Ivy is just about 3 months old and we are feeling so blessed to be entrusted with her. I am extremely tired most of the time but I didn’t expect this to be any different. The Lord mercifully answered our prayers for a good little sleeper and I am incredibly grateful! I thought I’d write about how we are surviving these days. Motherhood is an incredible blessing and is incredibly exhausting. Being a mom with a chronic illness is extremely challenging and sanctifying. I am called to be a joyful mom despite how I feel physically. Thankfully, the Lord is using my weakness to continue to keep me relying on Him for the strength and grace to persevere in this joyful, but difficult calling.
Here are a few of the keys to our survival.
1. Morning Help – Keith, my faithful husband, has woken up early with Lillian since she was born (mornings are difficult for me). Now, 3 years later, he wakes up, gets her ready and he takes her to preschool 3 mornings a week. On the other mornings he is teaching her to read and to memorize Bible verses/catechize. This helps me to get extra rest and to have some special time with Ivy.
2. Naptime – We’ve trained Lillian to stay in her room for 2 hours of quiet time. Sometimes she falls to sleep and sometimes she plays “quietly.” At times it sounds like a party in there but we’re working on it =) It’s been tricky scheduling the girls naps together but I usually get about an hour to nap. If Ivy is awake I just put her play gym next to me and she plays while I rest lying flat. (Here’s a pic of Lil when I went to get her up from naptime recently…)
3. Grocery Shopping Service – We are utilizing Harris Teeter’s grocery shopping service these days. It’s a huge help to me as shopping for groceries takes a lot of energy. (During the summer we are a part of a produce co-op and pick up our share weekly)
3. Easy dinners – I’ve been using our crockpot almost nightly. I’ve found a bunch of really good recipes that require very little prep which equals very little energy on my part. If I were to make a typical dinner that requires prep at dinner time, I would end up crashing and not being able to enjoy my family in the evenings. I plan to post some of our recent favorite recipes soon.
4. Outside help –
Family: Our moms stayed with us for about the first 6 weeks. I have no idea how we would’ve made it without them (thank you Debbie and Mom!). My mom has been continuing to come once a week to help clean and keep up with laundry, etc. Such a blessing!
Friends: We have numerous wonderful friends who are constantly offering to help – especially with childcare. A huge help!
5. Giving up on perfection – I really crave order and tend to be a perfectionist. Messes drive me nuts! I have to daily let this go. It’s a battle for me, but the Lord is using it to sanctify me. Having a clean and orderly home, most of the time, just can’t happen during this season. I’m trying to see the messes as signs that I am blessed with 3 lives to pour into and to love.
These are a few of the things that help our family to keep up these days. We are truly blessed!