with resting not just physically, but also my soul.
This is a time to soul search, be connected to myself on a deeper level and wipe away all those years of guilt for taking time for naps. It is time for me to realize that I am worth more. #shesworthmore
It is finally time for guilt free naps, endless books to be read, and long conversations over coffee to get lost in without a clock dictating my every move.
I am also excited to be sharing this process with you. I will blog when I can (but not setting expectations on myself) and I will show up raw for you on my social handles. I hope that as I dissect this next chapter of my life, that you are encouraged and can apply anything I am learning to your personal journey.
Also, if you have any advice, books, practices that I should try that will help with resting and being still, please send my way.
From the recovering workaholic, learning to rest for the first time in her life,