Thursday, May 24, 2018

It Takes A Village

These words are from March 8th, 2018. Just a few weeks into our parenthood journey. Read on. Then read the new version below...

You've heard, "It Takes A Village" right? These words ring so true.

I am so, so grateful for the village in place who has supported, prayed for, celebrated and encouraged us in this whole journey! I love sharing life with people and this experience wouldn't be the same without those around us. However, this is hard too.

Leading up to Rainier's arrival we were so genuinely blessed by baby showers, random gift drop offs, questions about how we're doing, celebrations, prayers, offering of wisdom and encouragement and more.
Now that Rainier is here we've been so loved by calls and text, visits, meals that have gotten us through these first few weeks (these are such a gift), people who have reached out through phone/social media to offer support and genuinely ask about how we're doing and answer those "is this normal" question at all hours, grocery runs, sweet gifts, coffee delivery and more.

These things (and the people behind them) are so, so valuable to me. I have felt so supported and this has been so crucial to me in this time. But this is such a lesson for me. It is hard for me to accept all this help. I am pretty good at "doing things on my own" and in this season where people have gone above and beyond to support us I find myself challenged to fully accept all this love. I am experiencing the need for a village in such a real way and really allowing it is such a lesson. Anyone else feel me? I am finally feeling physically "back to normal" and it's tempting to "not need help" anymore. But it isn't really just about need is it? It is love, help and community playing out in it's finest form and that's not about need. Well, not just physical need. It is a mental and emotional need that is being met too. Sure, I could fight that I don't "need" in those ways but I do, and I am so grateful.

Is this hard for anyone else?
I shall do my best to fully receive.
Thank you for being a part of our village in this season and beyond.

UPDATED: 5/10/2018
I had no idea what was ahead and what my village would really mean to me. I am sure I still don't. But dang, my words are different now than what I typed above in early March. I am just now up for air and finding time, energy and desire for things like this; writing, processing, engaging.

So... In late March things took a turn. The short stents of sleep had created a wakeful pattern. So did the middle of the night hours spent browsing during feedings: social media, mom forums and blogs... "How often should my baby eat? What's the best sleep schedule? What happens if my baby gets sick?" and other random things you can find on the internet at all times. Everything from advice, funny stories to trauma. It turns out that stuff messes with you after a while.

Enter, insomnia. Things shifted and I just COULDN'T sleep. At all. My brain was going non stop from song lyrics, to random thoughts to baby fears. Or just being alert. I already got frustrated if I     couldn't sleep. Throw in a baby and a deep NEED for rest and I was getting all sorts of anxious. And then it grew. A few days in my body was depleted and I was discouraged. And soon my husband was going back to work. Enter more anxiety. How would I care for/hold/feed my baby? How would I  feed myself? How would I do this? So began tears, worry, fears, anxiety, loss of appetite, diarrhea (sorry, it't the truth) and being totally overwhelmed. I was really discouraged and feeling at a loss of how to do this mom thing. And I never really

Enter, My Village.

  • My Husband - Man, he has had to deal with a lot with me (and still is). I am hard on myself. I have worried a lot as a new mom. Me sleepless = total chaos. But he has been so encouraging, life giving, grace giving and my teammate. We now share the sleeplessness with shifts so we each get some dedicated rest. This has been such a gift and need. But also hard too. I miss him. 
  • Mom friends. Friends. Friends who are family - They appeared. They showed up. They check in. They relate. They share wisdom. They take walks with me. They pray for me. They held Rainier so I could get a nap. They brought coffee. They texted, called, messaged. They showed up via social media. They brought food. They have been present and I am so thankful. I even made a new mom friend in my neighborhood. We've got babies two weeks apart and sharing our journey has been such a gift. 
  • Family - Support has been huge. I am especially thankful for my Mom who has taken night shifts, done Costco runs, checked in, cleaned and much more. The gift of sleep without worry has been huge! Also, my sister in law who has a crew of kiddos and checks in and empathizes.
  • Jesus - For reals. "Thank Jesus" is thrown around a lot but in the most genuine way. I am so thankful. God has sustained us, nourished us, brought needed support and so presently journeys with us. It's easy for me to overlook Him as I search for help in this season but I have done my best to slow down and declare my needs and seek Him to bring comfort, encouragement and strength. I continue to remind myself to hand over my worry, anxiety and fear. Daily. This sounds like it'll be a lifelong journey in parenthood. But I also get to express deep thanks and joy.

So, dear friends. Whether it is the journey of parenthood or the many other things we navigate in life - find your village. Invite them in. Be honest. Share your needs. If you've read things here before you may know I think one of the worst things is to navigate life in isolation. That's not how were meant to live. Fiercely seek out those who can/will/do support you.

Thank you to the MANY who are my Village. I am immensely thankful to share in life with you and for your support in this season.

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