Wednesday, December 27, 2006
And here's to honesty!
(Thank you Jenn for leading the way. In the midst of YOUR blizzard, you helped me share today. Thank you my friend.)

I have always had problems with expectations. I build things up in my mind and when they don't turn out exactly how I am imagined, I am depressed. With that being said, this makes me very sad to say. Something I never thought I would EVER say but this is how I feel. I am glad Christmas is over! And right about now, my friend Kelly Ann has fallen out of her chair!

When I was pregnant with Josiah, I could not wait to have that little boy. The entire pregnancy I was consumed with my imagination. No one told me how hard it would be. No one shared that breastfeeding can turn out to be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life! No one prepared me for a surgery he would have to have at two weeks old and no one mentioned the word colic! A few days after he was born, I was standing in the shower with breasts that felt like they were on fire (I was struck with THRUSH), my new baby boy was screaming and the postpartum blues were more than I could bare. As I stood in the shower under the hot water, I cried like I had never cried before. The feelings I felt were very confusing. This was a time I was supposed to be happy. This was a time I was supposed to be jumping for joy! This is what I had waited for! This is what I had dreamt about when I was single! Yet I am miserable and wishing that it was back to just me and Jeremy. I felt like I was never meant to be a mother. The emotions, the hormones being out of whack and the pain I was in AND the fact that my newborn was colic made me feel like a total failure. These were not things I dreamt about.

Needless to say, the surgery fixed the pyloric stenosis, God healed him of colic, my breasts finally healed (I still have scars from that infection), my hormones leveled out and by three months, we had our groove on! But I will say that my introduction to motherhood was very difficult. I am so grateful though. So many days I spent at home crying out to Jesus to help me and He did. It was another great spiritual marker in my life. If you have a crying baby that won't stop, call me or have me come over and hold him. I truly feel like an expert when it comes to colic. Although, don't think I didn't pray my guts out that Ava Beth would not be colic. She wasn't! And you better believe I have prayed over my belly many times in the past nine months with this pregnancy. Lord, please don't let Ezekiel be colic!

This Christmas was one filled with expectations, just like every other year. Christmas lights, Christmas cookies, shopping, a visit to see Santa, new traditions, old traditions, and so much more. While much of our time was spent fulfilling those things, there was other times spent running to have Christmas here, then across town to have it somewhere else, then rushing to get home so my Dad could come over and have Christmas with us. My husband does not get hardly any time off of work during Christmas so in order to make everyone happy and make sure all the grandparents get to see the grandkids, it's hard on us. We made a rule early on in our marriage that when we had kids we would not go ANYWHERE on Christmas day. We broke that rule this year but have already decided that it won't ever be broken again. Christmas Eve had to be arranged around EVERYONE'S schedule. That won't happen again either. We have decided we have to do what's best for our family, meaning the soon to be five of us. My husband had to work on Saturday so he only had Sunday and Monday off. It wouldn't be so bad if he did not have a physically demanding job, but he does (he never sits at a desk, never!). He told me Monday night that he did not enjoy Christmas this year because he was not able to really rest and enjoy the kids.

This Christmas there was confusion over gift buying within both of our families, how much we were supposed to spend and many more "little" things. So on Christmas night as I laid in bed trying to sleep, I felt a little sad. This is where Christmas gets out of control. This is when it looses all focus and meaning. This is when I bow out and do everything I can to make sure next Christmas is nothing like it was this year. Jeremy said next year we are taking our kids and going to Hawaii for Christmas next year. Ha! The food was good, the presents were nice but I felt a huge lack of "Christmas" and what that truly means. There was no connection between families. It was fast, it was over. Christmas will be done totally different next year. Not everyone will be happy with our decisions but the five of us will spend much more time together and as the heart of my home, I will make sure I do everything possible to make it much more peaceful and much more fun AND much more relaxing (Okay Jeremy?).

Expectations. It will get you every time!

Thank you Lord so much for my children and husband. Thank you for their hugs and kisses and words of affirmation. I know through them, that I am good Mom, a good wife and someone they adore. Help me to protect my home from "busyness" and strife. Help me to give them a better picture of what Christmas is all about. The baking business made it very hard this year Lord and if it is something you don't want me to do next year, please show Jeremy and I BOTH. I pray that you will give Jeremy some much needed rest this coming weekend. I pray that we can enjoy one another and our children before this third baby comes. Our little family needs some quality time together without interruptions. And Lord please help us next year to show our kids that Christmas is all about JESUS.

  posted at 10:50 AM

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Munchkin Land said...

I hear you on all fronts of your post today. The expectations that come with Christmas and yes, even new motherhood. I was completely unprepared for the baby blues and found myself crying to sleep on more than one occasion. *Sigh* I'm determined to place no expectations on this delivery. It will be, what it will be. Thanks for sharing Mandi.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Paula said...

I am sorry it was a little bit of a let down. I too agree, you have to put family first. It makes it no fun when eeveryone is worn out and it is just a blurr. Hope fully next year will be a peaceful one for your home....well as peaceful can be with three small ones. Little Ezekial will be into that action next year!!!

I love you hon!

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Wendy said...

A couple years ago we told all our extended family that we wanted to be at home on Christmas morning. It has been wonderful. We still have to be somewhere that evening, but we spend the whole day at home together. It has made Christmas so much better for us because our families have gotten used to this now and have accepted it.

I hope next year will be a more relaxing time for you and your family.

At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have something for you....we need to pick a day and get together. I want you to have it before Zeke gets here! Love you!!!

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to make that rule too - I really never care for Christmas day either - mainly b/c we rush around ALL day - I hate it! and, yes we do it to make others happy - not for us or our kids. Maybe I can talk Frank into this next year.


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